Steffi Thake has been on stage since the age of three, but she’s been acting professionally since the age of nineteen when she joined the MADC and took part in a number of Christmas pantomimes (six and counting!) and theatre productions.
During the 2013 One Act Play Festival, she was awarded Best Actress for her performance in Murder Play. Some other notable works include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Image of an Unknown Young Woman, Much Ado About Nothing, I’ll Be Back Before Midnight, The Vagina Monologues, and A Handbag.
She’s recently featured in a few short and feature films, including Do Re Mi Fa directed by Chris Zarb, Alicia directed by Shirley Spiteri Mintoff, and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi directed by Michael Bay. You can currently catch her on local television show La Tħobbnix every Tuesday on TVM prime time.
Date of Birth: 29th November
Star Sign: Sagittarius
Media-related occupation: Actress
Picture above: Antony Edridge and Davide Tucci Danny Leigh
Can you recall the first time you performed in front of a camera or an audience?
I don’t remember many stage performances when I was a kid, but I do remember playing Scar in our school production of The Lion King. At the time I was quite a shy and quiet kid, and Scar was a complete character change from my normal self. I loved every minute of it and I knew I did a good job because, aside from those in the production with me, nobody recognised me playing Scar on that huge stage!
The first time I performed a long monologue in front of a paying audience though, I remember feeling horrified! I knew what I was doing, but I’d never said so many lines in front of people before, so I didn’t know if I’d remember them or if I’d blank out. I had butterflies in my stomach and I was shaking until I walked onto the stage. Then, becoming that character, it’s like I found a new part of myself I didn’t know was there. I was so at ease on stage embodying another character.
How do you feel about the large number of actors and actresses in Malta? Should more kids be encouraged to take up drama?
I think it’s great! We have so much talent on this tiny island that we need to appreciate it more. All these amazing actors have different qualities to offer to any performance. We need to be taking more care of the actors we have on this island. We are professionals; it’s not just a hobby to some people, myself included.
I do think that kids should be encouraged to take up drama. It keeps kids on their toes and allows them to be kids! It encourages the use of their imagination (something that kids might not be encouraged to do nowadays with so much technology around) and it allows them to find their self-confidence. I’m a grown up kid myself. I act the fool most of the time, but as the great Paul Newman said, “To be an actor, you have to be a child,” so I think I’m on the right track. When children have a talent, be it acting, singing, dancing, playing the flute, or whatever, their talent needs to be nurtured.
Image credit: Jan Zammit
Your grandfather is local comedian Charles Thake. Do you think you’ve been influenced in a way or another by this own dramatic techniques?
I wish I could answer that question by saying, “Yes, my grandfather influenced me greatly! I watched all his shows and films and he’s the reason that I’m an actress.” But as much as he’s an incredible inspiration to me, I only really got the acting bug when he was on his way to retiring from his acting career. I watched him on television and in the film Agora and I was in awe! But his prime was back when I wasn’t even born, or just too young to appreciate his unique talent and incredible ability to put a smile on everyone’s face.
I carry the Thake name around wherever I go and I know I’ve got some huge shoes to fill. In reality, I could only dream of being as great an actress as he is.
Which part of being an actress is the most exciting?
I love bringing people’s untold stories to life! The roles that excite me most are the odd ones that we don’t hear enough of; that people aren’t aware exist, unless they live some aspects of it themselves. I love playing people with a slightly mental character, or who are evil, or weird in some way. Or those who have had a hard past and are looking for redemption, be it by finding the love that they want or by getting back at their abuser. Or even characters that I can relate to in some way. All these characters allow me to explore who I am. I also love to know that my performance moved people in some way by making them laugh or cry.
How would you describe your relationship with money?
We’re on non-speaking terms.