Kristen Raath on her funniest, and most humiliating moment, on the set of Wyfie

By Amanda Tremeer-Young6 May 2024

Kristen Raath on her funniest, and most humiliating moment, on the set of Wyfie

The Showmax Original Wyfie has just been nominated for Outstanding Use of Locations at the Global Production Awards, presented by Screen International. At the awards in Cannes, France on 20 May 2024, the university drama will be competing against two Netflix productions shot in Norway: Troll and Ragnarok. 

The Wyfie sets felt so real that Kristen Raath, who plays Kyla, forgot they weren’t. “The funniest moment – and certainly the most humiliating moment – for me was the first day on set. It was just my day, meaning we only shot Kyla scenes for most of the day. And in the set’s kitchen, there is a sink, but of course, there are no pipes or anything connected to it. But Kristen didn’t expect that! I had to wash dishes in the scene, and I pulled the plug out of the sink, put the plug down, and went on. I then heard just a little bit of water running and thought, ‘Oh, that’s fine.’ I then took the plug again and pushed the plug back in, but then it was too late. Water flooded almost the entire grot [this is what the group of girls call their home]. Kyla almost destroyed the grot before the series even started! (laughs)”

Kristen Raath as Kyla in Wyfie on Showmax

Previously best known as Amorey in 7de Laan, Kristen’s been widely praised for her performance as Kyla, the most conservative of four mismatched first-year roommates at Pantera res at the fictional Eike university. She stars alongside Beáta Bena Green (Arendsvlei), Celeste Loots (One Piece, Trompoppie), and Mienke Ehlers (Dinge van ‘n Kind) in the series, which is produced by multi-award-winners Homebrew Films (Trompoppie). 

Watch the trailer for Wyfie

With the first 26 episodes (of 45) now available to binge on Showmax, Amanda Tremeer-Young sat down with Kristen to find out more: 

What is Wyfie about?

Wyfie is a chaos adventure.

Tell us more about your character, Kyla.

Kristen Raath as Kyla in Wyfie

Kyla is from a small town. She is very religious and very in control. She is a very good student, with a lot of pressure on her because of the responsibilities she has. In general, she is not the ideal student when it comes to partying, but she is the ideal student for a lecturer because she studies when she needs to study. (laughs)

Does Kyla’s university experience reflect your own experience of being a student?

I completely resonate with Kyla. A hundred percent. I think I was Kyla when I was younger, and now we’re learning a little bit from each other.

I studied through Unisa for my IT degree, so I can’t really talk about the university days. But what is so precious is that Kyla is actually just a bit of a recluse. She doesn’t go out, she doesn’t live a life outside of a book, and I can relate to that quite a bit. At Unisa, I had to teach myself, and I also locked myself away like that, very similar to how Kyla keeps herself behind the books.

It’s so wonderful because now I’m also experiencing university through this series – by telling these stories, it’s as if I’m at university and it’s a lot of fun!

Tell me more about the other actresses and how you get along as a team. Does the friendship between the characters reflect the friendships with women you have in your own life?

Definitely. Beáta [Bena Green], who plays Shay, was also involved in my previous project and we are best friends. 

Kristen Raath, Celeste Loots, Beata Bena Green and Mienke Ehlers in Wyfie, coming to Showmax

I don’t have many girlfriends, but all of us instantly clicked. We had seen a lot of each other on social media and liked each other a lot. For example, Mienke [Ehlers] – her style and fashion sense are incredible. I’ve been watching her for years – which probably sounds creepy now!

I think we [the four lead actresses] were also aware of how important our bond with each other is [for the project]. That we should have good chemistry for how we would go through the project. But we didn’t need to force it. It was just so perfect; like it was supposed to happen.

Why should people watch Wyfie?

People should watch Wyfie because it’s going to push boundaries. These are stories that are not necessarily told in our language or our culture, but they are what people live, even though we are ashamed to talk about them. We’re going to step on a lot of people’s toes, but if you want to watch real stories with heart, with humour, with a heartbeat, I think you should watch this series.

Can you talk a little about your music career and where your heart lies? Music or acting?

I think by now I can definitively say that acting is my great love, but it’s still very difficult for me to choose between music and acting because I still write music as a form of therapy. For now, in this season of my life, acting is the most important to me. Maybe things will change. Never say never. 

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Watch Wyfie on Showmax, with two new episodes every Tuesday: 

Youngins S1: Mahlatse & Tumelo catchup
Koek S1, now streaming