Exclusive: ‘Grand Little Lie’ Star Mercy Mutisya Talks About Her Film Career

Mercy Mutisya is a natural when it comes to acting. She was cast in the recently released A Grand Little Lie film by Phil-It Productions where she played the role of Ziada, a lead character. Ziada was a psychotic girlfriend who took advantage of the people-pleasing ways of her boyfriend Joe a character that was played by Michael Munyoki. Her flawless delivery is proof of her immense talent and makes her an actress to watch out for. KenyanVibe caught up with her to learn more about her journey and aspirations in film.

Congratulations on the good work done in your role in the Grand Little Lie film. What motivated you to audition for this role?

That I would be working with Phil and Abel on their first film was enough to get the butterflies in my
tummy all excited!!! I have worked on a couple of projects with Phil-It TV, mostly behind the scenes, and
it’s been an adventure. They gave me my first TV acting gig, my first TV writing gig, and now, my first
full-blown Movie-making experience.

How was it shooting for this role and the whole process of working with Phil-It Productions?

It was a great journey! The fun we had on that set was out of this world!. I cannot wait for the BTS clips
to start dropping. Even the bad days were awesome!! Phil Karanja, Denise Ngibuini (The producer), and
the whole cast and crew made the whole experience feel like a holiday. Phil is the calmest, most patient
director that I have worked with. How he handled the stress and pressure, especially during the
not-so-great shooting days, was so inspiring. Major Props to him and Denise!

Which was your favorite scene in the GLL Film?

The whole movie gave me goosebumps! My favorite scenes have to be; The first scene where Ziada
switches from being the sweet girlfriend to the psycho that she is, and the scene where the Assistant
Plug (Nyokabi Macharia) catches Ziada red-handed!

When did you discover your love for film?
I have always been intrigued with visual storytelling ever since I was a Kid. My love for art became
clear during my first year of university. I remember writing down my vision, step by step, up until the day
I would shoot my first feature which is supposed to be in 2022. Still trusting God for that one…

You are also a scriptwriter, tell us more about some of the writing works that you have done.

Yes, I am! I have written for stage, TV (series and commercials), and film. There’s been Maempress and
Andakava under Phil-It TV, Tom Mboya and Beats under Too Early for Birds, and a couple of short films
here and there. Some are on YouTube. There is Ya Musa na Ya Firauni and also XOXO which won the first
runner-up in the 2018 smartphone film competition courtesy of Alliance Francaise.

What accomplishments are you proud of most?

YES! That I got to experience my first ever Red Carpet as an actor, in Kenya! Here at my home, my town,
my city!!!! And it was magical!! Ah!!! October 1st, 2021, at the Nairobi Cinema hall, History was made and
I got to play a crucial part in it!

Are there any other projects in the works that your fans can expect?

Absolutely. Mine is to stay active in the game for as long as there is grace for it. Whether on the
frontlines or behind the scenes, I am constantly partnering with people in order to create quality content
for them to consume. I cannot mention the projects at the moment but ziko.

What challenges have you faced in your film career so far?

Filmmakers make art, to make money!! It is a business and just like any other industry that’s growing,
money is the biggest challenge in ours. Consistent Cash-Flow can be tricky, which is why most
filmmakers have to juggle between many projects at a go. Some even have desk jobs and dedicate their
weekends to the art of filmmaking. I cannot wait for the day every filmmaker will reap a bountiful harvest
from their hard labour.

Which filmmakers do you look up to and why?

There are two legends, Phil Karanja and Abel Mutua. There is also Reuben Odanga of Multan
Productions, who has given us Selina and has a new movie dropping on 6th November 202 called Nafsi. Then
there is John Jumbi of Chatterbox who brought us the iconic rib-cracking short film, Wakamba Forever
and also has a new movie dropping soon called Cheza Kama Wembe.
Why do I look up to them? Because they take risks, fail, and rise up stronger than ever. Their resilience is
really helping pave the way for those of us who are coming up. They will forever have my utmost
admiration and respect!

What is the acting and scriptwriting for film space in Kenya like and what is the starter pack for any youngster
who wants to venture into the same?

If you are a scriptwriter, then this industry needs you. There aren’t that many scriptwriters in the game,
especially because the demand for content has really gone up, so keep pushing. The acting sector is
crowded and quite competitive. New talents are being discovered every day. My advice is, stay hungry,
lower your expectations, keep your head in the game because once your foot is in the door, there will be
so many distractions. Focus is your friend.

Do you live by any mantra? If so what is it?

Yes! Two actually. Progress, not perfection and kama ni yako, ni yako.

Email me at agnesopondo@gmail.com