‘SuzelleDIY’ star tack­les new project

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - ANDREW ROBERT­SON

JU­LIA Anas­ta­sopou­los, star of SuzelleDIY, has gained suc­cess thanks to her par­ody of Afrikaans cul­ture with her pop­u­lar show on YouTube.

For her new project, a “mock­u­men­tary” Tali’s Wed­ding Di­ary, Anas­ta­sopou­los stars as Tali, a self-ob­sessed Sand­ton kugel who has moved to Cape Town and has hired a crew to film the build-up to her wed­ding to prop­erty agent, Dar­ren.

“For the new char­ac­ter, a lot of peo­ple will be like ‘wow, this is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to me’, and hope­fully with this new char­ac­ter, I will be able to show a bit more di­ver­sity as an ac­tress and co­me­dian and to show th­ese very funny and beau­ti­ful typ­i­cal South African stereo­types,” she said.

“For this new project, sure I am def­i­nitely look­ing at a cer­tain type and draw­ing com­edy from cer­tain kind of South Africaness. I am do­ing that with as much au­then­tic­ity as I can. That is where the com­edy is; it has to feel real, like you recog­nise it in your life.

“Hope­fully peo­ple see it as a cel­e­bra­tion rather than any­thing else. It’s a par­ody, as is with Suzelle. Some of the best com­edy for me is par­ody.”

Anas­ta­sopou­los’s Greek in­flu­ence comes from her grand­mother and aunts. Her mother, a fine arts teacher, in­spired her and her two sis­ters.

“When I fin­ished school it was a bit of a toss-up of whether or not I would go the fine-art route or the drama route. I ended up choos­ing the drama route. Just be­cause I was so pas­sion­ate about per­for­mance and act­ing and the­atre,” she said.

Anas­ta­sopou­los said her char­ac­ter in Tali’s Wed­ding Di­ary is “very much self-in­volved” and “she loves gym and fash­ion”, ad­ding: “She’s like the quin­tes­sen­tial Joburg cool-girl type, that I think we can all iden­tify with.

“This is a project that has been on the cards for a few years and fi­nally we had this op­por­tu­nity to make some­thing from it, so we re­ally just jumped at the op­por­tu­nity.”

Anas­ta­sopou­los mar­ried Ari Kruger, who is the co-cre­ator and di­rec­tor of Tali’s Wed­ding Di­ary, in March. They have worked to­gether since SuzelleDIY.

“We went straight from plan­ning our own wed­ding to plan­ning a ‘new wed­ding’, so it’s like I had two wed­dings this year, it’s ab­so­lutely in­sane.... It’s been re­ally amaz­ing,” she said.

“Ari and I have an in­cred­i­ble work­ing re­la­tion­ship. Luck­ily, be­cause we have been do­ing so much work on Suzelle, we know ex­actly how to man­age that.”

Tali’s Wed­ding Di­ary is be­ing filmed in Cape Town. The eight-episode se­ries will pre­miere on Show­max in De­cem­ber. The show is pro­duced by Sketch­book Stu­dios, which Anas­ta­sopou­los and Kruger own.

“Peo­ple (must know) that Suzelle isn’t go­ing any­where. This re­ally is just a new project that can ex­ist at the same time. It’s so amaz­ing for me as an ac­tress to do that,” she said.

Ju­lia Anas­ta­sopou­los

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