#aTypicalInterview: Shannon Esra would love to take Anele Mdoda on in a ping-pong match
Actress and singer Shannon Esra has featured in various movies and tv shows, including the M-Net drama series Snitch, where she plays the leading role of Caz O’Donough.
The 36-year-old featured in the popular SABC3 drama series Hard Copy and has featured twice in hit local soapie Isidingo. She starred in an international science fiction mini-series, The Triangle, and the rugby feature film by Darrell James Roodt, Number 10.
Esra was one of the first Caucasian actresses to play a lead role in a Bollywood film, portraying Stephanie in Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love.
You could star alongside any actor in a blockbuster Bollywood movie. Which actor do you choose?
I would have to say Amitabh Bachchan. He is an icon, a legend of Hindi cinema. I believe he is a humanitarian, from what I have read of him. He genuinely sounds like a wonderful human being. Who wouldn’t want to work with him?
What is the one thing that has caught your eye on social media in the last week?
My Kreepy Teacher, by Glen BidermanPam. I loved My Octopus Teacher so much, and this parody of it is utterly superb. Laughed till my stomach hurt!
You’re able to see either Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga live in concert. Which concert do you go to?
Gaga. Definitely Gaga. Why? Because she’s Lady Gaga.
Your ultimate three course meal is?
If it’s going to be the ultimate three-course meal, then it has to be in the very place of origin! So … definitely something Italian. Perhaps the first course is a delicious heirloom tomato Caprese salad, with burrata cheese (mozzarella’s far sexier, creamier cousin – in my opinion, of course!).
Second course, a pasta! All the pasta. Maybe a spaghetti vongole, or gnocchi – as long as it comes with a delicious glass of vino to complement and pair with the meal. And then for dessert … I would have to say gelato or panna cotta.
Your celebrity crush growing up was?
Your most embarrassing moment in your acting career was … ?
I was at a voice-over one day; it was pretty early on in my career, and Michael Richard was already in the booth doing a couple of drop-ins for the sound engineer.
Anyway, I go in, and I am so nervous! I had watched Michael in Steven Berkoff’s Decadence a few years before and was really star-struck. I mean, he was an actor I just thought the world of, and there he was in the studio with me. I very confidently reach out my hand, to introduce myself. I grab his hand firmly, “Hi Richard, I’m Shannon Esra. Lovely to meet you.” I notice the slightest hint of a smirk sneak into the corner of his mouth, as he politely says in his rich, commanding baritone voice, “It’s Michael. Richard (he holds my gaze, inserts a long pause, you know, for dramatic effect) is my surname.” Well, I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me whole. I began stuttering and spluttering. My cheeks were on fire! I could feel sweat running down my back. Hahahaha. Good times.
You are invited to a celebrity ping pong match. You can take on any SA celeb. Who do you choose?
Anele Mdoda. I think it’ll be such a good giggle. Also, I am such a huge fan of hers.
Your three favourite Netflix shows at the moment are ... ?
I watched these three ages ago, and I loved them – Ozark, Dead to Me, The Crown. Right now I am loving Our Planet.