Majid Michel who was born 22nd September, 1980 is a successful Ghanaian actor. He received nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017. He eventually won the award in 2012 after three previous consecutive nominations.
Michel was born in Cantonments, a suburb of the Ghanaian capital Accra. The son of a Lebanese father and a Ghanaian mother, he grew up in Accra with his nine siblings. He attended St. Theresa’s Primary School, and later, the Mfantsipim School, the alma mater of Van Vicker and also of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In secondary school, Michel was actively involved in theatre and was a member of the school’s Drama Club. As a member of the drama club, he received a Best Actor Award in one of their performances on Emancipation Day in Cape Coast, Ghana.
Michel entered professional acting by auditioning for a modelling agency; a neighbour had introduced him to that agency. He was invited to join the modelling agency, Super Model Agency, on the behest of his next-door neighbour. He starred in the television series Things We Do for Love, acquiring his nickname “Shaker” on the set. His role in Things We Do for Love was to be played by a Lebanese boy, and Michel attributes being given the role due to his Lebanese heritage.
In a 2017 interview with Star FM Ghana, Majid explained that he didn’t get the role for the first film he auditioned due to poor acting from him, describing his “passion for acting” as what made him to continue to press forward in the film industry.
Things We Do For Love became a success and propelled him into the mainstream. On the strength of his performance in the series, he was cast in his first movie, Divine Love, as the male lead, alongside Jackie Aygemang as the female lead, with Van Vicker in a supporting role. All three used their roles in the movie to debut their movie careers. Divine Love was a huge success, turning Majid Michel, Jackie Agyemang and Van Vicker into household names across Ghana.
In 2008, Michel starred as the lead role in the film Agony of the Christ, which received seven nominations at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2009. In October 2017, Majid revealed that he is paid at least $15,000 for a role in a film, he also disclosed that he has earned as much as $35,000 to star in a film. In 2016, Majid explained that despite playing mostly romantic roles in films, he has never had a sexual relationship with an actress. In October 2017, Majid explained on a radio interview that due to his religious beliefs, he will no-longer accept to play character that requires him to kiss on set.
Michel made his Nigerian Nollywood debut in the 2009 romantic drama, Emerald, playing a leading role alongside Genevieve Nnaji. However, the 2009 film ‘Silent Scandals’ brought Majid into prominence in Nigeria. The film received wide positive critical review for its high production values and Michel’s performance, along with his strong on-screen chemistry with Genevieve Nnaji. Michel was quite outspoken in the media when he started off his career in Nigeria; He confessed in an interview that the first time he met Genevieve, “everything stood still”; he was so star struck that he offered to carry her bag and to be her personal assistant. In another interview, he stated that Genevieve Nnaji is the best kisser in the film industry. He also stated in an interview that Genevieve taught him “how to act”.
In 2014, Majid co-starred in the all-time blockbuster 30 Days in Atlanta for which he got listed by Nigerian Cinema Exhibition Coalition as one of the highest box office grosser of 2014. Other 2014 films featuring Michel include: Forgetting June, which was met with generally negative reviews. He however featured in Knocking on Heaven’s Door and Being Mrs Elliot, both of which had decent performance, commercially and critically.
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