Several much-loved faces among Holland’s acting fraternity have been given lifetime achievement awards at the annual Dutch Academy of Film and Television Arts awards night held in Amsterdam overnight.
The previously unknown names of Britt De Jong, Cornelia Bakker and couple Bram and Cornelia Van de Berk can now be put to those familiar faces after they accepted their DAFTA gongs overnight for their body of work at Andre Rieu concerts around the world over many years now.
All four actors are among a dozen or so who have worked tirelessly yet largely unknown as “plants” at the great showman’s concert series in any number of famous European capitals and twice monthly at the maestro’s home town of Maastricht.
These fine actors – they’re called “the Rieu crew” by the violinist’s video production company – are the ones filmed during concerts showing themselves being overwhelmed with emotion almost immediately at the amazing string work of the charismatic Rieu or the mesmerising vocals of his various celebrity performers.
The four actors were introduced as the “unsung heroes” of the amazing Andre Rieu success story by the night’s MC Carice van Houten from Game of Thrones fame.
In accepting her award, Britt De Jong (pictured right, at top, in a memorable 2013 performance at Maastricht) said it wasn’t easy to bring on the waterworks at a moment’s notice to make the countless millions of people who buy Rieu’s concert DVDs think that they are getting their money’s worth.
“There was one dreadful mixup at the start of that 2013 production that involved Australian soprano Mirusia Louwerse, one of his faves.
“My first shot was supposed to be just after she starts singing, and my role, through an almost imperceptible shake of the head and then by tearing up as the words flowed from those gorgeous lips, was to show just how I could hardly believe how beautifully she sang Ave Maria and how lucky I was just to be there on the night.
“The trouble is the camera zoomed in on me before she had actually started to sing. Luckily I was already rehearsing the part and they cut and edited it later to where it was supposed to be.”
Rotterdam-based thespian Cornelia Bakker (at left, above) told the DAFTA audience how hard it was on a cold European night or in the Americas to conjure up such passion and emotion.
“I don’t know whether you’d call this method acting but to get my facial expressions just right, to have that slight quiver of the lip and then the awkward brush away of the tears, I think about how much the people in the front rows are paying for the night.”
Couple Bram and Cornelia Van de Berk (right), from Delft, said they had never tired of travelling the world pretending that Andre Rieu concerts were really, really good and that all his merchandising were “must haves”.
“It’s doubly hard for both of us because we detest Johann Strauss’s populist waltz shit,” Bram added.