Thabo Rametsi on the hardest thing about playing Solomon Mahlangu

By Drum Digital
15 March 2017

I get to rubbish the idea that we aren't good enough to honor our own stories- Thabo

Its without a doubt one of the best films on circuit now, a story about  Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu an anti apartheid activist who was convicted of murder and hanged in 1979. We caught up with Thabo Rametsi who plays Solomon in the movie Kalushi on playing Solomon, the challenges and why South Africans should be filling the cinemas to watch the movie.

What made you jump at the chance to take on this role?

It was the "Everyday-Manness"  of the character. He isn't a superhero. He is an ordinary pushed to act by cruelty. Pushed to be great by love.

Certainly for this role you had you doing military type training for days, did this affect your performance at all?

Yes. More so in the relationships with other characters. The military hierarchy system demands certain behavior with certain individuals. It defines your characters relationship with authority.

The movie's story is an emotional roller coaster indeed, what type of strain did this role place on you mentally?

It didn't feel that way when we shot it. To be honest I'm surprised people are so emotionally effected by the film. I think that speaks more of us as a people than the film. It means that we have a lot to deal with and we should probably start.

The dialogue in Kalushi jumps between Nguni vernacular and English, which would usually make sense when you're trying to reach a broader audience, but my question is, did you have any trouble learning Nguni vernacular or is it something you were already familiar with?

I speak a lot of languages in the film about 4 or 5. I focused on performance and emotional truth to be honest. I got help were I could.

What does playing Solomon Mahlangu mean to you?

That I get to rubbish the idea that we aren't good enough to honor our own stories.

Whats the singular reason that you would tell people to go watch the movie?

It's a really good movie. Seriously. Even if i wasn't in it I'd say this. Its the best film in cinemas right now. Because people showed  so much pride in creating it.

What was the hardest thing to master while playing the movie?

Patience.

How did you prepare for the role both physically and emotionally?

I trained physically and learned the necessary skills someone like him would have at a certain period. Emotionally I don't prepare. I never plan I just react.

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