Screen diva, Mary Lazarus is one of the actresses who are doing amazing things in front of the camera. The 32-year-old twin actress took OLAITAN GANIU through her acting journey.
Tell us your journey into acting?
I started as a model at the age of 17 before venturing into acting. It started when a friend told me that a director needed a young lady to play a role in the movie. So, I auditioned and I was picked but professionally, I started acting in 2012 and it has been amazing with God on my side.
Could you share a little bit about your background?
I hail from Abia State. I was born into a family of seven, myself and my twin brother, Joseph was the last of seven children of my parents. I graduated from the University of Ibadan where I studied Geography. Then, I was schooling and modelling while at university.
Any challenging roles so far?
Every role is challenging because as much to bring in something new not what you have seen before.
Tell us your role in the latest film, ‘Lockdown Heat’
I like stories that when people watch they can relate to it, so when I got the script I was like this sort of thing happens to a friend of mine. So, it’s like I portray what happened to her in the movie and I believe people will love it.
Yes, in the movie there was a lot of smooching but I feel comfortable with my co-actor, Efa Iwara. He is my friend, so I was up-close and everything is natural because that is how we vibe… so nothing.
I know that we love romance films in Nigeria and with what’s going on in the country, we need love. We just want to watch a movie and feel good. We don’t want to overthink, we just want to relax.
Name the actor you admire so much?
In Hollywood, I like Tyler Perry and I admire his strength but in Nollywood, I have been working with fantastic actors.
What would you like to change in the Nigerian film industry?
It is the way people perceive the female actors. Most people think we don’t make money from acting. Though, we don’t earn much, but people still don’t believe that we spend what we earn. The perception people see when actors buy a brand new car; they would say ‘it’s from Sugar Daddy or Sugar Mummy that bought you the car.’
But these actors are working every day, like every week, they are on set and some people earn as much as N400,000 per movie so why won’t they afford to live a good life. People really need to change their perception of us (the actors). I don’t know-how. I don’t know what needs to change for people to be able to see us differently but the notion has to change.
Could it be the way actors showcase wealth on social media?
Well, some people are not in the industry for acting sake. For me, I’m in the film industry to act and make legit money because I need to get paid for any role I play. My advice for an up and coming actor is to be focused, be determined and know why you are coming to this industry. Like some people will say, ‘I just want to be famous like you’ but who cares for fame? So you have to know the reason you’re joining the industry.
Where do you see yourself in the 5 years?
I see myself as a film director.