Adriaan Roets
2 minute read
28 Jan 2015
12:00 pm

Auret shines as Hippo

Adriaan Roets

Brandon Auret is doing something extremely right, considering his plum role as Hippo in Neill Blomkamp's third expected blockbuster, Chappie.

Brandon Auret wants to encourage change in the South African film and television industry. Picture: Supplied.

The film is expected to be one of 2015’s major sci-fi action flicks, and Auret joins a tiptop mixed international and local cast that includes Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel and Die Antwoord’s Yolandi Vi$$er and Ninja (Anri du Toit and Watkin Tudor Jones).

“We never have this kind of exposure for South African talent and Blomkamp always presents this idea that South Africans can step up and have these big roles,” Auret says.

The actor has a busy few months ahead of him.

He’s currently shooting in Cape Town before heading to Lala Land (Los Angeles) in February to try and get funding for some of his own work with his production company A Breed Apart Pictures.

He also hopes to shop around and find an agent that side of the world.

He’s also attending the Chappie premiere in New York in March.

“I have no intention to leave South Africa right now.

“I have a few films lined up for the year and will stay here, but the money to produce films are in America,” Auret says.

He’s currently in production in Franschhoek for Double Echo, which also stars Amalia Uys.

After that he hopes to be able to use his time in America to ensure his latest project Making a Killing sees the light.

“Justin Head (Night Ride) will be directing. It’s about missionaries in the Congo.

“We hope it will be a big budget action film,” Auret says.

But while he is set to be busy in the future, his work on Chappie is also causing excitement. Auret says he really loved getting into the character of Hippo, who is a baddie through and through.

“This time I went through pre-production stuff. I had to train for 11 to 13 weeks to have a body transformation which involved immense weight training.”

As a result Auret is shirtless during his screen time in the film set in Johannesburg.

“Neill (Blomkamp) gave me leeway to go where I wanted to go with the character,” Auret says.

As a result, Hippo can be seen as one of the other stars of the film.

“Chappie is a Neill Blomkamp that has these really likeable characters, and a lot of heart,” Auret says.

He’s been able to see snippets of the film while doing voice-overs and post-production work, and trills that it is everything you want a sci-fi action movie to be.

But for now he’s just happy to be in South Africa, and to spend time with his daughter who has a birthday coming up, before jetting off to America.