Nine-year-old Melody Nosipho Niemann, who is originally from Pietermaritzburg, is currently appearing on the big screen in the film Sonic The Hedgehog.
She plays the role of Jojo, the niece of Hollywood actor James Marsden’s character, Tom, in the movie, which is based on the popular video game of the same name.
Sonic the Hedgehog tells the story of the world’s speediest hedgehog as he embraces his new home on Earth. In this live-action adventure comedy, Sonic (a cartoon character voiced by Ben Schwartz) and his new best friend, Tom Wachowski, team up to defend the planet from the evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his plans for world domination.
Melody, who now lives with her mother, Maju Dladla, a founding member of the Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir, her father, Juergen Niemann, and her brother, Nhlakanipho, in Canada, describes the movie as really funny.
“I really didn’t know what the movie would turn out to be, but I knew people, especially kids, would love it because Sonic is in it.
“James, Tika [Sumpter, who plays Maddie Wachowski] and Natasha [Rothwell, who stars as Rachel] were so much fun to shoot with. They played games with me during takes.”
Melody, who lived with her grandmother, Ester Dladla, in Imbali before moving to Canada in 2012, has wanted to be on the screen since she was two years old. She told Weekend Witness that she asked her mother to put her inside a TV box so that she could be like the children she saw on the small screen. “My mom realized I really loved acting and she found an agency for me after I turned five years old,” she added.
“I love acting because it’s fun to bring someone’s idea to life … [and] you get to meet all these famous actors that you only see on TV and they become your friends. Acting makes me happy and I get to travel and meet different people.”
The young actress is currently busy shooting episodes for two different series in the United States and Canada, but can’t say what they are or what role she will have until they have been released.
Melody has also appeared in the television movies, A Family Christmas Gift and A Gingerbread Romance, and in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow TV series, in which she played a young Astra.