Veteran Ghanaian actor, David Dontoh, has debunked assertions that he charges in dollars before accepting roles in movies.
According to the award-winning actor, the allegation by some producers that he and other veteran actors are expensive is an excuse created by such persons to avoid handing experienced actors roles in their movies, adding that for the movie industry to grow, there has to be a demographic mix of the old and the young.
Speaking on ‘E on Class’ on Class91.3FM on Saturday August 6, Mr Dontoh said it was untrue to say producers could not afford to pay veteran actors.
“How much do they pay the Majids and the Dumelos and the Jackie Appiahs as against Grace Nortey? And if even you pay her (Grace Nortey) the same amount as you pay Majid, what is wrong with that? … But they don’t even take half of what they take, so it is actually an excuse they always use not to use them,” he lamented.
“… Some years back, people were peddling news that you can’t use David Dontoh because he charges dollars…but no, I have never charged any producer dollars in the country. …Somebody came for me to act in some (television) series, about 80 scenes, and when I charged, in fact … he exclaimed: ‘Oh! Is that all you will charge?’ They think that: ‘This man charges high, we cannot afford to pay and so don’t even go there at all’, but it’s just a folktale. People only say these things to please themselves and avoid using people like us. If we really want to sustain the industry, then there has to be that demographic mix of the old and the young.”
The Deadly Voyage actor noted that assertions that veteran actors were not abreast of modern trends, including social media visibility, was also another excuse by producers to avoid using them.
“Social media doesn’t act; it is human beings who act. According to him, if it is a matter of accessing social media to help that person to reach out and have a material and also link up with fans and so on and so forth, that is why people have PAs. There are a lot of actors in the USA [that] I know who are not on social media but they are big time actors, so that is actually one of the excuses too that they use. If David Dontoh is not on Instagram…you don’t need to see what I am up to [on social media] if you know what I can do… I can’t act on social media and, in any case, for every production there is audition and casting. It is only those who don’t do auditioning that go on social media and look for people with nice faces, but nice faces don’t act, that is what people don’t know. Somebody like Samuel L. Jackson – I won’t say he is ugly – is not a handsome man, as in his face, but he is such a wonderful actor. What will you say about someone like him who may not be on social media? You only just invite him and audition him if need be and then cast him in your production.” he stated.