Interview with: Christine Viviers – A South African Actress Takes Hollywood By Storm in 2022 Hollywood Fringe Festival

Q: Christine, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?

I’m a South African actress with a dream as big as the sky and a heart full of love. I love performing for the people in any capacity possible because I believe it gives them the ability to learn, observe and escape. I am a person who has grown up with exceptional support for my acting career, which is why I’m not afraid of challenges. They do not scare me because I am confident in what I do. When I say support, I do not just mean from my parents, but also the support of God. I say this because I’ve always known that I want to act, but this diligence is not easy to maintain. And sometimes, I lose hope, but that’s when God’s power comes in. He helps me get back up. Makes me believe how vital my talent is and my responsibility towards that very same talent. I was blessed with the ability to inspire people through my ability to act. If I can do that even for just one person through any form of art, be it theater or a movie, I would consider myself successful in making my family and God proud.

Q: Congrats on the launch of Mother Grace! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the premise of this show?

The show is about the appeal of both BDSM and Christianity. More specifically, It’s about a pastor who had the most traumatic youth but after discovering his faith went on to become a hero to many. Yet we don’t know everything, and all of us – including him – are in for a rude awakening.

Q: Why was this the perfect part for you?

I was beyond excited when I was offered the part of ‘Mother’ for the play ‘Mother Grace’. Not just because this play was written by the supremely talented Aditya Putcha but also because this story resonated with me. It was a story about faith and love and how trust in God can help heal even the deepest wounds. Not many people know about my early days in South Africa, but I had an exciting childhood because I grew up during post Apartheid. I was the daughter of the only white family living in a small town in South Africa with all black families. Apartheid was torturous for the blacks, and there were so many injustices and prejudice against people in Kayamandi. There was a wide spectrum of violence and beauty which allowed me to gain the skill of separating myself from the stereotypes to see the objective truth. This skill still helps me

when I’m preparing for a role, and it specifically did when I was playing the character of Mother. I became the character because I knew what it was like to grow up in the chaos, and find the humanity in people even when objectively it’s sometimes hard to see from the outside.

Q: What made you accept the role?

I was told from a very young age to follow my heart and run towards my dream of acting, which is why when this opportunity of playing ‘Mother’ in the play ‘Mother Grace’ presented itself, I did not take a lot of time before accepting it. I was sure this part was meant for me because it was a story about the boundless love of God. Something I’ve personally experienced and believe in.

Q: How did you meet the other actors in the play and the writer Aditya Putcha?

I met the writer Aditya Putcha, Director Stephen Juhl and actors on zoom for the first time when we did a table read. I auditioned for the part “Mother” on actors’ access and was ecstatic when I got the part.

Q: How do you feel that your story will connect with and impact audiences?

The tagline sums it up best: “How much can you judge someone by his worst day?” Nobody is perfect. Yet can’t we all agree some people are much better than others? Who’s to say who’s better than whom though? Maybe we can agree certain actions are truly heinous. Is someone automatically evil if they ever do such a thing though? Don’t we need to look at what happened to make them that way? Perhaps others wouldn’t have done such a thing even in those circumstances. Now we’re back to saying nobody’s perfect though. Who are any of us to say we’re better than other people? Especially if those other people have shown they want to get better. At some point can we let the past bury its dead? This play will get you debating for hours. More importantly, it’s a fabulously captivating story very creatively and dynamically told.