“Hollywood made me feel like a ‘commodity’ after ‘Lionheart’ movie” – Genevieve Nnaji

Genevieve Nnaji has disclosed that she did not receive the necessary support in Hollywood to pursue more opportunities despite Lionheart’s success

Genevieve Nnaji has shared her experience pursuing partnerships in Hollywood following the success of her 2018 film LionHeart, which was purchased by Netflix for a reported $3.8 million.

The actress, who spoke on a panel at the 2024 Afro-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum/Afreximbank Annual Meetings and has benefited from Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX), an Afreximbank program that provides support, including financial support for trade and investment in Africa’s creative sector, discussed how she first realized she was a commodity in Hollywood.

“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,” she said.

Video below…

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