Clint Brink, 40, recently won a South African Film and Television Award (Safta) for his role as Dr Steven Abrahams in the Afrikaans series, Binnelanders.
His character holds shares in Binneland (the hospital that the soapie mainly revolves around) with the famous At Koster as business partner.
Dr Abrahams is divorced from his previous wife, Bronwyn, and their son, Damion, died in a car accident a couple of years ago. Then Brink jokes and says his character likes long, windy walks on the beach and we laugh at how we’re talking about a fictional character whom the country has grown so fond of and so accustomed to, that it feels like he is sitting on the couch next to us.
But, what brought the conversation about, was actually Brink’s brilliant acting alongside the talented Ilne Nienaber, who played his fiancée in Binnelanders and who has just left the series after her character died from a freak accident.
Her character, Elana, lost a kidney and damaged the other quite badly and later had many complications, including a heart attack and brain damage after which she had been declared braindead. During this whole ordeal, Brink’s acting had the whole country empathising with him and the situation.
On working with Nienaber, Brink says she was one of the few actors that was always well prepared. He says that in the four years that he acted alongside her in Binnelanders, he never saw her with text on set.
“Of course, she was someone very dedicated. She was never scared of working hard.”
He says that apart from being a very talented actor, Ilne is also someone with a larger-than-life personality and that every time she leaves a room, you could feel the void of her not being there.
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Brink’s Safta journey
Brink says he has been working very hard in the entertainment industry for the best part of 21 years and that even though this is his first Saftan win, he has received six Safta nominations over the years.
He was fortunate to jump from one big show to the next, with Backstage (the South African version of FAME) being his first professional step in his career as actor. Brink says that Backstage changed the way soapies are done in South Africa.
From there he moved on to Generations (which was then the biggest show in South Africa) for another three years, while acting in the feature film, Dollars and White Pipes at the same time. This film did very well and gave Brink his very first Safta nomination.
After that, Brink acted in Scandal! for over seven years. He played the villain, Trevor, in the second season of Rockville and he did three short films under the name Onse Stories for kykNET, which was also his first opportunity to work within the Afrikaans market.
In 2014, he was cast for Roer Jou Voete and in 2015 he started working as Dr Steven Abrahams on Binnelanders, where he has been ever since.
He was, however, also involved with MTV’s Shuga (second season), which was filmed in South Africa and he has co-written and produced five albums.
On an Instagram post, Binnelanders‘ Brink posed with his Safta, captioning it with the following:
“This award is in honour and in restoration of the disenfranchised, the hopeless, the forgotten, the overlooked, the unsupported, the mismanaged, the misrepresented, the undervalued, the marginalised, the meek in spirit and the many who are more than deserving but are left unfulfilled.”
Brink dreams of equality
Brink says that together with Kim Cloete, he is working on the production of a feature film for M-Net, which they have written in collaboration with their friend, Ricardo Arendse. Brink says that they hope to start filming at the end of the year and that this boasts the ideal opportunity for him to offer something other than acting to the industry.
He wants to offer something to different cultures – content for specific cultures like the coloured people of South Africa for whom there are not always a lot of content out there.
“Coloured people are indigenous to South Africa and this will help me to shed light on our culture, family structures, our humour and how it is to live in a country with so much politics.”
Brink says that sometimes the Coloured people fall through the cracks and that he would like to change that.
“I am a stubborn guy and if I decide to do something with my life and there are people standing in my way, they will have a hard time,” says Brink.
He remembers the time at varsity when the first years were only allowed to build sets and had almost no acting opportunities. Still, he sealed a couple of roles in his first year.
“I was adamant. I wanted to put myself in a position where I could learn and grow. I didn’t stand for people who stood in my way. I became an actor, because it is part of my skill set.”
He says it is important to unlock your talents.
“I’ve always been someone who wants to make a difference. Through my talents and my hard work, I was able to build a platform. I have a voice; I have a name.”
Today, Brink hopes that his platform and his recent Safta win will help him make a difference.