'Flatland' star Nicole Fortuin says talent isn't enough to guarantee success
While it's easy to get lost in the frenzy of Hollywood, the hardships actress Nicole Fortuin had in growing up keep her grounded.
Her latest film, Flatland, impressed at the Berlin Film Festival last month and is set for release later this year.
Fortuin featured in a Warner Brothers movie, A Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits, starred in Generations: The Legacy and wowed audiences in Oleanna at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town.
Her beginnings in Belhar, Cape Town, amid alcoholism and abuse, were no match for her determination to reach Hollywood.
"There is, and has been, quite a bit of alcoholism in my family … and a history of all kinds of abuse," she said.
"Allowing myself to separate from that and follow an intrinsic voice guiding me into something completely obscure to anything else my family has done was alienating and tough, but ultimately so worth it.
"We take for granted how the people we spend time with shape our views on the world, how what we watch and listen to impact our tastes."
Talent, she discovered, wasn't enough.
"People always say I forget to mention talent when I list the things that have helped shape me as an artist, and while I acknowledge that it is something I possess, the hard work I do, the planning and dreaming are what warrant the most desirable outcomes.
"Coming into this industry, I knew it would be tough, but I had no idea in how many ways."
Fortuin believes she's a couple of hard-working years away from ultimate success.
"I define success as being proud of who I am, being worthy of respect and an example of someone who noted the odds and then did the impossible."
Her goals are specific - a lead in a world-class film, to work and learn from the masters, to explore different characters and storylines.
"I think the ultimate success is knowing that whether I've achieved all my dreams or not, I wake up with inner peace."