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Artist Spotlight Interview: Actress, Writer and Producer Charmaine Bingwa

Charmaine Bingwa
Photo: Paul Smith
TVMusic Network caught up with the busy actress  Charmaine Bingwa for our Artist Spotlight Series. Bingwa has many projects under her belt, including the Web Series, “Little Sista,” now playing on revry.tv. at https://revry.tv/channel/little-sista/ that she writes, produces and stars in and is currently juggling more projects.  

Check out our interview below:

TVMusic Network: Talk about “Little Sista.” How did the idea come about?

Charmaine Bingwa: The whole idea behind the show is that there is this irresponsible girl, a woman rather, in her early 30s, and she gets paired up with an at-risk youth and comedy ensues. The irony is that the kid ends up teaching the adult more about life and relationships. I guess they kind of need each other. It’s very funny but there are some heartfelt moments to it as well, which is great. In real life, I was a mentor in the Big Brother, Big Sister Program.

TVMusic Network: Any other projects you would like to talk about?

Charmaine Bingwa: I’m in pre-production for a brilliant LGBTI short called “Cairos.” It’s a project I’m producing and acting in. It's sort of an LGBTI “Interstellar.” It’s a beautiful story about two women who are reunited by a freak celestial incident, occurrence rather. We are getting our crew together and getting ready to shoot.
 I have two other projects down the road that I’m excited about as well – a pilot for a show and a feature film.

TVMusic Network: Do you find any difference in producing and writing a film versus a series or a show?  

Charmaine Bingwa: I think so…that’s why the web is becoming such a prominent format now. It allows me to bend and twist the rules a little bit. I absolutely love the fact that you can have a narrative in an hour and a half in a film. It feels like a complete experience for me. It’s completely fulfilling in that way. I also love the possibility that comes from creating a character over time like you have in a series. Even when "Little Sista" came about…when you have such a good premise, you have the characters in your head and can determine where they go, and I love that you can do that over time. There is something so exciting about that as well.

TVMusic Network: Is there any one person or project you saw as a kid that made you think, I want to be an actor?  Who was it and at what age was that?

Charmaine Bingwa: I was more interested in music as a kid. I started playing guitar and singing at age 12. I do remember watching any film that Denzel Washington as in and just being like… I don’t know why. I love that guy. He makes the best choices. Everything that he’s in is so great. I just know that if Denzel’s in it, I will see it. I think he was one of my first idols. I have a friend in Australia who named her child Denzel after him.

TVMusic Network: Since you started singing at a young age, that’s part of your background as well. What song do you think you best describe your life?

Charmaine Bingwa: That’s a good one. This might be bizarre, but I think “Shadowlands” from the soundtrack of “The Lion King.” I like the way Nala doesn’t know that there’s a better world out there but she’s always looking for it. She has that punch. She’s always like I’m sorry but I have to go follow my purpose. It’s really inspiring, but that “The Lion King” right?

TVMusic Network: Do you have a favorite vacation spot?

Charmaine Bingwa: I do. There’s this small place off the coast of Australia called Broome. It is stunning…white beaches for miles and there’s this hotel called Hidden Beach Club which is right on the beach. My brother got married there. It’s so nice. You can drink by the pool, watch the sunset. There’s literally nothing to do, that’s my kind of dream spot.

TVMusic Network: What about a favorite meal?

Charmaine Bingwa: Steak and Frites. I love that I’m in New York right now. My favorite meal on Earth is Steak and Frites from “Bob’s.”

TVMusic Network: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy for yourself and the first thing you would buy for someone else?

Charmaine Bingwa: I’m one of those weird people that …don’t get me wrong, I love money, but I don’t know if I’d want to win the lottery because I want to have money from my hard work if that makes any sense. I’m not so materialist that there’s not really one thing in my life where I would say, “Oh my god I have to have that” but I’d probably buy my mom a house. Something for someone else.

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