Lesley-Ann Brandt never thought for one minute you'd be able to catch her on the small screen. That's why when the stunning South African starlet ditched her mundane IT recruitment job for a chance at fame, it was a pretty big deal. "My parents always thought of me as a little actress, doing school plays and singing in choir, but no one in my family is in the industry," she told Maxim. "My upbringing and family is so far removed from Hollywood that it wasn't until we moved to New Zealand that I was even introduced to the art form."
After dabbling in some modeling and taking part in her fair share of commercials, Brandt hit it big with a lead role as the daunting slave girl Naevia on Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Though opting not to renew her contract for a second season of the STARZ series, her time in the Roman Republic still left quite the lasting impression. "Naevia in Spartacus will always be special to me," she told Maxim. "Although I left the show, which was tough, if I hadn't left and done CSI: NY, I wouldn't have met my new producers for Lucifer. Maze is the badass I've wanted to play for so long."
Lucifer, the devilish new FOX series, follows Satan himself (played by Tom Ellis) as he navigates the streets of Los Angeles alongside the city's finest. Brandt's role of Maze (short for Mazikeen) places her alongside Lucifer as a confidante and longtime devoted ally. Naturally, Brandt was perfectly suited to bring a little heat to her character from Hell. "What drew me to her was her strength, loyalty, physicality, sexuality, and sense of humor," she told Maxim. "I knew that living in her skin for six months would be a challenge, and if I read a script and can't put it down because the character makes me immediately start researching the subject matter and I get uncomfortable, then I'm in."
And after taking a peek at the captivating Cape Town native in her new role, we most definitely are too.
Lesley-Ann spoke with Maxim about working on Lucifer, girl crushes, and the worst pick-up line she's ever heard.
1. If you weren’t an actress and you could do anything else (no training required), what would you be doing?
Being from Africa and seeing the kind of poverty I’ve seen in my life, I was raised to not only be aware of it but to help where I could. I’m involved with a project called Word of Honor, which will highlight how much work still has to be done in South Africa. I met the community of Freedom Farm, a squatter camp, in my home town of Cape Town. There were kids as young as three weeks old, living in shacks and it was heartbreaking to know that for just $90 US, 350 people could eat. I’m on a mission to set up something big to uplift this community.
2. What is your favorite curse word to use?
Fuck — I have a potty mouth.
3. What do you feel most sexy wearing?
I’d say a bikini in summer. I grew up at the beach and I love summer fashion... you don’t have to wear much.
4. What movie do you find yourself watching over and over again?
I have 3: Kramer vs Kramer, Fight Club and Bridesmaids.
5. How can a man go about grabbing your attention?
Have a good heart, be a family man, be active and make me laugh... it’s how my husband got me. He asked to use my bathroom at a rehearsal, I asked him not to leave any floaters, and he said he couldn’t make any promises. It was love.
6. Do you have any girl crushes right now?
So many! Alicia Vikander — beautiful and talented, Viola Davis — beautiful, talented, inspiring and still killing it at this stage of her career, Zoe Kravitz — she just oozes cool, and Jennifer Lawrence — beautiful, talented, unaffected by this business and fucking hilarious.
7. What’s the worst pick-up line you’ve ever heard?
At the Spartacus premiere, I had a guy come up to me and say, “Hi, I loved you in the show. I just bought a Porsche and I‘d love to take you for a ride after this.” My response was, “I drove here in my friend’s Scion, but thanks. Enjoy the Porsche.”
8. How would you prefer a guy to be groomed?
I like a little stubble and a guy who takes care of himself without being so groomed that he takes longer than me to get ready. So I guess, use some skincare, smell good and keep a good haircut.
9. And what should he wear to keep himself looking stylish?
I like guys who put some thought into what they are going to wear without over doing it. I’m a 'white t-shirt, jeans, and cool boots kind of girl', but you will knock me off my feet when you’re all dressed up in a great suit.
10. So what’s next for you?
Hopefully season 2 of Lucifer and some film projects I can’t say too much about right now!
All fired up? Check out the other sexy ladies to grace our 'Hot 10' column.