Deirdre in ‘very special’ film

Deirdre Wolhuter as Soufie Beeslaer in the local film ’n Pawpaw Vir My Darling.
Deirdre Wolhuter as Soufie Beeslaer in the local film ’n Pawpaw Vir My Darling.

Sea Point actress Deirdre Wolhuter can cross something off her bucket list after working on the movie ’n Pawpaw Vir My Darling.

The South African movie is currently on screen at local cinemas and sees the star working with legendary South African director Koos Roets.

“I had to pinch myself when after the meeting they offered me the role of Soufie Beeslaer,” she says.

’n Pawpaw Vir My Darling is based on the Jeanne Goosen novel of the same name and tells the story of the ups and downs of a Damnville family through the eyes of their “pavement special” dog.

“Critics have described the satire as walking into a Brueghel painting and I would say that is a very apt way to describe the carnival of characters and the situations they find themselves in,” Deirdre says, adding: “It is funny, it is raw, it is exuberant, and it is deeply moving.”

Tsjaka, the Beeslaers’ rescue dog (voiced by Tobie Cronje) who narrates the film is deeply mortified by his humans and their antics.

Deirdre first read ’n Pawpaw Vir My Darling herself after her friends recommended the gem. “I knew that in the hands of Koos Roets the movie would be something very, very special.”

Under his guidance, Deirdre brought the character of Soufie Beeslaer to life, a woman she describes as “rough around the edges” as she tries to hold her family together under trying circumstances.

“She has to come to terms with the realisation that the dreams she had for herself as a young girl when she was a teller at OK Bazaar will never come true.”

But Soufie is just one of the colourful characters who has been brought to the screen by a stellar cast of Sandra Prinsloo, Marcel van Heerden, André Stolz, Deon Lotz, Brümilda van Rensburg, Willie Esterhuizen, Lida Botha and Marga van Rooy, among others.

Deirdre says the antics that embarrass poor Tsjaka also kept the cast in stitches on set. That being said, the set was a very calm environment to cater to the needs of the animals playing in the film. “Animals are so in tune with any form of stress or anxiety, so we were all very focused on keeping things calm and quiet around them.”

’n Pawpaw Vir My Darling is the start of a busy year for Deirdre who will be on the big screen again in February in the Donnalee Roberts and Ivan Botha romantic comedy Vir Altyd.

She’s also just finished filming a new Afrikaans series for kykNET. The Deon Opperman thriller Fluiters deals with whistle-blowing in South Africa.

Theatre fans will be able to see Deirdre on stage when she reprises her role as Ella Gordon in the Charles Fourie play Ella’s Horses about the woman from Karwyderskraal who was known as South Africa’s horse whisperer.V ’n Pawpaw Vir My Darling is currently on screen at Ster-Kinekor cinemas. Visit the Pawpawvirmydarling page on Facebook for more about the film.

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