Hollywood, here I come

2010-08-09 00:00

DURBAN actor and winner of the Class Act television talent competition, Sdumo Mtshali, jetted off to Hollywood yesterday to film Ghetto Dangerous, a South African movie which is expected to hit the big screen early next year.

The 27-year-old, from Montclair, will also travel to the New York Film Academy for an intensive eight-week course to fine-tune his performance skills in mid-August.

Mtshali was one of 10 actors selected for the final of the Amstel Lager- sponsored competition. He described the win as “unexpected”, adding that he only entered to find more career prospects in Johannesburg.

In addition to winning his trip to America, Mtshali was signed up by the MLA talent agency and was cast in the lead role in an Amstel TV commercial.

Created by Donovan Marsh, Class Act was described as “the toughest film audition the country has ever seen”. The 13-week competition was broadcast live on SABC1, and each week the contestants’ drama and performance skills were tested as they played different types of characters and a range of situations. Their efforts were judged by Moonyeenn Lee of MLA, actor Rapulana Seiphemo (Jerusalema, Generations) and producer and director Tendeka Matatu. Kenneth Nkosi, the star of White Wedding, presented the show.

Mtshali, who studied drama at the Durban University of Technology, said: “It was a remarkable experience being able to work with big names in the South African film industry and being exposed to the knowledge and expertise of performers in Generations, Hotel Rwanda, Tsotsi, Anton Bishop from Jacobs Cross and The Lab.

“My favourite theme during the challenge was the villain … I love playing the villain. People assume that you have to act as a bad guy; however, the challenge is in telling your story using mannerisms which are appropriate to the character.

“My favourite villains are the Joker and Hannibal Lecter. Anthony Hopkins’s award-winning role as Lecter in Silence of the Lambs brought the character to life. As an actor Hopkins makes choices on the character and the roles he wants to play, how the character should move and sound. He lets you go along his journey. He knows when to pause and play with the audience. It is impossible not to fall in love with his character — he is a genius.”

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