Sorry, Altus! Paula falls for Emmanuel Castis
A new hunk in Hillside sweeps Paula off her feet and brings out the greeneyed monster in Altus.
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Restless and insecure – that’s been Paula’s (Diaan Lawrenson) emotional state of mind for a while now. And not just because she is still recovering from online attacks by rival vlogger Brenda P (Nadia Beukes) in April. These days it’s because there’s a new man on the horizon who might just be able to awaken her famous “je ne sais quoi” again.
It’s actually Xander ( Theo Jantjies) who puts the Hillside Times’ team on the newcomer’s trail on Wednesday 27 May when he reveals that international photographer Yannis Kouvaris (played by well- known soapie star Emmanuel Castis) is busy shooting his new project in Hillside. So in an attempt to draw social butterfly Paula out of her depression, Xander asks her to interview the visiting celebrity even though Paula’s not at all keen. “She’s not really interested in him,” Diaan says. “But that’s until she
sees him up close in Oppiekoffie.” On Thursday 28 May, Paula’s jaw is on the floor while she’s staring at Yannis sitting in front of her – and there’s only one word that she can come up with: “Yummy,” Diaan laughs, before adding that Paula’s caught unawares by his good looks so she ends up fumbling the interview. Emmanuel says that his character acts cool, calm and collected during the awkward interview and “realises that she’s out of her comfort zone and knows that he made an impact, but he’s not going to make it that easy for her and even acts impatiently when she can’t properly articulate some of her questions”.
THE GUY BEHIND THE GOD
“Yannis is a famous international photographer and an expert in female beauty,” Emmanuel says. “He’s published many coffeetable books with famous models and gorgeous women, but he’s recently become tired of his work and is looking for a fresh concept for his new photobook.”
That concept takes off on Friday 29 May when he runs into Paula in the Deli. And like their first encounter, this one’s awkward too… at first. “She falls over when she spots him and he’s there to catch her,” Emmanuel explains. “And in that very moment that their eyes lock, he’s hit by a bolt of inspiration – he wants to make Paula the muse for his new project in which he captures on film the life of an ordinary woman in her community.”
So on Monday 1 June, at a Bruynwaves’ cocktail party to celebrate their newly- renovated offices, Yannis asks Paula to be his new muse. Diaan says that the request makes Paula feel flattered. “She never expected this Greek god would want to make her the focus of his new project. She feels honoured, but she’s also selfconscious and for the first time she doubts whether she’s worth it. In the past, Paula wouldn’t have thought twice about accepting the offer to be the focal point of
WHAT ABOUT ALTUS?
Yannis may have caught Paula’s eye but there are still a lot of underlying feelings between her and ex- hubby Altus (Heino Schmitt). “Poor Altie tries hard to win back her trust and he’s not at all impressed with Yannis, who only has eyes for Paula,” Diaan adds. On Tuesday 2 June, Altus lays his cards on the table with Paula and asks her to take him back, which confuses her even more. “He declares his undy- ing love for Paula and owns up to missing her terribly. But Paula’s conflicted because she’s developed feelings for Yannis and sees a possible future with him,” Diaan says. With two very different guys to choose from, Paula’s in a pickle, but is she really ready to move on after Altus’s affair?
BACK ON THE BOX
Emmanuel’s an old favourite with soapie fans, who will remember him as nice- guy Steve Stethakis on Isidingo (1998-2006) and shady womaniser Cole Harris on Scandal! (2009-2012). Before joining 7de Laan in March, Emmanuel was touring the world with the stage musical Jersey Boys. “I’ve been away from soapies for more than two years and I really enjoyed getting back into the industry,” Emmanuel says of his guest stint on 7de Laan. And he’s open to the idea of joining a soapie on a permanent basis again. “It felt like I was ‘coming home’ when I started at 7de Laan. And I think if the right opportunity comes along, I’d consider joining a soap on a permanent basis again.”
But first there are a few other projects demanding his attention. “I’m currently busy recording four modern contemporary songs that I will be releasing independently. They’ll be available on iTunes and on my website in the next couple of months. Then I’m also on my way to the United States and who knows, you may see me in a movie or two,” Emmanuel teases.