Nhlanhla Kunene on his captivating role of Eric in Adulting

By Xabiso Ngqabe29 March 2023

Nhlanhla Kunene on his captivating role of Eric in Adulting

The talented actor Nhlanhla Kunene is receiving rave reviews for his portrayal of Eric in the hit Showmax Original Adulting

Kunene had already piqued the interest of viewers when he made his television debut in popular soapie Muvhango and also featured in shows like Lavish and The River. But, since the premiere of Adulting, viewers have been raving about his performance on the show, which has already become a Showmax hit.

In Adulting, he plays the character of Eric, a bad-boy and a resident hothead who is an incredible father. After getting his high school sweetheart pregnant, then dropping out of varsity, he turns to car jacking as a means to an end. 

Nhlanhla Kunene plays Eric in Adulting

Adulting is an eight-part drama series set in the parallel universes of four friends – Bonga, Vuyani, Mpho and Eric. Their strong bond has held them together even as their journeys in life have taken them in very different directions – a bond the show’s creators describe as “the bromance of the decade”.

Watch the trailer for Adulting

Kunene chats to us about what it’s like being part of this talented cast, building his captivating character and more.

How would you describe the character of Eric?

Eric is a very unpredictable person, mainly because of his past. He’s emotionally driven more than anything. I think I’m gonna leave it at that for now …

Were there any challenges you encountered while trying to bring the character to life?

Yes, absolutely. This is because I’m not the same as him, so I had to do my best to put myself in his shoes all time, but as an actor that’s exactly what I’m supposed to do. I had to face his demons head on and that way I was able to embody who he is.

When you first read the script, what was your initial reaction?

For the first time I really felt like it’s time South Africa gives a chance to a gangster story that is told from an emotional perspective. We always see stories that entail shooting and making noise, but what we tend to forget is that gangsters are also human. After reading about Eric and looking at his biography, I really felt that it would be more beautiful to drive him from his emotions more than anything.

What has been your highlight since you started shooting Adulting?

The first one has to be when Eric fights for his daughter and also whenever he is having some fun moments with his friends. Also not forgetting the hijacking because it’s emotionally driven, it’s not just hijacking for the fun of it. 

Is there something you are most excited about for the viewers to discover about this story?

I’m excited about how the viewers are going to receive Eric from an emotional perspective. I keep using the word ‘emotional’ because that is how I have tried playing him. I’ve used emotion more than physicality. All his decisions are emotionally driven. So I think that’s what people should really look out for.

What was your process for tapping into his emotional state?

Research! Definitely research. I grew up in the hood so there were quite a lot of gangsters. You’d see ones who steal just for the fun of it but then there are also the ones who steal, but you wouldn’t know about them. My technique was more drawn into those types of gangsters, and I had to find out what they do and how they go about doing it.

How has it been to work with the other guys on and off-screen?

It’s beautiful, it’s more bromance. The gents have been very supportive. They listen when you have suggestions and they also suggest when they see fit. Working with them has been beautiful because every day feels new to us. Whatever happens, happens in the moment. When you’re home and you’re looking forward to being on set with the gents, you’re looking forward to a fun time, basically.

All episodes of Adulting are ready to binge on Showmax.

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