Amanda du-Pont gives us the lowdown and dirty on playing Lelo

Written by TVSA Team from the blog Interviews on 16 May 2016
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What's it like to play Lelo on Skeem Saam? She's been in lockdown for months, she's planning her escape and last week she almost lost her baby.

With all the drama going on, I caught up with Amanda du-Pont to get her take on Lelo's pregnancy and the inner workings of Lelo's miiiiiiiind...

Tashi: How do you feel about Lelo’s pregnancy - as you?
It’s weird because the crew always says, somewhere along the line, whatever they write, it always ends up happening to someone in the production so it’s fine, I don’t mind - as long as it doesn’t happen to me. I’m not ready. *laughs*
I’ve had to almost… even when I’m at work, on stand-by and not shooting… kind of adapt to having the stomach prop on me. I can’t just walk that way while I’m filming on set, it needs to be second nature and natural.

I didn’t want to play it… I don’t want to say the fake way but the standard way someone would do it - always rubbing their tummy - I want it to be more natural so off-camera, while I’m waiting, I waddle extra.

I walk with my legs open and it feels as if I really am pregnant, like I’m always tired and feel like I need to wee - and that thing’s really hot by my the way.

Tashi: Is it heavy to wear?
Not heavy, it’s just like growing extra. You feel extra, you feel different. It always helps when wardrobe and make-up come together.
They almost set the base for your work so if they’ve done a really good job then you literally step into the character and I think they’ve done that for me. If I had a not-so-real looking tummy or if it kept falling down then maybe I wouldn’t be able to execute the character properly.

Tashi: What does Lelo think about as she lies in prison at night, dozing off?
In the beginning of her journey she had so much time alone that she actually found it peaceful. She found it like a recoup centre were she could be away from everyone who ever knew what she did, she had time to think.

In her mind she was like, “I actually maybe want a change. I’m okay with being alone," - this was before she knew she was pregnant… “I’m ready to start my life alone. This is what I’ve done but it’s never too late to change.”
Then she started the writing group and she wants to be influential and she wants to change but it’s also very difficult to get rid of who you are, your essence and her essence is a bit cuckoo.

She’s not aware of it but whatever happened in her past almost creeps into her subconscious so even later, she’s just naturally conniving, deceitful, even when she’s trying to be a good person.

Tashi: She’s been such a controversial character and you’ve had your controversies too. Is this the biggest similarity between you?
Absolutely not, I think I’m so boring compared to Lelo. She's something else. I really have to find it within myself to um… personally I’m the kind of person who believes your work is enough.

Maybe when I was younger I would let drama roll to stay relevant but as I’m growing older I’m realising that if your work is good enough, it’s enough to keep you relevant whereas Lelo thrives on attention and thrives on being appreciated sexually.

Wherever she finds a weakness in someone - anyone who kind of looks at her with a  “You have gorgeous eyes” look - they become her next victim. I don’t even look at myself in that way so she’s clearly aware of what she looks like.

Tashi: So what's the similarity between you?
*laughs* Maybe the expressions. What I did do with the character is that I wanted her to be real and believable. Even when you’re playing something so far fetched, it’s always helpful to play something that’s closest to you so any crazy expressions that I would have or gestures.

There’s a scene where I’m excited to see my cellmate because I’ve been in the sick bay with the pregnancy and I do a little dance and I sing all funny - that’s something I would do in real life. I have that kind of personality so I do add that here and there.

Tashi: And the biggest difference between you?
I have peace and I’m more forgiving and I believe your pain is your power and she’s the opposite. She does not have peace, she believes that anyone who has bought her pain… not only are they responsible but she almost wants to make every single human being feel what she’s felt.

She wants to make them suffer but she doesn’t even realise it, it’s subconscious. That’s why people think she’s crazy but because she’s felt so much pain, she’s like, “People should feel what I feel.” She thinks that that’s the way of life.

Actors in this post: Amanda du-Pont

Shows in this post: Skeem Saam

Channels in this post: SABC1


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