Even though he describes himself as a writer who also acts, actor Chris Q. Radebe has left many viewers touched as King Dabula on Isibaya, and he lives for the reaction he manages to get out of fans who love to hate his problematic character.
Chris is a head writer on Isibaya and in a recent interview with TshisaLIVE explained how this actually helped him with his acting, especially since his career in front of the camera actually started off by chance.
In 2018, after having been told he has “an actor’s face”, filmmaker Angus Gibson randomly gave him a call about his first role as Romeo on Isithembiso. That was when the acting bug bit.
Once he realised he loved it, Chris had to be a sponge and learn quickly how to give acting his best shot. Luckily for him, being a scriptwriter worked to his advantage because once he learnt how to tweak that process so that he could apply it to his acting, he was well on his way.
“When I began I depended heavily on direction but then I realised that I had artistic freedom. Once I learnt do that with Dabula and I learnt with time that, as an actor, you have the liberty to give him those nuances and to give him phrases that nobody else uses, then I started having more fun.
“Now I take that with me, everywhere I go now and I feel like I can now perform anywhere with anyone on any production.
“The character has helped me grow as an actor; there is a difference between the first time I played him and playing him now. The break I took in between then and now helped me to look at Dabula with a fresh eye and I knew if I was ever to play that role again, I will do this differently and I’d make it better than what it was. Now I got the chance and I’m grabbing it with both hands,” he said.
Chris is no stranger to both love and hate from Isibaya fans but explained that he lives for the reaction.
“I always say the worst thing that can happen to an actor is for people not to talk about the character at all. The opposite of love does not hate, it is indifference,” he said.
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