Fans may recognize Sibongile Mlambo from her role as Tamora Monroe on MTV’s Teen Wolf, but the Zimbabwean actress is gearing up to take on another role that swaps the supernatural world of werewolves for the enchanting world of mermaids as Donna in Freeform’s Siren.
Siren tells the story of a small fishing town, Bristol Cove, once rumored to be home to mermaids, that’s turned upside down when a mysterious girl arrives.
ESSENCE hopped on the phone with Mlambo to dish on her new series, shooting in Vancouver, and what she’d be doing if she weren’t an actress. Here are five things to know about Sibongile Mlambo.
1. Mlambo is a big fan of sci-fi. Not only will she appear in Siren, but she’s set to appear in Netflix’s Lost in Space. “I love sci-fi. When you watch sci-fi you get completely engrossed in the world. It allows you to feel like a child, completely. So I’ve always loved the sci-fi genre. And I feel extremely blessed to be able to work within that genre.”
2. The actress can’t wait to get back to Vancouver, where the series was shot, calling the city “incredibly beautiful.” “Vancouver is beautiful, it’s such a beautiful city. What I loved about it is it’s such an environmentally conscious city and the trees…I just remember thinking, ‘Wow these trees are huge.’ I grew up in a completely different terrain. I grew up with more savanna, so it was more dry and kind of grassy. To get to live there for a while was just incredible.”
3. Her older sister inspired her to become an actress. Mlambo recalls watching her sister, also an actress, in plays and films and thinking about how much fun it would be to do the same thing. “I remember being in the theater watching her and thinking, ‘Wow! That looks like so much fun. I want to do that.’ And, it also did seem like playing make-believe. And, so to get to play for the rest of your life as an adult, I mean, that’s definitely what I want to do.”
4. If she weren’t acting, Mlambo says she would be a language translator or physical therapist. The actress studied French and Spanish in college and says her experience as a dancer led to her fascination with the human body. “I used to be a dancer, so the human body fascinates me. And, my dad was a doctor. I did all the prerequisites to be a physical therapist. I thought I had this pressure that if my dad was a doctor, one of us has to get into the medical field. I did the prereqs, then I decided I’m not going to do this for the rest of my life.”
5. On her bucket list for 2018: a sci-fi movie. “I love action. Action, fantasy. I mean something like Black Panther would be amazing.”
Siren premieres March 29, which also happens to be International Mermaid Day, at 8:00 p.m. ET with a special two-hour premiere on Freeform.