TV Plus (South Africa) - - DRAMA -

JB Bo­gatsu (Shona Fer­gu­son) has a lot to deal with in sea­son 4 of Rockville – from be­ing shot, to get­ting di­vorced and wind­ing up flat-broke. “Where JB is, is the ex­treme,” ex­plains Shona of his char­ac­ter’s sea­son 4 jour­ney. “He has lost it all, in­clud­ing the most im­por­tant thing in any hu­man be­ing’s life – fam­ily. He lit­er­ally has noth­ing. I have never been in this kind of sit­u­a­tion be­cause I have al­ways had fam­ily. I found it emo­tion­ally drain­ing when I per­formed some scenes be­cause I couldn’t imag­ine be­ing in a place where there’s no love and sup­port from loved ones.

At the start of the sea­son, once the drama with Diliza has been han­dled, what does JB want? To be left alone. He feels that he is a fail­ure and that any­thing and any­one close to him gets hurt. What did you think of JB’s Hill­brow flat and what was it based on? I loved shoot­ing there be­cause, as an ac­tor, it took me to that place of lone­li­ness and poverty. The idea was to put JB in a world that our au­di­ence has never seen him in. What about JB changes when he’s down and out… and what stays the same? He has al­ways been a man who will do what­ever it takes to pro­tect his own. When ev­ery­one de­serted him, he didn’t feel the need to pro­tect any­one, in­clud­ing him­self. But when he had rea­son to fight again, the same old JB was back in ac­tion. This time he has a lot more to prove. He wants to re­deem him­self. He even tries to fix things with his daugh­ter Mpho (Boity Thulo). He starts feel­ing the pres­sure that his past will al­ways come back to haunt him. This makes his jour­ney to redemption even harder. Was it dif­fi­cult to shoot the scenes where JB is poor? It’s al­ways great when you’re taken out of your com­fort zone, so this was in­ter­est­ing. It wasn’t for­eign though – I have per­son­ally ex­pe­ri­enced not hav­ing much to sur­vive on and it’s the most de­press­ing and lonely place for a hu­man be­ing. What makes it pos­si­ble for JB to rise again and what does he learn about him­self dur­ing that time? He is and will al­ways be a fighter. But fam­ily will al­ways be some­thing that is most im­por­tant to him. When he sees the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing his son in his life again and pos­si­bly re­con­nect­ing with his daugh­ter, he gives it his all. He also loves Lindi and he strug­gles to move on with­out her. What are JB’s con­cerns when Vicky runs the Club Par­adise idea by him? Ini­tially it’s a big “no!” It’s very close to the brothel and he doesn’t want any part of it. JB be­lieves that the brothel is the main cause of ev­ery­thing that went wrong in his life, so he re­sists this from the getgo. What changes his mind is the fact the club gives him the op­por­tu­nity to make a lot of money fast. En­ter­tain­ing is some­thing that he’s very good at. He sees the club as a “cleaner” place than the brothel, safer and more above board. Of course, it comes with its own chal­lenges, which he quickly re­alises. His main agenda is to make money and pro­vide for his fam­ily… some­thing he hasn’t been able to do for a long time. It’s a means to an end. Did you know much about the strip club world your­self? I have never been to a strip club in my life, so learn­ing about the world in my re­search was very in­ter­est­ing. The first time that I set foot in a strip club was when we were shoot­ing Rockville. I made the de­ci­sion to per­form from a busi­ness­man point of view and not nec­es­sar­ily from a strip club owner point of view. Even when JB owned the brothel, he was al­ways the car­ing type of boss who was pro­tec­tive and nur­tur­ing, which is the irony. It’s the qual­ity he has that makes the au­di­ence for­giv­ing to­wards the char­ac­ter: the au­di­ence can re­late to his mo­tives even when they don’t un­der­stand the choices he makes. And how would you de­fine JB’s jour­ney this sea­son? It’s a jour­ney to redemption. To be hon­est, I ad­mire the man’s strength and re­silience. The more he tries to do good, bad just keeps knock­ing at his door. He keeps go­ing but ev­ery­one has a break­ing point. This sea­son is the true test of how much he can take.

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