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Paradigm has signed Terry Pheto, who will play Winnie Mandela in BET’s Madiba, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned.
The South African native stars opposite Laurence Fishburne as her famous husband in the upcoming six-hour limited series about Nelson Mandela, which also will feature Orlando Jones, David Harewood and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s Michael Nyqvist. Kevin Hooks (Prison Break, Passenger 57) will direct and executive produce.
Incidentally, Pheto has played Mandela’s spouse before — she portrayed his first wife, Evelyn Mase, opposite Idris Elba in 2013’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and she played Mandela’s daughter Zindzi in 2007’s The Color of Freedom (also known as Goodbye Bafana). The actress next will be seen in Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom, the real-life story starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike as the interracial first president and first lady of Botswana.
Pheto made her film debut as the female lead in the 2006 foreign-language Oscar winner Tsotsi, written and directed by Gavin Hood (Eye in the Sky). Her other credits include Focus’ 2006 apartheid-era drama Catch a Fire, directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Derek Luke and Tim Robbins, and the South African indie Cuckold, which premiered last September at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Outside of acting, Pheto became the first South African face for L’Oreal Paris and recently produced her first feature, the coming-of-age drama Ayanda, which premiered at the LA Film Festival last year and has been picked up for U.S. distribution by Ava DuVernay’s Array. She also represented South Africa in the jury for the 2015 International Emmy Awards last November.
Pheto continues to be repped by South Africa’s Moonyeenn Lee Associates.
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