Her speech at the 2024 AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum/Afreximbank Annual Meetings, didn't resonate with me.

She said words along the lines of 

"I could have gone Hollywood a long time if I wanted to. But I had a dream to build an industry in Nigeria that could rival it."

I honestly don't believe that.

Girl has been trying to court the attention of Hollywood for as long as I can remember.

Remind me who was the first Nollywood A-lister to 'outgrow' Nollywood productions with the excuse of wanting to evolve, before other actors followed?

At the time she didn't hide the fact that the industry did not align with her aspirations.

While maintaining a long absence from Nollywood, she kept having strategic meetings with Hollywood stars, graced international movie premiers.

It gave her that look that she craved.

She obviously had the desire to fraternize with Hollywood stars.

At some point she was about the only person from this part of the world to attend elite Hollywood events, from Essence Black Women in Hollywood; to the Oscars Nominees parties, to international film festivals, Vanity Fair, and Lancome Women in Hollywood celebrations, just to name a few.

All these appearances, while she kept her distance from industry events back in Naija and stayed away from Nollywood screens.

That 2011 rumour about her playing the next Bond girl didn't come from nowhere.

It was due to how she kept positioning herself in Hollywood circles.

We all saw her as Hollywood commodity, and she thought same about herself. 

So the Bond girl thing could've probably been a clever PR stunt to boost her profile and drum up some buzz for that role (it's showbiz!)

My theory is that she tried to break into Hollywood but it just didn't pan out well. I don't mean this in a negative way.  

Normally, it's hard for an African-American actor to make a breakthrough in Hollywood, let alone an African.

I also feel the Oscars disqualification of Lionheart over English dialogue really got to her.

The movie was obviously geared to be her golden ticket to Hollywood.

It was the first original feature from Nigeria to debut on Netflix, with international screenings and an elaborate publicity. She submitted the film to the Oscars and it was unceremoniously thrown out by the Academy.

She expressed hurt in her tweets.

Again, I don't believe Genevieve never wanted to go Hollywood as she stated recently.

Her career moves over the years suggested that she cared about being the next Lupita.

I mean, some years back she signed a deal with United Talent Agency (UTA) in California, a renowned talent agency that has Hollywood stars like Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, on its roster.

Why? For more Hollywood movie roles and opportunities.

And I love Genny to bits, but that line about intentionally avoiding Hollywood to focus on building Nollywood made me say, "erm..."

BTV reporting