Gopala Davies: Woodwind doesn’t copy Hollywood

South African actor Gopala Davies has a relatively small but interesting role with a good amount of screen time in Woodwind

He’s recently picked up a number of awards, such as the Standard Bank Ovation Award for Barbe Bleue: A story about Madness, two SATMag Awards for Les Cenci: A story about Artaud and he’s currently nominated for a Naledi Theatre Award in the Best Cutting Edge category for the same play.

On screen he’s best known for his television roles on Generations and High Rollers. He’s also acted in Lilith: Genesis One and Because You’re Black.

We speak to him about the universal qualities of Woodwind as the rare local actor. One of the factors that stands out for Davies is that the film doesn’t feel South African, even though the director grew up in the country.

Woodwind does not feel like a South African film at all. In my opinion, the main reason for this is that director Fin Manjoo was not afraid to tell the story in his own way, cleverly inventing strategies to deal with the narrative and cinematic challenges. I have often found that South African cinema perpetuates a view that we need to copy cinematic devices, narrative styles and casting choices that we all too often see in Hollywood. Woodwind paves its own path,” said Davies.

However the SA actor points out that Woodwind is universal.

“What I really enjoy about Woodwind is the universality of the narrative. We are all on a journey of self discovery, the only difference is the various paths that we take. Seeing the narrative in this way, I feel that Woodwind provides a glimpse into all our stories,” added Davies.

This is very much true when you consider the international cast and crew. Just looking at the actors Leandro Taub is from Argentina, Andrea Christina Furrer from Switzerland and Jasmin Jandreau from the United States. Then the crew is from various European countries, India and Southern Africa.

“Fin Manjoo sourced amazing people to come together to tell this story. Everyone on the team understood their role in the project and fully jumped in to do their part. This willingness to engage created an extremely conducive environment to work in,” he concluded.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sheena D says:

    Love Gopala, such a talented actor and sadly very understated – South Africa needs to give more credit where credit is due

    Liked by 1 person

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