Johannesburg – The story of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is one that fairytales are made of – or in this case, Lifetime movies.
Harry and Meghan: Becoming Royal is the sequel to the 2018 Lifetime movie Harry and Meghan: A Royal Romance. This time around the roles of royals are played by actors Charlie Field and Tiffany Smith.
The storyline picks up where the previous film left off – the couple is now engaged, and the wedding planning and all the royal duties that come along with it is underway.
We had just stepped out of the pre-screening for the new film at the African Pride hotel in Johannesburg on a Wednesday afternoon. After the movie, the handful of media present was treated to a selection of teas as well as a menu which was inspired by the food served at Harry and Meghan's wedding.
The pièce de résistance was, without a doubt, the replica lemon elderflower wedding cake served. Yes, as in the cake Meghan had specially chosen for her big day.
TAKE A LOOK BELOW:
After gobbling up the bite-sized version of the cake I was ushered into a room, ready to chat to American actress Tiffany Smith who, I had later learned, was comfortably lounging in yoga pants on her couch on the other end of the line.
She giggled when I mentioned the striking resemblance between her and the Duchess of Sussex. Something she's obviously heard before, but the actress says she takes it as a huge compliment every time.
"It's one of those things where if people already saw a resemblance, now they see it even more. And for people who didn't see a resemblance, they watch the movie and are like, 'oh my gosh! You look a lot like her'," she tells me when I ask if the general public seems to be as taken aback by their likeness as I was when I watched the film.
FEELING THE PRESSURE
Being one of the most talked about, and loved, couples in the world right now, taking on the roles of Harry or Meghan could not have been easy. Tiffany definitely felt the pressure in the beginning. She tells me: "This role was so important, and I wanted to do such a great job at it because I have so much respect for Harry and Meghan, and I think they're just such great people. So it definitely adds a level of pressure because you want to do their story, and them as people, justice."
But any anxiety she felt was short-lived. "I think there was definitely a bit of nerves, but a lot of excitement as well because I knew that I had such an incredible time filming this, and when I went into it I was so excited reading the script, because I think it portrays such an optimistic and positive story, that I wound up being excited about making this project."
A TEAM EFFORT
Watching clips online or following interviews Meghan had taken part in helped Tiffany get into character, picking up on the little traits that make the Duchess who she is.
The star also credits her team for helping her tell the story of Meghan Markle. "We had an incredible writer for the film, Scarlett Lacey, who wrote the first film, and she did so much research."
Tiffany praised Scarlett's ability to use the research gathered on the story of Harry and Meghan and weave that in with a "beautiful" storyline.
Becoming a royal for a day is an idea that many of us, whether we'd like to admit it or not, have probably given some thought. Tiffany says if she were given that opportunity, she'd probably spend her 24 hours as a royal giving back to those in need.
"I think that watching Harry and Meghan, I love the fact that they do so much philanthropy. That they're so focused on sort of giving to the world. For me, I would probably want to do some kind of outreach. That would be incredible."
Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal is available on DStv Now.
(Photos supplied: Lifetime)