Actress Pearl Thusi and the rest of the star-studded cast of Kalushi step back in SA’s history to delve into the life story of struggle hero Solomon Mahlangu in the biopic.
Pearl who is currently based in the US where she bagged a role on drama series Quantico, described the making of Kalushi as an emotional roller-coaster back in time.
The actress who first auditioned to play the role of Solomon’s girlfriend, Brenda Riviera in 2014, said no amount of Google research on the struggle hero’s life could have prepared her for taking on the part.
“I tried to read as much as I could about Solomon’s story. But nothing could have prepared me for the emotional toll that came with being Brenda,” Pearl said.
Pearl added that she was grateful to be a part of telling a story that was relatively unknown.
Brenda who is a fictional character created in the film was raised by educated freedom fighters who often helped fugitives hide out in their house.
Pearl explained that she had to dig deep within herself to step back in history, channel her inner-child and find Brenda inside her.
“When we had to shoot those June 16 scenes, like that morning, it came down on me like a ton of bricks. It was emotional. I was a mess and I needed about two days to recover. Because I realised how intense that must have been, to be young in those times,” she said.
Pearl revealed that she related to the youth who were part of the struggle because she herself had to ‘grow up quicker ‘ after her mother’s death. “My mother died when I was young, so I had to grow up or mature really early, so I understand.”
The actress added that it was frustrating to wait so long for fans to see the film, which took over three years to make.
“It was frustrating for us because we knew this was one of our best work. Frustrated but also excited for people to see it,” she says.
Pearl commended the movie and had no doubt that viewers will be bowled over – both here and internationally.
The actress hoped SA took away valuable life lessons from the movie. “You may not live to see what you fought for come to fruition, but you planted a seed and [sometimes] that is just as good enough.”
Kalushi will release in cinemas across the country on March 10. The cast also includes Thabo Rametsi as Solomon Mahlangu, Thabo Malema, Louw Venter , Marcel van Heerden, and Dr. Gcina Mhlophe.