Beáta Bena Green on her role in Showmax Original Wyfie

By Amanda Tremeer-Young14 February 2024

Beáta Bena Green on her role in Showmax Original Wyfie

The first four episodes of Wyfie are now streaming on Showmax, with two episodes to follow every Tuesday. 

From multi-award-winners Homebrew Films (Trompoppie, Magda Louw), Wyfie follows four mismatched first-year roommates at Pantera res at the fictional Eike university.

Directed by SAFTA winner Johan Cronje (Wonderlus, Nêrens, Noord-Kaap), the university series stars Beáta Bena Green (Arendsvlei, Die Spreeus) as Shay, Celeste Loots (One Piece, Trompoppies) as Amanda, Kristen Raath (7de Laan) as Kyla and Mienke Ehlers (Dinge van ‘n Kind) as Mia. 

Beata Bena Green as Shay in Wyfie

Beáta is a former Miss Teen South Africa (2013) and a favourite among soapie fans since she made her TV debut in the kykNET telenovela Arendsvlei as Kim and also starred as Shady in the Afrikaans soapie 7de Laan.

Amanda Tremeer-Young spoke with the actress about her breakthrough drama role as Shay in Wyfie.

Tell us about your character, Shay? 

Shay is an only child of mixed race parents and she was raised by a single mother. She never had a relationship with her father, and she’s navigating life, trying to figure out what it means to be a mixed-race person, raised by a white mother in a very diverse society, but who also has certain expectations of her. In a way, she’s just trying to find her feet.

Beata Bena Green as Shay in Wyfie

She’s also exploring herself and her sexuality. She’s an introvert, a drama student, and a poet; she loves people, but she’s also very lonely. A lot is happening in her head, and you get to see that when you watch Wyfie. You see things from her point of view quite a bit. 

Do the storylines on Wyfie echo your own experiences at university?

I grew up in Paarl and then at some stage I moved to Gordon’s Bay, which is in the Helderberg basin, also in the Western Cape. Then I went to Stellenbosch University, which is very similar to how we’re portraying Eike, which is the university in Wyfie. 

But my experience at Stellenbosch was very different from Shay’s. Mostly because I was like one of the other characters in the show, Kayla: a pliggie. Someone who is completely committed to their studies. I was just super focused, and I enjoyed that.  

In Wyfie, however, specifically with Shay and within their group, they have a lot of fun and they’re just living on the edge. So it’s definitely an experience at university that I personally haven’t had. 

Wyfie talks a lot about female relationships and friendships. Can you talk a bit about how it depicts those types of relationships, and if it reminds you of any relationships in your own life? 

The female relationships in Wyfie are stunning, especially those amongst the young people. Many of the friendships that I am exploring, as a character, actually emulate the relationships that we’ve created on set amongst the actors. I draw inspiration from that. It’s work, but at the same time, it’s a total privilege because I’m working with incredible people. 

Beata Bena Green and Mienke Ehlers as Shay and Mia in Wyfie

I’m also particularly drawn to the relationships that they have with their mother figures. These relationships are quite beautiful because there is this cycle of woman-to-woman power and passion that just carries on over the generations. My character has an awesome mom and that’s an aspect that I’m really enjoying. 

 What kind of challenges did you experience during filming?

I think one of the challenges during filming was just getting to a place where you had to remove yourself from the character. You become so vulnerable because the characters are so real, and that raw experience gets captured on camera. So it was about just allowing yourself to go there, and really just having the freedom to play without the fear of judgement, because it’s so easy for people to judge one another and you’re afraid that people are going to judge your character for the things they’re doing. But then you need to remind yourself that they’re young and they’re figuring things out, and the mistakes that they make that are going to be on the screen might be something that inspires other people to do the same – to explore and to do it without judgement.

Why should people watch Wyfie?

As much as it is fun, crazy, and entertaining to watch, it allows you to really dig deep into young people’s minds and understand why they do the things they do that are sometimes controversial. It will help you empathise with them, and to feel the sense of community that can be created amongst people when they’re put in the same space. I think that’s something that we can all learn from. So it’s fun, games, and excitement, but I believe it’s also very inspiring.

Watch the trailer for Wyfie

Join the conversation:

Wyfie: Res, roomies and ships
Youngins, now streaming