Amrain Is­mail-Es­sop, plays the role of Saluni in TheWhaleCaller

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - @PLAY -

How did you pre­pare for such a com­plex char­ac­ter? I ex­pe­ri­enced a dev­as­tat­ing heart­break just weeks be­fore au­di­tion­ing. I was able to tap into that raw pain – a pain we all ex­pe­ri­ence at some point in our lives. So in pre­par­ing for the role, I opened my­self up to all the wounds and al­lowed it to flow through. What about Saluni speaks to you? I adore Saluni; I love her pas­sion and her in­sane mo­ments of in­hi­bi­tion. Yet I was drawn to her so mag­net­i­cally be­cause of her girl­ish vul­ner­a­bil­ity and the strug­gle she goes through liv­ing with it. She’s an im­mensely com­plex char­ac­ter, and I loved that. What was it like work­ing with the di­rec­tor Zola Maseko and ac­tor Sello Maake Ka-Ncube? Zola is deeply in­tro­spec­tive and un­der­stands the sen­si­tiv­ity of the piece. Sello is grace­ful and calm. Both were deeply com­mit­ted to the project. The sched­ule was gru­elling; how­ever with the team we had, we made a beau­ti­ful film. Other than act­ing, what are you pas­sion­ate about? My daugh­ter. I was blessed with her and she is my pas­sion. I love ten­nis and na­ture; I spend week­ends on the court, by the sea or on the moun­tain.

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