The Herd's Paballo: I was told to prepare for the worst & backlash
It's not easy playing Nkosana.
Actor Paballo Mavundla has angered fans around the country with his role as Nkosana on Mzansi Magic's hit drama series The Throne, but says he was told right from the start to prepare for hate.
Nkosana is among the most hated characters on TV with a cocaine addiction and a nasty streak that recently saw him kill his boss on the show. Hardly a week goes by without the social media mob wanting to come at him with pitchforks.
But 18-year-old Paballo is nothing like his character and tells TshisaLIVE he was told from the moment he got the role that the hate would come pouring in.
"I remember the first meeting I had with the show's producers Kutlwano (Ditsele) told me to prepare for the worst because the character is the worst of the scum. He told me not to internalise the hate and to realise that people hate the character, not me. Now I welcome the hate. It means that I am doing a great job. I am loving it."
And while social media is ready to cancel him, he says his female fans love him and don't mind coming to ask for pictures.
"The other day I was in the shops and these two girls were staring at me. They asked if I was the guy from The Herd and when I told them I was they asked for pictures. They were going crazy. They even followed me on the way home."
The Herd is Paballo's first major TV gig and he detailed the "emotional rollercoaster" he went through while having to "take drugs and shoot people" when he had never done it before.
"The most difficult thing for me was trying to make it look normal to take cocaine because I have never taken drugs and I have never been around that. It was stuff like learning how to cut cocaine and talk at the same time. It took practice and preparation. I had to study what people on cocaine act like, to make it look natural. I also haven't handled a gun before and now I had to shoot and 'kill'. But with great direction and teamwork, it went well."
And to think that just a few months ago he had wanted to give up acting after months of failed auditions.
"I took a gap year to focus on my acting career but after eight, nine, months of being rejected and failed auditions I told my mom to just hand out my CV. I was just like 'I'll go do stocktake and do a normal job'. I didn't think that acting my thing at the moment so I kind of gave up. I hear about this audition from my agent and decided to give it a shot."
After flopping his first audition, he was told to calm down his nerves and try again. He was then asked to help audition other people as their 'co-star' and a few days later was told he got the part.]
And he hasn't stopped smiling since!