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Greg Kriek on 'n Man Soos My Pa

Greg Kriek has about nine films slated for release in 2015/2016, which just goes to show how busy this up-and-coming South African actor and producer has become. Internationally, his role in Momentum as Mr. Monroe, opposite the likes of Olga Kurylenko and Morgan Freeman, is going to draw some attention and back home his career's also gaining momentum playing the lead role of Juan, among an ensemble of South Africa's finest, in 'n Man Soos My Pa, which opens 20 November.

Greg Kriek - 'n Man Soos My Pa

How did you get involved in this project?

It was the traditional way - got asked to audition and worked my way through the callbacks and ended up booking the job. However the moment I heard about what the movie was about, I knew I wanted to be part of this. The content was something that resonated so deeply with me and I knew I wanted to do a film about family reconciliation.

The film deals with the devastating consequences of addiction. Have you witnessed something similar with close friends or family in your life?

I have definitely witnessed the consequences of addiction and what happens when issues do not get resolved and emotions are suppressed for a long period of time. This is where the power of 'n Man Soos My Pa lies - in that it spares no punches in addressing addiction.

The story is full of heartache... how did you prepare for your role?

I looked at all the areas in my life where I got hurt and humiliated as a child. I also went through the process of looking at all the areas where I may have blamed my parents for things I did not completely understand growing up. Everyone tries to do their best given the circumstances, in most cases. I also had to learn how to play piano for this role and to inhabit a character that finds himself in an opposite natural emotional state to mine. It was a great challenge but so rewarding.

What would you say is the underlying message in this drama?

I took many things from this film, but the saying that blood is thicker than water definitely hits home.

How do you think audiences will respond to this film?

I think this is the kind of film that is going to strike a very deep chord in many families - all families have their skeletons - and this is the kind of film that can kick-start the healing process or at least get the conversation going.

The ensemble is made up of some of South Africa's finest acting talent... who were you most excited to work with?

It was a tremendous honor getting to work with South African veterans - I worked most closely with Albert Maritz, Sandra Prinsloo, Elma Postma and Shimmy Isaacs and not only was it an enriching experience, but I learned so much from all of them in terms of work ethic and commitment.

What was it like working with Sean Else?

He is a master storyteller - so specific in what he wants and how he goes about getting it. I learnt so much from him in terms of serving the story first and foremost as an actor. I have just come off working with him again on Blood and Glory and I have no doubt that Sean is about to send shock waves globally.

You've played English and Afrikaans characters, are you bilingual?

Yes I am fully bilingual- even though I dream in English. I had English and Afrikaans as a 1st language throughout my schooling and university career.

Can you play the piano and sing like Juan? Any consideration around releasing an album?

Haha, I actually had to learn how to play piano for the role, which was quite daunting, but I am very glad people were impressed in the end. When it comes to the singing, I used to sing in a band, but seeing that people have given positive feedback I may have to consider getting into studio and picking up the mic again!