Shane Moolman played by Tyrone Keogh

1 November 2018

Shane Moolman played by Tyrone Keogh

In Showmax Original The Girl From St Agnes, the staff and students of a private girls’ school in the Midlands are torn apart by a mysterious death. As the facts start to emerge, it seems like everyone has something to hide.

Shane Moolman is the security supervisor at St Agnes, and drama teacher Kate Ballard’s ally in her hunt for the truth about Lexi Summerveld’s death.

He was born in Pietermaritzburg, on the wrong side of the tracks, so his job at St Agnes is a big deal for Shane’s blue-collar family. Like Kate, he went through a phase of partying too hard; in fact, he and Kate had a brief fling when they were teenagers. This shared history makes them perfect detective partners – that is, if Shane can really be trusted.

Shane takes his job seriously. St Agnes has a state-of-the-art security system and armed guards. But none of this was enough to protect Lexi when the threat came from inside the carefully curated world of St Agnes and its brother school St Ambrose.

Shane has more motivation than most to get to the truth. He may be head of security at the school, but his secrets might be the most explosive of all.

About the actor

Tyrone Keogh made his name as head ranger Jack van Reenen in the award-winning M-Net soap opera The Wild, which saw him take home a You Spectacular Award for Sexiest Actor, GQ’s Best Dressed Man Award, and Mamba Online’s Sexiest Male Celebrity Award, among many other accolades.

In the five years since then, Tyrone has starred opposite Ethan Hawke in 24 Hours To Live; had recurring roles in international series like Black Sails and Dominion; married UK actress Shivani Ghai; and relocated to London.

He was born in Joburg, but raised in Cape Town, the son of an actor and producer. The Wild was his big break, and he dropped everything to move to Joburg for filming. But when the show ended, he was left out of work.

“[The Wild] opened a lot of doors and I met a lot of people, but it didn’t lead to anything else. I played the whole publicity game hard for two years – I did the awards, and the shows, and the interviews, because I thought it would lead to more work. I won a bunch of meaningless awards but the show finished and boom – the phone didn’t ring for a year. So I finished that job quite disheartened and went back to work as a bidding producer on commercials.”

In 2014, however, he landed a part on a US series called Dominion. It wasn’t a huge role, but it changed his life – he met his wife, British actress Shivani Ghai. As he now lives in the UK, it took a special role like this one to entice him back to work in South Africa.

The role

Tyrone got the call about auditioning for the role on The Girl From St Agnes when he and his wife were on holiday in Cape Town. “I woke up to four missed calls in five minutes from my father. I thought he’d had a heart attack because he never calls me before eight a.m. He said, ‘Moon [casting director Moonyeenn Lee] is desperate to get hold of you – you have to read this script.’

I hadn’t spoken to Moonyeenn in a few years, so it was leftfield. I was about to fly to LA in a couple of days but I read the script and I knew why they were calling me, because this was one of my staple characters: from the wrong side of the tracks, with some rough edges … I taped the audition, sent it off and told them that if they didn’t tell me by tomorrow, I’d be going to LA. At ten p.m that night I got a message saying I got the job.”

The role resonants with Tyrone, who went to SACS, the oldest school in South African. “I wasn’t privy to abuse on this scale,” he says. “There was that whole macho thing but I was never that guy – I wasn’t a sports person; I was a skateboarder. I didn’t fit into that mould. It was definitely there; I just wasn’t invited.

“[The show has] such important themes,” he says. “Themes that aren’t spoken about enough in this country, like toxic masculinity, sexuality, teenagers not being understood or heard. These are definitely not conversations that were happening when I was at school, but they need to be had.”

On set

The Girl From St Agnes was written, directed, produced and commissioned by women. “The energy was different,” says Tyrone. “I feel like there’s a lot less ego and a lot more collaboration, which is lovely. It’s been really cool to be in such a female-driven production. I’ve worked on commercials that have been female-driven but this is the first long-form project. It’s been a privilege.

“But The Girl From St Agnes is quite unlike what we’ve seen before and it’s of a quality and scale that is unheard of. I can’t think offhand of anything local that has impressed me as much as this.”

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