The highly anticipated third and final season of Showmax's The Wife premieres on Thursday. One of its lead actors, Gaisang K Noge, chats to News24 about her experiences and what viewers can look forward to this season.
"Lots of love, lots of drama and lots of fighting" is what The Wife star Gaisang K Noge says viewers can look forward to in the third and final season of the Showmax original series when it returns to screens this week.
Season 3 begins streaming on the platform on Thursday, 10 November. It stars Noge as Doctor Naledi Montsho and Kwenzo Ngcobo as Qhawe Zulu.
Ahead of the premiere, Noge shares what it was like working alongside Ngcobo and speaks about the production itself and how her character differed from those she played before.
'It happened to be magical'
One of the main things that had viewers talking about previous seasons was the chemistry between the leads - Hlomu (Mbalenhle Mavimbela) and Mqhele (Bonko Khoza) in Season 1, and Zandile (Khanyi Mbau) and Nkosana (Mondli Makhoba) in Season 2.
Noge says she and Ngcobo didn't go out of their way to create the chemistry viewers will witness this season.
"I wouldn't say we went out of our way to create it. We met as two actors – I understood who Naledi was, and he understood who Qhawe was – and it happened to be magical. We read our lines together, and it just worked," she says.
She adds that the love story between Naledi and Qhawe doesn't differ from the book it is inspired by. The love story Noge and Ngcobo portray is inspired by Dudu Busani Dube's third book in the Hlomu book series, Naledi - His Love.
"There's no difference," Noge says. "They are crazy about each other and will fight for each other. They will even fight each other, but they will always come back to each other, no matter what."
"They are for each other; they are in sync. They are almost one person."
Noge says viewers will enjoy how the love between Naledi and Qhawe is felt, even in silence and separation.
'A rehearsed dance'
Noge does not give away whether or not viewers can look forward to the intimate scenes witnessed in the preview seasons. A steamy scene between Mbau and Makhoba went viral.
Commenting on filming intimate scenes, Noge says "it's like a rehearsed dance."
"You have a coach and director, then they come and present what they would want to be in the dance; if you are comfortable, then it's literally nothing but counting.
"It's tough, and days are not the same, but I was honouring the story. I was honouring the fact that this is about Naledi and her journey, so I could be professional and give what she needed from that moment safely."
Gaisang, Mampho and Naledi
The House of Zwide actor says she sees more of herself in Naledi than in her character, Mampho, on the e.tv soapie. She says she is just as colourful, determined and stubborn as Naledi, albeit not from royalty.
"We can't even compare Naledi and Mampho because of just how different they are," she says light-heartedly. "They're not from the same planet."
"Naledi is very internal, inside out, and Mampho is very outside in. Mampho does things from pain, and it comes across as psychotic sometimes, and Naledi has gone through tough things but nothing like Mampho. Naledi also has a sister, and she has parents."
Despite being more similar to Naledi, Noge says it was still hard to bring her to life because of the emotions she had to embody.
"It was hard; it's a lot of work," she admits. "But I enjoy the challenges and the tests that embodying Naledi has thrown me. I'm growing, and she's teaching me a lot and I think that's what I enjoy the most."
Feeling the pressure
While Noge is no stranger to telenovelas, she admits she felt the pressure of working on The Wife at the beginning. However, she says the basics she was taught as an artist were her saving grace.
"I felt burdened, but then you have to implement the basics in a situation like this. The moment I implemented those things, I started realising to live in the moment. You just give what you can give today, honour the story today, honour your scenes today and don't think about how you want to make it bigger because that's where we get it wrong."
"If I think about it that way, my focus is too much on the end and not what each step has to give me. I've grown to take each day as it comes and give my best because if I do that, it will be good."
Watch The Wife season 3 on Showmax. Three episodes every Thursday, from 10 November 2022.