A husband, father, educator and now a famous actor are some of the titles that Dingalings star, Koobeshen Naidoo, goes by. With Naidoo making his name in the film industry Tabloid Newspapers recently had the opportunity to chat with the Kandasamy’s star. He gave an insight of his family, his love for theatre and the joys of working with his cast members.

Koobeshen Naidoo

Tabloid Newspapers (TN):
When and how did you enter the film world?

Koobeshen Naidoo (KN):
My first movie role was as an extra when I was still at university. I can’t remember the name of the movie but it was shot in Durban and starred Dom Delouise. That is when the acting bug bit and I thought I would love
to do this and make magic. However, as usual in so many
cases life had other plans, and I got a job and did this part-time until Keeping Up With The Kandasamy’s re-ignited that love for performance.

TN: What is your role like in the Kandasamys: The Wedding?
KN: My role in Kandasamy’s: The Wedding is very similar to
the first movie. I play the supportive husband who tries to ensure that everything goes smoothly but really, like a typical Indian dad, does not know what is going on.

TN: What can audiences look forward to in The Wedding? Give us a sneak preview.
KN: No sneak preview. The readers must come through and watch. What I can say is that it is an amazing script and will keep you in stitches. There are lots of new and exciting characters and all the old favourites doing crazy things.

TN: What would you say is the highlight for you for the Kandasamys: The Wedding?
KN: So far the highlight is just being part of this amazing project. The energy and excitement is mounting and all of us are chomping at the bit to get going.

TN: Where or who do you draw your inspiration from as an actor especially with your roles in the Kandasamys and The Wedding?
KN: I don’t really have an individual who I draw inspiration from for my acting. It is a combination of listening, watching and learning from people around you. You have to really create your own way forward or you could end up just being a mirror image of someone else. People like Jayan as director is an amazing inspiration. All my co-stars in the movie and in Imbewu really inspired me in different ways.

TN: How do you think your role in the Kandasamys: The Wedding impacts on the South African audience, namely Chatsworth?
KN: I think that my role and all the others in the movie shows the people of South Africa, who we really are as individuals and as a community. There is no stereotype characters with exaggerated accents, gestures and facial expressions. This is what we really are like. When you interact with us off-screen this is what we sound like and what we look like. South Africans get a good look at what Chatsworth really is like.

TN: What does your role aim to achieve?
KN: My role shows that the real power in the homes is with the wives. Men always think
they are in charge until there is a crisis or function, then we realise our true position in the household; just shut our mouths and carry the chairs.

TN: Can you describe the relationship that you have developed with your cast members over the years of working with them in different productions and now in film?
KN: The thing with the cast is that we all knew each other from the industry, from watching each others work in theatre and the movies to working closely with each other. This gave the movie it’s sense of comfort and familiarity. We were so comfortable working together that it made the whole process smooth and enjoyable.

TN: Can you say that you are at the height of your career?
KN: I don’t think anyone reaches the height in this career. You must always re-invent yourself or you will stagnate.

TN: Keeping up with the Kandasamys movie has further opened up opportunities for you? Comment on this.
KN: Most definitely. Without the Kandasamy movie I would not have auditioned and got the role in Imbewu. The whole movie experience gave me confidence in so many other aspects of life with the main thing being that this is now my full time career.

TN: What is it like working with director,
Jayan Moodley?
KN: Jayan Moodley is a phenomenal young lady. Her direction and the manner in which she conducts herself makes you want to do your best for her.

TN: Where does your love for acting and comedy come from?
KN: Both my parents were performers in their younger days and with Kumseela, my gorgeous wife, also in the performance field, the love for acting just grew and exploded.

TN: Which famous actors do you draw your inspiration from?
KN: The only famous actor that really had any influence on me was Dustin Hoffman.

TN: What role does your family play in your career?
KN: My family is amazing. They keep me grounded and make me realise that I am just a dad and husband. Kumseela is my inspiration and support system beyond what anyone can understand. Without her everything would never had happened. My three wonderful kids inspire me to constantly work and improve. They have achieved so much in their lives that I am amazed that I managed to raise such fantastic children. Dheyanka is a Dolphins cricketer and businesswoman, Yuvaan is in his final  year of dentistry and the baby, Nashka, is in Grade 11.

TN: Provide a word of encouragement to aspiring actors wishing to make it in the film industry?
KN: All aspiring actors keep auditioning for everything, keep at it. Be humble and be prepared to start at the bottom and work hard. I am proof that dreams can come true through hard work and commitment.

TN: From a local standpoint, where do you think South African Indian cinema is at present?
KN: I think local cinema is at the cusp of a major explosion. We have the talent and potential to take on the world.