Actress Lunathi Mampofu (31) is the perfect villain on Mzansi Magic's the Queen. Her potrayal of gangster Benni is scarily convincing and keeps viewers glued to their screens every weekday. The Afda and New York Film Academy graduate's star is clearly on the rise.
She’s played the feisty Zikhona on the SABC1 drama Ingozi, a spiritualist on Mzansi Magic’s Isiziki and cut her teeth on theatre productions such as Almost Maine and Look Before You Leap. DRUM caught up with the Eastern Cape-born artist.
What childhood games did you like to play?
I was an introvert but we did play shenxe (dodge ball), hide and seek and raced each other . . . and some soccer here and there. School sports included swimming, hockey and frisbee.
If you could swap with another character on The Queen, who would it be and why?
It would definitely be a female version of Diamond (played by Zolisa Xaluva), largely because I work closely with him and I’m always intrigued by his performance. How he gets in and out of character is something else. He’s badass! The idea of being an antagonist or doing action scenes excites me for some odd reason. I guess I grew up a goody-goody to the point that by playing those roles and getting into those people’s heads feels like I’m being exposed to the “other side” of life. I generally love playing roles that are completely different from who I am, but of course I believe it’s important to bring a piece of you to each role you play, just so you don’t completely lose yourself in a specific character.
What's it like acting alongside veterans like the Fergusons?
It’s an absolute honour. They are amazing souls and I’m honestly blessed and grateful for each day. I’ve also learnt so much from them workwise and personally. They’re quite something and I’m looking forward to learning and growing even more with them and hopefully vice versa as well.
What is your dream role?
Anything challenging and out of my comfort zone is my dream role. I say that because any role can be a dream role depending on how you execute it. Yes, growing up I always wanted to play roles like Wonder Woman. Now, if I had to choose a specific role, it would have to be James McAvoy’s character in the movie Split where he plays 23 personalities or Noomi Rapace in the movie What Happened to Monday.
Who’s your biggest inspiration?
My parents [mom Nosabata and dad Patrick]. They’re awesome and the most liberal and understanding beings I’ve ever met . . . They have faith, which could move a mountain and love for every single being they meet. They become everyone’s parents and their drive is beyond normal. They’ve been so inspiring to watch.