The Socialite’s Chia Kougianos caught up with SA’s own Carishma Basday to chat about life on set, living in Cape Town and what the future holds for the petite actress, yoga instructor and model. Check it out…
1.) Was there ever a stage in your life where you thought you would pursue a career other than in acting?
When I was younger I wanted to become a vet. I even used to volunteer at our local vet! I absolutely adore animals and even to this day I do as much volunteer work as I can to try and help animals whenever and wherever I can.
2.) How do you manage to balance your time between being a yoga instructor as well as offering acting lessons and workshops at ATC Cape Town?
Well to say that my life is crazy is a total understatement. I teach at ACT Cape Town three times a week and then sometimes have private coaching in between that. My Yoga classes are varied as I do private classes and workshops. And then I have auditions everyday as well as days shooting on set. So it’s a good thing I really love what I do and that I have the most understanding and supportive husband.
3.) Most memorable moment on set during a production?
I have been so blessed to work on so many beautiful productions with incredible cast and crew that it’s really hard to choose one moment. I think maybe being so sick that my producer sent me to hospital whilst shooting Material and then arguing with the doctor that I need to be back on set to shoot a scene after he put on a manic contusion of drugs in a drip is pretty memorable. Needless to say a few hours later I was back on set to shoot my scene!
4.) What was it like being involved in a UK TV production and can you reveal the series name?
It was such an incredible experience; it was a wonderfully elaborate set with a fantastic cast and crew. I will be able to reveal the name as soon as the production airs which will be very soon, watch this space…
5.) Where do you draw your inspiration behind the characters you play on screen?
Mostly from personal experience, I have been blessed to have a life full of all sorts of experiences to draw from. I’m also fascinated with the different facets of people I meet; I love analysing personalities and life in general and just genuinely getting to know people. All my friends say I’m way too curious.
6.) You were the English voice to Oscar actress Marion Cotillard in Material, what was it like to meet her and can you share that experience with us?
I was the voice of Marion in a movie called Taxi 2 and I actually played one of the leads in the South African movie Material which has incredible local and international success.
7.) Who would you want to play you in the film of your life?
I’d have to say Salma Hayek. She is a maverick, a real go-getter. A beautiful, strong, talented woman who has worked hard to break stereotypes. She is about my height and she is married to a French man, so I think she’ll get me pretty well.
8.) Any South African actors or media personalities who inspired you along the way?
Nicola Hanekom, Grant Swanby, Kim Engelbrecht and Zuraida Jardine
9.) Any advice to aspiring actors out there?
I think just know what you are getting into. Love the craft because fame is a very fleeting concept in this country. Always be willing to learn and grow. It’s never a failure but always a lesson. Be brave, fight for what you believe in. Have fun enjoy what you do and let your passion shine through always.
10.) You love to travel and have travelled throughout Africa, what has been your favourite destination thus far?
My husband and I are complete gypsies and suffer from insatiable wanderlust. My trip through the DRC, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania was very special not just because I got to do it in a helicopter with my husband as the pilot but because not many people get to go to those places and experience the countries or culture in such an intimate way like I did. My other favourite destination would be the Maldives, it was always on top of my bucket list and we spent our honeymoon there. I must say I have a very powerful connection to India as I have travelled quite extensively through the country and had some pretty powerful moments there, I’ll be retuning for my 5th visit in December this year.