Van der Merwes to light up big screen

Lizette van der Merwe.

Bellville and Durbanville will be represented by actors in the South African film, Van der Merwe, which hits the big screens on Friday July 28.

The film is based on that bumbling South African character, Van der Merwe – played by Rob van Vuuren.

In this story, Van’s daughter, Marike, returns home from a gap year in England with a new fiancé, George, a British medical student.

Not only does Van have to come to terms with the fact that his daughter is marrying an Englishman but he is also pressured by his bossy, traditional father to put an end to the relationship.

The fireworks really begin when the family of the English fiancé arrives on the farm.

Durbanville actor Lizette, whose surname is coincidentally Van der Merwe, plays the role of Hentie the “algemene handelaar” (general dealer) who loves to gossip.

“She has never left her small town and is very narrow-minded,” Ms Van der Merwe says of her character.

Ms Van der Merwe said it was lots of fun playing this character but admits that it wasn’t easy, as Hentie is not a deep person.

Ms Van der Merwe is originally from Pretoria but moved to Cape Town when she was a young girl.

Although she was interested in acting, she didn’t pursue it until later in life.

She trained as a dermatologist but as soon as she grew tired of botox and fillers, she followed her acting dream.

“You are never too old to learn but you need to have a passion for what you are doing,” she said.

She has two sons, Herman, 13, and Pieter-Willem,10, who has also been hit by the acting bug.

Bellville resident Margit Meyer Rodenbeck, better known as Dowwe Dolla, plays Johanna, the wife of Van’s brother.

While she only has a short role in the film, she believes that preparation is key – no matter how big or small the part.

“I normally brood and then for a day I would ‘be’ that character and my every reaction on everyday things, I will find the root of the character,” she said on preparing for this role.

Ms Meyer Rodenbeck studied drama at the University of Stellenbosch and owns Die Boer Theatre Restaurant in Durbanville with her husband, Jurgen Human.

“Drama is our whole life,” she said. The film’s producers Bruce Lawley, Bruce Macdonald, Craig Jones and Murray MacDonald have brought together a star-studded cast including Ian Roberts, Chanelle de Jager, Reine Swart, Adrienne Pearce, Andre Jacobs, Rika Sennett, Erica Wessels, Louw Venter, Benedikt Sebastian, Matthew Baldwin, Neels van Jaarsveld and Melt Sieberhagen.

Kurt Darren will also make a guest appearance as the wedding singer and Barry Hilton plays the role of Freddie, the barman and Van’s best friend.

The film is distributed by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment and will be released in cinemas nationwide.next month.