What was it like to play Paul Spruit?
“I found it a huge challenge because it is such a big role. I’m in almost every scene and I’ve never experienced that before. I have to carry the series.”
How did you prepare?
“The book helped enormously with this because you can read all the background you want. Where someone comes from, where they lived, what that felt like, and so on. Sometimes preparation can also work against you. The book said that Paul was into karate, so I also took up karate. And when I talked to the director afterwards, he told me that he had already written that out.”
Have you met Paul Spruit himself?
“You end up in a kind of pressure cooker where you only rehearse and record and have no time for anything else. But there has been contact via the producer with Paul Spruit about the series. I myself met him briefly once.”
He comes across as an enormously tragic figure. Do you also see him that way?
“He is definitely a tragic figure with a tragic life, but I tried to make him someone who, despite everything, always has hope. If something like that father did happens, it has such an impact on the family, you end up in a downward spiral. And Paul thought by making certain decisions he could solve it. But that only made things worse. He made many choices motivated by desperation.”
Are you an actor who takes the misery home with you, or is it easy for you to let go?
“I was exhausted after a day of shooting. Then I just wanted to sleep. But I had a mat and my hair was also dyed and that rubbed off on my pillow. When I woke up in the morning, I immediately saw Paul again. I couldn’t quite shake him off.”
Peter R. de Vries was very proud of this book, do you feel more responsibility as an actor?
“Yes. He has written quite a few bestsellers, but I completely understand why this was his favorite book. In addition to the facts, it is also very much about the psychological effects of a crime. What is a perpetrator, what is a victim? And that is a very interesting area for a crime journalist, but also for actors. I know that the de Vries family fully supports the series and is proud of it and that gives me a very good feeling.”
A Murder Costs More Lives can be seen on Videoland from November 14.