Tuesday, 30 August 2011

UP CLOSE WITH TEISHA DUNCAN: The effervescent actress discusses her 5 Essential Roles

I PUT A SPELL ON YOU: Duncan works her magic in Charlie's Angels.

Already one of the most acclaimed stage actresses of the year, following her bright and (very) amusing turn in this month’s Charlie’s Angels, Duncan, 27, reflects on her habit of exploring the lives of others with sly wit and astonishing range.

Dorine in “Tartuffe” (2010)
“I wanted her to reflect the different matronly characters that you find in the Jamaican society, including the wisdom of mothers, the nurturing nature of teachers and all those qualities that teach us lessons. Things people would be able to identify with. It was one of those roles where I could finally include my mother in the process.” (Laughs).

Mistress It’s A Pity in “Sarafina!” (2002)
“Another interesting role. I was very young at the time; I was 18. I think I was the youngest person in the cast. So one of the biggest challenges had to do with how I was going to convince everyone that I was this inspirational teacher figure. But fortunately my youthful exuberance was included.”

Marilyn in “Positive” (2005)
“My first time on stage, and I got to work with Michael Nicholson, who was very gracious. It was a difficult role, but I took my time to grow into it. It was a very strained character, someone having a disease and wanting a relationship with someone. I’m glad that I was eventually able to tap into her more romantic side.”

Rita in “Midnight at Puss Creek” (2010)
“When we were in rehearsals, I thought it would have been challenging to play her because I was saying I don’t have any evil in me. It took me a while to tap into the greed that drives her, because greed is something that I have little tolerance for in life. But at the same time, she was ambitious because her aim was to become a lawyer. So those dynamics were very interesting to me. And once I stopped judging [the character], I was able to put a kind of positive spin on it.”

Bubbles in “Charlie’s Angels” (2011)
“She could have been very stereotypical, but I wanted to create something dynamic and within which people could find some truth. The research was therefore very important. I went to all the go-go clubs I could find and noticed that the girls all had an alter ego that they portrayed. So with that in mind I was able to enhance the playing style and the search for more in creating her as the wanna-be-diva Diana Ross mixed with the down-to-earth everyday girl. That energy came with the end-product.” (Laughs).

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  1. Love this! Duncan is here to stay and once she's appearing on any stage one should make the effort to attend, as she's sure to give you more than your money's worth. No doubt we'll continue to read about her in Tallawah and publications worldwide in future!

  2. well said Karl! AGREED!

  3. wow! She is Jamaican?! I actually saw her in "Caroline or change" in Brooklyn and she was so brilliant I thought she was American.

    even after the play she was greeting us all from the audience and she was an absolute joy off the stage. All the best to her.