Fatal Seduction has proven itself to be more than just about sensuality. With topics ranging from betrayal, suicide and loneliness – among others – the series digs deep into today’s societal issues that rip through civilization like thorns do to the flesh. Causing pain and infections. A prevalent occurrence in today’s time.
The first seven episodes, Volume 1, of Netflix’s adaptation of Dark Desire presents unique characters who each carry with them their own demons.
The star studded cast, which includes Lunathi Mampofu, Kgomotso Christopher, Thapelo Mokoena, Prince Grootboom, Nat Ramabulana and Ngele Ramulondi, come together on this compounded tale to bring a riveting series that remained on Netflix’s top 10 most watched TV show in Mzansi for the past three weeks.
Mampofu, who portrays the complex Brenda, had a tough task to fill. And with her character committing suicide at the very beginning of the series, taking us through the journey of what led her there was a delivery Mampofu knew carried the most weight.
Brenda – a seeming extroverted partygoer, represents that lonely part of society. Acting out differently yet deep within suffering from a completely different reality.
Mampofu undertook a lot of research about this type of character, while also looking within herself for inspiration to bring this character to life.
“I related to Brenda on various levels, the first being as a mom. Well, even though she wasn’t one but as a teacher, I related to her deep sense of love that she had for children,” she the proud mother.
“Bringing it closer to her home, the background I gave Brenda was one of someone who came from a well off family – with her parents having anything and everything. But because they were constantly busy, money was always thrown at her instead of love and attention. Not to say that my parents were the same but were very similar in a sense that my dad is a pastor, so he was never home with my mom.
“They would always be traveling the world, and there were moments in my life that they weren’t able to celebrate with me. Moments where I felt I wish I had them so they could show me love and the excitement that each moment brought. In turn, I had to become an independent human being,” she said.
It was from those experiences that Mampofu channeled Brenda – understanding the feeling that her character went through that led her to lash out and become the person that she was.
“Mentally, I took my circumstances and multiplied them by a hundred to achieve the intensity that Brenda had.”
The entire show, a completely different production to any that Mampofu has worked on, presents to it layers of themes. Even with the intimate scenes, one finds anchoring reason and objective that lead to the act, mostly vulnerability and loneliness.
“I remember how nervous we all were when we started shooting. Some worried about their husbands, wives, partners while I was worried about being a PK (pastor’s kid) and mother. How my child will one day watch this – but man, as we dug deeper we uncovered complex themes attached to the sex or to betrayal.”
Mampofu is no stranger to the streaming platform, with productions such as Shadow and Kings of Joburg under her belt. Being casted yet again, for such a dark series, is an indication of her growth which she is completely humbled by.
“For me, it just says that there’s a lot to come my way and I am so grateful to be counted among the best. I am grateful to be associated with a platform that covers so many dynamics – showcasing every single part of the world in one. That speaks to exactly why I started acting in the first place. I wanted to mirror society, tell authentic stories and be challenged,” she added.
And while she is extremely proud of all the work that she has been able to fulfill thus far, Fatal Seduction has proven to be a turning point for her. Pushing her beyond her limits and certainly revealing an even more seasoned actress.
“Fatal Seduction has to be one of the most important bodies of work that I have been a part of. Not only for my career but my personal growth as well. And I think 1Magic’s The River did that for me as well. It was such an emotional whirlwind for me to be working on that show, helping me understand the world and that not everything is as it may seem. People are going through the most, they just hide it really well,” she said.
Portraying such an intense character would call for Mampofu to detach from her by surrounding herself around her family. Her daughter specifically, to ground herself again.
But on the real side of life, one would find a happy-go-lucky individual with a contagious laugh. Apart from her top-tier acting skills, one can easily be drawn to her undeniably striking looks, her exquisite fashion sense and her strong personality.
Acting became a vehicle of expression and that of experiencing the world through. Her colourful resume also includes a qualification from the New York Film Academy and fulfilling the role of a casting director at Gersh Studios in Los Angeles.
Her career path has been a slow burn, with several theater productions under her belt and television roles. And although her first small screen debut was just seven years ago, the work has been brewing and her presence is unmistakable.
She added: “I am very proud of who I am growing into and how my career is taking shape – and that has been something I have been extremely uncomfortable to say for the longest time. But I deserve to celebrate myself because it’s been a very difficult journey to get to where I am. A journey that took more than 15 years before I could actually be known within this industry. I’ve been at it.
“But now I’m learning to tap myself on the back, I am learning to acknowledge and be grateful for the little moments. I am taking time to digest my wins. I am grateful for the journey that I have gone through and I am even more excited for what’s to come,” she said.