She cut her teeth recently as a movie producer but Yvonne Nelson does not think that the Ghanaian movie industry has been too fair to her.
With seven years as an actress on the tow, Nelson takes OVWE MEDEME through the dark days of controversy to being the highest paid actress in Ghana. She talks movies, career, fashion and relationships in this interview.
IS Single and Married your first production?
No, this is my second outing as a producer. The first one is not out yet. I produced that last year with Majid Michel. We haven’t premiered that yet. We decided to premiere Single and Married first. My first production is titled The Price.
What stands Single and Married out from other movies?
The cast was different and the locations were amazing. As for the storyline, we have seen a few things like that before but I decided to spice things up by bringing in new faces, musicians and TV presenters. I discovered a young actor, Kweku Elliot, who we featured in the flick. I just wanted to do something different. People are tired of seeing the same faces so i wanted to change that a little bit. The premiere in Ghana was amazing.
What message are you trying to pass with the movie?
Basically, people just have to know who they want to get married to before they tie the knot. We should know our partner very well before we enter into a relationship because we might get married and then realise that we don’t have anything in common. Marriage is a long term affair. There are a number of lessons to be learned. You don’t want to have any surprises in your marriage.
For a movie that is multi-themed, which of the themes relates directly to you?
I am not single and I am not married so I don’t fall anywhere. I am in a relationship. I have not had any experience that relates directly to the movie. I didn’t write the script and it was Pascal Amanfo who directed it.
What endeared you to the script?
I did not give the scriptwriter the story. He did everything himself and I paid for it. We talked about a fun story and we discussed about something everyone can relate to. There are single people everywhere and there are married people everywhere. People are having issues with their marriages. When I read the script, I loved it and I decided to go ahead with it. Nothing drew me to it. I have worked with Pascal so many times and I know what he is capable of doing. I knew he was going to give me a good script.
Currently you are rated as the highest paid actress in Ghana. Do you agree with that rating?
Why won’t I agree with that? I have paid my dues; I have been working really hard. I would say that I have been the busiest actress this year. That is what God has done.
At some point in your career was filled with controversy. What led to your ban from the Ghanaian movie industry?
What my people or Africa do not like is when a woman is not happy with something and she voices it out. I have produced movies and I know how to treat people on set. The problem whoever had with me has to do with the fact that they don’t treat us well on set and when I voiced out, they start saying that I am rude or arrogant. They don’t want to feel we know our rights. I shot Single and Married with Chris Attoh and Nadia Buari and everything went fine. In nine days we were done. If you are working with your human resources and you treat them very well, nobody will have a problem.
Ghanaian movies are known to be on the explicit side. How well would you say you fit into the industry?
I am in the Ghanaian movie industry; I am a part of it. If I get script and it is good, I will take it. I don’t think I have done a movie where anyone can say they found Yvonne nelson naked. We do scenes and we do them well.
For the right price, would you act nude?
I certainly would not. I would have done it long ago if I would.
How true is it that you are romantically linked to Nigeria’s Inyana?
I am like Iyanya’s biggest fan. I love his music. I have his music on my iPod, iPad, Blackberry and iPhone. We are just good. He is a very special person to me.
How would you define special?
He is just a special guy.
So he’s not the one you are dating?
I will not say anything on that because I don’t say much about who I am dating or who I am not dating. I have even said a lot right now. I am in a relationship. I am happy and that is all I can say.
How soon do you hope to tie the knot?
for now I am happy and I am committed so let’s see how it goes.
How much interference does your relationship have on your career?
None at all. Whoever I am in a relationship with should know that I am an actress before we started dating.
So you were an actress before you started dating him?
Of course. I would have married this guy long ago if the relationship was that old because it has been seven years.
How has the seven years been like?
It has been wonderful. I have learnt so much. It has been a learning process for me. I am like one of the youngest actresses in Ghana and I thank God for how far he has brought me.
These days, actors and actresses are venturing into music and vice versa. Are you considering anything like that?
For now, I am not. I am ok with just being an actress.