One on one with the ‘real black Pearl’

2016-12-06 06:01
 Photo: supplied Presenter and actress, Pearl Thusi.

Photo: supplied Presenter and actress, Pearl Thusi.

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KwaNdengezi-born celebrity, Pearl Thusi, recently landed a role in an American TV programme, Quantico, and her publicist Daniella Galante sent Pinetown Fever reporter some answers to questions regarding her achievement.

PF: How did you manage to secure your role on Quantico?

PT: The production company was looking for an actress from Africa. They put together a short list of candidates and then asked us to send through an audition tape. It was quite gruelling for me, but I did my best and it paid off. Preparation and having a great team in place is important. Opportunities like this come once in a lifetime and I treated it as such - a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I had to fight for.

PF: How has the big move been and how this has impacted you professionally and personally?

PT: It has made me realise how much bigger the world is - South Africa is just a microcosm of what the world has to offer.
There is so much we can take advantage of out there if we just work hard and keep believing. Simultaneously the world is also very small, even in New York I’ve made so many connections through people from home - it’s amazing. Knowing people and treating them with respect is so important because word of mouth is powerful enough to even spread over the oceans - especially in the day and age we live in. Competition is insane in New York, which means you have to work that much harder and work ethic is everything.

PF: What do your friends and loved ones think about your new role?

PT: When you’re in this industry, those you love the most are those who treat you like you’ve never been “famous”. They don’t make a big deal about it, but they give me the most love and support. They also know how much this means to me - that I’ve been looking for the “next step” for a while now. They’ve stayed up with me until late hours of the night or early hours of the morning recording audition tapes and helping me prepare for many different things work related. It’s these people who I couldn’t have done this without and who continue thinking I’m capable of even more.

PF: Are there any other projects you working on?

PT: I never talk about upcoming projects unless they’re already complete. I haven’t forgotten about the South African “pull-them-down syndrome’’. People are so quick to talk about things you didn’t achieve regardless of how far you’ve come. I have two upcoming movies - Kalushi, which will be released this year and Catching Feelings, which will be released in 2017. I’m really excited about these two projects.

PF: What has it been like working on an American TV production?

PT: I’ve worked on an American production before, it was based in South Africa - the work ethic is pretty similar to that of a South African production, there are similar processes and setbacks. The budgets in the U.S. are bigger though, so there is more invested in actors and all the crew involved, which was new to me, everyone feels valued and therefore have a very high regard for their work. The other difference is that there’s a lot more work put in before people get on set. There is a union, so there are a lot of processes that need to take place - what others could call red tape - before getting on set. It’s all worth it though, by the time you get on set.

PF: What has it been like working with big name actors like Priyanka Chopra and Jake McLaughlin?

PT: I wasn’t sure what to expect, honestly. Priyanka, Blaire, Jake, Russel, David, Yasmin, Johanna - everyone is so down to earth - personable. There are absolutely no egos or weird vibes, its relaxed but extremely professional. Everyone just wants to have a relaxed and good time at work and go home.
There’s no hiding in trailers - everyone is supportive and really invested in making sure the story works and the characters are well rounded and believable.

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