Neels van Jaarsveld gets serious in dark new role

2015-11-19 11:50

Cape Town - Every now and again a local film hits the big screen and ups the game.

‘n Man Soos My Pa is one of those films. The gripping movie explores the intricacies of family life and the sometimes fragile relationship between a father and son.

On a sunny day in Cape Town, I got to sit down with one of the lead actors in the Afrikaans flick that will release in local cinemas this Friday.

Neels van Jaarsveld, who plays the younger version of the father figure – Attie, is relaxed and friendly while answering the questions I throw at him.

Why did you decide to get involved in this project?

It was a combination of factors. Firstly nobody can say no to the opportunity to work with Sean Else and Johan Kruger (the producers). And of course there’s this power cast and this amazing script that Sean and Deon Opperman both worked on. So I simply couldn’t say no. The role was made for me. Just like Attie I’ve also battled with alcoholism and have been sober for two years. So it was really an easy choice to get involved in ‘n Man Soos My Pa.

The film touches on some serious, but familiar, themes. Do you think this is one of the factors that contribute to the success of the film?

I do believe the themes will resonate with all audiences, both young and old. The story is real and expertly touches on the issues without forcing anything. It’s a roller coaster ride about love, family and life. We all fail and we all make mistakes but love overcomes all. The film subtlety highlights some very South African themes that actually have a global and much larger reach. It’s our story but it’s also everyone else’s story. People have to go see this one.

What scene in the film is your favourite?

That’s really difficult to answer because I think every scene has something amazing about it. Just the attention to detail from the costume design to the set is absolutely spot-on. If I had to choose it would have to be the opening scene. It really stands out for me. It’s just the perfect start to the film and beautifully captures the moment. There’s also a scene later between Attie and his son in the garage. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps. There’s not a lot of dialogue but it says so much and is a turning point for both characters.

What was it like on set?

I enjoyed it so much. I do mostly stage work so it’s a welcome change to be on the set of a film. Everything is handled so professionally. Filming took place over 23 days in Goodwood, Cape Town and we really got the opportunity to live in the setting that’s home to our characters. I really enjoyed this project it was an amazing experience. I hope people go out to watch this film because it deserves to be seen.

‘n Man Soos My Pa releases in local cinemas on Friday, 20 November.

(Photos: Supplied)

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