Behind the scenes: Terry Pheto
What do you enjoy most about acting?
Being able to be anything and anyone. To put yourself in another person’s shoes and life and body. I think actors are God’s favourite people.
Who was your biggest inspiration growing up?
My mum – that sounds so cheesy – and my grandmother. Both of them are hard workers and very entrepreneurial. I’m grateful that I grew up being surrounded by strong women. Even though they didn’t have much, they were superheroes. Then Leleti Khumalo in terms of acting, and Oprah Winfrey in terms of what a black girl can be.
For obvious reasons I would say Tsotsi, because it was my first movie – and I was the lead – and it’s the only movie that has won an Oscar for the country and the continent.
What are you reading?
What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey.
What is your favourite hangout spot?
My kitchen, because I love to cook.
Who’s your celebrity crush?
My celebrity crush right now is Issa Rae [actress on HBO, and promoter of work by people of colour].
What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
What’s your favourite African city?
Johannesburg. There’s no place like Joburg!
If you could co-star with any actor in the world, who would it be?
I’d love to work with Lupita [Nyong’o].
This interview first appeared in the April 2018 print edition of The Africa Report magazine