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Top Ten Movies with... Edwin van der Walt


Edwin van der Walt is a dedicated, energetic and versatile young actor, who has already drawn acclaim with a series of instantly likable and heartfelt performances in South African feature films such as: Ballade vir 'n Enkeling, Hollywood in my Huis, Modder en Bloed and Die Pro, with a lead role in My Father's War, which is scheduled for release in August.

Having shown tremendous potential on the field as a sportsman, the multi-talented van der Walt chose an acting career over joining the Sharks Academy in Durban after playing for Paarl Boys High's first team for two years. He recently completed his B. Drama degree at the University of Stellenbosch and with such a promising future ahead of him at home and abroad, it's clear he made the right decision.

Having made a name for himself in the theatre arena under the direction of Marthinus Basson in Bos and Macbeth Slapeloos, he's now conquering the silver screen with roles that have been received with great enthusiasm working opposite the likes of Dawid Minnaar, Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Jana Cilliers, Antoinette Kellerman and Stian Bam.

As an ambitious rising South African film talent, it was only a pleasure to find out more about Edwin van der Walt and which films have made his Top Ten list!

"My brother and I almost know every
single line in the film..." [on Wedding Crashers]

I can't watch movies without...

- Having enough time, I have to watch a film straight through without pausing or having to wait until the next day.

Which famous people share your birthday?

- Albert Einstein (14 March)

What is the first film you remember watching?

- I saw Serengeti on IMAX and it blew my mind!

What's the worst movie you've ever seen?

- Carrie (2013), I found it to be a bit of a rip-off, but was actually meant to be serious. The continuity was shocking and the boundaries were pushed too far for it to be a good horror/thriller film.

Which movies have made you tearful?

- Room, Amour, Up and Biuitiful.

Who is the most famous movie star you've ever met?

- Oliver Schmidt (director), but not yet a real movie star.

What's your favourite movie line?

- "Yeah, that's me, taking the bull by the horns. It's how I handle business. It's a metaphor. But that actually happened, though." ~ Ben Stiller as White Goodman in Dodgeball

Who would you choose to play you in your biopic?

- Eddie Redmayne, he's capable of making all of his characters vulnerable and honest. I find him truthful in every scene and I think his body type fits best to be perfectly honest, I'm not exactly built like Dwayne Johnson.

If you could produce a movie, what would it be about?

- A real-life story about an underdog achieving greatness and success. To quote Edward Norton, "The best films of any kind, narrative or documentary, provoke questions."

Finally, your top ten movies of all-time...

- Crash ...I came across this film after doing research on multi-narrative films. I love the way directors like Alejandro G. Iñárritu use this form of storytelling. After watching Crash I knew this would be something to take inspiration from, and maybe in the near future make a film like this. Excellent!

- The Piano Teacher ...while I was busy working on a film, My Father's War, which releases on 5 August this year, Stian Bam who played my father in the film gave me The Piano Teacher to watch. Michael Haneke became one of my favorite directors after watching this. He captures real-life and raw performances in such a way it's almost difficult to watch... in a good way. Isabelle Huppert gives one of the best performances I have ever seen.

- Biutiful ...I was looking for the film Crash in a DVD store and saw the cover of this film by the master, Mr. Iñárritu. I heard it had been nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, so I wanted to see what it was all about. Iñárritu made something that again was almost difficult to watch as he technically, as well as through the performances, makes you feel a lot more than we are used to, or would like to, in our everyday lives. Vulnerable, subtle and raw, Bardem also gives an inspiring performance.

- Wedding Crashers ...when you start to smile as you write the name of the film down, then you know it's the good stuff. I really like dramas and thrillers but one timeless comedy for me is Wedding Crashers. My brother and I almost know every single line in the film and have watched it an embarrassing amount of times. We find ourselves having inside joke moments in random conversations, just starting line-battling dialogue between Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Timeless comedy!

- Brokeback Mountain ...I was busy reading Heath Ledger's book, Heath. A Family's Tale, while busy shooting on the film Die Pro. Ledger is one of my favourite actors, who I look up to... a legend. In his book he mentioned that during the filming of Brokeback Mountain he was extremely lonely and had a difficult time dealing with that. He also met the love of his life, Michelle Williams, on set. I really wanted to watch all his films, especially after reading his book. I watched Brokeback Mountain and discovered one of his best performances, other than playing The Joker in The Dark Knight. He inspired me with a pure, raw and honest performance that day.

- Gone Girl ...David Fincher is the master of thrillers and definitely on my list of top directors. I saw Gone Girl on the big screen and still think it is Fincher's best thriller. But there was one scene has not left me to this day... the scene where Neil Patrick Harris' throat is slashed by Rosamund Pike. One of the most powerful scenes and mastered in all areas... the sound effect they used I can't describe, but it was spot on. I kind of laughed afterwards as I realized a few people made very weird and awkward sounds as that scene took place.

- Fight Club ...another reason I remember Fight Club, besides David Fincher being the director, is for Edward Norton's performance, which has stuck with me for a very very long time. Again technically as well a visually, Fight Club became a film that will always be on my top 10. Jared Leto took an extremely small cameo role just to be able to work with Fincher. I saw this when I was very young and every time I watch this film, which is a lot of times, it gets better and better.

- Before Sunset ...I saw the trailer for Before Sunset and immediately wanted to see it. I started watching interviews with the director and became a big fan as he spoke about how he works with actors and writes his scripts. I bought the first two films from Linklater's trilogy and could not get enough of them. I kept on talking about it for days, the film started to make its way into conversations. I could not stop talking about it for weeks. It plays off in real-time following a conversation between Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply as the co-leads. It's amazing how an 80 minute conversation could keep me intrigued.

- Vertical Limit ...this is my guilty pleasure film. This is one of the first films I remember watching and having such a big emotional impact - for some reason this film stuck with me. Not a lot of people remember or even watched this film but it will be on my top 10 as I will never forget this experience.

- Whiplash ...this film made me realize a film does not need to be complex to be exceptional. Such a simple story line, subtle and raw performances, and technically beautiful. The performances from Miles Teller and J.K Simmons are also worth watching over and over.

Top Ten Movies with... is a people series on SPL!NG, featuring a host of celebrities ranging from up-and-coming to established personalities from all industries including, but not limited to: Internet, Radio, TV, Film, Music, Art and Entrepreneurs. It's a chance to discover who they are, find out where they're at and to get a fun inside look at their taste in movies.