The Hex is a new horror/drama film starring Coco Lloyd and Mari Molefe van Heerden, and written and directed by Reine Swart.
In The Hex, South-African actress turned director Reine Swart (Z Nation, The Lullaby) makes her feature directorial debut with a story that taps into Black Magic mythology. Starring Coco Lloyd (The X Factor), Mari Molefe van Heerden (Koringberg), Mary-Anne Barlow (Black Sails), Hungani Ndlovu (Scandal), Stefani Sandows (Losing Lerato) and Christopher Jaftha (Table Manners).
The film begins as a grieving British girl Dilanne (Coco Lloyd) unravels her murdered mother’s secrets connected to a South African witch doctor’s curse. She wants to put an end to this haunting hex by travelling to South Africa – but instead gets cast into even deeper sinister depths.
A Q&A with actresses and producers Coco Lloyd and Mari Molefe van Heerden below.
What can you tell us about your character? What do you love about her?
Mari Molefe van Heerden: I play two characters in the film, Anathi the Occupational Therapist (OT) and the witch doctor. My favourite of the two was definitely the witch doctor, because of the total makeover I received.
Our super talented makeup artist, Lieschen de Koch, put prosthetics on my face, a lot of makeup and a wig to change my appearance for the character. It was a total out of body experience as I had to basically forget to be human.
And Coco, what drew you to your role?
Coco Lloyd: I loved that Dillane’s character and her family were rooted in South Africa and I was so excited to explore the culture – and also the legends surrounding witch doctors. The script was not like any other horror I had seen!
How did you both prepare for your roles?
CL: I have more than a few things in common with Dillane so in the months leading up to shooting I would do a lot of art and sketching, once we were there I drew on a lot of emotional dark times in my own life to bring forward her grief in losing her mother.
MMvH: For the role of the OT, I had the best help ever. A personality a lot like Reine Swart, our directors’ sister, Katrine. A soft-spoken intelligent young woman, who is much stronger than people think. Her sister is an (OT). I know her sister well too, so for me, it was an easy task to see the vision for the character. She helped me with the equipment and how to handle my character patient, Lisa.
Coco, you have an impressive scream and really show off your skills here! Are there any scream queens you look up to or have been influenced by?
CL: The screams were real haha! I get scared so easily!! 🙂 My absolute favorite films are horrors and thrillers and then I don’t sleep for days after. I didn’t so much draw on inspiration from characters as much as referencing films – I really drew on inspiration from The Ring and The Grudge (two of my top 5 most scary films) What lies Beneath (I felt there were similarities in the unravelling of the story) and then loads of supernatural films.
Mari, I didn’t even recognize you as the witch doctor! What was your biggest challenge with taking on the role?
MMvH: The role of the witch doctor was the most challenging of the two. I think just being in the hair, makeup and wardrobe was challenging enough. Not to mention the specific voice I used for growling.
What were both of your favourite scenes to shoot?
MMvH: I specifically enjoyed all the scenes we did in the witch doctors hut. Not to give anything away, but the first encounter she had with Coco was intense and I loved every moment of it. Even though it was about a thousand degrees in the hut, almost losing my voice, I would do it again
in a split second.
CL: For SURE the hand coming out of the Box and grabbing me! I would jump EVERY TIME. Who would have thought a hand was that scary???
I notice you’re also a producer of The Hex. What made you want to be involved in this production?
CL: I had produced a short film with the director Reine Swart in 2018 and loved working with her so I was excited to work again together on something so fun!
Mari, Congrats on also being a producer of the film! Any fun BTS stories you can share?
MMvH: I couldn’t stop scaring everyone off set with my gruesome appearance as the witch doctor. Every chance I had, I took and made sure I scared the daylights out of our lovely, hardworking crew members.
What can horror fans expect from The Hex?
MMvH: The Hex, is Reine Swart’ debut directorial and many of the cast and crews first experience working on a horror film. Is an artsy flick, based on African enigmas, beautiful cinematography, a film that keeps you guessing and wanting more.
What makes The Hex different from other witchcraft horror films?
CL: I think having the story grounded in real-life cultural beliefs and being able to relate to the characters’ journeys makes the film really special and sets it apart from the rest. I really hope everyone enjoys it and gets as scared as we did!
Learn more and pre-order The Hex here.
Follow @heks_film on Instagram.
Sponsored Feature: Twin Hearts Production & Girlmare Production