Internationally acclaimed East London actress Masali Baduza has made a name for herself starring in the lead role on the British series Noughts and Crosses, which is likely to return for a third season this year.
The critically acclaimed show has given Baduza the perfect opportunity to not only showcase her talent abilities, but also challenge herself as an actress.
In the show, Baduza plays the role of Sephy Hadley, a member of the black ruling class (the Noughts) who falls in love with Callum, a member of the white underclass (the Crosses).
Together, the pair must face a world of oppression, violence and racism.
The series is based on a best-selling book written by Malorie Blackman.
Baduza was faced with the challenge of bringing Blackman’s vision of the lead character to life.
“The book was a great resource for me. I always went back to it because it was written, in part, from Sephy’s perspective,” Baduza said.
Baduza’s portrayal of Sephy earned her a spot on the Royal Television Society’s list of “Ones to Watch: TV’s Rising Stars”.
Her love for acting and performing goes back to her days at St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls, when she first starred in a school production of Grease, playing the male role of Sonny.
“I had the time of my life playing a character so different to who I was, and I fell in love with the art of transformation.
“My sisters came to watch me, and they couldn’t believe that it was their shy little sister on stage.
“I’ve come to understand my own emotions better and I think that has allowed me to tap deeper into the emotional lives of my characters.
“I’ve also learnt to trust my perspective more and take full ownership of the people I play. I’ve got so much more growth to look forward to still, and that for me is the most exciting part,” Baduza said.
The New York Film Academy graduate’s filmography includes multiple film, theatre and drama series projects including Slumber Party Massacre, Bhai’s Cafe, Trackers and The Woman King, with many more projects set to release in 2024.
“I can’t say anything yet, but I am so excited for this year as a project I shot last year is coming out and I cannot wait to see the reaction to it.
“It’s such a beautiful, important story and I’m just overjoyed and humbly grateful to be a part of it,” Baduza said.