ENTERTAINMENT STARS WITH TOMI ON LA VERONICA MAGAZINE
Call him one of the popular Nollywood or Ghallywood star, you are definitely not wrong! He has appeared in several Ghanaian and Nigerian movies.
At that time, little did we know that he is not a Ghanaian but a Liberian who started his acting career in Liberia but left for Ghana.
You don’t want to miss these chats with our amiable star. Fasten your seat belt, let’s go on a journey with this brilliant and talented Liberian actor, Gregory Artus Frank popularly known as Frank Artus.
He spoke to OTEKUNRIN OLUWATOMI of LA VERONICA MAGAZINE recently. Also, talking about him leaving the acting scene for a while amidst other interesting things happening in his life at the moment.
LVM: Was acting intentional for you?
Frank: I have always known I will be in the entertainment industry; but not in front of the camera. I remember growing up, I love watching TV a lot. But as a child at that time, we all wanted to be lawyers and doctors; here I am today, doing what I love to do. Sincerely, I was thinking I will end up behind the camera, but, here is destiny putting me in front of camera and trust me, I love my work, it’s fun!
LVM: How do you feel as most people think you are a Ghanaian?
Frank: This I get a lot of time. Most people think I am a Ghanaian especially on social media. My fans keep saying up till tomorrow “my favourite Ghanaian actor” and I will just smile whenever I come across these comments. However, I still feel good. Though, it is good that people know you, doing what you love. For the records, I am a Liberian! My mum is a Liberian while my dad is also a Liberian from Grandcess, Grand kru County.
Nonetheless, I left Liberia some years ago to Ghana and I was privileged to work in some blockbusters movies for some years and that was it; automatically people think I am a Ghanaian; still you can’t take Ghana away from me.
LVM: Why did you leave the industry for some years and return now?
Frank: Well, sincerely to serve humanity. I actually went for five years sabbatical. I left for Liberia to work, where I served as the president of Liberia film industry for two years also the Chairman of the National Collective Societies of Liberia.
LVM: Tell us about the Liberia film industry?
Frank: The Liberian film industry is a small but evolving industry and less structured. However, when I took over as the president, there were lots of issues; especially menace called PIRACY. But, together with my team, we did a great job; by bringing it the barest minimum through a lot of advocacy programs, putting administrative act and policies together. Although, The Liberian film industry is yet to attain Nollywood or Ghallywood, we are obviously work in progress! Nonetheless, we might be just few people, but we mean business. More so, during my days in Liberia, I ventured into directing, producing and acting simultaneously. It was a very challenging process but I pulled through.
LVM: What do you enjoy doing and never tired of?
Frank: I am not tired of acting, I love to play different roles; it makes me happy!
LVM: what is the most challenging role you have played so far in your career?
FRANK: Being an actor is challenging, because you are playing different characters that you are not. The most challenging role, will be when I acted completely nude and the movie was titled ‘Order of the Ring’. It wasn’t easy playing that role but I did. While another of my favorite role was when I played dual character, a good boy and a bad boy. I can’t forget that challenging role easily!
LVM: You said you ventured into directing in Liberia, we have known you to be an actor; when did you start directing?
FRANK : Truth is, there are so many talents in Liberia, willing and ready to learn. Remember I know the nitty-gritty of production for long before I went back to Liberia. I can do some things in film making and trust me, I have passion for directing. Though, I will still pick my acting career over directing; but I directed some movies while I was in Liberia and it feels good to be a director. It was not an easy task. Those are the sacrifices I had to make for the Liberia film industry. The young talents learnt a lot from me. I was glad I gave my best to the willing young minds ready to learn.
LVM: Having experience Ghallywood, Nollywood and Liberia film industry, what can you say about the three industries?
Frank: Nollywood is the mother of these two. Nollywood is a huge deal. I am always glad been part of Nollywood and of course Ghallywood, The Ghallywood film industry is doing better than before. But for The Liberia film industry, we are just starting out and we are going to do exploits regardless of the fact that we don’t have any film college. Liberia is approximately 5million people! There are prospects and we are getting better by the day.
LVM: How has the war affected Liberians even after these years?
Frank: In several ways, the war has affected the country and the people. The mentality of the people has changed drastically. Some people have sympathy, while some remain cold hearted; some don’t see a reason why they should rejoice with you because they feels ‘why not them’. Trust me, the war has extremely damaged a lot of things but we are coming out of it gradually!
LVM: If you can turn back the hands of time, what would you do differently?
Frank: Well in life, we make mistakes, may be because of youthful exuberance but if I come to the next world, it’s possible I will make the same mistake.
LVM: You are happily married with beautiful children, tell us about the contribution of your wife to the success of your career?
Frank: My darling wife is very supportive and understanding. She is the assistant minister of culture in Liberia and it has being awesome married to such a woman.
LVM: Are we seeing Frank Artus in politics soonest?
Frank: Well, kindly watch out! I am coming! Keep your fingers crossed.
LVM: You are in Nigeria at the moment, should we expect some Nollywood movie featuring the great Frank Artus?
FRANK: You should watch out most definitely! I do not want to let the cat out of the bag yet.
LVM: What is the favorite food you have tasted since you got back to Nigeria?
Frank: Nigerians, why do you love pepper so much? I almost choked of pepper the other day. I love wheat, Amala, Eba and the long Ponmo (cow skin), they were so delicious!I love small chops too. Nigerian foods are mouth watering. Just reduce the oil and the pepper.
LVM: What word do you live by?
FRANK: I live by the word “God is in it”. Whatever I do, I love to see God in it, so I will be successful.
LVM: What does beauty means to you?
FRANK: Beauty they say, is in the eyes of the beholder. The beauty of a woman isn’t all about physique, but must flourish from within. My wife is a beautiful woman with a more beautiful heart, very humble and she respects me a lot. Fortunately, she was an entertainer before politics. She was an artiste so she understands the kind of work I do.
LVM: Do some fans judge you by some roles you play?
FRANK: Very well! My fans do judge me, most of the time. Some even think I am a play boy, because of some play boy role in my movies. I am not a play boy, I am FRANK and there is a difference between Frank Artus the Actor and Gregory Artus Frank the person, genuinely speaking fans can be funny most times.
LVM: what is fashion to you?
FRANK: Fashion means comfort. I love to wear what fits and cool on me. Sometimes, your body might not fit all these styles, so I advice to wear what works for you. I love looking good a lot, it says so much about you and Nigerian designers are good!
LVM: Thank you for your time.
FRANK: Thank you for having me.. I appreciate!