Kim Engelbrecht has come a long way in her acting career after seeing an ad in ‘The Argus’ where an overseas filmmaker was looking for a schoolgirl who was a strong swimmer to feature in a movie.
She has since graced us with her presence on the small and big screens from here to LA!
As usual, Engelbrecht delivers powerhouse performances with high adrenaline as Detective Reyka Gama who has now been seconded to the Durban Harbour Police Station where she’s busy building the profile of a killer who targets couples at a coastal lookout spot called Lover’s Lane.
The assailant is a sinister enigma who finishes his male victims off coldly and clinically yet shows remorse – even protectiveness – over female victims.
“I think Durban’s great; Durban is like a third character in the series, this time we have moved away from being a bit inland in KZN nearer to the beaches and the harbour where the story encapsulates the water theme,” says an ecstatic Engelbrecht.
“The 031 is beautiful, there’s something about the Durban beachfront, especially North Beach – the long stretch of sand and the escape of the ocean and how far you see the ocean, is unbelievable!” says Engelbrecht.
“The entire cast and crew stayed at North Beach. Durban Harbour is incredibly beautiful and it’s a very-very busy port and we never know what is coming in or going out. And that forms part of the storyline.”
Those who watched season one would remember Reyka constantly running around, most of the time looking completely out of the woods and mentally drained.
Engelbrecht is no stranger to playing a physically demanding role. But how does she stay in shape?
“This is my job, I am always prepared for a physical role, it is usually the kind of jobs that I gravitate towards. I’m a very physical person, I work out, I run, and I am blessed to be super fit,” says Engelbrecht.
“I’m comfortable in that realm, I like using my body and putting my body to the test. We were at the beach so I could de-stress after a day of intense shooting,” she says.
“The cool thing is that I’m away from home, so I had the opportunity to give in to the character and everything that she is about and once it’s done, I disengage.”
It was Engelbrecht’s athletic abilities and fitness levels that initially landed her in the wonderful world of acting.
“There was an article in ‘The Argus’ that looked for an aspiring actress of a specific age who is a strong swimmer,” says an excited Engelbrecht.
“I was placed in a 25-metre pool and swam my heart out and that’s how landed my very first acting job as Sarah in ‘Sarahsarà’ that we shot in Italy, Namibia and Cape Town.”
Hailing from the 7493, the young Engelbrecht then started making her mark in the entertainment industry.
“I will always have a fondness for Belhar, that’s my roots,” says Engelbrecht who back then left Cape Town to pursue a TV career in Johannesburg.
Who would forget the breath of fresh air that blew into Horizon Deep, when Engelbrecht was cast as Lolly De Klerk in ‘Isidingo – The Need’.
With her busy life and hectic shooting schedules across the two continents, where does Engelbrecht find herself?
“My whereabouts are dependent on work; I spend a lot of time in Canada, and I would do lots of pilot seasons in the US. I think I am a bit of a gipsy”, says a laughing Engelbrecht.
“I’ve recently acquired a UK agent, I just signed with United – a big player over there and who knows,” Engelbrecht adds.
Back to ‘Reyka’, according to Engelbrecht the intense shooting schedule, coupled with the locations where her character finds herself in ‘Reyka’, is not always beautiful places, there is also a dark side to South Africa.
“I love this show, I love the way it’s written, and I love what it’s trying to say.
“The show has become like a bit of a family for me, we did season one, we did well, the show got international acclaim and the core team is similar in terms of crew,” says Engelbrecht.
Despite Reyka’s precarious mental state and complex personal life, she’s determined to catch Durban’s latest predator.
What made it easier to bring Reyka to life?
“Because it took Rohan Dickson 12 years to make this show, I think he knew exactly who she was, there was an intense character bible and I got to know Reyka inside and out. I would go into character knowing who she was and is,” says Engelbrecht.
But among all this Reyka may find love again.
The indomitable Head of the Search and Rescue unit, Captain Leon Lombard (Frank Rautenbach) is an adrenaline junkie and there’s a romantic attraction between him and Reyka.
Are there talks of season 3?
“I hope so, I really hope it does happen, it’s early days but I am sure this story resonates with the viewers and that we will be back with another instalment,” says Engelbrecht.
Engelbrecht is also yearning to do some theatre work. Back in 2008, she performed in ‘Kroes’ at the Suidooster Festival and that was the last time she set foot on a stage.
“I’m in the market for a lekker Afrikaans theatre piece and maybe a film, I love the language and how expressive it is. A nice love story, away from the fighting scenes I’m accustomed to lately, would be great” says Engelbrecht.
Casting directors and producers, Kim Engelbrecht is ready and waiting for your call!