Wine above this

Re­nate Stu­ur­man has been bottling things up for her craft.

TV Plus (South Africa) - - DRAMA -

Re­nate Stu­ur­man has gone from soaps and cof­fee shops to drama se­ries and wine farms on SABC3 drama Thula’s Vine (2017- cur­rent). The 38-year-old has been on soapies in­clud­ing Isidingo (1998- cur­rent) as trou­bled Jade, Denise on 7de Laan (2000- cur­rent) and feisty Tamia on Scan­dal! (2005- cur­rent) dur­ing the mid-2000s. While soaps are in her blood, the Gra­ham­stown na­tive is lov­ing her role as ra­dio DJ-turned-wine farmer Thula in the 13-episode se­ries. But she’s not just in it for the bot­tles and bot­tles of wine…

Why is Thula so re­lat­able? Be­cause she is flawed and she isn’t afraid to show her im­per­fec­tions. She has been through quite an or­deal and she is no goody­goody. View­ers can sym­pa­thise with her and the com­plex re­la­tion­ship that she has with her fam­ily, as most peo­ple have such trou­bles too. Thula is also from a bi-racial back­ground and she tries to ex­plore her iden­tity. Her story is real, she’s mis­un­der­stood and these are strug­gles that peo­ple have ex­pe­ri­enced through­out their life.

What was your role prepa­ra­tion? As an ac­tress, you do your re­search and you get enough in­for­ma­tion. I tried to draw in­spi­ra­tion from my own life and ex­plored the re­la­tion­ships that I have with my sib­lings, my fam­ily and my ro­mances. I also read up on cer­tain things that Thula might be in­ter­ested in and I took cues from other ac­tors on be­hav­iours and man­ner­isms. How dif­fer­ent is it to film a drama se­ries as op­posed to work­ing in soapies? I pre­fer to do drama se­ries be­cause I can re­ally get into char­ac­ter. There’s an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore, be sin­cere and truth­ful in a short se­ries com­pared to soaps, which are height­ened real­ity. In dra­mas, there are real con­nec­tions while soapies have half an hour to get through a lot. Since the show is set on a wine farm, did

you get to drink any wine? [Laughs] The show was shot on a vine­yard but there was no wine con­sumed at all! If we were able to have real wine, I’m sure the show’s tone would have been very dif­fer­ent! There are a lot of other well-known ac­tors on the en­sem­ble cast… I got the chance to work with a leg­endary cast and just the styles and tech­niques and other things that I learnt from my co-stars was im­pos­si­ble to buy. It’s like go­ing to school ev­ery­day and re­turn­ing home with a wealth of knowl­edge. I find that the more sea­soned ac­tors and ac­tresses are so nat­u­ral and calm. They take ev­ery­thing in their stride and I would sit and watch them learn­ing their lines like a weird stalker. So that means you’ve got tons of ad­vice to give bud­ding ac­tors or ac­tresses, like… I want to make this clear: act­ing is a hard in­dus­try and you must be ready for it. Don’t be put off by what’s go­ing and rather come to work al­ready plan­ning for the un­ex­pected.

“We didn’t drink any wine dur­ing film­ing,” prom­ises Re­nate Stu­ur­man.

Thula’s swapped her ca­reer from DJing to wine­mak­ing.

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