Home Lifestyle Plenty of blood and guts promised in new local horror series Pulse

Plenty of blood and guts promised in new local horror series Pulse

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Shot in South Africa and Mauritius, Pulse follows a group of video game developers who become trapped in a real-world version of their own creation.

The six-episode survival horror series was voted one of the 25 buzziest series at this year’s MIPTV festival in Cannes, France. Picture supplied.

IF YOU take a closer look at the poster for the new local horror series Pulse, you are guaranteed to have your eyes drawn to the dashing muscular six-pack that actress Tarryn Wyngaard is sporting.

While clearly very noticeable and impressive, the 30-year-old doesn’t like drawing any attention to it.

“People have commented on my abs, that’s so embarrassing,” Wyngaard says, as she bursts into laughter.

While the actress shies away from talking about her dashing six-pack for her latest role in Pulse, Wyngaard does admit she is proud of the hard work and dedication she put in at the gym to prepare for one of the most challenging acting roles she’s had in her career so far.

The actress, who grew up on the tough streets of Bonteheuwel in Cape Town, plays the leading role of Jaz, an indie gaming creator in Pulse, which is set to debut on Showmax on June 23.

“I trained a whole lot to get ready to play the role of Jaz,” she told The Saturday Star.

“I got a personal trainer and I was training a minimum of three times a week, so I really put in a lot of hard work.”

The six-episode survival horror series, which is directed by multi-award-winner Sallas de Jager (Dominee Tienie, Free State), was voted one of the 25 buzziest series at this year’s international television market, the MIPTV festival in Cannes, France.

Tarryn Wyngaard plays the leading role of Jaz, an indie gaming creator in the new horror TV series Pulse, which is set to debut on Showmax on June 23. Supplied image.

Shot in South Africa and Mauritius, Pulse follows a group of video game developers who become trapped in a real-world version of their own creation.

As such, they’re cornered in their high-rise office building by a madman who just wants to play.

Wyngaard secured a leading role in the series, playing Jaz, the creator of a hit independent video game that’s getting a mainstream reboot.

The series also stars Thapelo Mokoena, who plays a narcissistic producer, Sven Ruygrok (“Spud”), and two-time Silwerskerm winner Carel Nel, with cameos from multi-award-winners Albert Pretorius and Laré Birk.

And one of the country’s most recognisable actors, Frank Opperman, also features.

Aside from the hard work she put in at the gym, Wyngaard says she had to undergo intensive preparation to prepare for her role as Jaz.

“I didn’t know much about gaming to be honest. My boyfriend is into gaming and he really got into it during Covid and spent hours on end playing games, so I did end up playing a game here and there.

Shot in South Africa and Mauritius, Pulse follows a group of video game developers who become trapped in a real-world version of their own creation. Supplied image.

“However my role was more about learning about what it’s like to be a gamer in terms of a game designer, the politics behind that. I read a lot of books, and watched a lot of YouTube videos about getting into the mind of a game designer, and how they see things. I did quite a bit of research, and some internal reflection to get myself ready for the role.”

She describes Jaz as one of the “coolest” characters she has played.

“Jaz is techy. She’s a game designer. She’s the head of this design program, and she runs her own business making this game. But she initially started out in the indie space with her friend. The game ended up doing so well that it has been bought to do a reboot.

“Jaz sees gaming as art. She’s quite put together in the sense of her career and through the process of having to survive, she learns to depend more on her instincts to survive. In her personal life, she has it all together but there are some things she needs to work on. She probably is one of the coolest characters I’ve ever played.”

Shot in South Africa and Mauritius, Pulse follows a group of video game developers who become trapped in a real-world version of their own creation. Supplied image.

Being on a horror movie set also was quite intense, says the actress.

“I definitely got scared,” says Wyngaard.

“There are scenes where we would have to imagine an explosion, and then we had these great effects guys on board, the director would tell them to actually make something explode and I would get a literal fright. I still haven’t forgiven them for that.”

She also spent hours shooting in a dark box, which she admits made her claustrophobic.

“We did get a little loopy. We were in darkness for nine weeks trying to survive all these crazy things and it got intense, and we slowly but surely started losing our minds. It was touch-and-go at times. When things started feeling weird, though, we know this is actually how it was meant to feel.

“If we felt scared and freaked out, it was probably a good thing. It was very challenging but, all in all, a great experience.”

Wyngaard added that horror movie fans were in for a treat.

“They can expect to be sitting on the edge of their seats, to see something that is like tech horror but from an African perspective. This is a show for the people more on the fringes, people who consider themselves a bit different or out there. Not vanilla.

“These are for the geeks and freaks, and I mean that in the best kind of way. There is plenty of blood and guts and running for your life. It is classic horror, but home-grown.”

Actor Thapelo Mokoena plays the role of Errol, a narcissistic producer, in the new horror TV series Pulse. Supplied image.

The series also stars Thapelo Mokoena, in a role that goes against the grain of characters he has played . He stars as Errol, a narcissistic producer.

Mokoena described the series as the “most amazing project”.

“I’m so excited about Pulse. I’m really excited about the translation of the entire concept and how it’s come together,” says Mokoena.

“I pray for the roles I want and I sort of design a journey for the roles I play throughout my career and this felt right. From a character standpoint, I’m not going to give away too much, but playing Errol was just a Godsend, and of course highly creative.”

He describes Errol as a narcissist, determined, “cocksure of his ways”.

“He’s this do-or-die kind of character and I had a real pleasure digging into him.”

Actor Thapelo Mokoena plays the role of Errol, a narcissistic producer, in the new horror TV series Pulse. Supplied image.

Mokoena added that playing Errol was something he had never done before in his 21 years of acting.

“Every role demands different things. I have not come across something this challenging, this beautiful, this Godsend. This role was perfectly timed for where I am in my life. I’m having great fun exploring different characters and different layers.

“You probably won’t see me play a straight nice ice guy for the next year or two, but it’s all in the design of the journey I am on as an actor.”

While admitting to never being much of a horror fan, Mokoena says he is starting to love the genre.

“I’ve always loved suspense, series that activate the mind and take you on a psychological journey and at the same time take you on a dramatic with action and good balance.

“I can’t say I’ve grown up watching horrors. I remember watching Scary Movie when I was growing up, but that’s as far as I took it. How the genre has been translated over the years is not plain straight-up boo-hoo kind of horror. It’s really become embedded in how everyday scenarios can be horrific – how a perfect day can just turn into the biggest horror.

“I love how we’ve brought the horror a bit closer to everyday life and that’s what’s been explored here. The first time falling in love with horror in a really big sense has been part of making it.”

The Saturday Star

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