Good day Xclusive people and welcome to another edition of a moment with the stars. Today we have a guest, world famous Kamer actor, Willy Zogo. Willy is a 28 years old Cameroonian actor currently based in Thailand.
Willy Zogo has starred in movies like The fifth execution (2014) alongside Hollywood actors like Micheal Madsen and Rutger Hauer. He also starred in The Mechanic alongside Jason Statham, Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones. Good day to you Willy and thanks for letting us get in your hair for a few mins lol.
Firstly, tell us briefly who Willy Zogo is
I am just a young Cameroonian who left his country in 2007 to become a professional basketballer in Thailand and to finish his studies and am almost done with my MBA now.
How did you get into acting?
In September 2007, just after 3 months after my arrival in Thailand, I accompanied a friend to a casting and when we got there an agent asked if he could take my pictures and hit me up when he had jobs I said yes. So a few weeks later he called me for a casting for a French brand called Alice ADSL very known at that time. I went to the casting and the director liked my smile and that’s how I got my first job and I was in that tvc who went all around the world and the rest is history.
Apart from the movies listed above what other movie sets have you been on?
I have been in many movies; Thai movies, Korean movies and even Indian movies like Rascal a Bollywood movie which registered a huge success. I can’t remember all the movies I have starred in. I have starred in Hollywood movies like the fifth execution in flight 777 with Eric Roberts, Whinch 2 with Sharon stone and Tommer Sizley. Also, a French Movie Largo and last year I had the honour to work with Daniel Auteuil and Laurent stocker in another big French movie called Les Naufrages.
What inspires you to be good in what you do and who do you look up to?
Well, first of all, I will say acting is something that comes to you naturally. You need to have an inborn skill. I’ve never taken any acting classes but I’ve always felt confident in front of a camera. I have also been lucky I had the chance to work with celebrities and superstars on several occasions. When u have a scene with people like that, they are so professional and that helps to boost your skills. It’s like a connection! I remember once on the set of a movie, a director came to me and said wow that was impressive as I had a scene with Michael Madsen and he was supposed to grab me on the signal but he did it before. I really got surprised and it was so beautiful on the screen the director congratulated me. When I went to thank him he gave me a few tricks that help me a lot. I look up to and I want to be like is Keanu Reeves. He is a very humble man who despite fame still lives a simple life and does not look down on people.
How did you feel getting to act alongside big names in Hollywood like Tommy Lee Jones and Jason Statham?
Oh my God, I can’t even describe the feeling I was so excited when I found out I will have to work with one of my favourite actors. It was like a dream to me the man I used to watch on TV was going to be in the same movie as me. I have learned a lot from Jason; the guy is a machine, a hard worker and he won’t mind going over a single scene 20 times as long as it’s not perfect in fact he is a perfectionist and a very friendly person. We had a lot of conversations and he also taught me a lot.
Many people have the impression that most Cameroonians or rather Africans go to Thailand to either prostitute, traffic drugs or scam. What do you have to say in regards to that?
Yeah I know that’s the image the news and the media have made people believe. When people hear of Thailand they always got this bad idea which is not true! There are many foreigners living here and have decent jobs. Some are teachers, others play football or basketball, some are students or business owners, DJs, rappers and what have you. Also, a lot of Africans here are doing illegal stuff but not all.
Do have any plans of giving back to your country or do you have any projects for Cameroon in the pipeline?
Oh, sure I do I won’t be the person I am today if I wasn’t coming from there. I have been talking with some friends about that especially basketball. How to be helpful for the youths in this domain but I can’t tell more about it now coz we still in the research phase.
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A lot of youths these days think smoking weed makes you cool or you have to smoke weed to be good at what you do especially in the entertainment industry. In your opinion, does weed affect people positively or negatively? And should the government take stricter measures regarding the situation?
Well if I could say something I will say this young guys back home have been under the influence of the mass media or movies. They believe that whatever they see on TV is real which is not. Those videos wherein people do whatever they want are just music videos and not real. I think the Cameroon government should do something about it because many guys back home now have lost their mind because of drugs. They don’t think properly anymore and are becoming liabilities for their family and society. Sure some rappers or actors take drugs saying it helps them to think or relax or sometimes when u tired after many days of shooting but for me, I won’t fuck up myself just to be cool. If I have to work hard I do and when am done I really rest. Cameroonian kids should know those people they are copying have the money to go to the doctor later to do cleanse their systems and do checkups. While guys back home are broke and they fucking up their kidneys, their lungs and livers. It’s not only drugs, but alcohol is also becoming a very huge menace for the youths in Cameroon and no one is talking about it. It’s so unfair to see healthy people destroying their lives while I’ve seen my 3 years old son dying from cancer after a long fight. He didn’t wanna die then but u have people in a good health but deciding to not care.
Is there anything you would like to tell your fans and the public at large?
Well, I will say believe in your dream, be respectful to others no matter who u are it costs nothing to be nice. Stay humble, don’t look down on people either. Also, the key to success is confidence. Confidence comes from practice. The more u try the better you become. Believe in your capacities. In life people will try to stop you, some will make you think you can do what you like to do. Not necessarily because they hate you but because they care about you and are afraid to see you fail but nobody sees things the way you do. So you got to believe in yourself, you got to try again and again and finally, you got to invest 100% of yourself in your dream. One more thing confidence is good and overconfidence is bad.
Thanks a lot for taking out time to talk to us today Willy. 237Xclusive team wishes you the best in your career… Keep making us proud.
The pleasure was mine thanks to you guys for giving me the opportunity to express myself.