Kate and I were childhood friends. We spent many weekends together on her grandparents’ plot in Krugersdorp. Now that she’s a rapidly rising star (although she’d never refer to herself that way!) I was glad, and curious, to see her after so many years.
September last year was the first time I saw her again, playing the role of Rosie, in season four of the gripping Afrikaans soapie, Erfsondes. A real daddy’s girl, Rosie is on the threshold of her life. She was raised in a privileged environment and runs her own blog. She is super self-conscious and gets irritated when she isn’t the centre of attention, which gets her into a little bit of trouble.
Not long after that, she played the part of Anna Redelinghuys in kykNET’s Getroud met Rugby. Anna is a typical ‘what you see is what you get’ free-spirited character who comes to Johannesburg from Bloemfontein to complete her Honours degree in languages.
Despite us being too young to really know what we wanted to become back when we were close pals, seeing her land such big roles so soon after completing her studies didn’t surprise me one bit. She’s been an entertainer from the minute she could talk, always cracking jokes, being silly and pulling awkward faces!
Despite her off-beat demeanour, Kate is hugely family orientated. ‘My family means a lot to me. I was very close to my late grandparents. My Oumie use to tell me, ‘He who hesitates is lost’, and my Oupie taught me that if you want something done properly, you should do it yourself,’ she said.
She takes her work incredibly seriously – but Kate is still Kate – the same petite blonde I used to build forts within the big Marula tree, who also drove the bakkie around the plot at the age of nine. She still snorts when she laughs, pulls faces and remains as authentic as ever. ‘I’m definitely very goal-driven – no matter how hard it gets. At the moment I’m focused on learning and gaining as much experience as possible in this industry. The best part of my work is that I get to do it with people I’ve looked up to for as long as I can remember – people like Rolanda Marais and Jana Strydom.
‘Someday I’d love to produce and direct, but I prefer not to set long-term goals. Life is too short to keep yourself bound to a specific thing.’
‘I’d rather give 100 per cent every day and see where it leads me.’ She studied at M.A.D (Michelle Ayden Dramatix) in Centurion, after spending her school years in Krugersdorp and on a farm in Sannieshof, where she attended Hoërskool Sannieshof. Besides acting, she’s an avid hockey player and also loves to sing and dance.
Her boyfriend of nine years, Willie, is just as passionate as Kate – but not about acting. His passion is boxing. He’s been boxing for years and will hopefully be going professional in the near future.
‘The travel bug has bitten us’, said Kate. ‘We’re on a mission to tick off as many places on our bucket list as possible – starting with New York this December. I cannot wait to see Broadway and visit some of the studios in LA and Miami!’
Kate has an unhampered sense of self that is both witty and nutty. She’s one of a kind. Her dress sense, her persona – everything about her – is comfortably different. It’s the same edginess that reminds me of model-turned-actress, Cara Delevingne. ‘I don’t really have a style icon – there isn’t any style that appeals to me. I normally just buy something if I like it – 70 per cent of my clothes are bought at vintage shops.
‘I am hugely fascinated with the days of yesteryear – looong ago. Hopefully, I’ll have the opportunity of playing in a film or series based in Victorian or Viking times one day.’
Kate is currently working on a short film, (S)he in which she is lead a character. ‘It’s about an intersex teenager who is forced to undergo gender testing in order to compete in the 2016 summer Olympic trials. This has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it’s also the most rewarding. I’m so used to being the joker, but with such a strong emotional role, I really have to push my boundaries – however, I definitely didn’t become an actress to play the same type of role indefinitely.’ We’re predicting a very bright future … Remember the name Kate Roothman!
The one fashion trend that could stay forever … vintage jewellery, definitely!
I’d love to be able to … play guitar like Angus Young from ACDC.
A reality show I’d love to be in … Top Gear/ Grand Tour, because I love cars and comedy.
The person who has had the biggest influence in my life … my mother – she’s selfless and has always believed in me more than I believe in myself.
I cannot stand it … when someone chews loudly.
Seeing myself on TV for the first time felt … normal and rewarding at the same time.
My favourite superhero is … Deadpool.
My favourite film is … Step-brothers.
Text: Chemélle Barnard. Photographer: Jaco Bothma, www.empirephotography.co.za. Hair and makeup: Elaine Boshoff, EA Academy MUD Westrand, 082 885 3577. Venue: Monte Vista, www.montevistavenue.co.za.
Get it JHB West – February 2018