South African actress Pearl Thusi says it’s great that Hollywood is opening up to people of colour outside of America.
Pearl spoke to the Hello Beautiful in New York about her role on Quantico, a hit USA series about FBI recruits. Pearl plays Dayana Mampasi, a Zimbabwean lawyer on the show, described being a black actress in Hollywood as a dream come true.
"Firstly, it is already quite difficult for black actors who are in America, how much more for me coming from another country? …It is great that Hollywood is opening to people of colour, not only within America, but also outside of America, because we all dream. An opportunity like this does not come more than once in a lifetime, so I am grabbing it with both my hands… and I think black people have to hold their own," she said.
The actress also touched on how Hollywood bosses come to Africa to shoot their movies but never afford the locals the chance on leading roles.
“In Africa we have a lot of movies being shot there, but we never get a good enough chunk of the pie; we come there to fill in the spaces. What’s worse is that when it’s a South African story, like the Madiba story… to get a person from another country to come and play a person like Mandela. To carry somebody with that much presence you need to understand the history.”
Pearl said the role did not come easy she had to deal with many rejections before clutching the Quantico gig: "I have sent so many tapes to this side of the world, a part of me not expecting to hear anything back, but training myself to get to know the accent a bit better…"
During the interview, she also publicly confirmed for the first time that she is engaged.