Angelique Pretorius is an international actress with experience in theatre, television, film, radio and modeling. Born in London and raised in South Africa, Angelique discovered her love for the performing arts in high school. Her natural beauty, acting talent and lust for life made it nearly impossible for her not to pursue a career in drama, and after a year of cross-continental travel she completed an Honours degree in theatre and performance at UCT.
Ophelia in Geoffrey Highland's Hamlet and several theatre awards later she moved to television appearing in TV series such as Snitch II, House of Love, Kruispad and Rough (UK) with soap roles in Villa Rosa, Egoli and sitcoms, Madam & Eve and Rasdien.
Her feature film debut came in 2009 with Tornado and the Kalahari Horse Whisperer, a film by Regardt van den Berg. She followed this up with a starring role as Petro in Willie Esterhuizen's comedy Stoute Boudjies and then as Marcia in international biopic Winnie, directed by Darrel Roodt. Angelique has already worked with some of South Africa's best known directors, demonstrating her versatility by bridging comedy and drama.
Several film roles, expansive TV, commercial and voice artist experience and featured in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World in 2010 and in 2011... Angelique Pretorius is an international star on the rise. SPL!NG managed to catch up with her to find out about her personal taste when it comes to movies.
"... it felt like I’d been living in their world for a lifetime!"
[on watching The NeverEnding Story as a child]
I can't watch movies without...
- …being comfortable. I need warmth, a comfortable seat - whether it’s in a cinema, on my couch or in bed, a snack of some kind and preferably good company to discuss the movie afterwards.
Which famous people share your birthday?
- I feel honoured to share a birthday with two super ladies, Kathleen Turner and Paula Abdul! Kathleen Turner rose to fame when I was still a toddler trying to string proper sentences together, but she sure made an impact on the rest of the world in films like Jewel of the Nile and Romancing the Stone, in which she lit up the screen with Michael Douglas.
I also missed Paula Abdul’s glory days, except her hit Opposites Attract, which I thought (at age 10) had great lyrics! Since then Kathleen Turner has many awards and nominations under her belt and Paula Abdul has become known as a kind, passionate and somewhat emotional judge on American Idol. (19 June)
What is the first film you remember watching?
- The NeverEnding Story – wow, what an impression it made! The soundtrack still floats around in my head. It was so magical to experience this wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a dusty old book in a library. I particularly loved the white “dragon-dog” that the boy, Bastion, flew during his quest to save Fantasia from 'The Nothing', a void of darkness.
At the end of the film when Bastion faces the Empress who reveals that all but a grain of sand has been consumed by 'The Nothing' it felt like I’d been living in their world for a lifetime! I remember being so relieved that Bastion’s wishes and imagination could restore the world to its former glory. What an incredible way to introduce kids to books and to encourage them to express their imagination - something many adults can also learn from!
What's the worst movie you've ever seen?
- Debbie does Dallas… no, just joking, that was strangely entertaining and I don’t even know if that counts as a movie. The worst ‘real’ movie I’ve seen could easily be Birdemic: Shock and Horror. It was meant to be a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and tells a story of romance between a couple, while their town is attacked by birds.
Its wooden acting, bad dialogue, amateurish sound and editing and nonsensical plot secured it a cult following for all the wrong reasons. Not to mention its poorly rendered CGI special effects used for the eagles and vultures that perform physically awkward aerial maneuvers and explode upon impact on the ground. Yikes, to be avoided at all costs!
Which movies have made you tearful?
- Oh so many! When I finished studying drama and had to enter the real world I noticed how often women had to cry while acting – something we never really got taught at varsity. And because at that point I didn’t cry too often, I decided to use movies as my own private time to get those tear ducts working, so that when it came to crying in a scene I was more open emotionally.
Well, I haven’t looked back! Recent movies I‘ve cried in were Roepman, a story of an Afrikaans railway community in 1966, seen through the eyes of an eleven year old, Pan’s Labyrinth, a Spanish fantasy movie that creates a stark contrast between a little girl’s harsh reality and her own fantasy world, White Oleander, about a young girl’s survival after her mom (Michelle Pfeiffer) goes to jail for murder; and Cheri, another movie starring the beautiful and talented Michelle Pfeiffer, whose character, despite social disapproval in 19th Century France, falls in love with the 19 year old son of a courtesan - a stunning movie, but you can just imagine how that one ended.
Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?
- I met Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson while shooting Winnie with her last year. I played one of her friends while we attended the ‘Hofmeyer School for Social Work’. It was an incredible experience - can’t wait for it to be released!
What's your favourite movie line?
- I’m a fan of many of Zoolander’s quotes, but this must be my favourite because it always makes me laugh and captures the humour and characters so well.
Mr Zoolander: "I just thank the lord she didn't live to see her son as a mermaid."
Derek Zoolander: "Mer-man! [high-pitched cough] ... Merman!"
As Good as it Gets has a magnificent script in terms of its dialogue, characters and structure and this quote is an example of that:
Melvin Udall: Never, never, interrupt me, okay? Not if there's a fire, not even if you hear the sound of a thud from my home and one week later there's a smell coming from there that can only be a decaying human body and you have to hold a hanky to your face because the stench is so thick that you think you're going to faint. Even then, don't come knocking. Or, if it's election night, and you're excited and you wanna celebrate because some fudgepacker that you date has been elected the first queer president of the United States and he's going to have you down to Camp David, and you want someone to share the moment with. Even then, don't knock. Not on this door. Not for ANY reason. Do you get me, sweetheart?
Simon Bishop: [clears his throat] Uhm, yes. It's not a... subtle point that you're making.
Melvin Udall: Okay then.
[Shuts door in Simon's face]
Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?
- Since I’ll be much older by the time a biopic will made about me - hold thumbs!?, I’ll have to consider younger actresses. If a South African actress was to play me I would go with Dinike Stolz, who played my 7 year old daughter in Egoli in 2009. If it had to be an American actress, I’d love Dakota Fanning to do it. They both resemble me physically, remind me of myself at their respective ages and they’re both wonderful actresses!
If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?
- I would love to adapt the book Devil’s Valley by Andre P. Brink into a feature. It was originally written in Afrikaans and called Duiwelskloof, I studied it for English Literature at the University of Cape Town and fell in love with the story. It’s about a community in a place called Die Hel and tells the story of a cynical photographer who enters this community and starts to unravel their dark, dysfunctional side - an amazing read, with huge cinematic potential!
Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...
- American Beauty ...I just loved how this movie subtly reveals the cracks in the ‘All-American dream’ in a universal way that makes us feel like we all share certain human weaknesses. Seemingly normal characters are revealed to be stunningly complex in a way that surprises the audience. Kevin Spacey, the most conventional you’ll ever see him, pitches his character perfectly as a father who loses interest in his family while he goes through a midlife crises. Annette Bening also blew me away with her portrayal of his wife who’s desperate to keep up appearances while trying to survive in her unraveling world. I thought it was beautifully shot and really captures the irony of American culture.
- Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & 2 ...Girls kicking each other’s asses samurai style is certainly not something you see everyday! Kill Bill’s comic book characters, stylized cinematography, hip East-meets-West soundtrack, incredible fight scenes, manga animation inserts and clever storyline comes together beautifully to tell a story of revenge. Uma Thurman has always been one of my favourite actresses and in this she plays ‘the deadliest woman in the world’, going about her assassination list in a daring and dignified way. It’s not surprising that both Uma and the film were nominated for several awards. This must be Quentin Tarantino’s finest work!
- The Big Lebowski ...Where do I begin? This is the type of movie that grows on me every time I see it. The script is so rich that it seems to reveal new dialogue and humour with every watch. I absolutely love Jeff Bridges in this and the comical contrast between him, the Dude and the real Lebowski, is wonderfully entertaining. The Dude’s loser friends that take bowling to the next level, help shape his peculiar, but strangely functional world. John Goodman, who plays his irritating best friend, has no social graces whatsoever, but is absolutely hilarious as his intensity plays off the laidback Dude as he faces a series of predicaments. The Coen brothers’s bizarre sense of humour yet again takes shape in this true piece of art!
- Amores Perros (Love's a Bitch) ...I found the interwoven story lines of this Mexican film by Alejandro González Iñárritu extremely compelling, despite it’s heavy content. Three characters are introduced in their respective contexts and only later in the movie is their connection revealed. All three story lines are in some way related to dogs (thus the title) and explores humanity’s relationship with them, both good and bad.
Gael Garcia Bernal plays Octavio who’s in love with his brother’s wife and gets into the dog fighting trade to save money for them to run away together. It was my first encounter with this actor and I’ve been following his career ever since. The ensemble and raw film-making style of this breathtaking story shook me to the bone.
- 21 Grams ...This is another film by Alejandro González Iñárritu, but it’s set in an American context. This time scenes play out sequentially with three unrelated characters and later reveal the connection between them. Shaun Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts are all exquisite in their dramatic roles, shaping a tragic, clever and moving story around a heart-transplant.
- Roepman ...Roepman was an unexpected gem for me. It’s a beautiful, sensitive adaptation of Jan van Tonder's acclaimed novel about a young boy's coming-of-age in a railway community in the 1960’s. Seen through the eyes of 11 year old Thimus (Paul Loots) we experience the good and the bad of a society that’s restricted in many ways. The large amount of content from the various character’s storylines makes the story rich, but never crammed. I was truly impressed by and proud of this delicate, yet powerful South African production.
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona ...This Woody Allen hit was a real treat to watch. The plot centers on two American women, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johanssen), who spend a summer in Barcelona, where they meet an artist (Javier Bardem) who is attracted to both of them while still in love with his mentally and emotionally unstable ex-wife María Elena (Penelope Cruz). The narration of this film was playfully sincere and made the audience view these characters through a humorous lens, despite their own seriousness. I just loved it!
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ...What an amazing concept! And how impressive that we live in an age where advanced film technology is able to make this 1920’s F. Scott Fitzgerald fable come to life on screen! It’s a story of a man, born in his eighties, who ages backwards while those around him age naturally. Romance can only be transient and ever-lasting love only a dream under these conditions. And that for me was the most poignant aspect of the film - Benjamin’s solitary existence. Huge kudos to Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett for their terrific performances! The dynamic of their relationship was layered and intricate, as shown at the various points of the film. This movie was both haunting and mesmerisingly beautiful!
- Zoolander ...As far as comedies go I think Ben Stiller is a master in writing, directing and acting in them. What better protagonist than a vain, clueless male fashion model at the end of his career? This movie earns laughs, because, despite its deliberately dumb humour, the content rings true. I particulary love the modelling montages thrown in every now and then (at the car wash and the mine). This movie probably also resonates with me because I work in that exact industry, where reality checks are always healthy.
- Jean de Florette & Manon de Source ...This is another ‘two for one’ pic as these two films were shot simultaneously and tell one continuous story. I watched them for the first time when I was in primary school, but the epic story, subtitles and all, made such an impression on me that it has always stayed with me.
Watching it again the other day I was hit by the same powerful emotions that are evoked by this unusual rural French tale. The first movie involves the plotting of a farmer and his cunning uncle, as they work to subtly drive a young city man, named Jean (Gerard Depardieu) off the plot of land he has inherited from his mother, Florette. The second movie takes place 10 years later and involves Jean's daughter, a beautiful, but shy shepherdess, who solves the mystery of what happened to her father and deals justice to the village that condemned him. It’s a story of obsession, jealousy, betrayal, regret and triumph with twists in the plotline that flabbergasts its audience.
CREDIT ROLL: Photography - Casey Crafford
Top Ten Movies with... is a people series on SPL!NG, featuring a host of celebrities ranging from up-and-coming to established personalities from all industries including, but not limited to: Internet, Radio, TV, Film, Music, Art and Entrepreneurs. It's a chance to discover who they are, find out where they're at and to get a fun inside look at their taste in movies.
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