Generations: The Legacy Teasers
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Your definitive guide to Generations' Michael Phillips

Written by TVSA Team from the blog Generations Teasers on 09 Nov 2017
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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's world

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.

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* that a demon we see in Michael?

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."

Shows in this post: Generations

Channels in this post: SABC1


09 Nov 2017 13:52

Wow i think i am going to love this new family .i am glad the show has brought in a coloured family to spice things up .

09 Nov 2017 15:05

This was a VERY interesting read. I'm guessing Michael will be around for while since the producers are going all out for him. Can't wait to see his kids. Good for Gen for tackling autism. Maybe he can find love with Tshidi who is single lol.

09 Nov 2017 15:06

*a while

10 Nov 2017 10:05

interesting hope nicci from #Suidooster can one of the daughter's .im sure the wife will follow just like nandi did on jack. my of her daughters will be with mazwi/fana

10 Nov 2017 13:58

I agree @Qavi! One of his girls should end up with Mazwi.

10 Nov 2017 19:10

I'm SUPER excited guys! It's always a pleasure to have such great talent on my favourite TV show. Thank TVSA Team. You're the best.

10 Nov 2017 19:57

But why did they make the idea of him speaking Zulu when it is clear that he doesn't use the language in his everyday life? Gadaffi and Tau don't speak zulu with Jack, not even Smanga. So why should Michael? Lol, now we are going to have people ranting on twitter about how terrible his Zulu is.

10 Nov 2017 22:23

@show-time Amen to that. Why force the Zulu thing when so much Zulu is already spoken on the show? I mean is he gonna suck at Zulu the way Timmy(etv Scandal) sucks at Sotho? Ag!

13 Nov 2017 15:16

>>Thank TVSA Team. You're the best<<

Cool Show Time, thanks - we appreciate it.

Regarding Zulu, Terence told us that it was his choice to speak it as part of his character realisation. Here's a quote from our chat that elaborates on this:

"It's a personal challenge for me because I don't want to get tired and stale in soap operas - I have to challenge myself. I love language and the breakdown of language."

It's definitely going to be interesting to see whether he pulls it off. It'll offer a perspective on the acting techniques involved with speaking a different langauge - what to do/ what not to do etc. As you've mentioned, other South African actors are facing the challenge too so it's become similar to an actor's portrayal of an accent. 

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