TV / 2 February 2015, 12:12pm / Debashine Thangevelo
KIM Engelbrecht loves her craft. And she is a remarkable actress. When she left SABC3’s Isidingo two years ago, she had nothing cast in stone. But she had a dream – to make her mark on the international front.
And that leap of faith has paid off.
Engelbrecht says: “Oh gosh, I have had an amazing journey since then. I left Isidingo, obviously with a heavy heart. I really loved the show and character. I did a stint on The Wild. And then I did an Afrikaans show, Die Byl. It is only coming out this year.”
And she has Geraamtes in die Kas and the British show, Mad Dogs, under her belt too. That’s not forgetting Konfetti.
“I think romantic comedies, especially Afrikaans ones, they are getting it right. It had that Semi-Soet formula. And it had great comedians like Louw Venter and Casper de Vries, who is one of my favourites. I was a bit star-struck working with him. He just doesn’t stop (with the jokes). He is very honest, generous and kind,” she shares.
And having an open call sheet and these great opportunities also made her discover what she is capable of achieving.
Engelbrecht points out: “Being an actress can leave you vulnerable. You have great highs, great lows. Sometimes you get a role; sometimes someone is way better for it. You have to deal with that.”
But she bagged SAF3, which has yet to debut locally, Dominion and Gavin Hood’s Eye in the Sky – so she isn’t doing badly at all.
“I was keen to work with him. Do you remember him from The Game? Having to work with him – and in an international film that stars Helen Mirren. That’s amazing.”
Interestingly, she has been cultivating a reputation for her kick-a** characters, too.
She laughs: “It is strange, you always try and find a niche. This niche found me. I’m a strong female with a really soft heart. Women can be both. In the movie, I’m behind a computer – an analyst. Very Homeland-ish.”
On landing the role of Sergeant Noma Banks in Vega’s Archangel Corps, she says: “I auditioned. There is this amazing casting director, Christa Schamburger, and she does a large amount of the international work that comes to South Africa. She has been amazing. I auditioned for a different character though – you haven’t met her (on screen) as yet. The producer was present when I got the call back and he thought I would be better suited for this role.”
Expanding on her character, she offers: “In Vega, there is a class system. I’m a V-2, which is a little more than V-1. Noma is a highly skilled sergeant. First and foremost, she is a soldier. She is friends with fellow V-2 soldiers Alex (also known as the “Chosen One”) and Ethan.”
For the action scenes, Engelbrecht was better equipped than most thanks to her physical training for Death Race: Inferno.
“I stayed in contact with the stunt team that trained me. You realise that you have a knack for something, physical contact excites me and I handle the choreography really well. What’s great is that I worked with the same stunt team on this show. Yes, I do most of the stunt work myself. But I don’t want to give anything away,” she smiles.
On the themes that emerge in Dominion, she shares: “You have a city in turmoil. There is a good versus evil atmosphere. You have the V-1’s who don’t have any say at all.
“All of the actors working on this are completely at the top of their game. It’s just an amazing opportunity. I’m just soaking it all in. Carl is there. I’m so proud of him. I’m working with the best of South African talent, too.”
“There is a project I’m working on at the moment. It is film-related. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. It’s an exciting time for me. I’m relishing it. You have to be patient and just work on your craft, try and do good work and choose your projects well. My confidence in acting and who I am grows with every project. There is a saying: ‘What you are seeking is seeking you’. It’ll find me!”