Modern Muse: Pearl Thusi
Interview by Jill Winkler
What inspired you to become an actress?
Growing up I thought everything on television was reality. Then I learned that all of my favorite stories were something I could actually be a part of and do in the form of acting. I’ve always had a very active imagination combined with huge ambition and as a teenager, I finally decided I wanted to be an instrument of storytelling; entertaining people, touching them and bringing joy into hearts and homes. Making the unreal a reality brings me so much joy, it’s so exciting to play make believe as an adult and have people appreciate it. The escape that acting provides is something I treasure. When it is no longer about you but about considering and empathizing with someone else’s emotions and making them your own, it is such an enriching experience
You’ve starred in the hit show Quantico- how do you describe your character Dayana?
She’s really smart and has the guts to back it up. As all characters, she’s complex, extremely brave and has survived some really unimaginable things that people will learn about as the story unfolds.
Do you and your character share any similar personality traits?
Yes- it’s often necessary to share traits with any character you play and of course take on other traits they exhibit. We’ve both suffered tremendous loss and use work to cover it up and deal with it when necessary. I’m often told I’m very strong and I take that as a compliment and I hope I apply it well to Dayana’s character because – as this is television, her strength is amplified. Dayana is also very loyal and deep down she’s sensitive but treats it as none of anybody’s business. She’s an A-type personality and a lawyer.
You are also currently hosting the Lip Sync Battle Africa. What are some of your favorite memories on the show so far?
Every show had its moments and I hope I have time in my schedule to do the second season.
I think our first show with Boity and Cassper Nyovest was epic and another of my favorite shows had Tiwa Savage and Nomzamo Mbatha who really held nothing back. The chirping between the industry queens and the comedians was amazing.
If you had to perform in the Lip Sync battle, what would you most like to sing?
Something by Brenda Fassie, Rihanna or Beyoncé.
Describe your style.
Eclectic and sophisticated.
What are some of your current favorite fashion trends of the season?
I love sunglasses and I love how people are fusing the old school styles with new vibrant and modern touches. Torn jeans are my favorite because you can play with that in so many ways.
What is your favorite type of jewelry accessory?
I love beautiful rings.
Do you have a favorite fashion Designer?
No – I draw inspiration from so many designers that it is hard to say. Tom Ford is a designer I love and hope to work with in the future. I’m obsessed with so many African designers too- David Tlale, Thula Sindi, Gert Johan Cotzee and Zarth.
What one thing do you need to have in your fridge at any given time?
Champagne. Only because I’m so busy and forget to find time to celebrate the small victories (and you never know who may come over)!
What’s something you can’t do?
Sing. I can hold a note, but I can’t REALLY sing. LOL. It is so sad because I love doing it so much.
What’s your favorite TV show of all time?
This is difficult. I’m not going to lie – I really don’t have one that would be for all time. But right now- it’s “How to Get Away with Murder.”
Most memorable career moment so far?
I think definitely moving to New York for “Quantico.” It has been the most life-changing opportunity.
What’s your spirit animal?
What surprises you most about people?
How quickly they forget who they are, what really matters and the fact that we let our egos and selfishness stop us from doing things that would make us as individuals and the world a better place.
What makes you laugh no matter what?
Good memories, especially the funny childhood ones. My daughter has the special power of melting what I believe is a hardcore heart.
If you had a superpower what would it be?
Teleportation and I’d also love to read people’s minds or have the ability to fly.
What’s your favorite song lyric of all time?
My favorite song is “Will you be there” by Michael Jackson. It is one of the most perfect songs to me.
What’s something that you have always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do.
This is a difficult one for me to answer because I try and do everything I want to do fearlessly. The only thing that stops me is the opportunity. One thing I can think of is skydiving.
What do you love about Modeliste Magazine?
Everything about it is sophisticated and sexy. It’s just hot.