South African film, Accident, lands in cinemas today, and we had the opportunity (courtesy of UIP South Africa) to sit down with two of its cast members – SA actor Tyrone Keogh and German actress Stephanie Shield – to chat about the local action-thriller.
The local film involves an overturned car with passengers trapped inside trying to escape, following a horrific accident.
Can you tell us more about the film?
Stephanie: It’s an action-thriller about two girls that are going on a fun adventure and happen to come across two gentlemen. They think everything is going to be fun and then suddenly, it all takes a dark turn.
Tyrone: [continues on from Stephanie] ... and chaos ensures. We don’t want to give too much away as we’d like somebody to go watch the movie and pay.
Tell us about the characters you both play in the film?
Stephanie: My character [Jess] starts off quite reserved and she doesn’t want to get roped into all these things that her friend – who’s a bit more outgoing – is trying to get her to do. So she’s quite reluctant. And then being trapped in this car for the longest time is a claustrophobic place. It’s like a cocoon where a beautiful butterfly emerged – a strong warrior butterfly. Then she finds the strength within.
Tyrone: He’s name is Fred. I don’t think he’s got a surname. Just one name like Madonna. He starts out as a bit of a cheeky dude definitely like the Alpha. He is a bit pushy with the girls. He’s a bit of an a**hole, but by the end of it he is the one with the conscience. The one who ends up trying to help the girls as opposed to the other guy who kind of loses his marbles.
What qualifies this film as South African?
Tyrone: Predominantly South African cast, SA crew, SA location and money.
Why did the filmmakers decide to go with an American setting and characters?
Tyrone: I think to make it more marketable abroad, so that the film could actually be sold overseas.
Besides Stephanie, did the film feature any other international cast members?
Tyrone: Well, Kevin Otto – who played the cop – is originally Canadian and the director [Dan Tondowski] is French. But besides that, we’re all South African.
The scenes that featured the characters trapped inside the car; did you guys actually have a wrecked car right on top of you?
Stephanie: Yes, we were inside the car. It was upside down and we were on the roof inside it basically. They shot the scenes [inside the car] through the windows.
What inspired the director [Dan Tondowski] to make the film?
Tyrone: Dan is a complete action nut. He’s a Michael Bay fanatic. He wanted to make the movie of his teenage dreams which was girls in skimpy clothing and big explosions – he was living the dream.
What inspired you guys to take on this film?
Tyrone: For me, personally, to take on the film – I love the action stuff, I’m drawn to it. It was fun. It wasn’t anything serious; it was just four weeks of having fun with great people.
Stephanie: Same thing. The idea of something challenging. We did our own stunts and came away quite battered and bruised from the experience.
Even that water stunt?
Tyrone: We did all of it.
Stephanie: It was freezing. We had a Jacuzzi on set, but it was a boat ride away. So to save time, we stayed in the water.
Which locations in SA was 'Accident' filmed in?
Tyrone: They started filming just past Grabouw. We also shot in the Waterfront. The majority of it was shot at Blue Rock in the Quarry.
Have you guys ever made it into a Hollywood production?
Tyrone: I did a film called '24 Hours to Live' with Ethan Hawk which was pretty big – I think so.
Stephanie: There was 'Death Race 2' which I had a very small part in. And I did Tremors.
What advice would you give actors hoping to break into the SA film industry?
Stephanie: [Jokes] Choose a new career [laughs]. Work on anything you can [theatre, TV, short film classes].
Tyrone: If you want to work on international productions, try and get your accent down because if you can’t do an American accent, they’re not going to take you seriously. Work on short films so that you can get a decent show reel together.
Did you guys have to do any preparations for your American accents in the film?
Tyrone: Yes, we did accent work with an American accent coach who’s based in SA. We stayed in it for the entire shoot – so even when we weren’t on camera, we were talking in the accent.
Was it hard to master the accent?
Tyrone: You talk in a different way. You speak in the back of your throat, roll your eyes. It’s technical. But once you crack it, it becomes second nature.
Stephanie: And it helped that everyone around us was speaking it.
Accident hits the local circuit on December 1, 2017.