Entertainment of 2014-02-10

Why I'm not getting movie roles - Actress Helen Asante

Big things, they say, come in small packages and this couldn’t be a more apt description of petite actress Helen Asante, but, be that as it may, Helen says that her size may be more of a liability than an asset, considering the fact that she keeps getting overlooked for movie roles because of her small stature.

Speaking to Showbiz last weekend, Helen said while film producers and directors all over the world would cast people who had talent, no matter what they looked like, their Ghanaian counterparts insisted on only using people who had a certain look – they all have to be tall, pretty etc.

“They are intimated by my size but I think it really doesn’t matter how you look. With film if you’re a good director and you know what you want from an actor, you can get what you want using make up and costume,” she said.

“There are shorter and uglier people all over the world whose talents are being exploited but that doesn’t happen in this country.”

Helen said she initially didn’t realize her size was a problem when she wasn't getting roles in movies.

According to her, she once heard a producer wanted to cast her in a role but the film director turned her down because he thought she was too “small” to play the role.

“In the beginning I wasn’t getting the whole thing and didn’t understand what was going on but it really hurt me. And way back, I wouldn’t be called for movies and all that not because I wasn't good but because I wasn’t big,” she complained.

But she said, that doesn’t discourage her anymore because she knows her worth and what she is capable of doing. Physically she may be short/small but as any supremely gifted person endeavors to do, she is determined to showcase her God-given talents for the whole world to see.

“I don’t react because I know what I have and I see it as their loss. They are the ones going to lose because a time will come when they’ll need me more than I need them. A time will come that they’ll want me and I won’t be available,” Helen Asante said.

Besides, she believes her small stature would inure to her benefit one day. “The big and tall people would eventually all grow old and I would still be looking pretty and sexy,” she added.

Known for movies such as Somewhere in Africa, Crime to Christ, About To Wed, In The Eyes Of My Husband, to mention but a few, Helen said though she still gets scripts in spite of everything, she doesn’t accept most of the ones that come her way because some of the stories are not challenging enough and also because of poor pay.

Helen, who’s been in the movie industry for almost a decade was born into a family of six and hails from Kyebi in the Easter Region.

She started her education at Snaps Nursery School at Asylum Down, then to Sunset Preparatory School and the Adonai Institution of Radio and TV presentation, where she undertook a six-month course in 2005.

She subsequently enrolled at the Zenith College, where she graduated with a certificate in tourism and hospitality management. Apart from acting, she develops story ideas and writes for producers.

In her final words to her fans, she said she’s got a lot lined up for this year so they should be on the lookout for her.

“Tell my fans not to allow anyone to look down on them and that they should believe in themselves,” she said.