Queen Sugar

TV Plus (South Africa) - - 15 OCTOBER -

Rutina (cen­tre) with her on­screen sib­lings Kofi Siri­boe and Dawn-Lyen Gard­ner. Sea­son 1 Tue Vuzu AMP (*103) 21:30 Re­peats Sat Vuzu AMP 17:00 Drama

Few char­ac­ters match up to Rutina Wes­ley’s role as tomboy Tara Thorn­ton on vam­pire se­ries True Blood (2008-2014). Thanks to talk­show queen Oprah Win­frey, who’s ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ing her new show Queen Sugar (2016-cur­rent), Rutina is swap­ping fanged foes for the money-grab­bing kind as ac­tivist Nova Borde­lon, who’s re­turned to claim her dead dad’s South­ern sugar plan­ta­tion.

Nova is the 37-year-old’s sec­ond 1

South­ern US-based role (af­ter True Blood); she was born on the other side of the US in Las Ve­gas though. And while a ca­reer in show­biz was al­ways on the cards, thanks to her par­ents Ivery and Cassandra be­ing pro­fes­sional dancers, “My gran told me to get a back-up job in case act­ing didn’t work, like nurs­ing,” Rutina laughs.

The 13-episode sea­son 1 (Oprah’s 2

re­newed it for a 16-episode sec­ond sea­son) is be­ing filmed in New Or­leans, which means that Rutina’s got to split her time be­tween three cities – she lives in New York half the year and LA for the other half.

Not that she’s go­ing to be apart 3

from her sig­nif­i­cant other. Rutina di­vorced her lit­tle-known ac­tor hubby of eight years Ja­cob Fishel in 2013 and said, “Mar­riage sucks – it’s not for me.”

In say­ing that, she doesn’t mind 4

be­ing ro­manced – she and Ja­cob met while study­ing at famed New York arts school Juil­liard and he wrote her a poem and per­formed it in Cen­tral Park.

Rutina loves roller­coast­ers, which 5

is a bit of a con­tra­dic­tion be­cause she’s ter­ri­fied of heights. What she does love is sweets, specif­i­cally Twiz­zlers (a US brand of liquorice-rope-like sweets). She jokes about hav­ing sleep­walked and wo­ken up eat­ing a Twiz­zler.

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