Sunday, 02 March 2014 23:02

Actress Lesley-Ann Brandt on Tea With Madiba

Written by Gia Kaplan - EWN
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South African born actress Lesley-Ann Brandt says a large portion of the Coloured population still aren't sure how they fit into the framework of the new South Africa. 
 
Brandt, one of South Africa’s hottest exports, is currently in South Africa to promote Tea With Madiba, a documentary she is producing alongside US director Kiersten Dunbar Chace.
 
The documentary focuses on a 20-year post-apartheid conversation looking specifically at the Coloured community and how they feel they fit into the new South Africa.
The Spartacus actress says the documentary is a creative way for her to introduce her culture to Hollywood.
 
“A lot of the feature films that have been made in South Africa and about the country very rarely include the minority groups.”
 
Brandt says the documentary doesn’t solely focus on members of the Coloured community, but aims to represent South Africa in all its diversity.
 
“The storytelling will be honest and there will be no finger pointing. The theme of the film is unity and hope.”
 
Raised in Greenhaven, Athlone, Brandt emigrated to New Zealand with her family after finishing matric in 1999.
She says when she left South Africa, she was surprised by the misconceptions people had about the country and how little was known about minority groups involved in the struggle. 
 
“South Africa has overcome so much as a country, but it is still plagued by social and economic issues.”
 
Brandt also recently completed sci-fi thriller Painkillers in which she plays a South African black-ops soldier.
 
“My character is from the neighbourhood my mother grew up in and speaks Afrikaans. The role is another creative way for me to bring a little bit of home in through my work.”
 
She says she did all her own stunts in the movie.
“I got bumps and bruises but it was fun! I was very active in school so it was good.”
 
Brandt says playing Naevia in Spartacus was certainly the role which launched her career and opened doors for her in Hollywood.
She says making it in Hollywood takes a lot of hard work but adds South Africans by nature are strong, an attribute which serves her well in Los Angeles.
 
“Being a foreigner you bring a unique outlook, thought process and take on a character.” 
 
She says as an actress, she strives to be as diverse as she can in terms of the roles she decides to take. 
Brandt has acted in feature film Drift opposite Avatar star Sam Worthington, dark comedy Killing Winston Jones opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Danny Glover, and has had a recurring role on CSI New York. 
 
She says coming up, she will play a US soldier in conspiracy thriller series called the Lottery which will start production in June and is currently in talks to do a new feature film.




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