Pearl Thusi tells us: It’s not about getting rich and earning yachts
Pearl Thusi (Photo: Supplied)
Johannesburg – The Juice had the opportunity to sit down with South African actress, Pearl Thusi, to chat about her role in the local film, Kalushi.
Here’s what happened when we met with the gorgeous star.
Arriving a few minutes before my scheduled time, I waited in the reception area of Sandton’s Maslow Hotel. The room buzzed with people. A few meters away I watched as the camera crew readied themselves to chat with Pearl.
I tried to listen in, hearing only bits and pieces of her distinct voice. Every now and again she would break out laughing, catching the attention of the entire room. She’s a big star now, I reminded myself. I mean, she’s always been great, but now the rest of the world knows it too.
There’s something a little scary about dealing with big names in the entertainment industry. As a journalist you’re never quite sure what to expect or how to react.
My nerves were settled when the Quantico star grabbed my polka dot backpack with intrigue, telling me how much she loves it. Hey, she sat front row at New York Fashion Week, how could I not take that as a compliment?
I smiled as I sat down. We talked about Kalushi, the new film and about the life of Apartheid activist, Solomon Mahlangu. In the flick, Pearl plays Solomon’s girlfriend. She tells me more about her character, “Thabo Rametsi plays Solomon, I play a fictitious character called Brenda Riviera. The love story is there to show you what was taken away from Solomon in terms of love and the future he could have had, and the fact that he was taken away from people who loved him as well.”
The actress tells me it was director, Mandla Dube’s, passion to tell this tale that drew her to the movie. She recognised the same fire within him, that she holds within herself. “I think I’m so blessed with what I do for a living, it’s something that I would do even for free, but don’t tell everyone I said that,” she laughs, adding, “It’s just when I saw the passion he had, when I read more about the story, learned more about the person, there was no way I couldn’t be involved in this story.”
The role of a lifetime
Her passion really is undeniable. It’s impossible for me not to stop and make a mental note of it, before moving on. It’s that same desire that has helped secure the actress multiple jobs, resulting in her usually having to man more than one at a time, while also taking up the very important role of mother to her daughter, Thandolwethu.
How does she manage? “You prioritise,” she explains. “My daughter is a very independent girl. I think because her mom is so busy and her mom is out there.”
Pearl says her little one is her biggest fan. “My daughter is very supportive. If I’ve got work she wants to be there, she wants to learn, she wants to see what I’m doing and be a part of it, which is really amazing for me to watch as a mom. I literally made my number one fan, how cool is that?” she jokes.
Funny enough, it’s her leading role as a mother in day-to-day life that may have prepared Pearl to play a teenager in Kalushi. “I have a 9-year-old, so I have to tap into my inner child a lot,” Pearl says, before explaining how her character relates to her former teen self. “The type of teenager I was and the type of teenager Brenda was is two different teenagers. However, there’s an underlying thing for teenagers – your hormones are raging, you think you know everything but you know nothing at all, and you act like, ‘I know what I want’. And Brenda knows what she wants.”
Although portraying the role of a youngster may have been easy for the star, she says the fact that the movie was set in the Apartheid era was what she found challenging. “What was a teenager in that type of situation like? Probably a lot more grown up, a lot more mature, a lot angrier, confused, you know there are a lot of adjectives I can use, but that’s the teenager I had to create.”
Find your purpose
Taking away an everlasting lesson from Kalushi, Pearl says that it’s all about finding your purpose. “When I watch the movie, I hear and I see what happened to him [Solomon], for me it makes me realise that we’re not here to get rich and earn yachts. That’s fine, but we’re here to serve our purpose, and our purpose is much greater than what we think. Until we change our perspective we’ll never know exactly what we’re capable of.”