"Stars in Netflix's hit series Self Made; Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker, about America's first female self-made millionaire"
Photographer : Juan Soloranzo
Interviews by @ouchmagazineny
How great was it to work with the cast of Madam CJ Walker?
Working with my cast from Self Made: Inspired by the Life Madam C.J. Walker was unreal. One of my best set experiences to date. I learned a lot on and off camera from Octavia and the rest of the cast. Working with some of the greats gave me that confidence to keep believing in myself and what I’ve done so far.
Did you do any research on Madam CJ Walker before this part was offered?
Once I received the audition notice I had dove into research trying to understand who Madam CJ Walker was. Throughout my research, I was annoyed that I hadn’t learned about her in school, given how influential she had been to history. As soon as I had understood who she was and what she stood for proclaimed myself booking it.
This series was focused on hair? How obsessed are you with your hair care?
Honestly, I wasn’t obsessed with hair care until recently. Given we are all in quarantine, this has given a real opportunity to do treatments, become better at braiding my natural hair, and giving it the love and attention it needs. Although I wear wigs, given my line of work I love my hair and am finding more ways to appreciate what God gave me!
How did you prepare for any role pre-audition?
It really all depends on the audition but with most here’s my breakdown for a self-tape:
Receive Audition notice - Review who’s behind the project, producer(s)/production team, writers, director. Look at who’s casting it and insert the name into a PDF I have of all the casting directors I’ve ever seen/booked me/haven’t seen.
Read character breakdown/description to understand who/what they’re looking for.
Read/skim over the scene to get a gist of what's happening, where it takes places, if I need an accent etc
Write down what I’d need for each scene and what clothes will best fit this ‘character’
Head to my closest to create an outfit/if not, head to the store to try and find something that works
What other projects do you have planning moving forward this year?
I have a few things on the horizon but due to this pandemic, everything has been put on a halt so, who knows when life will be back to normal! But I do have music dropping this summer! Look out for that!
How are you staying sane in all the craziness that's going on right now?
_. Meditation and Deep Breathing
_ Cooking and Eating (probably too much)
_ I am writing both music and a feature currently.
_ Walking (while still social distancing, of course)
_ Compulsive online shopping (That has to Stop)
What is your advice for people who are at home and lack faith?
Get up and do something that makes you laugh and smile or puts you in a good mood. Once that happens, now go and create something. Try something new. Pick up a paintbrush, or start brainstorming new/old ideas you have, finish those things you never made time for. OR…. Sit and chill. That works too. Whatever makes you happy.
How do you keep yourself flawless? What's your beauty routine?
Drink lots of water, wash your face at night and eat your greens.
We are all #stayingathome, and a lot of people are making meals at home. Do you cook? If so, what's your favorite meal?
LOVE cooking and have been doing less now that we are all staying home but my favorite meal to cook is jerk chicken, rice and peas, coleslaw on the side, and…. We can’t forget a side of plantain.
How can fans follow you online?
Please follow me on my journey @zahrabentham on all platforms!