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World renowned South African actor, Arnold Vosloo, plays the leading role of Colonel Dick De Waal, the investigating officer of the murder case in the film

World renowned South African actor, Arnold Vosloo, plays the leading role of Colonel Dick De Waal, the investigating officer of the murder case in a film telling the shocking story of the Griekwastad-murders. This will be his first Afrikaans film in over 30 years. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

THE FILM “Griekwastad”, based on the true-life murders of the Steenkamp family in Griquatown in April 2012, debuted recently at the kykNET Silwerskermfees.

Deon and Christel Steenkamp and their daughter, Marthella, were murdered on their farm.

Don Steenkamp, who was 15 at the time, was eventually found guilty of the heinous crime.

World renowned South African actor, Arnold Vosloo, plays the leading role of Colonel Dick De Waal, the investigating officer of the murder case in the film.

Speaking to the media ahead of the film’s preview, a disarming Vosloo shed light on the movie and his role.

He said he purposefully chose not to meet the colonel who he was bringing to life on screen: “He was so meticulous with his notes and diary.”

It was details like the seconds it took to get from the farm gate to the front door of the Steenkamp farmhouse, Naauwhoek, that Vosloo used to help craft his character.

In preparation for the part, he streamed and listened to RSG Radio while in Los Angeles. He wanted to reconnect with the Afrikaans language.

Vosloo, who shot to fame in South Africa with Boetie Gaan Border Toe! in 1984 and Boetie op Manoeuvres in 1985, said his latest project was an art film and a far cry from the Hollywood blockbusters, including The Mummy franchise, he was accustomed to.

The film was shot in Hopefield in the Western Cape.

With the Hollywood films he’s used to making, they work with a 400-strong crew and a cluster of cameras. This time the producers had hand-picked a crew and kept filming intimate, which Vosloo loved.

The actor has been in the US since the early ‘90s and starred alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

When quizzed about celebville in LA, Vosloo appeared hesitant to name-drop but did say: “Al Pacino taught me that it’s not all about the dialogue, think of the subtext.”

Starring in such a gritty and emotional South African true crime film has been somewhat of an honour for Vosloo.

He said there could be no comparison to the big-money productions in the US, but “I’m glad there is still money to make movies here”.

Whenever he sets foot on home soil, Vosloo is often asked two questions: Would you ever come home and when last did you speak to Charlize Theron?

He answered the first with a grin and said he would love to be in South Africa for a few months out of every year but it was up to his American wife, Silvia Ahi, to decide.

And when it came to keeping in touch with South Africa’s other export to Hollywood, Vosloo said: “I last saw her (Charlize Theron) at her 21st birthday party. I have no South African friends in Los Angeles.”

The release date for “Griekwastad” is yet to be confirmed but it’s hoped the movie will be out early next year.