Nothing says festive season cheer like a romantic comedy with a captivating storyline that instils lots of belly laughs.
After their successful Netflix film Seriously Single the Ramaphakela siblings will return this festive season with their trademark humour in a new three-episode series, How To Ruin Christmas The Wedding.
Expect action packed episodes with witty performance by a cast of new faces, popular talent and industry veterans. The Netflix Originals holiday special will premier in December, just before Christmas.
Glamour chats to lead actress Thando Thabethe about making the series.
GLAMOUR: Congratulations! What a way to end the year!
Thando Thabethe: It’s huge! I think it’s beautiful that the world will get to see what Africa and South Africa has to offer. I’m really, really excited about it. I applaud the level of production coming out of Africa. It’s about time we made the world a smaller place.
GLAMOUR:Being on a Netflix Originals series is huge; its reach puts you on the global stage. What does that mean to you, and your industry in general?
Thando: What it means to me is that I’ve taken a leap of faith to have this be my sole focus, and being on the global stage is definitely part of the plan. I hope to do more. No, a lot more! This year’s been pretty fantastic. I’m really excited about everything that’s happened with Housekeepers, which recently went into production on Mnet. Then there’s Blood Psalms, which I also did this year. Being part of How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding is incredible. It’s been an incredible year, in fact. I’m fortunate considering the year it’s been.
GLAMOUR: What are your production highlights from the series?
Thando: It was the entire thing. It was interesting. I think it could’ve been a movie in its own right. We filmed the series inside a bubble, in a hotel for five weeks. We had no contact with the outside world – we couldn’t even go to the shops. I think what that did was create a tight-knit circle, a greater production. We all got close, and the relationships you see on screen became true reflections. It was one big, fat party, much like a wedding. Being stuck together was a highlight.
We had great conversations, able to come back from a day of shooting and just unwind with real people. The show in itself is beautiful; the experience was magical.
GLAMOUR: Your role as a bride in the comedy series is an emotional rollercoaster. How did you prepare for that?
Thando: I’m the one who sticks to the script and tries to walk in the shoes of my characters. I try not to diverge from that, but I think that with any story, and in real life, we can all borrow from each other, so I sometimes borrow from my experiences.
GLAMOUR: Describe the series in four words.
Thando: You were never ready.
GLAMOUR: What is it about?
Thando: It’s a story of acceptance; accepting yourself and others just as they are. And the fact that nobody’s perfect because people make mistakes. Sometimes, they lie to protect other people.
GLAMOUR: How will you spend the festive season?
Thando: I’ll be spending it with friends and family as I do every year. It’s a time for togetherness.
GLAMOUR: Eight things to know about How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding
Thando: 1. It’ll be available to stream on Netflix globally in December, in over 190 countries.
2. Series logline: When family rebel, Tumi Sello, begrudgingly joins her dysfunctional family for the first Christmas holiday in years, it’s not the merry return of the prodigal daughter everyone was hoping for.
She manages to ruin her younger sister’s Christmas wedding before it even takes place, and spends the next few days frantically trying to get things back on track.
3. It’s an all-African production with an all-African cast and crew. The three-part holiday special’s cast includes Busisiwe Lurayi, who plays Tumi Sello, and Thando Thabethe who plays her perfect sister Beauty.
4. The Wedding was in production from 17 August until 14 September, and was shot on location at The Four Seasons Westcliff Hotel during the global pandemic.
5. The series was a Covid-conscious production. The cast and crew quarantined for two weeks before production began, and lived in the same venue for the entire duration of the shoot.
In Rethabile Ramaphakela’s words, ‘We were tested upon check-in and were isolated to our rooms until medical professionals released our test results.
Then, we worked and integrated according to ‘bubble zones. Also, we adhered to the set rules of no more than 37 people on the shooting floor, and observed social distancing protocols.’
6. Expect guest appearances from Mpho Popps, Langa Mavuso, Katt Ramaphakela and DBN Gogo.
7. Langa Mavuso performed the wedding song ‘Mvula
(Rain)’ live on set. His touching performance moved the cast and crew.
8. Expect to see brilliant fashion from some of South Africa’s top designers, including Bryant Moore, Orapaleng Modutle, Rich Mnisi and Indoni House of Fashion.
Don’t miss the premiere of How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding on Netflix, on the 16th of December.