Meet the cast of Lioness, M-Net’s local thriller
In this M-Net Original, available to stream every Thursday night at 20:30, Shannon Esra’s character Samantha has been in prison for eight years for a crime she didn’t commit. Now that she’s free, Sam has some work to do, explains the actress.
“Sam wants to clear her name of the accusations made against her, and she’ll leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of what happened and reclaim her life.”
Sam’s shady hubby Adrian Hugo (Jacques Bessenger, Stian in Dwaalster) brought her documents to sign, she signed without reading and that proved to be her downfall.
“Adrian was committing fraud and Sam’s signature was on all the documents, so when an audit was done, the police arrested Sam for Adrian’s crimes,” says Shannon, who plays lawyer Sandra Stein in The River, The Queen and Gomora, and also stars in Still Breathing.
During her time in prison, Adrian died under mysterious circumstances and her kids were shipped off to Cape Town to live with a family member and she never saw them again.
“The first two years of Sam’s prison life was hell. She struggled to cope being so isolated and not seeing her children. But after her pity party, she picked herself up and started to study law. She was looking for ways to be exonerated from the crime she was found guilty of. She was a model inmate, and after eight years she was released on parole. It’s now, upon her release, when the story really starts as Sam finds out that Adrian is alive and living a complete different life, without a care in the world or even his children,” says the lead actress.
Lioness plays out in two timelines: the past (2012) and present (2020). “From the first episode, viewers will see the glam Sam in 2012, and the prison Sam in 2020. Every episode of the 10-episode first season will be part 2012 and part 2020,” adds Shannon.
FYI: S1 was shot in just 47 days in November and December 2020.
Who else do you need to know in this local drama?
Jason Hugo (Frank Rautenbach) is Sam’s brother-in-law and he’s on his way to be appointed as a Constitutional Court judge.
Miranda Hugo (Jazzara Jazzlyn) is Sam’s 24-year-old daughter. She takes life very seriously and is a perfectionist. Miranda adored her father until his demise and, obviously, she isn’t her mother’s biggest fan.
Liam Hugo (Joshua Eady) is Sam’s favourite child. The 21-year-old shares all his anxiety and fears with his mom.
Amo Twala (Nokuthula Mavuso, Angelina in soapie The River) is Sam’s BFF. Amo is married to Sifiso (Terrence Ngwila), a party animal who loves his wife, but he has his faults.
In the video above, look out for:
Charlotte (Fiona Ramsay), Sam’s free-spirited mother who has supported her daughter, but isn’t the best mom in the neighbourhood; and Anton Marais (Gerald Steyn, Lourens in drama series Trackers), the Hugos’ head of security, who protected Sam and her children before Sam went to jail.
More thrillers to stream
New episodes of Lioness land every Thursday on DStv online.