At EntertainmentSA, we decided to catch up with a guy who has fast become a household name amongst many South African television audiences. He also has a tendency of not leaving the SAFTAs without taking home an accolade. Yes, we are talking about a man who this year, won the Best Supporting Actor under the best TV Soap category. The man who also has a golden horn for best actor in the comedy Gauteng Maboneng, Mandla Gaduka!
Here’s how the interview went down:
- We are sure that it has been a blessing and entertaining journey for you as you climbed the ladder in the acting department, tell us, what have you specifically gained from these experiences as an actor?
– ‘’It’s been a quite a journey to get this far. The work has been and a deep learning curve and might I add being recognised is especially wonderful.’’
- And besides the awards of course, what was the greatest moment for you as an actor?
– ‘’There has been many, but one that stands out for obvious reasons, was scoring a role on Generations, the biggest soapie in the country, as young and inexperienced as I was. Starting out in a small role and have to be written for a longer period was truly amazing.’’
- What in your opinion would you say is the greatest builder for budding actors, time spent on stage at theatre or time spent on set infront of the camera? Would you say it’s important for an actor experiences both these mediums?
– ‘’There is no set formula, some people start out on television which I say good for them, however I started out in theatre and I thoroughly enjoyed it and still do.’’
- What do you consider the most challenging acting role you’ve had to play to date?
– ‘’Damian on Ashes to Ashes – only because of the complexity of the character I had to play and also the character of Solomon on Gauteng Maboneng.’’
- Do you think that going to school (performance school) is important for an aspirant actor, and why do you think this is?
– ‘’Absolutely, school is important for everyone, however for actors it is also vital actually, in order for them to be able to hone their craft and fine tune their skills. Sometimes you find that self-taught actors struggle to portray a certain emotion because they lack the skills to reach that part. There are a whole host of courses available for budding actors from short programmes at the market theatre to BA degrees offered by certain universities.’’
- We assume that there is an actor or actress who inspires you, can you please tell us which actor/ actress inspires you locally and which actor/actress inspires you internationally?
– ‘’Internationally I would say without a doubt Meryl Streep. She is so versatile in her acting and in portraying her roles. Locally it would have to be Warren Masemola – also a very good actor and he plays very diverse characters in most of his work, I also love actress Lindo Sebezo who is on Greed and Desire.’’
- We are certain that you have bigger goals within your career, so please tell us, is there a dream role that you are aiming for?
– ‘’I just started filming a new telenovela which will be playing on Etv. The name of the series is called Broken and it will be screens from the 10th April. I’m going to be on a new telenovela.’’
- Going down memory lane, about two years ago, Mzansi saw their favourite ‘’Choppa’’ and the rest of the 15 cast members being sacked of the local soapie, Generations. Tell us, did the situation have any significance or impact (Advantages/Disadvantages) towards your acting career, and what are those?
– ‘’It was a very scary wake up call to say the least. It made me realise how as an actor I cannot afford to be comfortable. Before the whole cast was fired, I was resting a lot, there wasn’t much to be frightened of. In my mind I had a secure gig and I could afford to pay for my rent, car etc. and now suddenly I had to go for castings and had to audition for any roles I could get.’’
- Any advice can you give to aspiring actors?
– ‘’Keep your eyes on the prize. Watch other people’s work, be inspired. Watch a lot of movies and try to stay away from the shiny things which may distract you from your work and work hard.’’
- Which character have you played the most, and least, like them?
– All of them are like me but the most I resonate with was the Solomon character from Ashes to Ashes.
- Say you were not an actor (thanks God you are), what profession would you choose to occupy?
– ‘’I would have been in the medical field. Maybe a doctor, if my marks were good, but if I wasn’t an actor, I would have pursued nursing, since that was more attainable for me.’’
- Is there a fun fact that we and the rest of the people might not be aware of about the entertaining Mandla?
– ‘’(laughs) There isn’t really anything much. In the last couple of years I have slowed down a lot and I am more of a home body type. You’re more likely to find me at home, if I’m not working or attending an industry event. Event those I limit my attendance nowadays. I try go the gym and I try keep fit by playing tennis.’’
- Some actors are notoriously difficult to work with. Could you talk about how you overcome these types of challenges?
– ‘’I just flip it and try to not pay any attention to them, I let the director’s deal with them. Most of time these actors are acting however way they’re because of insecurities they have and don’t know how to deal with them.’’
Picture credit: eTV
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