Pearl Thusi, actress

Quantico's new girl chats to us.

South Africa has been swelling with pride since our home girl Pearl Thusi landed a role in the international series Quantico S2 on Vuzu AMP 103 (20:30 on Mondays and available on DStv Catch Up)

The KZN-born Lip Sync Battle Africa host and SA social butterfly landed in the big time alongside Priyanka Chopra and we had a little chat with her to see how she's getting along.

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Read our interview with Pearl below:

Pearl Thusi

Image: Pearl Thusi Instagram


The million-dollar question is: what’s it like working on a famous international production such as Quantico?


Working with a large, lovely and incredibly professional group of individuals has contributed so much to me and my career. It hasn’t been long but I feel like I’ve grown immeasurably. I’m also excited to see what happens to my character as the season rolls out and what this will mean for other actors from South Africa. I hope that we receive and also create more opportunities like this.


 How are you adapting to New York?

It feels like home. I visited New York with Universal Music two years ago and I didn’t want to leave. So coming back in this way was only something the universe and God could orchestrate. As much as I miss home and all my loved ones, I am feeling very fulfilled and happy here.


What has been your biggest highlight so far?

Absorbing the plethora and vivid diversity in the city. There are so many incredible sounds and stories here that you can never ignore. I’ve never resided outside of South Africa so every day and every new thing I learn is a highlight.


So far I think it was the reality of the first episode airing, seeing my name on the screen and my country celebrating what I believe is OUR achievement. It’s the people who watched, hired and in any way contributed to where I am now that must also celebrated. I am nothing without all those firm and strong building blocks.


What has been the biggest challenge?

Learning to be a part of a new community isn't easy. I have a new found respect for anyone who takes the plunge and immigrates or chooses to be a working foreigner in any country.

If we could learn from such courage and resilience we’d grow so much as a people. Xenophobia really is a terrible cancer, yet a curable disease - if we would just open our hearts, ears and minds. There is so much to learn.


Many are saying that you and Priyanka are changing the American Entertainment dynamic, what does this mean to you?

I think there have been many before us, but we live in a different age where it is so easy to amplify your mark and contribution yet it isn’t as easy to sustain it. Give us a chance. Priyanka is a super power and I am learning many incredible and valuable lessons from her too.


You’re seen as a role model and icon – what’s the biggest message you’d like to get across to your fans?

You can do it too. You could even do it better. Just be YOU.


What are you yourself watching on telly at the moment?

I don’t really get much time to watch television. But some of my favourite things to watch are: (I don’t have access to DStv here so don’t judge) Quantico, How to Get Away with Murder, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, House of Cards, Scandal - among others.


What’s the difference between working in SA and Africa and New York?

You can’t really compare the two.  The entertainment industry here - the artists take themselves very seriously, so the corporates have too as well.


How do you feel the media in America is reacting, are they more supportive?

People have been incredible here. And I’m extremely grateful, but media coverage and value is not what I’m after. My craft and growth as an actor is the most important thing. The rest will come later.  If your work is brilliant, no one will be able to ignore you.


What’s the biggest misconception about working in on an international production? Did anything surprise you?

I thought everything was planned way before, but they have similar challenges when it comes to production and planning.  The difference is how they apply themselves and how committed everyone is to the job and solving the problem. It’s truly incredible to watch.  I feel like I’m a part of an amazing family - it’s awesome! I knew there’d be nice people, but I’ve been blown away by the kindness that surrounds me.

Catch Pearl in Quantico S2 on Vuzu AMP 103 (20:30 on Mondays and available on DStv Catch Up)