Sokhulu is one of South Africa’s most revered actresses. Having appeared on Generations, Sokhulu & Partners, Ubizo (The Calling) and currently Isidingo , the 37-year-old actress is now stretching her hand into film. The actress plays the role of Lindiwe Xaba on the local movie Felix.
The movie, which hits theatres tomorrow, has already had a string of positive reviews since it was debuted at the Durban International Film Festival this year. The City Press hailed it as, “a worthy contender with any Hollywood blockbuster.”
DESTINY chatted to the actress about her film debut.
How do you feel about the release of the movie?
I am very excited (laughs). The very first time I saw it I was quite nervous, but it was recently shown at the Durban International Film Festival and it did very well. The reviews were quite amazing, and now I hope that’s going to encourage South Africans to go see it.
Why do you think you were given the role?
I was lucky because I’ve worked with Roberta Durrant (Producer of Sokhulu & Partners) before. Only after the movie was shot, did I find out that she had long decided to cast me in the film, she was eager to see how I would tackle the character of Lindiwe Xaba.
Luckily, before I went to the auditions I read the script and I fell in love with it instantly. So, I would say it was a combination of her trusting me with the role and me loving the script so much.
So, how did you prepare for your role?
I’ve played the role of a mother before, but this was my first time playing a mother of three. I just tackled the role as truthfully as I could. I drew from my experiences of being brought up and also having friends who are mothers. So it was more like taking those experiences and using them for the role.
How was it like acting alongside a young actor like Hlayani Mabasa?
It’s funny because he has got more film experience than I do (Laughs). In fact, all the three actors who play my children in the movie (including Okwethu Banisi and Elvis Mahomba) all have film experience. Although Hlayani has starred in a couple of films before, this was his first leading role, so this was his big break. Interestingly enough, they are the ones who held my hand (laughs).
What do you think makes this story special?
I think more than anything else, this is a feel good South African movie. It is a comedy/drama, and it’s a coming of age story.
It’s about a young boy who comes from another background and becomes exposed to another world. In the midst of all that he finds his voice. It’s also a story about a mother learning how to let go. So, from a parental point of view it’s about trusting that you’ve instilled all the right values to your children and trusting them enough to let go.
What did you take away from the experience of playing Lindiwe?
What’s interesting about being an actress is that I learn something from every character I play. That is something I’ve always loved about the craft because it transports you into a different reality every time. On the technical side of things, it was quite a refreshing experience for me. You know when you work on a drama you have scenes lined up for you, where you can have anything in between one to 10 a day. The goal is to always shoot about 34 pages [of the script] of work in one day, where in a movie it’s about four pages but more intense. So I would say the technicality of shooting a film was quite a big learning curve for me.
What do you hope the viewers will take away from the film?
I hope South Africans can look at the movie not just as a local film, but as a story they can relate to. It’s for everyone because everyone experiences growing up. I think it’s quite amazing for us as Africans to see our world being reflected on the big screen, especially in a story like this, which is so full of hope.
Felix will hit theatres on 13 September.
Watch the trailer for the movie Felix: