Cosmopolitan SA had an interview with Lesley-Ann Brandt, the South African actress playing Maze in the hit series Lucifer on Netflix.
We talked about her role in the series, the toughness of South African women, being a modern mom and much more…
A few weeks ago, social media was all the rage over a scene from the Netflix show Lucifer which had Mazikeen, played by South African actress Lesley-Ann Brandt, speaking ‘demon language’ which turned out to just be Afrikaans.
It was hilarious and we loved every single second of it.
We got the chance to chat with one of our most fab exports, Lesley-Ann, and wow, she did not disappoint!
On *That* Afrikaans Scene
The choice to have the demon language be Afrikaans was Lesley-Ann’s, as a homage to her home country, as she said, ‘I knew the script involved me speaking demon and the writer of that episode was like ‘make up some sounds’ and I thought it wouldn’t feel authentic.
So I was like let me alter my voice a little bit and I think this will be a cool little surprise for the South African fans and hopefully, they will be able to hear it and figure it out.
It’s the only other language I know how to speak so I just thought it would be cool to bring in my culture and a bit of home in it.’
She said that the positive response from fans – especially in South Africa – would help her to motivate the writers why there should have Maze speaking Afrikaans in future seasons if they should get renewed.
The Toughness of South African Women
Mazikeen is Lucifer’s (Tom Ellis) best friend and worked with him at the Lux nightclub in Los Angeles before she started a job as a bounty hunter with the LAPD.
She’s badass but she’s not afraid to be vulnerable, and Lesley-Ann said she got a lot of that inspiration from growing up in SA.
She says, ‘Our South African women especially the Cape Town girls we are raised tough, ‘ons vat nie kak nie’, but I think what’s cool about the character and what’s great about where women are at now is it’s okay for us to act feminine and masculine.
This is a character that will like definitely take you on if she needs to at the same time when she’s hurt and she learning how to be vulnerable then she can access those emotions too.
I think this is very important because this character can be so one-dimensional so easily, I think the writers did a very good job to make sure that she is complex.’
The LGBTQ+ Representation
While Mazikeen has always identified as pansexual, in season four she started falling for Eve (Inbar Levi) and when talking about the relationship and the LGBTQ+ influence of the show.
Lesley-Ann said, ‘There’s still such a stigma around being gay and the more you actually see and get to know people from the community the more you understand, you fear what you don’t know right.
When you surround yourself with people you notice that they are just like you: they have the same concerns, the same worries, you just happen to have a different sexual orientation and that doesn’t make you less human, it doesn’t make you less deserving of a good life, it’s a human right.
‘So I think what we do, on our show, is that we expose people to these two characters as Lucifer and Maze are both a part of the LGBTQ+ community but it’s done in a way where it just seems seamless.
Maze has made it clear from season 1 that she likes both men and women but to go further than that, she’s pansexual in the sense that she’s into the person, so if she’s into you, she’s into you because love is love that’s who she is and I think in a weird way there’s so much that can be learnt on a show like ours.
Our characters are so dimensional in a lot of ways and we are able to latch on topics like homophobia and like same-sex relationships in many.
I’m very proud of it actually and I was very happy to be able to display this side of her.’
Lesley-Ann On Being A Modern Mom
Lesley-Ann is a mom of an adorable (almost two-year-old), Kingston and when we asked her about tips for modern moms, she was apprehensive but admitted that to have a balanced life, you have to admit that you won’t be perfect.
‘Mom guilt is definitely a thing, I definitely feel that but I also know that my son is growing up in a household and teaching him not to fear a woman who is present and there with him but is also equally ambitious and hardworking and he is learning not to fear a working woman who has goals and rights.
Your ambition and your work provided for your family and those are things that are important because you know what’s that old saying ‘happy wife, happy life’ but I feel like it’s ‘happy mom, happy everyone’.
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Happy Mother’s Day to all the hardworking, selfless mama’s out there. To the mamas to be. To women struggling to become mothers, to the men filling in and being mama too. To Kingston, my sweet little angel, you are my heart, my world, my everything. I promise to never stop making you laugh. X
Some Advice To Aspiring Actresses
Lesley-Ann began her career on the New Zealand prime-time soap Shortland Street in 2007 and has since had roles in Spartacus, Chuck and Gotham.
She talks about how tough the industry is in Hollywood for non-Americans by saying that even friends of hers that are bigger names back home, struggle in Hollywood because it’s a who is different.
For aspiring actresses, she says that even though making it in Hollywood has its’ challenges like getting a work visa.
But ‘if you have perseverance and if you work hard you can do well.
You have to immerse yourself in the culture and perfecting an American accent too.
It’s important to remember that you are different. You are unique and your point of view and what you bring to a project or character is so going to be so uniquely different to someone else, and even if you don’t get the job you know that you weren’t what they were looking for and there will be other opportunities.’
Lucifer’s Popularity In South Africa
Lucifer was cancelled by FOX after season 3 and in a heroic move, Netflix saved the day and gave the show new legs with an extra season.
As Netflix is more accessible, Lesley-Ann said that they have noticed the increase in popularity in South Africa and internationally.
And the fact that the series has been marketed properly for the first time has also helped and she said the binging model suits the show, ‘the way people digest content now it’s just so different.
People don’t want to wait week after week for a show on a TV network, they want to be able to see all seasons in one go over the course of a week. Business Insider reported that Lucifer season 4 was the most-binged show that week.
Lucifer Season 5
At the time of publishing, Netflix had not announced whether Lucifer would be renewed for a fifth season but Lesley-Ann remains hopeful:
‘So far the response from everyone has been amazing and especially in South Africa it’s been good.
It’s been so so humbling and I’m so grateful that I’ve gotten such great support from back home but I don’t know.
I mean, we end the season on a pretty big cliffhanger so I’m hoping that it’s going to be more Maze and Lucifer and Hell, he’s going to have to explain himself to her, that’s for sure.’
What She Misses Most About South Africa
Family & Friends, Table Mountain and Family Braais…
When asked what she misses about South Africa, she has a long list:
- ‘I miss my family and my friends. It’s always so nice to go back and I’m not Lesley-Ann, the actress, I’m just Annie from Greenhaven and I’m with my cousins and my aunties and my friends.
- I miss Table Mountain and I always try to make an effort to climb Lion’s Head. That’s the thing about Cape Town you don’t really realise how stunning it really is and for South Africans, how stunning our country is and it’s a shame because we get locked in our routines of work, your family and there is so much beauty all around with the mountain.
- I miss family braais, the humour, there is nothing like South African humour.
To stay up to date with the Series, make sure to watch all 4 Seasons on Netflix.
Watch all four seasons of Lucifer on Netflix here