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Cast of new local movie joins us for a picnic in the woods

2015-02-04 12:00

Cape Town – It’s one of those perfect summer days; clear blue skies, the smell of the ocean in the air and an echo of children’s playful laughter in the distance.

I’m in what feels like a hidden forest having a picnic with a couple of movie stars. The camaraderie between the trio is infectious. It feels like I’m sitting down with some friends. 

We sip on refreshing lemon water and eat the most divine carrot cake as we chat about their groundbreaking new film.

Tim Theron, Milan Murray and Nadia Beukes star in the first ever Afrikaans ensemble romantic comedy, Mooirivier set to hit theatres nationwide this weekend.

The movie has eight individual interlinked plots that unfold during the countdown to Easter. 

One of the plots take place at a university which made Potchefstroom the ideal place to shoot the film. 

Tim who wears the hat of both producer and leading man says choosing Potch was very easy.

"It was a bunch of factors that made Potch the natural place to shoot the movie. All the producers have a connection to Potch; we all studied there. We knew how beautiful the town is and the university immediately came to the table offering to help us.

"It was awesome shooting there. The university, the municipality and the community all pitched in and really contributed to getting the movie done. It was really special doing it there and having the overwhelming support," says Tim. 

Eight stories equals eight couples, a few kids, some friends and family to provide some background stories, that’s a big cast!

"What was it like working on such a big project and with such a big cast?" I ask.

"Well luckily we all weren’t on set all the time. Each of us filmed our storylines separately," says Nadia.

She continues, "It was generally an air of excitement and a responsibility to your own storyline because you needed to make the most of the time that you had there. And in the end you had to trust the process and the people involved. Now we’re all really excited to see how the puzzle pieces fit together."

About their characters 

Nadia plays Marcelle Fourie a single mom to 10-year-old Chantel. She’s torn between the love for her child and the possibility of a romance with a pop star played by the first South African Idol himself, Heinz Winckler.

"It’s a very difficult decision to make. She is confronted with two very different kinds of love and she also needs to love herself," says Nadia.

It’s the first time Nadia plays a leading role in a movie and one that is so different from her own lifestyle.

Nadia laughs; "Yes, I am single and I don’t have any children. I would love to have a family one day.

"Even though I don’t have a child I do have people in my life that I love. I do understand having to make them a priority and having to make choices and loving different people at the same time."

Milan also plays a mom but her character faces a different kind of a predicament. Her husband had an affair and she has to figure out if she is going to stay or leave.

"It’s the more serious storyline of the film. I could relate in the sense that I am a mom and a wife. Life throws you curveballs and you have to deal with them and there is no cookie cutter way to deal with it," says Milan.

"The movie is a little open ended. People can make up their own minds, did she stay or didn’t she?"

Tim jokes that his storyline was cut from the movie and we might just catch him in the blooper reel.

His storyline is a bit offbeat but very ‘romcomish.’

"My character’s name is Paul. He used to be a reverend and after his wife was killed in a car accident he just decided that he couldn’t deal with his life. He becomes a very bad estate agent and meets Lisa played by Anel Alexander," says Tim.

"All of the characters are confronted with these choices, are they going to give love a chance again and will it work out?"

"What are the kinds of challenges you faced during filming?," I ask.

Tim chuckles; "From a producing side there are always things that happen that make things that seemed easy in the beginning turn out to be challenging."

While shooting an emotional scene between Tim and his love interest someone decided to do acrobatic flying above where they were filming.

"We actually had to start phoning around to find out if someone had a contact for the person manning the control tower. We finally got hold of him and heard the guy in the control room screaming to the guy in the plane telling him to land now because they are shooting a movie," says Tim.

GALLERY: See all the pics from the shoot with the cast here.

Nadia pipes in, "well I had a scene in a bunny suit that was quite difficult too."

Love and all that jazz

The theme of the film is that love conquers all. I really wanted to pick their brains on their thoughts on love, dating and romance.

It turns out that one’s a cynic, the other a hopeless romantic and the other is on the fence. 

"I’m on the fence. I think love conquers all but it doesn’t always look the way we think it should. I don’t think it fits all the boxes that we’d like it to fit in. Love does what it wants to do and goes where it wants to go," says Tim.

"You are starring in a romcom. What are the type of love stories you enjoy watching?"

"I don’t particularly like romcoms. The ones I do like are the ones that do not have a traditional happy after ending. If there’s a bit of angst and turmoil it’s more believable because you see the black and white," says Milan. 

Nadia is the hopeless romantic for her romcoms are a form of escapism; "my own life is already full of turmoil," she jokes.

"With Valentine’s coming up what’s your best date tip, I ask."

"I’m the single one guys, I need these tips!," says Nadia.

"I think the good thing on any date is laughter. There should be some laughter whether it’s at the beginning, middle or end. It just takes the pressure off. We take it too serious sometimes. And even when you’ve been with someone for 15 years like I have the laughter is also necessary," answers Milan.

Drama, romance and comedy in one package!

As we wrap up our interview I ask them why this movie is a must-see.

"We need to eat!," jokes Tim.

He continues; "There is something in it for everyone. It has serious drama, some romance and amazing comedy. That’s the beauty of this type of movie it has everything in it that you’d want from a movie. It’s really a feel good movie you might cry a little but you will laugh a lot."

Milan adds; "If there’s one reason to see this film it’s Anne Hirsch, she’s amazing. Go see the movie because of Anne Hirsch."


Watch the trailer here:

(Photography: Grant Payne, Styling/Art Direction: Jeandre Venter, Make-up and Hair: Suaad D Artistry, Assistant: Leigh Vermaak)

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