Lady of the manor
Harriet’s leaving a trail of deception, manipulation and death.
Mon-Thu Mzansi Magic (*161) 21:00
Telenovela The Queen (2016) tells a tale of power and a glitzy lifestyle, funded by the illegal drug trade. tvplus was on set in Ruimsig, on Joburg’s West Rand for a chat with lead actress Connie Ferguson to find out more about playing evil Harriet, who wants her throne and why she swapped SABC1 soapie Generations (1994- current) for her Mzansi show…
Tell us about Harriet “the queen”. Harriet is the boss [Laughs] and a loving mom to her kids. She’s overprotective to a fault, but “the queen” is smart and she knows what her murdered hubby Mzi’s ( Treasure Tshabalala) business was all about. Harriet found out that Mzi was planning to leave her for their maid Violet (Mbali Nkosi), so Harriet had him assassinated [in episode 1] with help from her dangerous big brother Kgosi (Sello Maake Ka-Ncube). Harriet inherited Mzi’s drug empire, which is fronted by a trucking business. But she has an enemy in her stepson, right? Yes! Shaka (SK Khoza) is the eldest son from Mzi’s first marriage and Harriet loves him although she doesn’t show it. Shaka is hot-headed and Harriet’s stubborn, so they keep butting heads. She Harriet knows how to play the grieving wife… even though she’s not one. also has to worry about the cops… one in particular. Detective Maake (Connie’s real-life hubby Shona) is Harriet’s worst nightmare – he’s relentless. It’s amazing that every time Harriet and Kgosi think they have a plan, the detective shows up. But Harriet can’t run forever… How do you and Shona get in and out of your characters? I’ll film with Shona any day [Laughs]. We don’t like to play a couple because people know us as a couple. We try to explore different sides of our personalities; it creates very interesting dynamics between us onscreen. In The Queen, Shona is a nerdy detective and I play this woman who’s killed her husband – they won’t see eye to eye. It’s funny to us because at the end of the day, we simply see it as characters telling a story. It’s not who we are as people. And what’s the shift been like from soapie Generations to your new telenovela role? Acting is acting; there shouldn’t be a difference where you act. A telenovela is a bridge between a soapie and a drama. It’s easier to own your character on a telenovela that’s set in an open space, like we did on The Wild (2011-2013) and Rockville (2013- current). I love Generations (Connie played Karabo on both the original and the rebooted Generations – The Legacy). I have a good relationship with them, so I never say never [to returning one day]. Harriet isn’t the kind of person to suffer fools.