Brendon Daniels | FARAKHAN
Brendan Daniels grew up in the Cape Flats and moved into acting in film, theatre and then television in 2005. Four Corners is Brendon’s first lead role in a feature film.
The various communities we worked with welcomed Four Corners warmly into their midst.
I am extremely privileged to have been a part of Four Corners, as the film offered the opportunity to shine a spotlight on a segment of the South African community that has many stories to tell, yet are seldom told on film.
Shooting in actual locations made my process as an actor that much more rewarding and definitely assisted me in my performance. I would love to work with the director Ian Gabriel again – he was encouraging and open to suggestions from the moment I was cast, and this allowed for a great start to the characterisation and exploration of Farakhan, which gave us permission to develop a fascinating character. Theatre is my great love. I had several small roles in a few films until Four Corners. Since then I’ve been cast in two more films.
Four Corners has created a great opportunity for me.
Lindiwe Matshikiza | LEILA
Lindiwe was born in exile in England. She is an actress playwright and director. She has won strong praise internationally for her appearance alongside Idris Elba and Naomi Harrison in Long Walk to Freedom playing the daughter of Nelson Mandela.
It’s the kind of work actors hope to always be doing in that sense, along with the chance to play in a story that deals with human beings, the triumphs and tragedies that make us up, the uncertainty of one’s decisions, our complexity, vulnerability, strength…
When I heard about the role of Leila in the film, there were some uncanny parallels with my own history: I spent some formative years in London, having been born there while my family was in exile, and coming back young enough to adapt to South Africa, but old enough to have strong memories of somewhere else. I could relate to Leila’s conflict about where ‘home’ is, what it means, and what it would mean to have to confront those ideas later in life, with the added responsibility of sorting out her dead father’s affairs. As fate would have it, we shot one of that character’s most emotional moments of grief on the fourth anniversary of my own father’s death.
To add another layer to the personal significance of Four Corners, the film takes place in Cape Town where my mother’s family comes from, drawing on the complex cultural heritage and history that everyone in that part of the world inherits and inhabits. In short, the story alone had many resonances for me. To get to work with such a strong ensemble of thoughtful and personally invested actors, and with a director who trusted that ensemble so much and gave such poignant, insightful notes and guidance, added to the overall sense of authenticity and care that defined the process for me.
Irshaad Ally | GASANT
In 2006 Irshaad was cast in the reality show ‘Survivor’, and that awakened his desire to act on screen.
I did intense research to understand the disposition of a gangster like Gasant.
Growing up on the Cape flats, I definitely had an archive from which to work from when I was cast in Four Corners. Still, I would deliberately commute by minibus-taxi to random places on the Flats. I sat and eavesdropped and watched people in taxis, barber shops and corner stores and I sought out a couple of Dudes who I knew as a kid, who’d taken the gangster option in their lives.
Ian Gabriel knows how to get the best out of an actor whilst allowing you the freedom to be as honest as you feel you should be when action is called. After reading the script for the first time I was immediately energised to tell this story – because we get the feeling that our gang issue and how it affects our youths often falls on deaf ears and blind eyes. I was glad to learn that there were people out there who wanted to talk about the subject in an insightful way.
Jezriel Skei | RICARDO
Ricardo was selected from thousands of young boys that attended castings around South Africa. Four Corners is Ricardo’s first acting role
It was cool working with actors who were so well trained they taught me a lot.
When I met Ian Gabriel he told me to sit in a casting session and argue with Jody Abrahams (actor, comedian, director) and make sure that I didn’t let Jody get the better of me – we sat there arguing about stuff for 20 minutes. After that Ian sent me to work with Leslie Manim and I rehearsed with all the actors and with Jody. I also had voice lessons with Dorothy Ann Gould. Everyone said I had a good habit because I listen a lot.
I love acting, it’s fun and it’s your chance to really tap into your dormant abilities in front of the camera or on stage. I’m 13 now, when I grow older I’d like to be a full time actor, and I’d definitely like to work in the USA.
Abdurahman Adams | TITO
Abdurahman Adams was born and raised in Mannenberg, one of the marginalised communities featured in Four Corners. A former nurse, Abdu started his acting career at age 26 and graduated cum laude from the University of Stellenbosch where he lectures in Acting, Voice and South African Theatre History and is currently conducting his Master’s research in the Representation of Cape Muslim identity in SA theatre. He is the artistic director/ head writer of ‘NANCY!’, a commissioned work challenging homophobia in South Africa. Abdu has a keen sense for language and spearheaded the workshopping of the many Cape dialects at play in Four Corners.
Four Corners encapsulated my own artistic philosophy: Make performance for the people, with the people in their own communities.
Director, Ian Gabriel allowed me to find and shape Tito. Being a cop in the Flats is a very real job with many complexities. SA cops have potbellies, families, communities that are crime riddled. What I most appreciated about the script and the guidance Ian gave was the authenticity regarding the language and representation of the communities that we portrayed. With the painstaking work all the departments did to create authenticity, you could really be ‘in the moment’ feeling the community and its needs on a sensory level, all the time, all around you.