If you’re one of the folks that – like me – are worried that the inclusion of Die Antwoord will ruin Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming Chappie, then I’m here to tell you that it did. At least when it came to making the movie. Speaking to News24, veteran actor Brandon Auret, who has appeared in all of Blomkamp’s movies thus far and plays one of the main villains in Chappie, revealed that working with the Zef duo – Ninja and Yolandi Vi$$er – was horrible. Initially Auret plays the diplomat and goes the “no comment’ route when asked about the experience, but soon he admitted to the horrible experience of working with the musos turned first-time actors.
A year ago, City Press put out a story detailing Ninja and Yolandi’s alleged on-set antics, but at the time the story was rubbished by several spokespeople. In the light of Auret’s most recent admission though, things may have been a lot closer to the truth than we may have thought.
In the original story, City Press confirmed Die Antwoord’s behaviour with six other members of the cast and crew, some of whom called them “pure evil”. The duo reportedly acted like primadonnas making outlandish demands of the crew, like only drinking fancy Veuve Clicquot champagne and refusing to sit with the other cast and crew – something which the actual big name stars of the movie like Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver were quite happy to do. And despite the fact that this was the first time the pair was acting in a movie, Ninja reportedly kept telling the other seasoned actors “how to do their scenes. He’d call and say they were doing it wrong and tell them how to do it”.
According to one of the crew at the time, Ninja’s behaviour wasn’t just restricted to the set as he would even email them with directions on how he thinks they should be acting. And for some reason, he appeared to be focusing on American actor Jose Pablo Cantillo and Auret, the latter of whom was on the verge of losing his cool, according to a source.
“Brandon is the greatest actor on set, calm and present. You must know that if it gets to a point where he wants to hit Ninja he’s so angry, there was a serious problem.”
Not that Ninja’s time in front of the camera was problem-free, as his performance apparently “grew increasingly violent and physical and departed from the script”. Reportedly, Blomkamp himself got so “gatvol” of Ninja that he rewrote a still unfilmed portion of the script just so that he would spend less time with him.
But unruly acting is allegedly not anywhere close to the extent of the trouble Ninja caused. According to City Press’ sources, Ninja hit on several female cast/crew members – sometimes in front of his partner Yolandi – and is even alleged to have sent explicit pics of himself engaged in a sex act to two of them. He reportedly invited some back to Cape Town “telling them they would get a hotel room and hire prostitutes to join them”.
International star Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), who plays the robot Chappie’s designer in the film, was apparently livid after Ninja took him on a “tour of his hood” where he tricked Patel into eating marijuana laced cake.
At the time, City Press reached out to Die Antwoord’s agent and Chappie‘s publication office about these allegations and much more, but received a “no comment” from the former and this boiler plate response from the latter:
“Neill Blomkamp is hard at work getting Chappie ready for release. As with all things Chappie, our lips are sealed, but we are looking forward to sharing the final film with Neill’s fans around the world.”
I wonder if they would change their tune now?
Chappie releases on March 7, 2015. Here’s a trailer to remind you that there’s more to this movie than just a couple of big egos with bad haircuts.