After several years on e.tv’s Scandal, Clint Brink is expanding his range while also making his debut in a drama series with Mzansi Magic’s Rockville. Meanwhile, iNkaba’s Tango Nceteko also throws viewers with her gold digger character. Debashine Thangevelo enjoyed a tête-à-tête with the two, who offered insight into their characters and being a part of Shona and Connie Ferguson’s triumphant |home-grown outing as producers…
A DARKER SHADE OF CLINT
Clint Brink as crime boss Trevor Jones
ON the small screen, Clint Brink’s soap roles (Shawn Jacobs on e.tv’s Backstage, Bradley Paulse in SABC1’s Generations and Tino Martins in e.tv’s Scandal) helped pave the way to his current fame.
Well, it was that, and the handful of local movies added to the kitty.
But the time has come for Brink, who has more free time now that he is a call actor on Scandal, to break the mould of playing the conventional morally-bound nice guy.
And Mzansi Magic’s Rockville 2 afforded him the perfect platform to do so.
He explains, “What happened last year, in September, my contract changed from permanent to call actor. Just as soon as that happened it opened up a bunch of opportunities for me. I remember when Rockville started and I spoke to Shona Ferguson. He wanted me to be a part of the first season. But it was difficult with my schedule.”
How does he feel about his new status on the soap?
Brink offers, “I’m going back for a little bit. But I have done my time. Even when they told me about the story and my character changing, I didn’t get upset. I think a lot of actors get to a point of: ‘How could this have happened?’ But when you are creative and working in this industry, which is ever-evolving, you understand why. I look back at where I started from and writing the theme song – it has been one of the most memorable experiences in the last 15 years of my career.”
Brink says he got to know Shona, who was in SABC2’s Muvhango at the time, when Brink was working with Connie on Generations.
He adds, “It just so happened when I moved to Scandal, he joined shortly afterwards. In many ways, he has been like a big brother.”
Although he didn’t follow every Rockville episode during the first season, Brink says he caught enough to know he wanted to be a part of it.
He explains, “Just from the feel of the show and the social media, it showed it had huge popularity and tapped into a market with strong viewership. It is pretty diverse as well from a storytelling perspective.
“It was written brilliantly. I have never done drama and for me to do that, I was very stoked.”
Brink says his curiosity was piqued when Shona told him his character, Trevor Jones, was “a pretty mean guy”.
His character is a menace in the drama, but his dangerous streak is disguised by his dapper wardrobe, refined palate and charming personality.
The veteran actor adds, “He is intelligent and socially clued-up. If he wants something, he takes it and does so with no conscience. I think to a certain extent, I had to bring a lot of the stuff to the table. But Shona told me where Trevor comes from, how he is connected to the other characters and how it influences the course of the whole show.”
Brink also notes that he tapped into real life experiences like grow- ing up in Cape Town as a teenager, where “it wasn’t uncommon to run into the neighbourhood gangsters” as well as his role in Dollars and White Pipes.
He continues, “There was always the risk of getting beaten or robbed if you were not gang-affiliated. Also, in South Africa, we have reached the point where criminals seem to be living a much better life than people making an honest living. These are people who are able to bend their moral compass. I needed to be that guy, who could walk all over people to get what he wants.”
To slip into character, Brink admits to bulking up from 78kg to 87kg, which involved training twice a day for about three months before the show, as well as growing a beard.
He laughs, “I thought I could finally do something with the facial hair I had.”
Overall, Brink admits this is probably his “favourite character on South African TV so far”.
Humbled by the opportunity, the actor says, “This is a new stage of my life. I’m up for anything that offers growth. Rockville has been that for me. Being able to fulfil my dream and staying true to my passion – I’m just grateful.”
Tango Nceteko as Peggy
SHE might not have taken any classes from South Africa’s notorious socialite Khanyi Mbau, but Tango Nceteko took a sort of Gold Digger 101 crash course at some of Joburg’s upmarket hotels when she bagged the role of Peggy, Bra Ali’s live-in girlfriend.
The 30-year-old actress says, “It is one of the most difficult roles I have had to play. I had to do quite a bit of research. If you go to certain posh hotels, there are always women who hang around there and use their physical assets to get what they want. Also, because of my training background, you learn to build a character just by adding this knowledge.”
She sheds more light on her character, “Peggy is all about sex. She is a temptress. She gets through life by being sexual. She is married to a gangster. She doesn’t work. She believes her looks will get her anywhere and she is manipulative.”
Although viewers will also remember her as young Slindile in Mzansi Magic’s iNkaba and from her breakthrough performance as Lindiwe in SABC1’s A Place Called Home – her other notable credits being Mtunzini.com, Soul City and End Game – this role will leave them gaping in surprise.
While it took some time to get used to her sex-kitten wardrobe, she loved working with her seasoned co-stars and learning from them.
Nceteko let slip that her kugel character adds some colour and comedy.
• The second season of Rockville airs on Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161) on Sunday, February 9 at 8pm.