Johannesburg - Nambitha Ben-Mazwi’s latest character is a juicy role she can’t wait for fans to watch.
“Gigi, otherwise known as Georgina … people will find out, without giving away too much, that she is bringing a lot of disruption to the show. She is a plot twist, I will definitely be getting those hate mails and dirty looks in public,” jokes the actress who is one of the star studded cast of upcoming SABC 3 telenovela The Estate.
Ben-Mazwi says she always gives a human element to the characters she portrays in television shows – from a villain to a weaker character, she makes sure people understand and appreciate who the character is.
“Gigi is going to be bringing a lot of force, sexiness and those ‘Oh no she didn’t’ comments. It’s such a fun role to play and discover. For me to peel off her layers and what she is bringing to the plot, I have dug deep to find who she truly is and what her insecurities are.”
Ben-Mazwi says she has adjusted well to the “new normal”, having already managed to shoot scenes under stricter regulations.
“After shooting How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding during the peak of the pandemic, I thought I could do anything during such a challenging time. We were locked in a hotel for six weeks, no visitors allowed, and we operated on a Covid-19-free set. Now we have the responsibility of being extremely cautious. It’s been tough with the sporadic shooting process, but we’ve done a great job. It’s a learning curve for everyone.”
It also helps that she was attracted to her latest character because it is different from others.
“I don’t like to play the same character twice. I always like a good contrast from the previous role. I played a defence lawyer on Diamond City and there were people who didn’t even recognise that it was me in the role because of the transformation. With this Gigi role, it’s a true transformation. I didn’t even recognise myself,” says the 32-year-old.
There is a method to the way she gets into character, from putting on the make-up to the music she listens to. “It got me to really dig deeper into this whole new world of ‘slay queen’. I wanted to not have her be like the similar role I played in Scandal, Shado. I was careful to completely redefine her in a different way and research the ‘slay queen’. I loved uncovering Georgina and finding the human in her, because she is just a little girl like all of us with hopes and dreams and doubts.”
Ben-Mazwi had a great 2020 when it came to work projects. From working with Beyoncé to landing roles in two Netflix hit shows, the star has a lot to be thankful for.
“I have been absolutely blessed. I’m very excited for this new show. There is nothing like it, it’s an award-winning cast. When we all met at our first cast reading, we were all screaming because we are fans of each other. That is always so refreshing to experience with other actors. Everyone is such a thespian in their craft. Everyone is devoted to bringing a character, scene and story to life. That is the best thing for me, to work with a cast that loves their craft and gives their absolute all.”
The Estate will air on SABC 3 in April.