I realized I was a commodity after ‘Lionheart’ movie”- Genevieve Nnaji opens up on her Hollywood experience

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Nigerian actress and producer Genevieve Nnaji has opened up on her experiences in Hollywood following the success of her 2018 film, “Lionheart.”Despite the film’s notable achievement of being acquired by Netflix for a reported $3.8 million, Nnaji disclosed that she did not receive the anticipated support to further her career in Hollywood.

Speaking at the event, which was organized by the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX), an Afreximbank program aimed at bolstering Africa’s creative sector, Genevieve reflected on her initial expectations versus the reality she encountered in Hollywood.

In her words;

“For the first time, I realised I was a commodity. I thought, you know, given what I had done with Lionheart, and all of that, I was going to have an opportunity to do more. Getting there and having the kind of support, that obviously CANEX is bringing on board, but I thought I could find it in Hollywood. That was not quite the case,” she said.

“They wanted what I had but for their benefit. It was all about their story. It was all about how, even if it was our story, I could make it more authentic to their own understanding of whatever Africa is because they did have a lot of literature in their archives.”

But I am Nollywood. I could have gone to Hollywood a long time if I wanted to. But I had a dream to build an industry in Nigeria that could rival it. That’s because I’ve always believed in that. I have always believed that we were capable of actually owning an industry like that, that told our story for our people. I wanted that. I respect what Hollywood is doing. I respect what Bollywood is doing and I felt like Nollywood had an equal chance at it.”

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