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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!

 
Antoinette Louw on 'n Man Soos My Pa


SAFTA award-winning actress, Antoinette Louw, came from a family, where both her parents were professors in psychology, which probably gave her a natural predisposition to being interested in people and their behaviour. Acting requires a deep understanding of what makes people tick and Louw has used this knowledge to augment her performances in films such as Die Laaste Tango, Discreet, Winnie Mandela and now 'n Man Soos My Pa, in which she plays young Nakkie, a mother trying to deal with her husband's alcoholism and sheltering her son from the consequences. 'n Man Soos My Pa opens nationwide in South Africa on 20 November.

Antoinette Louw as Nakkie in 'n Man Soos My Pa

How did you get involved in this project?

I was very fortunate that Sean approached me for this project and asked if I would be interested. After I read the script, I said yes immediately.

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

Yes. And I think most families/friends have. It's more common than we think, but unfortunately it's not really talked about for fear of rejection and shame.

It's a nostalgic film. Did any of the props bring back a memory or two from your past?

Absolutely. And it was wonderful. Things like the plastic containers in Nakkie's kitchen were exactly the same as the ones my mother used... I remember the cookies that were in there. A beautiful memory. And of course the music tapes! Batoni Robensin, the art director, did a magnificent job of bringing this world back to life.

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

The key is not to focus on the heartache, but on the positive qualities of the story and within the characters themselves. Otherwise they become victims, and they aren't.

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

All of us has a story, and we should be careful to judge... communication is so important. It brings healing. And of course, hope.

How do you think audiences will respond to this film?

The humanity of the story is universal.  We all can relate, because we all have mothers, fathers whom we have relationships with (whether good or bad). Even those who don't know their parents - that's a relationship too.

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

It would be unfair to single one person out, because I was excited to be part of this cast as a whole. I feel very privileged to be mentioned with them.

What was it like working with Sean Else?

Sean is an actor's director, and you don't get many of those.  He gave me the freedom to explore, yet always within his vision. And very importantly - he treats everybody on set with the same respect.

Did you think of your part as playing a younger Nakkie, Sandra Prinsloo or both?

It's always about the character. Sandra and I worked intensely on Nakkie's background, goals, intentions and mannerisms. It's important to honour the character and the story. It's our job as actors.

Was it strange returning to the old South Africa?

No. Because the film is not political, I embraced the beautiful memories of being a little girl with my family back then.

 
Top Ten Movies with... Roxy Davis


Roxy Davis is a seven times South African Surfing Champion. Born in Cape Town and raised in the coastal suburb of Kommetjie, her life's always been characterised by a zest for adventure. While she loves being in the water and doing everything from SUP to wake-boarding, she's achieved academic qualifications, including an Honours degree in Psychology and Communication with a special focus on Sports Psychology. She's also a qualified Chef, having studied the craft at Silwood Kitchen and used her skills on a Surf Charter Yacht in Indonesia in 2001, where she was able to surf 9 hours a day!

In 2002, she founded her Surf School, moving swiftly from an umbrella on the beach to a prominent beachfront store at the famous Surfer's Corner in Muizenberg. Moving from 40 girls to 200 girls in the first programme intake, the Roxy Surf Club grew with the support of the Roxy Brand and by 2007, it became a surf store with brands like Roxy and Quiksilver. It's culminated in the Surf Emporium, which houses both the retail and surf school, one of the few accredited with Surfing South Africa having taught well over 30,000 people.

When Roxy's not surfing in competitions around the country and world, she's journaling her experiences. She was involved in the editorial development of the empowering, free-thinking teen magazine, Salt Water Girl, and became Regional Editor. She currently writes a surf-orientated column for The Times newspaper. Being a mom, a business owner and a surfing champion... we were lucky enough to get her Top Ten Movies interview.

"She doesn’t conform to what the world wants her to be. [on Drew Barrymore]"

I can't watch movies without...

- Salted popcorn and a big Coke Zero… it’s a tradition.

Which famous people share your birthday?

- Wow, so I have never even checked…let me check quick… okay so Kirsten Dunst, she's awesome, Mary II... served as queen of England, Scotland and Ireland (1689–94), and was the wife of King William III. Oh, and Guy Fawkes born in 1570, who plotted to blow-up the English Parliament in the Gunpowder Plot. (13 April)

What is the first film you remember watching?

- The Neverending Story… and I actually believed it would be about a movie that never ended. I also remember Beetlejuice … and Honey I Shrunk the Kids, …oh and Ghostbusters….and Edward Scissorhands.

What's the worst movie you've ever seen?

- There was a spoof we watched the other day actually…. such a waste of time, we nearly walked out of the movie house but stayed as we were not sure if it was a joke or not! Worst waste of time ever… Kingsman - The Secret Service. Oh yes there was one worse… we watched it at the cinema and it had an intermission… it was a number of scenes with one actor... trying to remember its name.

Which movies have made you tearful?

- City of Angels and Theory of Everything… both were not just teary, but more like massive sobs and plenty of crying!

Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?

- I haven't met any movie stars yet! Just got back from Hollywood this week and kept my eyes peeled but no such luck.

What's your favourite movie line?

- “I’ll be back”… just kidding… City of Angels – Seth ~ “I would rather have had one breath of her hair, one kiss of her mouth, one touch of her hand, than eternity without it. One.”

Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?

- Drew Barrymore, she's quirky and sometimes misunderstood. She doesn’t conform to what the world wants her to be.

If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?

- It would be a romantic action thriller with Morgan Freeman and Rene Zellweger!

Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...

- Love, Actually ...I loved the cast - great humour and so festive! The ultimate feel good movie!

- Bridget Jones's Diary ...it felt real, and wasn’t a “special effects” movie . She is an amazing actress too. It had love, cute guys and a great story.

- Forrest Gump ... it just tugged on all of my heart strings

- Sherlock Holmes ...with Robert Downy Jr. was incredible….it was jam-packed with action and fantastic Hollywood special effects.

- Notting Hill ...yes, another love story - Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant were the perfect fit!

- The Notebook ...it was real and a whirlwind of emotions... such a chick flick!

- Ocean's Eleven ...it was funny and entertaining, a real light-hearted "non-thinking" movie. The characters are so unique, but blended really well.

- The Lion King ...I loved this movie when I was a child and it's still so relevant. I now watch it with our son and it's also one of his favourite films.

- There's Something About Mary ...Cameron Diaz had me in stitches!

- Along Came A Spider ...this was a film that had so many twists, I never knew what was going to come next!

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.


 
Top Ten Movies with... Greg Kriek


Greg Kriek is an award-winning actor, producer, social entrepreneur and star-on-the-horizon. His international break came in the fast-paced action thriller Momentum, playing Mr. Monroe, opposite James Purefoy, Olga Kurylenko, and Morgan Freeman. The talented and in-demand actor is currently working on three upcoming international feature films in Blood and Glory, Bypass and Shussh!

The 'acting bug' bit following a series of awards at national acting competitions in South Africa. After completing his degree in Global Business Leadership, Kriek trained at the esteemed Larry Moss Acting Studio in Los Angeles. He returned to South Africa to play the lead role in the inspirational feature film, Born to Win, with a number of performances in The Unexplained Files, Dominion, Mooirivier, Somewhere in Africa, Quinn, Adrift and SAF3.

Kriek's been mentored by renowned Hollywood producer, Adam Schroeder and South African TV veteran, Patience Stevens. His first full-length feature film, Last Ones Out, was selected as part of the South African delegation to the Cannes Film Festival this year. Greg's directed on Top Billing, one of Africa's leading and longest running entertainment shows, and also had the privilege of working on international feature films and television projects with 20th Century Fox, Universal, Disney, History Channel and Discovery Channel.

Selected as South Africa’s ambassador for the One Young World Summit 2013, one of South Africa's Brightest Young Minds in 2010, one of the first selected protégés for The Chosen Leading CEO Council and a member of the International Golden Key Academic Honorary Society, Kriek's poised to reach his full potential as a leader to impact and empower those around him.

With a flourishing film career and a bright future ahead of him, we are pleased to feature Greg's Top Ten Movies interview...

"I pretty much wanted to be Macaulay Culkin when I was young."

I can't watch movies without...

- I’m pretty chilled when it comes to watching movies - my taste is pretty broad- I love learning about various styles and genres but I guess if I absolutely had to choose then I can't watch movies without a proper storyline, substance, action, romance and some intrigue. I love it when it's both visually and intellectually stimulating.

In general, give me Some DiCaprio, Pitt, McConaughey, Cruise, Scorsese, Spielberg, Nolan, DeNiro, Fassbender, Oldman, Pacino and I’m there.

Which famous people share your birthday?

- Kate Winslet, Jesse Eisenberg, Guy Pearce, Sir Bob Geldof, Ray Kroc and Bernie Mac. (5 Oct)

What is the first film you remember watching?

- Home Alone. I must have watched this about a hundred times - I pretty much wanted to be Macaulay Culkin when I was young- it was also the movie responsible for most of my hidings in life. It taught me how to set traps and make proper use of marbles, wood glue, fishing gut etc. It also made me secretly wish I could be left home alone for Christmas, but being the only child that was never going to happen...

Jurassic Park was probably the biggest influence that made we want to be in the movies - the first time I ever remember acting was taking my father’s Ray-Bans and re-enacting the scene where Sam Neil sees a dinosaur for the first time and takes off his shades in disbelief. The whole movie was nothing less than iconic!!!

What's the worst movie you've ever seen?

- Sharknado, I mean it's so bad it's good. It’s the kind of film you should show in film school as an example of "how not to make a movie" --- no no no this is next level "bad"- even for someone who's never watched a movie before!

Which movies have made you tearful?

- The Lion King, I think this the ultimate test to see if a person has a soul - see whether they cry when Mufasa dies. If not, run for your life... My Sister’s Keeper, The Land Before Time, The Pursuit of Happyness are also tearjerkers of note.

Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?

- Morgan Freeman, Joaquin Phoenix, Sean Penn, Charlize Theron and Will Smith. One of my biggest career highlights to date is having one of the main supporting roles in Momentum, a movie with Morgan Freeman, James Purefoy and Olga Kurylenko.

What's your favourite movie line?

- "Every man dies. Not every man lives." ~ Braveheart

Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?

- Leo DiCaprio playing my older self would be a great fit.

If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?

- I have produced my first film recently, but if I could get my hands on a proper budget it would be a political action thriller set in South Africa.

Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...

- Good Will Hunting ...just hit the ball out of the park with a story so well told, characters I could relate to, and a healthy combination of drama and comedy. Loved the way the psychological mysteries of the 5 main characters were explored- genius filmmaking and inspiring that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck co-wrote this screenplay that kick-started both of their careers.

- Birdman ...was one of the most daring and bold movies I have ever seen in my life. Every part of the film set a benchmark for me. Technically it was a seamless extravaganza with continuous shots that I have never seen before. It also had such a layered storyline and tremendous raw and real performances that I could relate to as an actor and as a person. It inspired me to want to be a filmmaker and actor all over again!

- Inception ...was visionary, thrilling, cleverly mapped out and really reminded me how much I love a movie that is both visually and intellectually stimulating! "Layerrrrrs", as Donkey would put it.

- Interstellar ...another Christopher Nolan masterpiece that was thought-provoking and ridiculously bold in its execution of the story. Let me not start on how brilliant the performances were...

- American History X ...is one of the most powerful and provocative films that I have ever seen. A performance by Edward Norton that I will never forget and an overall reminder of the power of film.

- Jurassic Park ...as mentioned it's one of the ultimate inspirations that led me to being in the movie business! BENCHMARK, DARING, Spielberg, bringing dinosaurs to life. I mean need I say more? I’m sure everyone feels the same....

- Shawshank Redemption ...is the ultimate classic that I believe will remain timeless for years to come. To me it was an uplifting and inspirational drama that hit all the right beats and taught me about the power of dignity.

- Gladiator ...another of my all-time favourites! "What we do in life, echoes in eternity." ...if that doesn’t get you revved up to conquer the world- then I don’t know what will!!! The themes of dignity, true freedom and bravery really hit home!

- Braveheart ...okay by now you’re probably sick of seeing my list of epics! Sorry can’t help it... the soundtrack, the romance, the story, the cause, the acting, all those good things that make this the kind of film I can watch over and over again.

- The Dark Knight ...is probably on everybody’s list... This movie will remain unforgettable, complex, thrilling and set a standard with a performance in The Joker that I believe will be very tough to beat for years to come. Absolute cinematic history!

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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