SOUTH Africa’s latest television export, Terry Pheto, had to keep news of her recurring role on US daytime soapie The Bold and the Beautiful secret for the past seven months until all the paperwork was signed.
Although the news broke yesterday, with the Oscar-winning Pheto’s name mentioned on Twitter, the actress, 30, played along to the fanfare and well wishes.
Speaking yesterday in Los Angeles where she is studying her script, she said: “We had to sort out lots of paperwork in December, so it’s been a long journey and I’ve had a lot of support.
“Well done to everyone who kept this a secret.”
Such is the popularity of the soapie in South Africa, its executive producers were keen to cast a local actor like Pheto to appeal to its vast fan base.
Pheto, the face of l’Oreal Paris, will play the role of a South African heart surgeon. Her shoots will be filmed from Monday.
The actress, who won an Oscar in 2006 for her role in Tsotsi, is already in Los Angeles where the show is shot.
She will join the star-studded cast – which includes Katherine Lang (Brooke Logan Forrester), Ronn Moss (Ridge Forrester), Hunter Tylo (Taylor Hayes Jones) and Susan Flannery (Stephanie Forrester) – on the red carpet at the 38th Daytime Emmy Awards in Las Vegas on June 19.
The show is nominated for four Emmys, including outstanding drama series and outstanding writing team. It has already taken 31 Emmys.
SABC1 marketing coordinator Phuti Moloto said the show’s bigwigs visited South Africa late last year and met the channel’s heads to discuss the daytime show’s performance.
Moloto said yesterday: “An opportunity presented itself when the executive team [of the show] came here, and we discussed our contract with them.
They bought into our idea of trying to incorporate an SABC1 actor into the soap.”
Locals will have to wait a further year to see Pheto’s debut. South Africa is a year behind in episodes.
Pheto said: “We all grew up watching The Bold and the Beautiful, so the first time I heard the news I just laughed [in disbelief] … I believe God has a bigger plan than I have for myself. I’m going to be an ambassador for my country.”
5fm presenter Anele Mdoda told Pheto on Twitter: “Hey @TerryPheto please high 5 Stephanie Forrester for me and ask Taylor to stay away from the plastic, even Tupperware parties! Well done.”
Moloto said Pheto was picked because she was “relevant” and “people will recognise here” after her Oscar win and her appearance on l’Oreal’s global television advertising campaigns.