Willeke now gives workshops to young people. “So that they learn to become strong themselves. To know exactly; so far and no further. To learn to be the boss.” Despite her shyness, the actress herself was told at the Theater School that she ‘plays with her sex’ too much. “I didn’t know what that meant, sex appeal. I thought, what are you talking about?” In the early days of her career, there was a lot of emphasis on sex. “In that period, things were still very bad for Dutch film. The nudity was exploited.”
Although Willeke was aware of her image as a sex symbol, she did not care much about it. She has no regrets about nude scenes she played. “Nude is part of a person. I think you should be able to act a person in its entirety.” Still, the actress occasionally suffered from her image. “Then I was no longer asked for a nice role, but only for a scene to make a number on the refrigerator. So that I would have been in the film. Of course I didn’t do that.”
Willeke had an unpleasant experience when her limits were exceeded in her first major role, in the feature film Mira (1971). She had made agreements about nudity with director Fons Rademakers. “I want to be naked, but I don’t want you to see my pubic hair. He didn’t stick to that and I got very angry about that.” After that, the actress never worked with Fons Rademakers again.
The episode of Volle Zalen with Van Ammelrooy can be seen on NPO 2 on Wednesday evening.
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