Hunter Plaatjies, 23, best known for her role as Saartjie in Arendsvlei, outlines what she would like to achieve in her dramatic career. She also shares what this South African telenovela has taught her./\r\n//\r\n/Having won the role five months into 2019 and only a year after graduating, Plaatjies has many hopes and dreams when it comes to her acting career.
Tell us more about how you got where you are today?
I studied BA Drama and Theatre Studies at Stellenbosch University. Thereafter, I joined an agency and started going to auditions from there.
What have you learnt through your character?
I've learnt that we need to look better after the earth. Pollution, plastic, climate change, and so on.
All that is real, and I knew it, but now I hope it doesn't just go over people's heads as it may have before. I also learnt that we can always be a little more caring and considerate than what we already are.
What are your dreams and goals for acting?
My dream is to be consistent and to be recognised as an actress people want to work with because of what I bring to the table on and off set.
I would also love to be cast in an international production.
I would enjoy playing any active character. Whether she plays a sport, whether she's an assassin, anything full of action would be a great challenge.
Who are your mentors or role models in the industry?
I look up to all the leading ladies in Arendsvlei itself because they've been in the industry so long and are still as hard-working and welcoming.
However, internationally, I like the work of Viola Davis and Margot Robbie, just to mention two.
"Regardless of how many times you're told no, just believe in what you're capable of and always work to better yourself."Hunter Plaatjies
Any advice for aspiring South African actors and actresses?
There are opportunities, just keep on keeping on.
Regardless of how many times you're told no, just believe in what you're capable of and always work to better yourself./\r\n//\r\n/Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would like to see myself still acting, have written two pieces of my own maybe for theatre, television or short films, and still being active in the industry.
Dreams are valid
What do you aim to achieve through your acting?
I would like to prove that dreams are valid. Stories need to be told and helping others through your growth and experiences is a good thing./\r\n/
"She also always has an answer for everything, and that's definitely me when I argue with my brother."Hunter Plaatjies
/\r\n/How can you relate with your character in Arendsvlei?
To a certain extent, I can relate to the fact that she has a very innocent aura, and that was similar to me in high school. She also always has an answer for everything, and that's definitely me when I argue with my brother.
Most embarrassing moment
What was your most embarrassing moment on set?
My most embarrassing moment is not THAT embarrassing, but I guess the one day that I had to do a scene where I, as headgirl, go on stage and give a speech in front of all the teachers and learners.
All day I knew the lines. Then, for some reason when I got to the microphone and looked in front of me, I just went blank.
One of the cast members looked at me and tried giving me my lines because his back was facing the camera. Even then I couldn't make out what he was saying or remember what I was supposed to say.
Luckily on the next take, I got it right./\r\n//\r\n/How have you been keeping busy during the lockdown?
By doing everything possible, LOL! I've been watching series, building puzzles, reading, writing, baking, taking walks when I can, re-organising and just trying to keep creative.
Radio is another interest of actress Hunter Plaatjies.
Speed round with Hunter
Tv shows or movies? TV shows (but lowkey both).
- Netflix or Showmax? Netflix, just because it has more variety but I'm here all the way supporting local as well.[*]Drama or Comedy? Comedy. I enjoy a good laugh.[*]What are you currently binge-watching? Just finished Elite but I'm currently watching the last season of Power.[*]What can't you leave the house without? My phone probably.[*]What would you be doing, if not acting? Most likely radio.[*]Top snacks to eat when catching up on Arendsvlei? Can never go wrong with the blue packet of Doritos and maybe some chocolate peanuts.
'Arendsvlei' in a nutshell
So, having matriculated six years ago and graduated with an honours degree in 2018, Plaatjies finds herself once again in the classroom. However, this time it's in Arendsvlei, where she plays the high school's headgirl.
Arendsvlei centres around a brother and sister who make it their priority to make a difference in the lives of the learners in the community.
The show tackles many controversial topics, such as mental illness, abuse, patriarchy and homophobia. The show also does not shy away from drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and domestic and gun violence.
This could be what makes the show so relatable to South Africans and so popular in local households.
Catch Hunter Plaatjies as Saartjie in Arendsvlei every Monday to Wednesday on KykNET&Kie./\r\n//\r\n/