Süskind - In theatres January 19
05/02/2011

SÜSKIND in Screen Daily

By Geoffrey Macnab

Dutch actress Nyncke Beekhuyzen takes over lead in war drama
In a last-minute casting change, rising young Dutch actress Nyncke Beekhuyzen has taken over the lead role in the war drama Süskind, now shooting.

This follows the withdrawal of the original lead, Lotte Verbeek. (Verbeek, currently on US TV screens as one of the stars of Neil Jordan’s Showtime series The Borgias, left the production suddenly because of ill health.)

Producer San Fu Maltha has told ScreenDaily that some scenes have had to be re-shot because of Verbeek’s illness. He estimates that Verbeek’s departure added three additional days to the shooting schedule.

Beekhuyzen already had a minor part in the film but was elevated to the leading role following Verbeek’s departure. Over 40 actresses are understood to have auditioned. “She is a really good actress. We all had the feeling that she could be one of the new young actresses in Holland that could be coming out,” Maltha said of Beekhuyzen, previously best known for her role in hit Dutch television series Lotte. “We auditioned everybody who was available and she came out best.”

Süskind tells the true story of Jewish resistance hero Walter Süskind (Jeroen Spitzenberger) who worked for the Jewish Council in Amsterdam during the Second World War. By playing a cat-and-mouse game with SS Hauptsturmführer Aus der Fünten – played by Karl Markovics (Die Fälscher) – he managed to save almost a thousand Jewish children from deportation. The film is directed by Rudolf van den Berg.

Süskind is a production of Fu Works (Winter in Wartime; Blackbook) and Cadenza Films (Tirza; Snapshots). A sales agent is expected to be confirmed shortly. Independent is handling the Benelux release. The film should be ready by the autumn.