2 minutes with Sharlto Copley

By admin
14 March 2016

The District 9 and Chappie star - and his new wife, SA model and actress Tanit Phoenix - enjoyed a whirlwind visit to the Mother City recently where we got to chat to him about his upcoming movies.

Your new movie, the sci-fi action Hardcore Henry is about to be released in the US. It’s been likened to a video game thanks to its first-person GoPro camera work. How would you describe it?

It’s like rock n roll meets video game meets movie! It’s just the most insane movie you’ll ever see with the craziest stunts. We filmed it in Russia, and at one point we were filming in this rural village in the middle of nowhere and no one could speak English. It was just a crazy experience.

You’ve just finished filming Free Fall, an action thriller set in the ‘70s in America and executive produced by Martin Scorsese. Tell us more about your role?

I play a South African arms dealer  called Vernon, who was really fun to play. I have this funny South African accent, and I’ve got this 70s style moustache, lots of gold rings, and I call everyone ‘doll’.  I was given a lot of freedom with the role, so I really made it my own.

Recent Oscar-winner Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy also star. What were they like?

Cillian is actually a quiet, introverted guy and Brie unfortunately I didn’t get to spend much time with.

Congrats on your recent wedding to Tanit Phoenix, are you guys planning to divide your time between SA and Los Angeles?

Yes, we like to come to SA in December and visit family. We also like to spend quite a bit of time in Vancouver in Canada. I have a lot of friends there.

We’re guessing a braai is high on the agenda when you come back home?

[laughs] Yes! Actually Tanit’s mom, who’s Afrikaans, braais better than I do! I do braai in LA, but you won’t believe how difficult it is to find wood, as everyone has gas braais.

Would you say South African actors have a tough time making it in Hollywood?

To a degree yes. Charlize Theron aside, Hollywood has for years been made up of mostly of Americans, Brits and Australians.  So they’re just not used to South Africans and the accent. A lot of Hollywood people assume everyone in SA talks like Wikus [his character from District 9]!

What’s next for Sharlto? Right now I'm heading to South by South West Festival in Austin Texas for the premiere of Hardcore Henry which is going to blow people away – literally. Then Free Fire comes out and then John Krasinski’s The Hollars,  which co-stars Anna Kenrick, Josh Groban and Charlie Day. Then Season 2 of Sony PlayStation's POWERS comes out.

You’ve recently been made a brand ambassador for Jaguar in SA. Tell us about that.

I get to connect with a brand that I grew up with, and always saw as classy and exciting. It's not just about getting to drive a really cool car – though that's a great perk. In my industry I'm around other celebrities all the time, and the conversation gravitates towards “so what do you drive?” and getting to say you drive a Jaguar is great but getting to say you are a Jaguar Brand Ambassador is even better.

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