ALL SHARP SHARP FOR CLAIRE DANES

The Home­land star says she will take some SA slang back home to Hol­ly­wood

CityPress - - Front Page - LES­LEY MOFOKENG les­ley.mofokeng@city­press.co.za

Vuyo Mbuli must be smil­ing from the grave. The vet­eran broad­caster, who died last year, will be proud to know that “sharp sharp” – a phrase he was known for – has caught on with Hol­ly­wood roy­alty. Claire Danes, star of the hit TV se­ries, Home­land, which is shoot­ing in Cape Town, says this is her favourite piece of South African slang.

She in­tends to keep us­ing it when she goes back home to the US.

“‘Sharp sharp’ is my favourite,” she en­thused when City Press vis­ited her on the set of the se­ries.

The ac­tress plays Car­rie Mathi­son, a CIA op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer with bipo­lar dis­or­der, in the Golden Globe and Emmy-award win­ning drama.

“Of course, I know about ‘just now’, ‘now now’ and ‘howzit’. One of my best friends lived in Cape Town for two years and our chil­dren are around the same age. She kept calling my son ‘boy’ and I thought that was kind of ag­gres­sive, but I ac­tu­ally now see why she was do­ing that. I also like ‘my lady’ and ‘boss’,” she said.

Not only has her stay been a les­son in lin­guis­tics, but Danes has in­dulged in the culi­nary de­lights of­fered by the fairest Cape.

“As for food, I’m now of­fi­cially on a diet be­cause the food has been eff­ing in­cred­i­ble. When I first got here, I was a lit­tle overex­cited, so I’m tak­ing a pause for a sec­ond so I can head back to the culi­nary of­fers again.

“Cape Town has been good to me, I love be­ing here. It’s one of the most beau­ti­ful places I have been to on the planet. I travel pretty ex­ten­sively and it is breath­tak­ingly beau­ti­ful.

“I’ve been do­ing these trail runs and I can’t be­lieve this is just a ca­sual run at the end of the day – they have these heav­enly views.

“But I’ve been work­ing hard too and spend­ing the ma­jor­ity of my time at the of­fice, so to speak.

“I’m also aware of the cul­tures re­cal­i­brat­ing af­ter apartheid. But I’m moved by the beauty of the place and the peo­ple have been warm.”

It’s not only Danes who is taken by Cape Town: her costar Mandy Patinkin, vet­eran of such movies as Yentl and The Princess Bride, loves malva pud­ding.

He’s head­ing to Her­manus soon to see the whales and met Arch­bishop Emer­i­tus Des­mond Tutu at the Artscape Theatre.

Laila Robins, who joins Home­land in this, its fourth sea­son, as the US am­bas­sador to Pak­istan Martha Boyd, said she be­lieved she had been sent to South Africa by her late friends. “It has been a dream. To have this show shoot­ing here is a gift. My neigh­bour in New York used to come to Cape Town with her friend from Chicago. They were elderly friends of mine and passed away last year. I ac­tu­ally think they sent me here,” said Robins.

“It has al­most been like a lit­tle bit of heaven and I have ac­tu­ally felt like my days are un­real. I started with the hop-on hop-off bus and it was just one beau­ti­ful thing af­ter the next. I also got at­tached to the Kirsten­bosch Botan­i­cal Gar­den and try to help with fundrais­ing to cre­ate some ed­u­ca­tional pro­grammes for the chil­dren to learn about the en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

Robins said she also found the winelands ex­tra­or­di­nary, “but the wine here is much stronger”. “I’m learn­ing that the hard way, find­ing my level.” In the com­ing sea­son, Cape Town stands in for Pak­istan and Moon­light­ing Films’ An­gela Phillips, the unit pro­duc­tion man­ager, said they had em­ployed be­tween 200 and 250 South Africans.

Scenes have been shot ev­ery­where from Fran­schhoek and Stel­len­bosch to Salt River and Wyn­berg, all the ar­eas stand­ing in for dif­fer­ent parts of Pak­istan.

Home­land Sea­son 4 starts air­ing in the US and South Africa in Oc­to­ber.

It will be aired here on a new, as-yet-un­named M-Net chan­nel on DStv Pre­mium.

UN­DER COVER Claire Danes stars in the fourth sea­son of the TV se­ries, Home­land

PHOTO: SHARIEF JAF­FER

SEE YOU NOW NOW Claire Danes on the set of

Home­land in Cape Town

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