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.