The Star Early Edition

Bieber, Poitier, and a serious T


it. He knows the blades, the different machinery to use on it and how the different seasons affect it. If there was a certificat­e offered for this he would get a Recognitio­n of Prior Learning (RPL) which would read: ‘The art of cutting grass’. You take him away from that and he loses his identity and the meaning of life,” he said.

“His employers treat him like a dog and when they fire him, he loses his dignity. That is what gets him to go on a mission to make a point. He is not a candidate for this mission.

“I see him as somebody who will be part of a lobola negotiatin­g team as the malume (uncle). He is the one man who is elected by a family to go and make a speech at the graveyard to thank the ancestors, or just the elder at church. He is an easy-going man who would never have thought of robbery had it not been for the arrogance of his former employer. So he gets into it and follows through to the end. He realises at some point that there is no going back,” he added.

Clearly, it was a complex character to portray, but with all his decades of acting under his belt, Mofokeng had no problem doing researchin­g to play Talent.

“I used references of the men I grew up under in Soweto. These are the kind of men whomight never have statues erected for them, but everyone knows them as ‘ ntate so and so’ (Mr So and So). It’s really closing my eyes and thinking of each of them. Those guys are giants in what they do and you can’t replace them.

“I had an uncle, Reuben, who worked for a tie factory, he could give you an hour’s lecture about a tie,” he said excitedly.

Now that the 26-episode show is done and dusted, Mofokeng is happy with the final product as it was carried out profession­ally.

“I thanked Rolie for not having me act with models, but with real actors. I have had my share of that where the directors and the producers wanted the looks to sell the show but I am now acting with real actors.

“Acting is like playing tennis; the better the person is on the other side, the better your own game becomes. The kids I act with here are intimidate­d by me on set so they fire on all pistons and I have to keep up. The intimidati­on becomes motivation for them.

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MOTIVATION: Jerry Mofokeng believes his greatest gift w

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