Nicole Bessick has made an impressive impact on our television screens for the past couple of years and has now joined Binnelanders on kykNET Channel 145 on Dstv. The Actress, Celebrity Boxing Champion has a list of accolades that would make any “over achiever” jealous.
Most South Africans know her best for her role as Chloe on eTV telenovela, “Broken Vows". Bessick has however again earned herself a name among the country's much talented actress's after taking up the role of a drug addict and a stripper on the popular Afrikaans television programme.
GLAMOUR online caught up with Nicole Bessick, this is what went down with the rising star.
GLAMOUR: Tell us about your new role on Binnelanders?
NB: I play the role of Xenia Samuels. She’s a fierce, feisty, passionate woman who says what she means, and means what she says. As a teenager, she became addicted to drugs, and blames her father for all her woes. She now works in a strip club… a world far removed from the conventional Christian home she was raised in. As a “functional junky”, she feels that her life is now her own, and has no intention of going back to the oppression and judgement she felt at home.
GLAMOUR: Do you feel any pressure playing a stripper on TV?
NB: Not at all! I mean, playing such a daring character is always a bit touch-and-go, but I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the response thus far. As an artist, it’s important to stay mindful of the fact that to you may be a character but it’s real life for someone else.
Somewhere out there someone else is living the life you’re playing on television. So, maybe that’s where the pressure comes in. I always want to be truthful and authentic to the characters I’m playing. My only interest going into the preparation of Xenia was making sure I played her truthfully, and to breathe life into her without falling into any sort of stereotype.
GLAMOUR: How does one learn to separate onscreen life VS real life?
NB: I look at on-screen life, the same way someone else would see a 9-5. It’s my job. I work hard at it and I’m passionate about it, but I don’t bring it home with me. There are times where a tough day of crying and digging deep can sit on your heart, but for the most part, I try my best to leave my character in the dressing room.
GLAMOUR: How do you prepare and get into character?
NB: I do a variety of physical and vocal warm ups to release any tension and prepare both the mind and body for the day of work.
GLAMOUR: Portraying a stripper means delving into a world unfamiliar to you. What made you accept this role?
NB: When I read the character’s brief and sides, I felt an immediate connection to her. There’s so much more to her than just working a pole. She’s feisty, she’s brave, she protects her loved ones with her life… we have a great deal in common on the human level so stepping into her shoes was easy.
GLAMOUR: Let's talk pole-dancing. This is known to be a fun form of exercise - what are your thoughts on this?
NB: I consider myself to be quite ‘method’ in my acting technique, so in order to play her authentically and get a better understanding of who she is… I went to a few pole classes with iPole. I’m quite athletic, so physical activity comes quite easy to me… but pole is on a whole other level! I have never experienced exercise that challenges my body the way pole does.
GLAMOUR: You've built up a very strong name for yourself in the entertainment industry, how will this role benefit that?
NB: I think this role offers people who may already be familiar with my work, to see me in a new light. I go ‘back to my roots’ in a sense – Xenia is my first Afrikaans-speaking role. I don’t think audiences know I’m bilingual.
GLAMOUR: What motto do you live by, as a strong woman in South Africa?
NB: A lion doesn’t turn around when a dog barks. As I’ve matured, I’ve learnt the importance of alignment and not feeding energy into irrelevant things, establishments and people. Arguing with a fool only proves that they are two.
GLAMOUR: You live a very active lifestyle... Will this benefit you and the role you play?
NB: Staying fit and keeping in shape does a lot for strengthening the mind. That’s what really helped me here. Shooting full days while keeping up with a full sports regiment required so much discipline.
GLAMOUR: Why is respect in the workplace, no matter what area of expertise, important to you?
NB: Great question! How one shows respect is very telling of how they see themselves, especially in relation to the rest of the world.