Warren Masemola is no stranger at the Saftas. In 2015, he won Best Supporting Actor in a TV Comedy for SABC1’s rib-tickling, Ses’Top La.
He played a very camp Thoko Chanel in the sitcom.
He says, “I was genuinely surprised when I won.”And, now, he’s also in the running for two Golden Horns. One is for Best Supporting Actor – TV Drama for e.tv’s gritty drama, Heist. The second is for Best Supporting Actor – TV Soap/Telenovela for his role as Stukkie in Mzansi Magic’s Ring of Lies.
He is up against Chris Van Niekerk, who plays Stef Mouton, in kykNET’s Die Boekklub and Tumisho Masha, for his role as Gibson Mosia, in Mzansi Magic’s Saints and Sinners 2.
As for the impact of his character Cosatu in the first show, he says, “I believe Cosatu resonated with the audience and the judges because of the reality that the character portrayed.
“It’s a true reflection of the corruption in society and how the police play a role in greater scheme of a corrupt government.”
Masemola continues, “My favourite story arc on Heist is that of Mark’s.
“I fell in love with the journey of a man who is working hard as a security guard to try to save his relationship/marriage because of the love that he has for his child,” Masemola adds.
“He’s also trying his best to show his love for his partner, with the trust that love conquers all – but he is dealing with the challenges of having a lesser person in the picture and so this leads him to crime.”
What’s most impressive is the fact that Heist got nine nods for Best TV Drama, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Post Production Editing, Best Achievement in Post Production Sound Design, Best Achievement in Art/Production Design, Best Achievement in Wardrobe, Make-Up and Hairstyling, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. It is going head-to-head with Bloedbroers.
Masemola says, “A nomination for an e.tv programme goes to show that the South African acting industry recognises talent and not necessarily channels, because I do work for various channels.”
He has been flexing those acting muscles for myriad shows, across genres, which include: Umlilo, Scandal, Saints and Sinners, Ring of Lies, Rhythm City, Jacob’s Cross, Isidingo, Intersexions and more.
As for the second vote by the Safta judging panel, he says, “I was very excited when I learned about the nomination because I thought it was one... only to find out that it was two.
“I juggled three productions when I shot for both Heist and Ring Of Lies, so it’s humbling to see the work being appreciated.”
What’s he busy with at the moment?
“I am currently shooting season four of Ses’Top La. I’m also attending the premiere of Akin Omotoso’s movie, Vaya, which I am nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Film/Movie for the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (#AMVCAs2017) happening in Lagos, Nigeria,” he adds.
About the fact that he is always being cast in menacing roles, he says, “I feel it’s an honour to play dark characters. It’s not easy, especially if one is not a criminal or has never experienced the type of life. I search deeper than normal when preparing for a role. It doesn’t bother me as long as I don’t get typecast.”
As for what ticks the boxes for him when he receives offers, he admits, “I hardly decide on what role to play. “I work with a great team that manages my work and we try out different characters on different mediums as we grow my work experience. It’s a well-planned artistic journey.”
Aside from his hectic shooting schedule, Masemola is looking forward to attending the first-ever Saftas weekend festivities.
He declares: “I cannot wait to celebrate with fellow TV and filmmakers who work so hard to tell genuine South African stories.”