Nhlanhla Kunene, who plays the role of Eric on Showmax’s Adulting and Ndumiso on The River, never imagined himself playing the character of a gangster.
Speaking to Sunday World Kunene explained that he studied at Wits but had to drop out because of finances. After dropping out he furthered his studies at the Duma Ndlovu Academy which shaped his career.
“I fell in love with acting while I did industrial community theatre. I was part of a group called ‘born to be stars’ where we attended festivals and learnt quite a lot of skills,” said Kunene.
Kunene got his big break on Mzansi Magic’s dramedy Lavish, where he played the character of a gangster who loved his girl.
“The response to my craft from fans is really amazing, preparing for both characters was a process especially Eric because he is an emotional beast. With Eric, I had to prepare myself spiritually and emotionally so it was not easy I had to study people to get into character.”
The 28-year-old said he is very different from all the characters that he plays. He describes himself as quiet and said the only similarity with the people he portrays is the calmness.
Working with legends such as Sindi Dlathu and Siyabonga Thwala on The River was surreal for him and he says there was a point where he had to pinch himself on set because he could not believe that he scored the role.
“Working with them is amazing every day is a lesson, from how to carry yourself as a person and how to truthfully carry yourself as an artist. There is no time to be a superstar it is literally work all the time.”
He also added that he was scared of being typecast. He would like to one day play a soldier, a gay guy, a lawyer, or anything except a gun-savvy criminal.