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Exclusive Q&A with The Honeymoon cast members, Tumi Morake and Kajal Bagwandeen ahead of the premiere

The Honeymoon tells the story of three best friends who jet off on an unexpected island holiday after one of them is left jilted by her fiancé the night before her wedding. Directed by Bianca Isaac and produced by Gregory Mthanji, starring Kajal Bagwandeen, Tumi Morake and Minnie Dlamini.

The Honeymoon is set to premiere on the big screen nationwide on Friday 31 March. We caught up with leading ladies, Tumi Morake and Kajal Bagwandeen who are part of a stellar ensemble.

Glamour: How much fun was it shooting The Honeymoon?

Tumi Morake: It was a lot of fun! Time of my life OMG!!! Nothing can go wrong when working with beautiful & profound females.

Kajal Bagwandeen: There were many fun moments with such an incredibly hard-working, talented team and cast but overall it was a lot of intense work. Shooting a feature between 2 countries during COVID was nothing short of stressful.

Glamour: Let’s talk about the stunning location?

Tumi: We got so busy that it was hard to appreciate the country but with the little time we got, we would have so much fun sightseeing, restaurants hopping just trying out different cuisines and yes, I almost got in trouble with my dietitian.

Kajal: Durban and Zanzibar are both lush, beautiful, tropical places that are a feast for the eyes coupled with a melting pot of cultures. Durban is my home & Zanzibar is undoubtedly one of my favourite destinations in the world.

Glamour: How would you describe the synergy with your fellow cast members?

Tumi: It felt like reuniting with friends I hadn’t seen in YEARS. We got each other, played a lot and carried each other on tough days. Let’s just say a sisterhood was built for life, that kind of bad boys forever type of “brotherhood”/ love.

Kajal: Off screen the three of us got on like a house on fire! On screen, it looked very much the same! As actors, we have a professional responsibility to give our best in terms of our roles- which was made easier by working with actors who respected each other & shared a common goal.

Glamour: What themes are explored in the movie and why is this an important story to tell?

Tumi: Friendship. Love. Comedy.

Kajal: Themes of self-discovery, self-love, friendship, mother-children dynamics and embracing change to name a few. It’s important because it’s so real and relatable.

Glamour: Please talk to us about your character and the dynamic she adds to the story?

Tumi: Well Noks, is a wild child in the group. She’s always one bad decision from an adventure.

Kajal: Kat is a fashion designer who is talented but is unaware that she allows certain people in her life to hold her back- in more aspects than just her career. Kat, including Nox and Lu unknowingly embark on an adventure of self-discovery.

Glamour: How is this role from any other role you’ve played?

Tumi: I’d gladly say people like seeing the crazy, comedic, fun side of Tumi. I would say, in most of the projects, I’ve sort of ended up with characters that are similar and truly enjoy.

Kajal: It’s the first role I’ve played after becoming a mother. When you birth the “one who made you mama” you too are reborn in many ways - so navigating this role through a new set of eyes was both exciting & nerve wracking. It automatically offers you more depth as a person and in turn as an actor, I now have so much more to experiment and play with.

Glamour: What sort of challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

Tumi: I had just come out of surgery and on certain days I’d have to ask my cast to bear with me and they carried me through it. The director too was understanding, caring and being a mother to her three daughters.

Kajal: Working in front of the camera and behind the scenes as a producer and casting director brings with it its own challenges. When the shoot day ends, the work behind the scenes continues & there were many curve balls thrown at us. We rolled with the punches and got through it!

My biggest challenge on this set was related to my motherhood. My son was born at home in May 2020 so ever since then we had a wonderful opportunity to cocoon and bond. And it so happened that this was the first time I worked such long hours away from him. The night shoots were the hardest because I would get back at 4.30am- shower & jump into bed with him, then he would be awake at 7am and so would I, and then off to work again at 4pm for many consecutive nights.

When this film was on the cards, I planned to take my son along with me- wherever we were shooting. Due to COVID we moved the shoot dates many times and also moved locations. When our Zanzibar dates where confirmed - due to unforeseen circumstances I couldn’t take my son along - with a broken heart, I had to leave him at home. But it was the best decision for him.

Glamour: What is the thought process behind choosing a role?

Tumi: I love a role that I can ground somewhere in myself. There are actors who love to extend themselves, I like to find extensions of myself. After all it is not playing pretend, it is living in a manufactured reality. This role read like a wild romp and I knew I was going to have the time of my life.

Kajal: When the opportunity to choose arises- Does it excite the actor in me? Or touch me personally? What is she like in relation to the other characters and to the story? Sometimes a character resonates with you immediately and you just know!

Glamour: Are there any funny anecdotes you’d like to share about your experience in the film?

Tumi: Lol, I’m not proud of what I’m about to say but I fell asleep in the middle of the shooting, my word that “Action” shout was such a loud alarm that would throw me off the bed.

Kajal: I’m still breastfeeding my son so has to pump regularly on set. Often the director would be looking for KAT and very casually someone would alert one of the AD’s - “Kat’s pumping, KAT’s pumping” And that was just the norm- how wonderful! I’m grateful that me taking time to do that was treated with respect and I felt supported as an actor and as a mother on this set. Funny thing- I pumped so much breast milk in Zanzibar and couldn’t freeze and take it back - so I just used it to cleanse my face and somewhat shower with! Can’t waste liquid gold now can you?!

Glamour: Who are the women on your radar at the moment?

Tumi:Thuso Mbedu flying the SA flag high and going beyond the acting. Tyla for her steady rise internationally.

Kajal: In our industry it would have to be Bianca Isaac who as a director and a producer is doing some truly groundbreaking things in film and in development.

Glamour: In a nutshell, what can audiences look forward to when the movie premieres on the 31st of March?

Tumi: Nostalgia about getting into trouble with your friends and wild girls’ trips and an appreciation of how gorgeous our continent is.

Kajal: Fun, laughter, tears, riveting moments, a beautiful film & a heart-warming story.

Watch the trailer here

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