Columbia Pictures release
Sharlto Copley (“The A-Team”) – director Neill Blomkamp’s childhood friend and the star of “District 9” – re-teams with the director to take on the pivotal and villainous role of Kruger, in TriStar Pictures' futuristic action thriller “Elysium.”
|Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures|
“He’s ex-Special Forces, now a gun-for-hire operative, a professional soldier who works on Earth for the elite of Elysium,” explains Blomkamp.
In the film, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined planet. The people of Earth are desperate to escape the crime and poverty that is now rampant throughout the land. The only man with the chance to bring equality to these worlds is Max (Matt Damon), an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium. With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission – one that pits him against Elysium’s Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and her hard-line forces – but if he succeeds, he could save not only his own life, but millions of people on Earth as well.
“Sharlto will always find a way to make things funny – even subconsciously,” says Blomkamp. “Even in the most extreme, dire situation, there’s a natural, sardonic humor that comes out of him. He never, ever plays it straight. I provide the parameters for the character, and he turns it into a magnetic performance, that, to me, is extremely satisfying to watch.”
Copley was able to draw on his unique experiences to create the character. “Kruger wasn’t written as a South African, but I saw a way to play him that way,” he says. “I drew on two South African stereotypes to try and create a unique character that you’ve never seen before. Firstly, for his accent and sarcastic humor I drew on these guys from ‘The South’ – a tough neighborhood south of Johannesburg. Secondly, for the military aspect, there was a unit in the South African Defense Force during the apartheid years called 3-2 Battalion. It was a notorious but highly respected battalion – they fought in Angola during the ‘Bush Wars,’ trying to stop the spread of Communism in Africa. Kruger’s beard, his PT shorts and his utterly lethal military ability was inspired by them.”
Sharlto Copley is a South African actor, producer and director who has produced and co-directed short films which have appeared at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as commercials and music videos. He made his on screen debut as Wikus van de Merwe in the Oscar®-nominated science fiction film “District 9.” He is best known for his role of H.M. Murdock in the 2010 adaptation of Fox’s “The A-Team” for director Joe Carnahan.
Poised to have a breakout year, Copley also stars in several other upcoming films including Disney’s “Maleficent” (with Angelina Jolie) as the male lead.
Elysium” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.