An influential new character arrives on Generations:The Legacy soon and he's bringing a whole world of drama with him.
Terence Bridgett (Isidingo, 90 Plein Street, High Rollers, Binnelanders) makes his debut as Michael Phillips on World Aids Day (Friday, 1 December) and today we're pleased to present you with the 411 on him.
TVSA caught up with Terence and Gen's publicist Gaaratwe Mokhethi and we discovered these interesting things:
Michael is the CEO of Infrastructure Development Bank A.K.A. he's a financial hotshot. He has two daughters, Pam and Zoe, and a grandson Brandon.
He's driven by a combined passion for his family and his job.
As CEO of Infrastructure, he's been tasked with turning around the country's economy and he has a genuine desire to create as much employment as possible in underdeveloped areas.
His mission is to create jobs across the country, especially in rural areas, so his intentions are Good.
BUT... then he meets Jack.
Be warned Michael! Jack will change you
Jack approaches Michael because he wants moolah of course. He wants funding for a development project and gets very overly-involved with Michael as a result.
Jack's impact on Michael will change who Michael is because he upholds his morals to start with and then little by little he starts to compromise them and gets Jacked into being corrupted.
Why doesn't his wife save him?!
Because she isn't anywhere to be seen. He's a single dad, who's raised his daughters alone.
We've been snooping for goss about her and suspect she could arrive in the future. If she does, we have no doubt she's going to be trouble.
Behind-the-scenes elbow grease
You know a character has clout when a show builds an entire new set for them.
Generations has built a set for Michael's house, where he lives with his daughters and Brandon. Word from Terence is that it has a mix of masculine and feminine influences to convey Michael's masculinity mixed with his daughters' input.
The wardrobe department has also gone all out. The show's Wardrobe Mistress Natalie Lundon has been researching the suits that top flying international businessmen wear and all of Michael's suits have been tailor made to reflect these trends so keep a lookout for his pricey threads.
When multiple worlds collide
Michael's daughters and grandson are keys in the show's storylines.
His one daughter is a journalist and the other is a wild child so both of these concepts are going to be explored through the storylines and Michael.
The show's also going explore autism through his 16-year-old grandson Brandon.
So who's playing them?!
The show's very hush-hush about this for now and keeping it under tight wraps. You know how secretive these soapies can be.
When age is a number
Terence is 42 and Michael is 56 which means that Gen and Terence are using various make-up, hair and acting techniques to convey this. Michael is a Grey Fox.
When language is music
He also speaks English, Afrikaans and Zulu. Terence has played multi-lingual English/Afrikaans/Zulu speakers in the past but he's brought out the big guns for Michael who speaks Zulu and English in his scenes with Jack.
We asked Terence about his acting process for this and he told us that he's approached it by studying the grammar and structure of the language and by working with others.
...is that a demon we see in Michael?
Terence: There are people who helped me with the... you know, language is such a musical thing.
It's not necessarily about the words or the way the word is written, it's about the elision between words, which vowels do you drop, which vowels do you use. What "k" becomes a "g", the actual speech of the langauge I've been learning from colleagues.
The cast helps me, my hairstylist helps me, Vusi Kunene (Jack) is incredibly helpful. I've asked him to be the watchdog and tell me when it sucks.*laughs*
Oh yes, Michael has an inner demon. We can't say what it is so as not to spoil things for you but let's just say it lives with him every day.
Home Sweet Home
Terence told us that he feels chillaxed on the Gen' set because of his history with the cast and crew. Generations Head Writer Collin Oliphant wrote the role of Michael for him and he's written other roles for Terence in the past, including Nathan on 90 Plein Street.
Terence: "He understands me and I speak Collin. It's also like going home in a way because I know the crew from Isidingo days.
Rapulana Seiphemo (Tau) and Manaka Ranaka (Lucy) and I all started on isidingo so it's incredibly comfortable. It's like getting into an old pair of slippers, I feel very much at home there, I don't feel like a newbie."