Gaosi Raditholo talks acting, having fun and making a name for herself on global stages
Actress Gaosi Raditholo has reflected on her journey from breaking into the local film industry to finding success on the international scene.
Since making her TV debut on SABC2’s telenovela Keeping Score in 2017, where she played the character of Jade, a gymnast who struggled to come to terms with the fact that her mother was not accepting her sexuality, Gaosi has grown to become one of the most dependable and versatile actresses in South Africa.
Jade was a troubled teen who lashed out a lot due to the harboured resentment and anger she had from constantly being criticised for her sexuality by her mother when all she wanted from her was to feel seen and loved. The layered character was challenging to play for Gaosi because of the dark emotions Jade constantly carried.
“Being as truthful to this character and telling her story in an authentic way was very important to me,” Gaosi said.
“I have since been cast in other challenging but different roles, such as playing the broken Refilwe on The Queen, the loud and flamboyant Warona or “Wawa” on Muvhango and Tshepiso on The River, among many others. All the characters I've played and continue to play stretch me no matter how big or small the role is.”
This role was the beginning of a truly memorable run for the Motswana actress. In the seven years since, Gaosi has also been cast for roles on a range of international shows including Vagrant Queen, which is a science fiction series playing on the Sci-Fi channel. There she played Gladys, a scavenger and mercenary for hire with a calm attitude and detached nature.
“Gladys was a very fun role to play. The half-human half-alien look created through prosthetics influenced the character’s physicality. I loved how her external look complimented her internal world, making it easier to tap into her world as an actress.”
Gaosi also credits playing different roles on both local and international productions for unlocking unknown parts of her personality.
“Gladys released a quirky and fun side of me within my acting. Sometimes I am so in my head about truly serving the character through performance and committed work,that I forget to have fun and play, play, play when finding or creating these characters, and I think Gladys was one of the characters who reminded me of this important aspect in performance.”
Her most recent international role came when Gaosi was cast to play the role of Abigail on the HBO Max-acquired martial arts crime drama Warrior. The show is based on the writings of the legendary Bruce Lee and is set during the Tong Wars in the 1800s in San Francisco. While Gaosi is contractually limited to speak on the character’s development in the coming season, she describes the role as an actor’s dream.
“To play such a colourful and challenging character is a gift every actor dreams of and I can honestly say it has stretched me significantly as a performer.”
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