“Strange times, huh?” It has been sounding since the coronavirus in our lives is just as inappropriate. Also with actress Tina de Bruin, who from today also has figuratively weird times in a web series of the same name.
Weird Times, an initiative of KPN and directed by Mattias Schut (Wire steel, Rambam), largely takes place in the arena of a video conferencing app from Jobs Unlimited company. In six short episodes we see the employees under the inspiring (and toe-bending) leadership of Ton, a role of Ferdi Dust Meal. Team leader Ton is one of those types who shouts enthusiastically at least five times a day out of the box-to think. Meanwhile, others think it’s a mop from a guy. An alpha monkey on top of the rock, who pees everything down and where others can clean up the mess. One of those.
Serious glasses on the nose
Ton is countered by Liesbeth, the head of human resources who “does not consider communication at Jobs Unlimited the strongest point”. He thinks she should have a bit more humor, she thinks there is a dispute about this. Tina de Bruin (Kees & Co, Family Kruys, Hendrik Groen’s secret diary) is Liesbeth. The Amsterdam woman (44) put on serious glasses for her role. Other characters are played by Bas Hoeflaak (IT nerd who has nothing to do), Loes Schnepper (the bitch of the head office) and Nora El Koussour (the youngest of the couple who unashamedly turns on her blender during the video meeting).
Here’s how to introduce the characters:
Like Tina de Bruin Subway on the phone, “she walks out” of a jog in the park. She talks about the hilarious web series that should bring us viewers a bit of humor in er … weird times.
Strange times eh?
Tina: Absolutely, I hope that we can get to work as actors soon and that our profession will be recognized as a contact profession. Running drama is otherwise practically impossible. We can’t go any further at this point because you need to be able to touch someone in a scene, be able to pat on the back. Otherwise it gets very strange. But yes, let’s hope for the best. I think acting with good care and common sense can be done. One thing is certain: I miss it.
Filming via Zoom
Yet you have been able to run something nice with the web series.
In that respect I am also a blessed person. It was a lot of fun, both the people and the lyrics. And also the fact that it all went through Zoom. Despite the lyrics we were allowed to improvise through it and that is of course a good idea.
How did filming actually go? Did you see each other as the viewer sees the video meetings?
Yes. We all got a camera and computer installed at home – and Ferdi at the office location. It was nice to just do it at home. And then we went on to have Zoom conversations, without talking at all, of course. The makers have been able to cut that well.
Your character Liesbeth is a bit stiff and serious type huh?
Oh well, you mean it! How do you get there? Damn it, haha. But yes, she is a somewhat serious woman.
In contrast to Tina de Bruin herself.
Quite and therefore great to play. Liesbeth is a type who always sees problems and is dead serious. Those people exist. That is a good thing, otherwise our society would collapse. There are simply laws and rules that you must adhere to. Liesbeth is such a person. If you want to keep things in order, you can help her with it.
Where did you get those glasses from?
I asked for glasses because it fits. I was supplied with one of the production that reflected very much, but that has been resolved. Such glasses are just nice, that says a little more about someone. My clothing set is also specially made and delivered at home.
Team leader Ton, what an awful l .. that is.
I always call those people Uncle Theo. Ton is a variant of that uncle Theo who makes the same comment at parties that everyone falls silent and thinks “aaaaaaiiii uncle Theo, this is really too much information”. Ton is such a man where you keep asking yourself: Are you really saying that? Yeah, he really said it. I am always fascinated by people who are angry, aroused or dead serious. Especially for people with restrained passion. I enjoy watching that.
Play as a child
You are normally in a creative world in all kinds of different places and sets. Can you imagine that you would be in such a – perhaps somewhat narrow – organization?
Look, if it should, then it should. But I don’t think it would make me happy. I thrive on change and many different people and visions. I like activity and life. The nice thing about my job is that I am a kind of nomad who makes a new family in different places. And that I can play in my profession, literally play as a child. That’s the best thing there is. So I can’t imagine dealing with numbers, whole books and regulations. Or with taxes, for example, how much respect I have for all those professions. I’m glad those people are there, but listen. I’m afraid I’d give someone else the pipe after one day.
What have you missed if that nomad lately?
I would do two series and shoot a movie. Everything has been postponed, but I hope it will continue later. We just wait, everyone is in the same boat. On the other hand, I am very grateful that I am healthy and that we have never had a real lockdown in the Netherlands. I sat crying and palpitations in front of the television in the beginning to see the press conferences. If I had been inside all day, I would have gone crazy screaming. Thank God it didn’t happen, I thought that was a great gift. As much as I miss everything, like grabbing your friends and being in each other’s company without thinking.
The first part of Weird Times can be seen today (May 28) at kpn.com/raretijden. The other episodes will follow in the next five Thursdays.
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