South African film 'Twee Grade van Moord' meaning Two degrees of Murder, sees the onscreen reunion of two of South Africa’s most loved and respected actors, Sandra Prinsloo and Marius Weyers. The film is set in Cape Town and directed by Gerrit Schoonhoven. Aleksa Cloete, played by Sandra Prinsloo, a well-known Cape Town psychologist, has authored a bestseller, Love Doesn’t Hurt, but despite her long and happy marriage to husband Ben, played by Marius Weyers, she has an entirely intellectual view of love. Marelise Jacobs spoke to the film's two lead actors to find out more.
It is extremely exciting to see you and Marius Weyers together back on the big screen after so many years. Why has it taken this long?
Sandra Prinsloo: I really have no idea why it has taken so long! Of course Marius was in America for a number of years but even so.. All I know is that it has been wonderful working with him again and we were lucky enough to act opposite one another in 3 stage plays as well. Triple whammy!
How do go about choosing film projects and what made you want to be part of this one?
Marius Weyers: To me the script is the foundation of a film. If I like the script the decision is easy. Then also, of course, the director and fellow actors. And so, when I read Twee Grade van Moord I just felt I had to do this movie, loved the script.
“...when I read Twee Grade van Moord I just felt I had to do this movie, I loved the script...” - Marius Weyers
Your character finds herself in a difficult situation, what was the most challenging while portraying this role?
Sandra Prinsloo: To find the moment where Alexa decides that she has the strength to do what Ben has asked of her. There is no easy way to get to that point in performance and it kept me very busy emotionally for weeks on end. It was enormously hard emotionally no matter what my intellect told me so I spent many nights wandering around trying to find the truth of those moments.
Was it difficult for you to relate to this character
Marius Weyers: Ben was both physically and mentally very difficult. When you can only move your head it’s so restrictive the rest of your body cry out to be more expressive. What he went through emotionally, I could only guess at and depended on my imagination. Put myself in such a situation and wonder… what if? But again the characters were so well drawn and the dialogue wonderful, that helped.
“...it is not often that one gets a chance in film in SA to play such a complex role...” - Sandra Prinsloo
What was it about Alexa's personality that made you want to be part of this project?
Sandra Prinsloo: Alexa is a career woman and has a happy and successfull life as a psycologist. She is also in a very good marriage and has a great relationship with her husband. She has everything nicely in hand and an answer to everyones problems at the beginning of the movie. When something catastrophic happens close to home she is confronted with emotions and decisions that she really never thought she would have to face. I think her journey through this hardship to eventual true liberation through an act of love is what attracted me to the part. I also loved the script from the word go and to do it with Marius was an extra incentive. Also it is not often that one gets a chance in film in SA to play such a complex role.
As a stage and screen couple you and Sandra Prinsloo have entertained audiences for many years. What have you learned from each other as actors?
Marius Weyers:Since we started acting together as youngsters we learnt the basics together: honesty in your acting, discipline, resilience and enjoyment in your craft.