About Leeanda Reddy
Leeanda Reddy is a familiar face on South African screens, known for her on screen role as Priyanka Naicker on SABC 3's ISIDINGO. She also starred as the female lead opposite Leon Schuster in South Africa's premier grossing comedy movie"Mr Bones 2".
Leeanda is a versatile performer moving comfortably from dramatic actress to comedic entertainer to eloquent MC.
After completing her BA honours in Drama through the University of KwaZulu Natal, Leeanda began a abundant stage career that has seen her perform in major stadia both nationally and internationally. Having played leading roles at the Durban Playhouse Drama,Opera and Loft theatres, Sneddon, Grahamstown, Market and Civic theatres (Johannesburg), there is no doubt in her ever expanding repertoire.
Invited by the Indian Council for cultural relations to perform her one woman play "At the Edge" at the International theatre festival (New Delhi) and to tour with it in several other states in India.
She has received various accolades for throughout her career, including the prestigious Mababongwe award for excellence, two FNB VITA award nominations for best lead actress as Viola in “Twelfth Night” and Linda in “Beyond Calvary”, four Durban theatre award nominations for best lead actress, best comedy actress, best script, best set design for “Buckled”.
On screen she has featured in various drama and soap series (Scandal, ZeroTolerance, The Res, Snitch) and commercials as well as hosted trendy magazine programmes; Big City and City life.
Leeanda talents extends further to the role of producer and writer, her work involves producing major stage productions as well as corporate events and script writing (commissioned for both stage and screen).
The love interest of Mr Bones in the latest movie, Leeanda Reddy is actually a BA Honours Graduate from the University of Natal.
After seven years of playing a cop in the long-running SABC3 soapie Isidingo, Leeanda Reddy called it a day in June 2015.
Born Leeanda Antoinette Reddy in the heart of Durban, this multi talented entertainer originally took Physics and Electronics in high school but soon after matric at Crystal Point Secondary school in Durban, a BA Honours Graduate from the University of Natal, her stage career has been prolific, with leading roles in productions ranging from Shakespeare to comedy to one woman plays. She was nominated by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to perform the hit one woman play “At the Edge” at the international theatre festival in New Delhi and in seven other states in India, towards promoting artistic and cultural relations between South Africa and India.
She started auditioning and did a lot of theatre productions in Durban before moving on to Johannesburg. Secured her place on the books of an acting agent, went for auditions, and slowly built up a profile in the screen industry.
Her family members were as unsure about acting as a stable career choice but never discouraged her.
When asked about her choice between TV and theater, she swear a favouritism to the theater which gave her grounding and discipline that has made her thrive in this industry.
Live theatre is her real love and it keeps calling her back to the stage. She’s passionate about empowering people and has utilized her talent for performance art in various social awareness programmes since student days. Her most recent project was a stage play addressing the issue of gender violence at the Market Theatre.
“The theatre experience is magical – standing in the wings as the lights dim before you go on, feeling the presence of a live audience when you're on stage, hearing the immediate responses – it all gives me goose bumps.” Comment in a previous interview.
Leeanda Reddy was part of the success story of eTV’s daily drama Scandal, which shot from tepid beginnings in 2005 to over a million viewers within a year. Leeanda’s character Vanashree Devan, a tough political reporter determined to succeed in a male dominated field, is a universal story. She will soon be seen on the popular daily soap Isidingo. But the real Leeanda is far more complex.
As a small screen actress, she has had leading roles in eTV, SABC 2 and MNet dramas, including Snitch, Zero Tolerance, The Res, Scandal and Backstage. She worked on eTV’s Citylife and MNet’s Big City as a presenter.
In a broad sense we're very different. Priya can be quite serious. I'm a lot more relaxed and easy-going. I'm not nearly as confrontational, but I admire her dedication as a cop. I'm less ordered, and definitely more of a softie. But very often one's own qualities and mannerisms come through in the character, so perhaps there is some of me in Priya.
So where does comedy fit in? Due to the fact that most of her TV roles are very serious, it bring her variety and an opportunity to dabble in stand-up comedy every now and then. But it's the toughest of all her activities, so she only does it if she’s confident in her material, “I don't want to “die” on stage!” she jokes.
Accolades include the FNB Vita Nomination in 1999 for Best Lead Actress in the play Beyond Cavalry; another FNB Vita Nomination in 2000 for Best Lead Actress in Shakespeare’s 12th Night and the Mababongwe Women’s Award for Achievement in the Arts in 2003.
Add prestigious corporate MC gigs like the Mr. South Africa and the KZN NTVA Awards, various corporate theatre productions, television commercials, radio voice spots and a German movie and one can deduce that Leeanda Reddy is a woman who gets the job done - well.
Leeanda “On the Edge” speaker:
Leeanda can offer excerpts from her hit one-woman show called “on the Edge” which revolves around the life stories of thirty different women, or she can prepare a talk including comedy, tailored to the audience.