You may know them as Suzelle DIY, the Afrikaans lass who has a way with a hand drill and a beehive, and Tali Babes, the Joburg influencer who moves to Cape Town and navigates the world of momfluencing.
They are two distinctly South African phenoms that bring joy to thousands with their quirks, vocal tics and remarkably funny blind spots.
I wonder when Julia decided that humorous endeavours were her happy place?
“It took me a while to discover. There is something about drama school [she went to the University of Cape Town] where you feel you need to be a serious actress but it wasn’t really my thing. I loved the training, and having a classical background really helped me find my niche.
"But after struggling in the industry — it is so erratic, going to auditions — I was focusing on my more artistic side — design, illustration — almost saying goodbye to performance. But I had been doing these fun little skits with my husband, director Ari Kruger, purely to keep our creative fires burning, and Suzelle took off and that was completely unexpected — that was in 2014.”
I follow Julia’s lead and order an omelette — but she tells me the “Wimpy breakfast” is a vibe.
I am not a friend of the baked bean so I skip this classic South African brekkie. But you can see what I mean regarding a semi-ironic state of being running in the family.
“I adopt these different characters, fall into their personalities. But it is very hard for me to describe what I do. Drama school gave me a very good foundation, but comedy is very hard: you have to be a big funny clown, which I am, but for it to work you don’t have to play the jokes, you have to play the drama — play it straight. You have to really understand the character. It’s about really rooting yourself in that person’s shoes.”
Where do the characters come from? “Obviously I workshop the character, but to some degree both characters existed for a very long time. Even in high school I was imagining these characters — especially Tali babes. She is a part of me somehow.