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    Luca Human on her breakthrough role in “Trompoppie”

    “Moms and dads, please watch what your children are doing.” 

    The twisty Showmax Original Trompoppie is now available to binge, having been hailed as “an edge-of-your-seat whodunit” by Debashine Thangevelo on IOL and “the most talked-about series” by Leon van Nierop on Maroela

    As Huisgenoot put it, “In the past year, Showmax viewers have been riveted with series such as Donkerbos and Spinners. And their new murder mystery series, Trompoppie, is certainly up there with some of the best from the streaming service’s stable.” 

    As Elke, 14-year-old Luca Human has been a revelation. Luca is the daughter of beloved Afrikaans actress Margit Meyer-Rödenbeck, aka Dowwe Dolla, and Trompoppie’s SAFTA- and Silwerskerm-winning writer and director Etienne Fourie is already hailing her as, “An absolute superstar. Her future is blindingly bright.”

    Luca Human on her breakthrough role in “Trompoppie”, EntertainmentSA News South Africa
    Luca Human on her breakthrough role in Trompoppie / Image: Supplied

    We caught up with the teen star to find out more: 

    Why did you want to be involved in Trompoppie

    I absolutely loved Etienne’s script. Out of all the Afrikaans TV series, I’ve never seen anything like this. It was just so cool to me. The storyline is so creative and it’s captivating; it keeps you on your toes. 

    Tell us about your character, Elke? 

    Elke is the younger sister of Zanne Peterson, who is the lead trompoppie. She was also adopted, like Zanne. Her parents do not understand her. Her mother is obsessed with Zanne and pays much more attention to Zanne, so she feels excluded and feels as if her mother no longer cares about her. So she resonates much more with her father.

    This was your first big role, opposite some of the biggest names in the business. How did that feel?

    I was so excited on the first day. Everyone welcomed me with open arms. I immediately felt so welcome on the set and it was just so fun for me. Everyone told me what was happening and I learned so many things. 

    I had to learn to control my stress on camera. Although there is no audience, everyone is on crunch-time, so it’s very stressful. 

    Thankfully, working with Etienne was absolutely fantastic. He’s very methodical, so it was very precise when we were shooting, but it was fantastic to work with someone who is so open-minded and creative. He was so nice; I could not have found a better director for this role. 

    Who was your favourite cast member to act with? 

    One of my favourite people to play opposite was Marion Holm, who played my mother. We’re so different in real life, so it was just fun for me to try to build a mother-daughter bond because it’s so hard for the two characters. 

    Also Melissa Myburgh, who played the lead role of Luna. We shot so much together, so we talked all the time and bonded over things we were both interested in, like Taylor Swift songs. 

    What did you relate to in the story? 

    The peer pressure that occurs between the trompoppies is something that I can identify with. Luna is put under an awful lot of pressure by the trompoppies because she is new and someone from a different background and not rich like them. I am also in a private school so this is something I see a lot, which is very sad. 

    I could also relate to how Elke is not sure of herself at all. She is so insecure and she is very good at hiding it. I see that a lot too: children who are good at putting a smile on their faces but they are actually really struggling. I also have that problem sometimes, so that’s something I can personally identify with. 

    How did you get into character? 

    It was definitely difficult to get my character exactly right. She is a very difficult character to pinpoint. Although I resonate with her a lot, she is also a very dark character, so it is very difficult to know exactly what is going on in her head. So character analysis in that aspect was challenging for me. 

    Although I’m generally a pretty optimistic person, I have a pessimistic side that comes out sometimes. It wasn’t hard to find because it comes out when I do math homework. Elke is a math genius, whereas I have no idea how to do trig. So I’d just be doing math homework, and I’d get mad. Boom: Elke. I found her by just embracing the darkness within myself. 

    Hair, makeup, and wardrobe also definitely helped me find my character. My hair before this was a light mousy blonde; I had highlights. Then they dyed it pitch black, and I was like, ‘Jeez, this is not me.’ And then I already felt a lot darker. I’m like, ‘Okay, this is Elke.’ Then they gave me the hoodies and the oversized clothes and I feel it was also a metaphor for how she tried to hide from people. She wasn’t crazy about people. So it helped me a lot, because although I had a lot in common with her, she also had a lot of differences that were hard for me to find.

    For people who are late to Trompoppie, why should they binge the show?

    If you have watched one episode, I don’t think you will be able to stop watching, because there are such big plot twists, that you just want to keep watching and watching and watching. The storyline is captivating and the characters are so realistic: I think everyone knows a Jill in their life. 

    What do you want audiences to take away from the series? 

    I think the viewers can take two things away. Number one, people aren’t always who they say they are. And secondly, Jill, my mom, didn’t pay much attention to who I was, so moms and dads, please watch what your children are doing. They love you very much but sometimes they just can’t show it and they feel very alone.

    Watch and embed the Trompoppie trailer: 

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    Main image: Supplied

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