When she was seventeen, Lesley moved to New Zealand, which is where she got her start as an actress. Her first major role was as Princess Leilani on the short-lived sitcom Diplomatic Immunity. Despite the show not making it past one season, bigger fame came her way when she got to be part of Spartacus: Blood and Sand as Naevia — one half of the Beta Couple. She reprised her role in the prequel season Gods of the Arena, but did not return for the second and third seasons. During this time she moved to America and is working there currently. In 2016 she took on the role of Mazikeen on the TV show Lucifer.
She married American actor Chris Payne Gilbert in 2015 and gave birth to their son, Kingston, in 2017.
- Shortland Street (2007) - Sonia
- Diplomatic Immunity (2009) - Leilani
- Spartacus: Blood and Sand (2010) - Naevia
- Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (2011)
- Legend of the Seeker (2010) - Sister Thea
- This Is Not My Life (2010) - Hine / WAI Field Reporter
- Chuck (2011) - Fatima Tazi
- CSI: NY (2011) - Camille Jordanson
- Memphis Beat (2011) - Adriana
- Zombie Apocalypse (2011) - Cassie
- Gotham (2014) - Larissa Diaz
- The Librarians (2014 - 2015) - Lamia
- Lucifer (2016 - 2021) - Mazikeen
Tropes associated with Lesley-Ann Brandt:
- Actor-Inspired Element: She had a lot of input into Mazikeen's wardrobe and makeup on Lucifer.
- Ambiguously Brown: She is Cape Coloured, an ethnic group descended from various different immigrants and local Africans who intermingled with each other in South Africa. As a result of this, she doesn't quite fit with any single look and can be whatever casting directors want her to be. In fact her complete ethnic background is Indian, German, Dutch, Spanish, British and Khoisan (an indigenous tribe in South Africa)."In Thailand, I'm mistaken as Thai, in New Zealand I've been told I look Polynesian, Indians can see my Indian heritage and in America, I've been told I look African American or Latin American. I like it that way."
- Fake American: Most of her roles in America, for obvious reasons.
- Fake Brit: She gives Naevia a flawless English accent, employing The Queen's Latin.
- Fake Nationality: She's South African but grew up in New Zealand, and can switch back and forth between those accents on cue. Diplomatic Immunity has her playing the princess of a fictional principality in New Zealand.
- Friendship on the Set: She became close friends with Craig Parker on Diplomatic Immunity.
- I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine:
- The Other Darrin: Lesley was replaced as Naevia with Cynthia Addai-Robinson from Vengeance onwards.
- The Other Marty: Lina Esco was cast as Mazikeen at first, but replaced with Lesley after the table read.
- Plays Great Ethnics: As noted on the main page, she's called upon to play many different races. Naevia's background isn't even known, and she's played African American, Latina, North African, etc.
- Screwed by the Lawyers: The reason behind her recasting in Spartacus. She had been still living in New Zealand during the first season, and moved to Los Angeles by the time of Vengeance. As she had been a "local hire" on Season 1, she wasn't paid as much and then discovered how much more she was making doing a guest role on Chuck, and tried to negotiate for a SAG contract for Vengeance. The manager she hired to negotiate botched the deal, and schedule conflicts meant a recasting.
- Those Two Actors: She's starred with Craig Parker in Diplomatic Immunity, Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Legend of the Seeker.
- Wag the Director: Naevia's costume on Spartacus was intended to be much skimpier (closer to the background slaves seen wearing only a strip of fabric across their chest). As the character would later be revealed to have her virginity preserved so she could be useful, Lesley felt it would make more sense for her to be covered up a little more. The producers agreed and her costume became more modest, with her providing one topless scene and nudity from the back in another episode.
- What Could Have Been:
- She felt she should use an English accent for Lucifer but producers opted for Mazikeen to be American instead.
- She auditioned to play Spartacus's wife Sura, but producers felt she was a better fit for Naevia. The character was intended to just be a bit part, and Lesley was told she'd likely be killed off after the seventh episode, but the romance with Crixus proved popular and they expanded her role.