aKing frontman Laudo Liebenberg (Black Sails, Die Byl) stars in the new Showmax Original DAM, a psychological thriller that’s earning rave reviews.
Silwerskerm Best Actress winner Lea Vivier (Wonderlus, The Day We Didn’t Meet) leads the cast as Yola, who returns from Chile to bury her estranged father. To her surprise, and her sister’s irritation, he’s left his farm to her, but this may be more of a curse than a blessing, as the house seems to be trying to tell her something. But with her mother institutionalised, and her own meds running out, Yola has to wonder if the spirits are real or just in her head?
I caught up with Laudo Liebenberg to find out more about his character, Rudy, and the twisted series, which is now available to binge first and only on Showmax.
“Rudy is a complicated character who struggles with the duty of being the community leader and the problems in his personal life,” Explains Liebenberg of his character, “He was groomed to take over as leader from Jacob Fischer from a young age – he’s the next in line as the oldest male child from one of the founding families, so he pretty much got anything he wanted growing up.”
A master manipulator and control freak, Rudy has a responsibility to save the town from the curse (read: plagues) and he’s willing to do terrible things to achieve it. Liebenberg elaborates, “But he’s got an Achilles heel: the women in his life. Keeping up the charade of being a family man is important for his status in the community, but he is nothing of the sort.”
Liebenberg brings his character’s relatability to question, finding no common ground in his controlling and selfish nature, but empathises with his character being lost, doing only what he was groomed to do. “There is a caring side to him, but it’s been smothered by expectations and the need to be accepted,” he reasons.
The love/hate relationship between Rudy and his younger brother, Max (Gerard Steyn) is complicated. “Max has always been in Rudy’s shadow, and Rudy abuses Max’s desire to prove himself by getting him to do the dirty work for him,” says Liebenberg.
DAM was shot in a small town in the Eastern Cape, away from city life, a pivotal element in creating the idea that they were all stuck there. Liebenberg laughs when he recalls some of his favourite filming moments, “There were some really funny moments during filming, such as accidental swearing in a church, and the shoot being disrupted by some interesting locals.”
Liebenberg can’t hide his excitement about his involvement as he concludes, “It’s a brave and unapologetic show that blends genres, and even though there’s a supernatural element to it, it still focuses on real people with secrets and scars.”
Watch Laudo on DAM first on Showmax here.