Wyfie Star Mienke Ehlers on Her Breakthrough Role

All 45 episodes of the first season of Wyfie will be available to binge on Showmax from next Tuesday, 9 July 2024, with Season 2 of the hit university drama on the way from 6 August 2024.

Mienke Ehlers stars as Mia, one of four mismatched first-year roommates at Pantera res at the fictional Eike university. Ehlers has previously had memorable roles as Lydia in Magda Louw and Dalena in Dinge van ‘n Kind, but Mia is her first lead role, and she’s been one of the shows’ breakout stars, with Huisgenoot praising her “scorching breakthrough”.

Amanda Tremeer sat down with the rising star to find out more.

What is Wyfie about?

This is a series that is really ahead of its time, the type of project I have always dreamed about and wished for. It turns Afrikaans’ apple cart upside down and is not ashamed to say and show things exactly as they are.

Who is your character?

Mia Meyer is a university student. She is brash; she is reckless; she sometimes scares me. She is someone who sucks the air out of a room when she walks in. I sometimes feel ‘lesser than’ in comparison to Mia.

People want to be close to her but it is very difficult to trust her because she only trusts herself. She is an island and everyone wants to come to her island, but there are a lot of sharks swimming around that island, so it is very difficult to get through… But when you get close, she is going to act very loyal and very loving towards you.

Did you relate to her?

My process in acting has always been to start with how far away I am from a character, rather than starting with how close or similar I am to her. It’s just to protect myself and my heart. If you relate too much to a character, you can very easily lose yourself in her emotions.

I’m not a big fan of method acting, so I started with what’s different between us. I believe there are consequences in life, and I want to take more responsibility for the type of person I am today.

But it has been a great adventure to be able to relive my university life through Mia; she made me miss being young and impulsive.

Where did you go to university? Is your own university experience reflected on Wyfie?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my college years lately. I studied drama at Stellenbosch for three years and then I went to AFDA film school for my honours degree in acting.

I was in the dorms at Stellenbosch. I was in Erica Women’s Residence in Stellenbosch for a year. I loved the dorms and I loved being a Matie.

I was a lot prouder than Mia is. She is quite a recluse who doesn’t really feel anything for institutions or rules or care to be part of big, proud projects. In comparison, I love all those things!

I played netball for Maties. I loved making connections and getting to know people; I’m a social butterfly.

I heard someone say the other day that a student is not a person, but rather a condition. That is so funny to me, because there are so many parts of my university years that come up that you don’t want to remember, but it’s also such a free season and it was the most beautiful thing to be able to explore those parts of my life again.

How was your time on set with the other lead actresses: Beáta Bena Green, Celeste Loots and Kristen Raath?

The strange thing is we all knew each other before Wyfie. Celeste and I have known each other since elementary school but lost touch in high school. Beata and I studied together. And I’ve been a fan of Kristen’s work for a long time.

I told the girls the other day that one of my favourite emotions in life is seeing women allow each other to fill a space that you know is the other’s space. That’s absolutely the four of us. We are big personalities, each one of a kind, but we allow each other to fill in the gaps. We’re playing a team sport on set. We throw the ball, we catch the ball, and we help defend.

It’s always amazing to explore a friendship as a character and then at the same time do it as yourself. So I love the characters, but I love the actors a lot more. When you’re young and meet new people, you trust them with all your heart. I missed that, and so I stole a bit of that from Mia, because it’s an incredible experience to have: where you feel like you belong in the group and experience love that is just overwhelming.

Why should people watch Wyfie?

People should watch Wyfie because it’s something that hasn’t been done yet. There hasn’t been anything as shameless as Wyfie. It tells it like it is; it shows it as it is. It’s breathtaking, it’s naughty, it’s dangerous, it’s so exciting, but most importantly: it’s honest. I don’t think there’s been anything like this in our country, and I hope it’s going to be incredibly liberating for people to watch.

Why did you want to become an actor?

I always knew I wanted to be an actor. I grew up in a house where my parents opened up pretty much any conversation for me and my sister at the grown-up table. I started debating early on and had talks about world issues and arguments and we just had debates at our house meetings on Sundays.

So I think the fact that my parents made the world very small for me, by hearing and seeing me, really made me believe in myself when it comes to acting. Acting to me is you practising your emotional intelligence all day to portray scenarios with emotions. I was allowed to do this in my personal life and it was something I knew I wanted to do forever.

My way there was a bit roundabout. I did everything but acting for the first five years of my career. Like every good actress, I was a waitress, a personal trainer, a food stylist… I worked behind the scenes in the costume department and the art department for a long time. So I was quite oriented with a film set before I arrived as an actor and I think that taught me a lot about film etiquette and that you are just a team player in the process. I am very grateful for that experience.

I got my first big role three years ago on a kykNET series, so I’m still wet behind the ears and still have a lot to learn, but I’m incredibly grateful to be here.

Binge Wyfie S1 on Showmax:

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB | Actor | Armourer | Tech Enthusiast With over two decades in the film industry, I'm a seasoned actor and skilled armourer. I hold numerous certifications in acting and filmmaking, complemented by degrees and diplomas in IT and technology, giving me a unique blend of creative and technical expertise. When I'm not on set or in the workshop, you'll find me immersed in the world of gaming and VR, fuelling my passion for cutting-edge technology. Connect with me: X / Twitter Facebook Instagram Mastodon Threads Explore my work on SAMDB IMDb