Charmaine Bingwa talks Little Sista web series and more in new interview

Photo Credit: Paul Smith @paulsmithphotography
Photo Credit: Paul Smith @paulsmithphotography /

In anticipation of her web series’ release, Charmaine Bingwa sat down with us to discuss the inner-makings of Little Sista. At the same time, Bingwa provided a bit of insight into her other upcoming movie roles.

Theatergoers will certainly recognize the name Charmaine Bingwa. She’s done some amazing work in the industry, garnering several awards in the process, but Bingwa hasn’t yet made an impact in the television/movie industry. Fortunately, that’s about to change.

With Bingwa’s web series, Little Sista, close to its release, fans will soon know Bingwa’s name quite well. One might argue that it’s too premature to make such a bold statement but it’s not. The series hasn’t even premiered yet and Little Sista has already garnered a number of awards/nominations. That alone should give people a reason to watch. But if it doesn’t, Bingwa’s additional comments about the web series that she wrote, directed, and produced, will.

When we sat down with Bingwa to discuss the Little Sista web series, we asked her a variety of questions related to the plot, along with a deeper look into the characters of said series. There are only a few characters to speak of but they’re all worth digging into.

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Who is Charmaine playing in the Little Sista web series?

For instance, Charmaine Bingwa is playing a character of the same name on Little Sista. This obviously drew our attention so we had to ask Bingwa about that aspect of her character. When we did, Bingwa explained that the name is just that, a name. She added that while the Charmaine of Little Sista is in no way a reflection of her today, the character does somewhat echo who she was during her early 20’s.

Another aspect of Bingwa’s character that we had delved into is Charmaine’s phobia of commitments. Descriptions of the series call her a commitment-phobe but that could have any number of connotations to it. So, when we asked Bingwa to elaborate a bit on that aspect, the answer came down to a realization we should all pay attention to.

Bingwa went to explain that in today’s society, disposable relationships are quite commonplace. People are breaking off relationships much more frequently and marriages are being held off until later in life, if at all. The point she tried to drive across here was that fear of commitment prevents people from making lasting connections. However, Bingwa added that as humans, we are social creatures who desire a deep connection with someone even if our actions say otherwise.

As for Charmaine’s developing mentorship with Lucy (Neila Manson), Bingwa also commented on how their roles are reversed. Unlike most mentor-mentoree partnerships, it’s the little sister mentoring the big sister. She explained that Charmaine shows Lucy exactly what not to do, which in a way, does teach Lucy. Of course, Charmaine learns just as much from Lucy so the mentoring goes both ways.

Charmaine Bingwa also opened up about her upcoming role in Nekromancer

In addition to commenting on the Little Sista web series, Charmaine Bingwa also took the time to talk with us about her role in this year’s Nekromancer. She couldn’t tell us too much what with the movie being shrouded in secrecy but she said enough to tease her character’s role.

As for Bingwa’s character, she’s playing the possessed version of Finnigan. Bingwa explained that she isn’t portraying the actual Finnigan but the version of her that becomes host to a demon. Bingwa couldn’t say add anything else but did mention she performed most of her character’s fight choreography. Now, that might not tell us too much but it does reveal Possessed Finnigan’s prominent role in the action.

Charmaine Bingwa will also be featured in The Pitch (2018)

For the final portion of our interview with Charmaine Bingwa, we briefly asked her about the character she’s playing in The Pitch. In that film, Bingwa will portray Summer Akers, a hot yoga teacher.

When we asked Bingwa to elaborate a bit on who her character is, she could only add that Summer is a yogi who might have a bit of an obsession with her guru. Bingwa didn’t use the word “obsession” to describe Summer but being too devoted is just one peg down from obsession. Keep in mind that there’s likely more to Summer than just hot yoga and her guru.

To close out our discussion, Bingwa left us with a hint at the next project she’s involved with. She’ll apparently be playing Lee in a short called Cairos. It’s currently in pre-production so details are scarce but we should hear more about it soon enough, especially with Cairos winning awards for Best Screenplay before its initial release.

Check out the fully transcribed version of our interview with Charmaine Bingwa below:

Hidden Remote: Charmaine, for the Little Sista web series, you’re playing a character of the same name. Is this a fictional version of yourself, or just a character who happens to have the name Charmaine, too?

Charmaine Bingwa: Thankfully it’s just a character with the same name! I’m not a commitment-phobe, irresponsible or enjoy playing-the-field! She does look like she has a lot of fun though! She perhaps echoes a version of myself in my early 20’s, but I’m actually super-structured and quite analytical in my own life.

HR: On Little Sista, your character is described as a commitment-phobe. Could you tell me a little about the backstory there?

Bingwa: I think it’s a more prevalent mode of behavior these days – we have more choices than ever, people are getting married later if at all, more relationships break up… so I was fascinated by this concept of disposable relationships in modern society. Especially because we humans are social creatures, so I think deep down everyone has a yearning for some type of deep connection. And I guess the series hypothesis is are those who are most resistant, those who crave it the most (and have also been hurt the most)?

HR: The name of the web-series gives us an idea of what your character does on the show, but how would you describe the relationship between your character, Charmaine, and Lucy (Neila Manson)?

Bingwa: I think it’s the reverse of a typical mentoring relationship. Charmaine’s one job is to be a role model to good behavior to Lucy, but instead, she shows her what not to do. Lucy is the child that is neglected at home and needs love, but conversely, she teaches Charmaine how to love again. But the relationship is heartwarming because their care for each other helps them navigate and accept one another’s flaws. Off camera, Neila was really the mature one too sometimes! And I think she did an astonishing job that far outweighs her eleven years of age.

HR:  Follow-up question if not answered already, do you think Lucy and Charmaine are mentoring each other?

Bingwa: I think Lucy does the lion share of the mentoring, although Charmaine does eventually come to the party. It’s the reversal of expectation I think is the comedic juice of the show.

HR: How does Charmaine’s girlfriend factor into Little Sista?

Bingwa: She is definitely a foil who shows us everything Charmaine can’t accept at the moment – stability, peace, patience, unconditional love, tolerance and an opportunity at an adult life. She is played by the ever-wonderful Jac Marriott.

HR: As for the other projects you’re working on. You’re starring in the sci-fi comedy, Nekromancer, and you’ll be playing Possessed Finnigan. Is she an individual character or is she simply the possessed version of someone else?

Bingwa:  She is a possessed version of someone else, which was so fun to play as an actor because of the otherworldly nature. I ended up doing a lot of my fight choreography and stunts which I just LOVED! It took 3 hours in make-up to get me to look like a dead woman walking. But. So. Much. Fun!

HR: For your part in The Pitch, you play a character by the name of Summer Akers. What can you tell me about her?

Bingwa: Summer Akers is a yoga teacher who is a little too devoted to her guru. She is crazy and extreme, so it was a lot of fun! There were some great comedic notes to hit.

HR:  Is there anything you’d like to add about your role in The Pitch?

Bingwa: We shot in an actual hot yoga studio which made it feel so real.

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HR: For our final question. Are there any other projects you’re working on, apart from what was mentioned already?

Bingwa: I’m working on a brilliant LGBTI short called Cairos, written by Zach Paul Brown, that has already won awards for Best Screenplay. We are currently in pre-production for it and I’m beyond excited to be playing the role of Lee and to be part of something I think will be beautifully brilliant.

Little Sista premieres on The Revry network in June 2018. The Pitch releases on June 1, 2018. Nekromancer’s release date is TBA.