Thursday, 29 September 2011 11:23

She's bold and she's beautiful

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The very glam Terry Pheto The very glam Terry Pheto Picture supplied by Total Exposure

Since I met her in 2005 after Tsotsi won an Oscar, actress Terry Pheto has found herself more and more in the spotlight. Her latest coup was landing the part of Evelyn in the Mandela movie, Long Walk to Freedom.

She was also voted one of the most GLAMOURous people in South Africa and attended the Glamour party in Johannesburg.

She was the South African face of L'Oreal in 2008 and moved on to a role as a heart surgeon in long running soapie The Bold and The Beautiful. It is the first time a South African has ever featured in the soapie, and is a real honour for this talented actress.

It would be very hard for anyone not to get a swollen head after all this but Terry has up till now managed to stay humble. You couldn't imagine her saying something like: "I'm famous. And who are you?"

I discovered this when I met her for coffee in the bustling Hyde Park shopping centre.

So unlike so many of the little local divas on the social circuit who send out self-congratulatory tweets to one another but who will never go any further, Terry is like a breath of fresh air.

SC: So I have been googling you a lot today, to find out about all your movies and interviews.

TP: Don't believe everything you read!

SC: But there is nothing bad, only good stuff. Even your tweets are good. They should clone you, Terry.

TP:  I try to be a good person!

SC:  But let''s talk about how you were headhunted for the role in The Bold and the Beautiful? Because they wanted you for the role, didn't they?

TP: They did. It was an absolute honour, as I grew up watching the soapie and never thought that one day I would get a call from the SABC, who have a relationship with the soapie, asking me if I wanted a role in it.

SC: Did the soapie expand into Africa? And why use a South African?

TP: Yes, they want to expand and try something different.

 SC: There is always this perception that it is an American soap, using actors with American accents. Look at what happened to Charlize Theron, she lost her South African accent. What accent will you use?

TP: While I believe that every actor should should able to play parts with different accents, it is very important that people are represented in an authentic way. The character is South African, so yes, my accent is one hundred percent South African!

SC: Was there a casting process, and a shortlist?

TP:  Yes, there was a process but I don't know who else was on the list.

SC: Doesn't matter now, does it! Did you jump up and down when they told you?

TP: Because I am so calm I never jump up and down, but I was very happy and humbled by every opportunity. It has been such an amazing journey, I wake up in awe very morning. I was born on the Vaal and was working in community theatre in Soweto, the Positive Arts Society, in 2003, where my agent Moonyeen Lee found me.

SC: You were 21 at the time ...did you ever think you would be up there on the big screen?

TP:  I never thought my life would turn out this way. You always know something big was going to happen, but at the same time you have to be realistic! What were the chances of going from community theatre in Soweto to the red carpet? God has bigger plans for us. But it happened and I realised that it's okay to not let your background or situation determine where you will land up. I appreciate people and my life right now.

SC: But you kept the role very much under the radar? How did it all come out? I remember it broke on Twitter.

TP: It was my birthday that May so I wanted to go over for the role, and also celebrate my birthday in Vegas with a few friends.

SC: This could mean a wonderful movie career for you. Will you still carry on being 'lovely Terry'? You won't ever be a 'Hollywood number', that is a given!

TP: I try to be as real as possible, this is who I am. At the end of the day I am an actress, who has to perform and do a job.

 

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