Nomzamo Mbatha spends most of “Assassin” taking over the minds of complete strangers in order to assassinate them and for the South African actress, it’s a task she embodied. “When I first read the script, it was a no-brainer as it was something I had never done before and I was all about it,” shares the actress who played in the comedy ‘Coming 2 America.’ “Playing Alexa challenged me as a performer and took me outside of what I normally do.”
A futuristic film directed by Jesse Atlas, “Assassin” follows Alexa (Mbatha) as she tries to get justice for her agent husband (Mustafa Shakir), who was killed during a secret mission. In her quest, she becomes part of a private military operation that invents mind altering microchips. It’s a sci-fi body-jumping tale that promises plenty of action.
“Sci-fi thrillers take your mind out of the box. It is such a huge genre that a lot of people love because it’s out of the ordinary and different from any other film,” she continues. “I did as much research as I could to be able to fully immerse myself into the character and trace her journey as she does become different people a lot of the time. She took me on a journey and it was just such an incredible experience.”
For Mbatha, it was also a bittersweet journey playing alongside actor Bruce Willis, for the film marks Willis’ final movie after being diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. “It is a really good feeling just to have been able to have worked with such a formidable actor, icon and legend and to have shared so many scenes with him and been on set with him. To be part of a legacy and being part of such an incredible and illustrious career is something I will always remember and always feel awesome about.”
With the upcoming “Shaka iLembe,” which follows the iconic African king, from his childhood through to adulthood, during the 1700s, Mbatha is also adding producing to her list of accolades. In the film, scheduled for a June release, she not only plays Queen Nandi, but is also credited as an executive producer.
“I love everything about acting. It’s my calling and I want to continue to grow as a filmmaker because I do think that just as a storyteller, I am able to think in different directions.”
Also starring Andy Allo, Dominic Purcell, Fernanda Andrade and Barry Jay Minoff, “Assassin,” is a psychological futuristic tale of hired killers, lethal drones and body jumping doubles which is currently out on VOD.
Samantha Ofole-Prince is a journalist and movie critic who covers industry-specific news that includes television and film. She serves as the Entertainment Editor for Trendy Africa. Photos courtesy of Saban Films
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