Pearl Thusi on Catching Feelings: A window into our everyday conversations

2018-03-09 11:23
Pearl Thusi

Cape Town - Local actress and TV personality Pearl Thusi let Channel24 in on the challenges of creating a believable on-screen relationship, and how she differs from her character when it comes to matters of the heart.

Pearl stars alongside local comedian, actor and director Kagiso Lediga as husband and wife, in the dark-romantic comedy. The young couple's life gets turned upside down when a celebrated and narcissistic older writer (Andrew Buckland) moves into their Johannesburg home and the cracks in their relationship starts to show. 

'I had never done anything like this before. It was a new challenge. Something different.'

After seeing a teaser of Pearl's performance in the trailer, one would never believe that Pearl was almost passed over for the lead female role as Max Matsane's (Kagiso Lediga) wife, Sam.   

When Loyiso Gola suggested the former Quantico actress for the role to Kagiso, the comedian was unconvinced. But after seeing her audition and finding out more about her impressive body of work, Kagiso knew he had found his on-screen love interest. 

On what drew her to the movie Pearl says: "I was excited about the script and about working with Kagiso. And initially I didn't know that they were doubtful about working with me. 

"After meeting up with them, and hanging out with them I realised that this could be really cool and I had never done anything like this before. It was a new challenge. Something different."

'To find that place where men would get tears out of me was difficult'

Pearl says that making relationships look genuine and "come alive" on screen is something that can always be challenging. But the cast and crew's excitement and commitment to the project made it so much easier.

"It's always hard to portray a situation on screen that you have never been in before."

Pearl, who has never been married, adds: "I could replicate or recreate some situations from my life that would get the same reaction out of me."

Her character - Sam - experiences some problems in relationships, and even though it's something the 29-year-old can relate to, they deal with the situation in very different ways. 

She says: "I try and handle break-ups the same way I would handle things that would be less upsetting. I try and keep my head on straight and not get too emotional."

"We all need an outlet, I wonder what my outlet is?" she laughs. "To find that place where men would get tears out of me was the difficult. A break-up is something I handle with such withdrawel and strength, and I try and be as detached as possible."

Another challenge for the seasoned acctress was taking on a comedy genre, Pearl says: "I think I'm quite funny, but there are things I thought would be really funny and then I saw it on screen and I was like 'nah that's not so funny.'"

'You will see yourself in one or more of the characters in the film.'

One of Pearl's favourite scenes in the movie is a passive aggressive altercation between Sam and Max. One that may resonate with audiences across South Africa. 

Without giving too much away she says: "There is a fight scene between Sam and Max in a coffee shop where she is bascially giving her husband hell for misbehaving. Eveything he does is wrong, and he just can't do anything right.

"He orders coffee and she is upset about that. He asks for the bill, and she's upset about that. The way it played out was so realistic and something most relationships go through. It was so easy to workshop and make even better."

When asked if she could play any other charcter in the movie, who would it be, Pearl says: "If it would be a male charcter I would say Joel (Akin Omotoso). He is the well-meaning bestfriend who is a mess, and I can relate to that."

If she has to choose a female character it would be Tabitha (Kate Liquorish): "But she did such a great job, I'm afraid of even saying that and putting myself out there."

Pearl ends off by saying: "Catching Feelings is a universal love story but also a love story specific to Johannsburg. It relates to every middle class South African and the struggles they are going through in the relationships, friendships and work situations.

"It's something special and sweet from us to let you know that we're thinking about you. And something new to what South Africa has offered before. You'll see yourself in one or more of the characters in the film, and it's a frank window into the everyday conversations we have with each other."

(Photos supplied: UPI SA)

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