Actress Debbie Sherman Talks “The Forgiven”, Playing Linda Coetzee, and Upcoming Projects

Debbie Sherman is an extraordinary actress, entrepreneur, wife, and mother! She manages to balance her career and family and even has time to travel. Check out her latest project below.

Hi, Debbie! We keep watching you soar and it is such an amazing thing to see. We’re so thrilled for you! Thank you for chatting with us about The Forgiven. You play Linda Coetzee. This is a very powerful film. The film is available on DVD Netflix. Tell us about the film and your role.

I am honored to be a part of this film that shows such an important piece of history. The narrative comes in at the end of the Apartheid and showcases the brutality of that horrific period of time. The Forgiven centers around Archbishop Desmond Tutu (played by Forest Whitaker) and his meetings with a brutal murderer (played by Eric Bana). I play Linda Coetzee and this has proved to be my most important and challenging role yet. The Forgiven will release theatrically on March 9th and I couldn’t be more excited!

Tell us about your character.

Linda Coetzee is your everyday South African woman, she is married and has kids, but her world is turned upside down when she learns her husband, Hansi, isn’t the man she thought he was. This character and film were very important to me and I made sure to do my homework on the background of the setting as well as the dialect Linda natively spoke. I was pushed to new levels professionally portraying this character.

What should the audience expect to see, when they watch the movie?

Drama. This Forgiven is intense from start to finish. It is based on real-life events and it will tug on your heart and make you feel things that will leave a lasting impression. Be ready; this film is not to be taken lightly.

How would you describe the character, Linda Coetzee?

Linda is your run of the mill housewife in South Africa. She has three kids and a fairly normal marriage. She doesn’t really know her husband and when she finds out who he really is she is shocked. Linda goes on an emotional rollercoaster in this film.

This is such a serious subject. Was it a challenge to portray your character?

In a word, yes. I did not take this role or film lightly. I gave my all to this character and was pushed to my limits by the great Roland Joffé. His direction really allowed me to open up and become this character in such a new way. The subject matter is overwhelming and difficult to stomach. For anyone who isn’t aware of the Apartheid and everything that went on during this horrific time, this film will open your eyes to the realities and horrors of it.

Recently, you have starred in several productions. What has been your favorite takeaways?

Every film is so very different. From the director to the character to the environment and plot, each production really is its own animal. I have learned to approach every film with a clean plate and fresh and new outlook. I think this helps keep me open to new learning opportunities on each set and allows me to do my best work.

Thus far, what has been the best experience working in the entertainment industry?

I have been blessed to have so many great experiences working in film. I have cherished each role and opportunity through its ups and downs. I would have to say that working on The Forgiven was my favorite experience. I was pushed to new levels on this film and worked with amazing actors, crew, and a fantastic director and producers. This film took me to South Africa and that was a blessing in itself. Having the unique opportunity to explore this country and experience its culture and people was a true gift and a moment I will forever treasure.

Do you have any upcoming projects that we haven’t mentioned?

I am excited to be working on a project at the end of the year. It is my biggest role yet and I can’t wait to share my upcoming film with everyone!

Complete this sentence, if I had an opportunity to do anything I want, I would do ___________.

I would do so many things. I would place every foster child with an adoptive family that would love and cherish the precious gift that each child is. I would end human trafficking and imprison all those who have hurt and defiled their victims. I would travel the world and use my experiences to have a firmer grasp on the various cultures and people that exist in every nation. As you can see, for me, this question has many answers, but those would be my top three.