To own the theatre stage is one thing, going the extra mile and taking a chunk off the big screen and runway too takes a whole lot of hard work and talent. The cith of Kings and Queens is fortunate enough to have found itself such a gem who struck the balance and is coming for more. Not a new comer to the screen if you are into local content. Lucky for you we managed to get him off his busy schedule for a quick interview, ladies and gentleman, Calvin Madula.
First things first, we would like to know how it all started?
I have always wanted to be an actor for as long as I can remember. So whatever I did, it was always leading towards acting. If I say I remember how I started I would be lying.
Do you have one humorous memory from your acting career you can share?
Yes. There is this one time when my phone rang in the middle of an audition. I had forgotten to switch it off so what I did is I used it as a prop during my act. After the audition the casting director said, “I saw what you did there! That was no prop.” But somehow it worked.
Hahaha God’s plan I suppose. Now, tell us about a time you had difficulty with a character. What was the role and why was it challenging?
That would be during the shooting of “Another Wedding”. There is a scene I was supposed to break into tears as in literally cry. I’m generally not a soft or tearful person so pulling off that scene was tricky.
I would have never thought from the few times I’ve seen you on stage lol. Let’s move out of the country a bit, which artists would you want to work with regionally and internationally?
There are quite a lot but the one close to mind is Tongai Chirisa (I know he is from Zimbabwe but still haha). He is a really talented and a very authentic actor, I admire his work. Now regionally I would say the Fergusons (Shona and Connie). Internationally, Tyler Perry and Dwayne Johnson will seal the deal, I would also love to work under Marvel.
You have featured in a lot of Zimbabwean films and theatre plays, what is one thing you think we need to improve on if we are catch up with the world standard?
The problem with Zimbabwean productions is that they are too cliché with most being of poor quality in terms of picture and sound. The best way to overcome these problems is by hiring highly qualified and experienced personals for the technical work.
Given an opportunity to organize a workshop for creatives in the film industry in Zimbabwe, what topics would be on the discussion list?
-Social Media Literacy
-Professional and Personal Development
The Zim Creative industry definitely needs that, hope you will get that opportunity in the near future. Our theme for this edition is “Identity”. What do you think makes you unique from the other Zimbabwean actors?
I am a deeply rooted, cultural person who is self driven and self motivated.
I don’t wait for opportunities to come my way, I create them instead. I’m a go getter in the truest sense, I’m sure my work is evident of this lol.
Yes! It is, no doubt. Do say, why is knowing your “IDENTITY” important for today’s audience?
Knowing who you are helps you differentiate between right and wrong. It also guides you in choosing the correct path to follow regardless of what life throws at you. Consequently, knowing your identity works as a life compass, directing you towards your destiny .
Let’s take it way back now, having grown up in a communal area, how do you keep rooted in your identity as you shift around a fast-paced world and work environment?
Well, knowing my identity and my background to say the least helps me keep in check and always stay true to myself. In addition, work-life balance is another tool I use to remain rooted in my identity amidst the changes.
As an actor do you ever find yourself struggling between producing what the client wants and producing creative work that’s true to your identity? How do you resolve such tension?
As an actor my job is to deliver that which the client wants. That is the main concern, to be able to deliver and not think about me or make it about me.
When you perform for a live audience, do you ever get nervous to project your true self to an audience that can either approve or disapprove? How do your overcome such anxiety?
In Les Brown’s words, ‘Being nervous brings out the genius.’ Almost every performer gets nervous before a show or performance which is a good thing because it brings out the genius. The best way for me to overcome such anxiety is my being out of Calvin’s zone and putting on the shoes of the character I will be portraying.
You are also thriving as a model in the industry. Which Zimbabwean brands would you want to work with?
I would love to collaborate with a lot of brands in the industry. More specifically, Edgars, Jet and Topics. We would make magic.
We are such suckers for local collaborations, we will drop them an email for you! Lets’s relax a bit, describe your perfect day off when you’re not acting or modelling.
It would involve catching up on movies, reading, lots of music and indoor dancing.
Please recommend two creatives to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
Jimmy T Mhlanga (model)
Bernard Hatts (designer)
We will look them up, don’t be surprised when they are in the next issue! Last but not least, could you sum up “The Identity” of Calvin Madula in 3 words?
Cool, calm and crazy.