Nandipha Pantsi
2 minute read
1 Aug 2014
2:00 pm

Amanda du Pont: big screen and beyond

Nandipha Pantsi

Amanda du Pont is nothing like her character in Between Friends (a local movie which premieres in cinemas next month).

LEADING LADY. Amanda Du Pont has a role in new film Between Friends. Picture: Supplied

“She’s a gold digger!” Du Pont says with a boisterous laugh.

“She uses men to fund her extravagant lifestyle.”

But the challenging role didn’t stop Du Pont from achieving her dream – starring in a movie.

“I received a call from the producers, asking if I was interested in the role. I didn’t even think about it, I said yes immediately,” she says with a smile.

“I wasn’t in a lead role at first, but the producers were so impressed with my work ethic that they made me a co-lead.”

Between Friends is about five university friends who reunite after they’ve all graduated and gone their separate ways. The film is in the same vein as Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? Du Pont plays Nisha, a high-maintenance “trophy girlfriend”.

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MR SUAVE. Thapelo Mokoena plays Amanda Du Pont’s boyfriend in the film. Picture: Gallo Images

Familiar faces in the cast include Thapelo Mokoena (who plays her boyfriend) and Siyabonga Radebe, who is currently working on Mzansi Magic’s new drama Saints And Sinners.

“My character was challenging because she is so different from me,” Du Pont says.

Though she can’t imagine herself being dependent on a lover, Du Pont says she doesn’t judge women who do what is necessary to survive and this is what made it easier for her to portray her controversial character.

“With every scene I shot, I would go back to a time in my life where I was just as desperate as my character,” she explains.

After completing school in Swaziland, Du Pont hoped to become a Hollywood actress, so in 2012 she left home to study at the New York Film Academy. But even though she was getting the experience she needed as an actress, getting roles was not easy.

MR SUAVE. Thapelo Mokoena plays Amanda Du Pont's boyfriend in the film. Picture: Gallo Images

“I was desperate. I wanted my big break, and many people in the entertainment industry expected me to sleep with them, but I never wanted to be that kind of girl,” she says.

Du Pont came to South Africa for a few weeks with the hopes of going back to New York, but job offers gave her reasons to stay. Du Pont is currently the presenter of SABC1’s Real Goboza with Majota “Phat Joe” Kambule and Sinazo Yolwa and she also has a role in the third season of Skeem Saam.

“Between Friends was particularly appealing to me because, unlike most South African films, this is not a story about apartheid, race or African culture: it’s a true reflection of how many young South Africans live.”

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While Du Pont is enjoying the opportunities that can come with being an “it girl”, her career goes far beyond fame.

“I may be doing a lot of things at the moment, but acting is my passion.” She grins.

“I hope to see myself getting more roles in movies and being taken out of my comfort zone even more. This movie is the beginning of great things to come for me.”