Schalk Bezuidenhout cut his hair for movie debut & wants to be taken seriously

07 October 2018 - 08:00 By Kyle Zeeman
Schalk Bezuidenhout is the lead in 'Kanarie', his first major film role.
Schalk Bezuidenhout is the lead in 'Kanarie', his first major film role.
Image: YouTube/ Kanarie

He studied drama in school but Schalk Bezuidenhout says comedy took him on a detour until he got his first major film role.

The star has been entertaining audiences with his jokes for years as one of the most popular comedians in the country but told TshisaLIVE that he wants to be taken seriously as an actor after scoring the lead role in  upcoming Afrikaans coming-of-age drama Kanarie.

In fact, he even cut his hair for the role to show people that he is serious about this acting business.

"I wanted it to be believable. I was happy that I cut my hair because I don't want people to see the comedian while I am acting in a serious role. It takes the attention away from the story because the first half of the film you are just trying to get over the fact that it is a comedian playing a serious role. I think because I look so different it will be easier for audiences to get into the story."

The film is set in South Africa in 1985 against a backdrop of apartheid, religion and war and tells the story of a teen boy Johan Niemand, who has always been bullied in his small town for his flair for British new wave music and love of Boy George.

After he gets called on by the military and auditions for the South African Defence Force Church Choir called the Canaries, he believes it will be his ticket out of fighting the war.

Schalk said he was drawn to the film by director Christiaan Olwagen's vision and how real the story was.

"It is a beautiful story and a true story. I was drawn to it because it was such a true story. It resonates with people and they can relate to it."

Schalk said he hoped this would be the first of many films he would be acting in.

"I would obviously love to be in more films but there isn't a movie factory that you can go to and ask them to be in a movie. With comedy you can make your own way by booking a venue and creating a one-man show, with films there are a lot more parts and people."

Kanarie will be released to local cinemas on October 19.