As a mother of two sons, actress Natasha Sutherland knows exactly what it feels like to sometimes feel like the horrible mother-in-law, which is why she has a soft spot for her Domestics-character, Birdy.
Birdy is the mother of Dr. Liam Vorster (David Viviers), who not only unexpectedly messed up the lives of Liam and his girlfriend, the nurse Karen Kriel (Luandri Reynders), but also upset soap viewers with her meddling.
Natasha tells RNews that although she believes she has a good relationship with the other halves of her two sons, Sebastian (21) and Benjamin (19), she knows how it feels when a mother’s instincts make her unpopular.
“I am a lioness of a mother, and my sons know how much I love them. Many times they will say I’m ‘extra’,” laughs the actress, who at the time made a name for herself as Samantha Ryan in the soap, Egoli: Place of gold.
She was recently seen in the M-Net series Lioness and has also been seen on the box office since 2008 in the English soap Scandal!
“I believe that as a mother I have sympathy and love and I can be very tolerant of people. When it comes to my boys, though, my primal instincts often kick in, but I’ve learned to trust the process when they bring someone home.
“I like to believe I’m a good mother-in-law even if some of my sons’ previous girlfriends might not agree,” she tells bubbly.
“My eldest son has had the same girlfriend for a long time and we get along very well. For his 21st birthday, she threw him a party, did my make-up for me and we baked his cake together.
“It is important for me to allow another person’s energy into our space. However, sometimes I wish they were still small. One longs for them when they grow up.”
About her role Domestics she can hardly stop talking and says it was a wonderful experience to work with seasoned actors on this set.
“It was great to see some familiar faces with whom I have worked before, such as Hykie Berg and Gerald Steyn. The team are lovely people who work together without pretense or ego to get the job done,” says Natasha.
She says she had to in the middle of her filming on the set Domestics took a trip to Australia, and struggled with fatigue when she was back on home soil.
“I thought I would easily settle back into the fast pace on set, but I was soon brought back down to earth. Fortunately, good preparation got me through. The better prepared you are, the more leeway there is to have fun.”
She says it was especially fun to play opposite David, who plays the role of her son. “He is such a talented person that at times it was intimidating to play against him.
“Luandri is just so much fun and very welcoming. It was really just a well-rounded, good experience; even though I got lost on the set every now and then,” she laughs.
Natasha made her TV debut as a young actress in the children’s show Kideo made, and since then her acting career has gone from strength to strength with roles on the big and small screens and in the theatre.
“As I get older, I play the role of a mother more often. It takes a head start every time to make each motherly character her own. I scoff and say it is fifty shades of motherhood.”
Natasha also recently released the documentary, That’s What She Saidwrote and directed.
“I wanted to look at gender-based violence from the male perspective. The documentary brings together all the mediums I love and sheds light on an important issue.”
She was born to be creative, she concludes. “I grew up with creative parents who loved stories. Without books we would be entertained for hours by stories. I love creating, in front of and behind the scenes. It’s in my blood. If I don’t create, I feel like I’ve lost an arm or a leg.
“However, I don’t want to romanticize the entertainment industry. It’s a difficult industry and you have to constantly keep your own ego in place, otherwise you can easily get caught up in looking for your self-worth in outside parties.”
Domestics can be seen weekdays at 19:30 on kykNET, DStv channel 144. It is also available on DStv Catch Up.