It’s a knockout – top SA drama Ring of Lies is now on Showmax

7 May 2018

It’s a knockout – top SA drama Ring of Lies is now on Showmax

Ring of Lies’ stars aren’t faking it in the boxing ring – they really know how to jab, bob and weave like pros.

“Yeah man! We had about four months of preparation before filming started on season 1,” laughs Bohang Moeko. He plays boxer Kabelo “KB” Tau on Mzansi Magic sport telenovela Ring of Lies (2016-current; Season 1 is available on Showmax) and getting into the ring isn’t something that can be faked. “That’s why we had boxing instruction – so that we can move around and make it look like we know what we’re doing. It’s hard work but I love it! The camera will pick up any mistakes and we would look silly if we didn’t train and get a feel for the sport.”

Ring of Lies Season 1 on Showmax

Watch now »

Drop and give me 50

Don’t think that throwing an air punch in front of the mirror at home means that you look like a boxer. “They have brought in actual trainers and professionals – we need to look the part and that means getting proper technique and coaching,” explains Bohang. “From push-ups to crunches and skipping … we’ve got to get it right. Boxing is a lifestyle, it’s not just something you can do a few times and ‘that’s it’.” The cast aren’t shown once and left to their own devices either. It’s a non-stop learning curve and it becomes routine, laughs Bohang. “Plus, who needs gym when you’re working on this show? You won’t believe the work-out we get – and we’re not actually doing it at the same intensity as real boxers. Those guys are crazy!”

The actors even got a refresher course before Season 2 started, and Bohang jokes that it was easy to remember everything they’d learnt, thanks to muscle memory, “But getting back in that exercise routine was a killer!” Ring of Lies’ actors have to stay in shape, and letting lose on a weekend or between seasons would wreck their on-screen appearances. “You’d be surprised about the changes that your body goes through when you’re doing a sport like boxing. And now we’re going to also be introducing mixed martial arts into the storylines, so there’s even more hard work on the way,” adds Bohang. “But you know what they say: no pain, no gain!”

Punch power

Rehearsals for the actors doesn’t just mean running through their lines; they need to know when to duck, when to swing and when to take a fall in the ring. “It’s almost like double the work,” explains Bohang, “but that’s what pushes us as professionals. It’s choreography and dialogue that are joined in this action sequence and it looks great onscreen, if I do say so myself! [Laughs]”. But there is a lot of control that goes into the fight scenes. One wrong move and someone will end up with a black eye or worse. “No one has been hurt or injured in the ring so far. We’re actually pretty good with that,” admits the actor. “And we have to be. Our bodies take a beating for our work, but nothing hectic. A few bumps and bruises didn’t kill anyone.”

Camera clashes

But it’s not about just getting the moves right as actors; getting into the ring and practising choreography makes it easier for the camera crews to know what’s going on. Camera equipment is expensive – imagine getting in the way and a misplaced punch breaking a pricey lens! That’s a definite no-no and Bohang says that the camera guys “know what is going to look good onscreen. That way, we can get our moves right and get used to them being next to us. Luckily we haven’t had any mishaps… yet!”

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