Kagiso Lediga Celebrates Strong Female Leads In His Latest Espionage Thriller “Classified”

Kagiso Lediga once again pays homage to strong female protagonists in his latest espionage drama, “Classified.” Serving as the creator and showrunner, Lediga collaborated on directing duties with Tebogo Malope and Karabo Lediga, both of whom previously worked with him on “Queen Sono.”

The coming-of-age espionage series, which premiered on Netflix, features a stellar cast including Imani Pullum, Christine Horn, Sule Rimi, and Paballo Koza. Reflecting on his inspiration, Lediga acknowledged his upbringing surrounded by formidable women, expressing a subconscious inclination towards showcasing female heroes.

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“I believe it’s more intriguing to have female protagonists, and audiences resonate with that,” shared Lediga, drawing inspiration from French filmmaker Luc Besson, known for action films with strong female leads. The character Ella, portrayed by Pullum, exemplifies a unique perspective, with Lediga emphasizing the reduced vulnerability of a young girl in a challenging position.

Lediga, renowned for directing Netflix’s first African original series, “Queen Sono,” highlighted the distinctions between the two projects. While “Queen Sono” featured more action and tools, “Classified” is characterized as a family-oriented young adult drama, exploring the intricate dynamics of espionage and classified government information within personal relationships.

Reuniting with Johannesburg-based production company Diprente, the team behind the success of “Queen Sono,” Lediga also sought collaboration with former CIA intelligence officers turned experts at Spycraft Entertainment (known for “The Walking Dead” and “Invincible”). Their invaluable insights contributed depth and authenticity to the storyline, portraying aspects of real-life spy work.

Unlike the larger-than-life narrative of “Queen Sono,” Lediga emphasized his intention for “Classified” to be grounded in reality. Steering away from extravagant action sequences, the series aims to delve into the complexities of espionage, exploring the idea that seemingly small events can have significant repercussions.

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