Nomzamo Mbatha continues to fly the South African flag high in Hollywood after her critically acclaimed performance in Coming 2 America. Her most recent work will see her co-star with Bruce Willis in the action flick Assassin, directed by Jesse Atlas.
An action-packed sci-fi thrill trip with a stellar cast, Assassin includes: Andy Allo, Dominic Purcell, Mustafa Shakir, and Fernanda Andrade. In the film, a private military organization commanded by (Willis) develops future microchip technology that allows an agent’s mind to occupy the body of another person in order to carry out covert, lethal missions. When an agent (Mustafa Shakir) is assassinated during a covert mission, his wife (Mbatha) steps in to try to bring the man to justice.
“Assassin is an exploration of identity,” says director Jesse Atlas. Drone warfare’s progression from remotely driving technology to remotely possessing another person raises crucial considerations about what it means to fully be oneself. Can we maintain our identity when we don’t recognize the face in the mirror? How do we navigate our minds when cognitive dissociation is an everyday occurrence? What kind of memory is formed when a total stranger wraps you in an intimate embrace and you feel their touch on skin that isn’t yours?
It’s a psychological minefield, and Aaron Wolfe, my co-writer, and I were immediately sucked in by the task of envisioning and humanizing the story. The concept provided us with a plethora of creative storytelling elements to experiment with, ranging from mind-bending images and weird sound design to the repeated spoken phrase.
“This is not my body. But the true gift of this concept was the opportunity to bring the character of Alexa to life with two completely different actors playing her. Nomzamo Mbatha and Andy Allo both came at the character from different starting points, yet fearlessly embraced each other’s choices to discover a shared emotional truth that resonated for both of them,” Atlas concluded.