Sharlto Copely’s Distric 9 character Wikus van der Merwe has picked up a substantial cult following online. He even has his own catchphrase of sorts, “fookin’ prawns”, variations of which can often been seen in comments sections around the Web.
His following seems to be largely based overseas though; in South Africa, conversations about District 9 mostly revolved around the quality of the special effects and the production in general, as well as the fact that we had finally made a decent movie that didn’t necessartily deal with the “legacy of Apartheid” or push an explicit politcal agenda. Most South Africans simply assumed Copely was Wikus, although that may change when they see him in the upcoming A-Team movie.
The reason I’m talking about Sharlto Copley is this SAMA presentation bit hosted on Funny or Die, which seems to be the online video service of choice for celebrity side projects (I’ve mentioned Between Two Ferns on this blog before). I didn’t watch the SAMAs, because they were on TV and weren’t sport, but I suspect that the bit would have played a lot better to an international audience than a local one.
Or maybe I’m not giving South Africa audiences enough credit and, to balance things out, I am equally suspicious that the South African connection between Copely and Theron would have been lost on many Americans. Either way, credit to the SAMAs for being a bit creative with their award presentations.