Great new lo­cal pro­duc­tion

Ger­aamtes in die Kas is a drama with plenty of prom­ise and an im­pres­sive cast. Buhle Mbonambi spoke to ac­tress Anel Alexan­der

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

GER­AAMTES in die Kas means skele­tons in the closet. And boy, are there skele­tons in SABC 2’s new drama se­ries.

The show, which airs on Tues­days at 7.30pm, boasts an all-star cast of Gys de Vil­liers, He­lene Lom­bard, Vuyelwa Booi, Kim En­gel­brecht and Anel Alexan­der. Set in a Joburg psy­chol­ogy prac­tice, Ver­maak en Ven­note, Ger­aamtes sees its char­ac­ters bat­tle their own demons and is­sues, while help­ing their pa­tients bat­tle

theirs. Ver­maak en

Ven­note com­prises the

ec­cen­tric Adri­aan Ver

maak (De Vil­liers) who has ma­jor

daddy is­sues; the sassy sex­ol­o­gist, Palesa Ramaphosa (Booi) who has some ma­jor re­la­tion­ship is­sues; un­con­ven­tional

mu­sic ther­a­pist Rudy Abra­hams ( Wayne van Rooyen) and crim­i­nal psy­chol­o­gist Su­san Brink ( Alexan­der), who is the glue that holds the prac­tice to­gether.

Dr Su­san Brink is a com­plex char­ac­ter. She’s a crim­i­nal psy­chol­o­gist and, in a way, deal­ing with hard­ened crim­i­nals has taken its toll on her.

“She doesn’t see things as black and white – it’s al­most al­ways a grey area. Ethics are very im­por­tant to her and that’s one of the dif­fi­cult things when lines get blurred – she doesn’t know what to do.

“She’s self- right­eous though, which can some­times be very ir­ri­tat­ing. But her heart is in the right place,” Anel said.

“Su­san is per­fect for her job. She’s one of those peo­ple who are or­gan­ised, have a set way of do­ing things and love sta­bil­ity. Su­san is that per­son. She’s the one who al­ways has to make the big de­ci­sions for the prac­tice.”

This makes Su­san closer to Adri­aan than the other part­ners.

“She’s his right-hand woman. I think she un­der­stands him; his ec­cen­tric­i­ties and his is­sues.

“She did her the­sis on Adri­aan and his meth­ods, so he’s al­ways been her men­tor. So be­cause of this the other part­ners al­ways ask Su­san to speak to Adri­aan when he has gone over­board.”

All this makes Su­san ded­i­cated to her work.

“Oh, she’s a worka­holic. She has no time for any­thing but her work. She re­ally gets into it and doesn’t al­low any dis­trac­tions.

“She sleeps in the of­fice some­times. It’s ac­tu­ally most times (laughs). But I love how ded­i­cated she is.”

Anel was at­tracted to Ger­aamtes be­cause it was a dif­fer­ent premise from other shows.

“The con­cept in­trigued me. I kept imag­in­ing just how many great sto­ries we could tell and how far we could take the show. I’ve done quite a lot of soapies and dra- mas and Ger­aamtes most in­ter­est­ing.”

What drew her to Su­san’s char­ac­ter was how com­plex she is and the cases she gets to work on.

“Su­san is a tough cookie. She’s nice, but don’t ever mess with her. “I love no-non­sense char­ac­ters. “An­other thing I love about the show is the ex­ten­sive re­search that has been done for each case. Some are bizarre, yes, but most are in­spired by real cases. I love how the writ­ers have writ­ten the cases too. Su­san gets to deal with such in­ter­est­ing in­di­vid­u­als and most are psy­chopaths. Like the first episode where she had to eval­u­ate whether her court-ap­pointed pa­tient, Retief, is sane. It turns out he’s not and he’s been play­ing the courts and Su­san. So when she finds out how warped he re­ally is, she makes sure he gets put away for a long time. And this hap­pens in real life.

“I have such ap­pre­ci­a­tion for psy­chol­o­gists now – hav­ing to deal with peo­ple’s is­sues and try­ing their best to make sure they don’t af­fect them per­son­ally.”

Has deal­ing with all these crim­i­nals af­fected Su­san?

“I think so. She’s very metic­u­lous about ev­ery­thing.

“She’s faced with eth­i­cal chal­lenges on how to treat her clients, so much so she’s ne­glected other as­pects of her life, es­pe­cially her love life, or rather, the lack of.”

Speak­ing of Su­san’s love life, Gavin Win­ters (James Alexan­der) is the man who hopes to cap­ture her heart. “He’s such a pain!” Anel said, laugh­ing. “I would never date a guy like Gavin and I feel so sorry for Su­san hav­ing to deal with him.”

is eas­ily the

Gavin, played by Anel’s own hus­band, is an ob­nox­ious for­mer neu­ro­sur­geon with a high opin­ion of him­self, which is what you’d ex­pect from a wun­derkind who fin­ished school in his mid-teens and univer­sity at 17. As Anel said, Gavin is the lo­cal ver­sion of The Big Bang The­ory’s Shel­don Cooper.

“He’s a ter­ri­ble nar­cis­sist thanks to his God Syndrome and know­ing bet­ter than ev­ery­one else, like Shel­don Cooper or even Denny Crane ( Bos­ton Le­gal). He had his li­cence re­voked af­ter ren­der­ing three of his pa­tients brain-dead.

He be­comes one of Su­san’s pa­tients and she di­ag­noses him with nar­cis­sis­tic per­son­al­ity dis­or­der. But now he won’t go away.”

While he may ir­ri­tate Su­san, Gavin ac­tu­ally does have a chance with her. “Su­san is flat­tered by his at­ten­tion, even though it ir­ri­tates her that Gavin thinks he’s do­ing her a favour by even be­ing re­motely in­ter­ested in her.”

It’s cer­tainly made eas­ier for Anel, act­ing with James. “James is a re­ally great ac­tor. He’s to­tally dif­fer­ent from Gavin. So I al­ways have to rise to the chal­lenge when­ever I’m work­ing with him on a scene.”

This year has been great for lo­cal TV. With five new dra­mas launched, it looks as though lo­cal chan­nels are fi­nally se­ri­ous about com­mis­sion­ing lo­cal shows.

“It’s re­ally en­cour­ag­ing. It’s very much more ex­pen­sive to make lo­cal pro­duc­tions than it is to buy in­ter­na­tional shows, so it’s al­ways a good thing. Be­sides the view­ers be­ing able to re­late to the sto­ries, it’s good for our in­dus­try. We work re­ally hard and it’s dis­ap­point­ing when we don’t see our shows on TV.

Ger­aamtes in die Kas.

IM­PRES­SIVE: The cast of

SU­SAN: Anel Alexan­der

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