Cape Town – Getroud met Rugby actor Arno Greef took some time off from the popular soapie to play the leading man in the film adaptation of Vaselinetjie.
Directed by Corne van Rooyen, the movie tells the story of Helena ‘Vaselinetjie’ Bosman, a white girl raised by her loving coloured grandparents in a remote rural village in the Northern Cape, South Africa. However, upon learning that Vaselinetjie is not their biological grandchild, the welfare intervenes and decides to send her to a state orphanage in the far away city of Johannesburg.
Arno plays Texan the love interest of Vaselinetjie (Marguerite van Eeden).
Watch the trailer here:
In this quick Q&A he tells us more about his role and what viewers can expect from the film.
Can you tell us more about your character and the journey Texan takes in the film?
Texan is the rebel among the children. He fights a lot, smokes and drinks. He does whatever he wants, but underneath there is a boy who's gone through a lot of battles, wanting to be better, but struggling to come to terms with his past. He improves once the love between him and Vaselinetjie blooms, but will it last?
He’s a bad boy, but there’s more to his bad boy image. How you did you prepare mentally and emotionally to play the character?
We spent a lot of time in rehearsals to clearly define his back story and why he acts the way he does. From there on I kept a diary while in character to get into his mindset. Once I got on set it was just connecting with each scene and my fellow actors. Corne (Director) would push to get different variations of each scene so I trusted him to guide me.
There is one scene where you are bruised and battered. What was challenging about filming that scene?
That was one of the toughest days I've had on a set. It was the middle of winter and we were shooting throughout the night, in shorts and vests, the make-up took about three hours in total. We shot the fight scene over and over. It was cold, it was tiring and physically I was exhausted. Later on we had to walk into the sea, got completely wet and still had to shoot. After that I was completely freezing and almost wanted to give up and say that I can't keep on shooting but we got through it. It felt very real and I felt like I had just survived a massive beating.
Were you familiar with the book and do you feel that the movie adaptation does the book justice?
I read the book a while before shooting started. It's important for people to see the book and movie as two different entities. The movie perfectly captures the feeling and theme of the book, the characters are spot on, but because of certain limitations that go with making movies, some parts of the book are not in the movie. I believe it still does the book justice, but people should view it with an open mind.
What do you hope audiences take away when they see the film?
Hopefully the movie will change lives, help people to deal with their past and accept that no matter where you come from or who you are, you still have a choice to move forward and create your own life.
Vaselinetjie opens in cinemas nationwide Friday, 22 September.
(Photo: Jay Loots & Ivann Pieterse | keyart.com)