Over the years, Jailoshini Naidoo has cemented herself as an incredibly talented, multi-faceted actress, presenter and MC. The Lotus FM presenter has just finished filming the highly-anticipated Kandasamy sequel which premieres in April and stars in the highly-anticipated local film ‘3 Days To Go’ which premieres in cinemas this Friday. To celebrate the release of this exceptional local film, we sat down with the talented actress to discuss her role as Melissa while spilling the beans on what the future holds for her.
What sparked your interest in signing up for ‘3 Days To Go’?
My decision to participate in any theatre, film or television production is always steered foremost by the script, the character I’m playing and, of course, the director. As an actor, you have to connect with and feel or believe in the script in order to commit to the character and the story she has to share. You have to be able to live the truth of the character and bring her story to life. With ‘3 days to Go’, we were very fortunate to have a powerful script with strong women in the lead, an accomplished director and a seasoned cast. My character, Melissa, was a very challenging one which required great sensitivity in the portrayal. She is without doubt a complex, multi-layered character with so much happening within her. Taking on this role really extended me as an actor and it meant digging deep within myself.
In the film, siblings come together after the death of their father and need to spend three days together under one roof for the first time ever. Why do you think so many viewers will identify with this story?
I think largely because this is a true-to-life occurrence, often we lose the connection with our siblings as a result of being caught up in our own lives – the commitments, the children, career etc. This almost estranges us from our siblings. Being captive during a period of grief can actually help us see things for what they are and in the process many of us heal.
Do you see much of yourself in Melissa?
No. She’s very different from who I am but there are minor overlaps at times. Playing her was a challenge that stirred up real excitement within me. I wanted to push the limits and conquer this character who is intense and more than a little troubled. Melissa is emotionally abused by her husband, troubled by her daughters’ choices and is really the most burdened, heavy, weighed-down character in the film. She is constantly trying to keep the peace. She is also fiercely loyal and protective of her family despite their insensitivity to her. And it is her love for her daughter that drives her to finally stand up for herself and find her voice.
What was the vibe behind the scenes during the few weeks of filming?
It was great as I had the privilege to once again work with many of my dear industry colleagues and friends. But, at the same time, it was hard work and emotionally draining as it always is when one is digging deep and pulling out all the raw emotion for one’s character.
You’re also starring in the upcoming Kandasamy sequel. Did you expect the film to become so popular?
The film was a hit at the box office almost overnight! I think we all knew we had a wonderful film, but we didn’t quite expect the overwhelming outpouring of love and support for the film, but after watching it a few times I realised the power in telling REAL stories. The film does just that. People identify with the characters with the location and with the situations. More especially, it’s a film that has everything an audience wants -drama, comedy, suspense etc. It’s a story with characters that everybody can immediately relate to and it’s beautifully filmed. It’s funny, colourful, joyous, emotional, gripping, sad at times but most especially, it’s real, authentic, sincere and heart-warming.
What can viewers expect in the sequel?
Audiences are in for bags of laughter and even more pleasantly shocking surprises. I truly believe we’ve raised the bar with the sequel. It’s definitely bigger and better. Audiences are in for a real treat and are going to absolutely love it!
Other than the films, what else can we expect from you in 2019?
Currently, my time is shared amongst filming ETV’s Imbewu – The Seed, where I play Nirupa, one of the lead characters, my corporate and private event MC duties, my radio presenting on Lotus fm and of course my stage and comedy shows. But if the next right movie opportunity comes along, I will certainly be more than happy to take it on!
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