She is a South African actress who is best known for her role as Maryke in the Afrikaans drama series ‘Roer Jou Voete’ on SABC 3. She recently landed the lead as ‘Sleeping Beauty’ in Janice Honeyman’s year-end panto. Prompt Side got to chat to the rising star.
Hi Nicole! Thanks for chatting to us. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi there! I’m a South African performer/creative with big dreams who enjoys walking barefeet and playing lazer tag! I’m originally from Cape Town but I love traveling and go wherever I am called to work. I love what I do and I surround myself with people who are positive, supportive, genuine and confident. I’ve been told I’m an old soul with a young heart.
What was the influence behind taking up a career in entertainment?
I don’t think it’s one obvious thing. It’s like small things (happenings, opportunities, experiences) that accumulated at a very young age. I guess, I’ve never been as sure about anything else and though there are moments of insecurity and anxiety before an audition… this is the industry I am most at home in. I’m happy and fulfilled when I perform. I’ve never known anything else. When I work, I feel focused, passionate, innovative and… alive.
You’ve recently appeared in the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ panto in Johannesburg. What was the experience like?
It was a wonderful, challenging, painful, fun & beautiful experience. I learned a lot (every single day) about myself, the process, story-telling and the cast. I felt so grateful and excited to be singing, dancing and acting on such a well-known stage with veteran performers like Michelle Botha, Timothy Moloi, Tobie Cronjé and of course being directed by Janice Honeyman. The pantomime is such a wonderful South African tradition… and to play Sleeping Beauty and meet so many children and adults who were positively influenced by the show was priceless!
You seem to be quite a versatile performer. Having acted on both theatre and television platforms. How do you manage the different dynamics when acting on a film set and on stage?
I literally have to shift my mind-set to remind myself that both streams require different techniques from me. For the most part, the atmospheres in which you work are very very different so it’s easier to gauge what levels of physical and vocal energy you need to exert and how characterization comes into play in the different fields.
You currently star in the Afrikaans drama ‘Roer Jou Voete’ on SABC3. When did it all start and how did you land the role?
It started in March of 2015. It was one of my first auditions after completing my Theatre degree. A friend of mine taped the audition on her cellphone and I sent it through to the casting agent. Three days later I was flown up for a call-back and a few days after that I got the part and started packing for a longer stay in JHB.
So, you act and you dance. Are there any hidden talents you would like to tell us about?
Well, singing was a hidden talent until just before I did the panto! Singing solo’s everyday really made me come out of my shell. I also enjoy drawing and am making a career out of my photography! You can follow me on Instagram @nicoleoncue for some of my images and art.
Do you have any favourite actors/actresses? Why?
Yes. I have so, so, so many. Viola Davis, Ben Whishaw, Rachel Mc Adams, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kit Harrington, Andrew Laubscher, Nthati Moshesh, Jennie Reznek… and all for various reasons. But mainly because they are committed and moving story-tellers.
What would you say is your strongest motivation?
I think I am most motivated by human beings. By learning about people who are different from me, by affecting change and growth and challenging ideas and thoughts. By understanding how we work and why we work the way we do. I’m motivated by the opportunity to create and share and excel. I’m motivated by my family and friends and goals too.
What’s next for you professionally and where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m not sure yet. There are wonderful things that are being talked about but nothing that has been confirmed yet. I’m hoping that big challenges and exciting opportunities await. It sounds like more TV and films are coming my way in this New Year.
Any wise words of wisdom for up and coming actors and dancers out there?
There is a responsibility that comes with being a dreamer… and it’s that you have to become a doer as well. Dream big, set goals, be kind, be thorough, know yourself and work hard. Enjoy it all!
Facebook: Nicole Fortuin