27 September 2012

Katja Schuurman

This week EFSP has its yearly Netherlands Film Star Postcards Festival again. During the Netherlands Film Festival (26 September - 5 October 2012) we provide you daily with postcards and bios of Dutch film stars. Today it's sexy and exotic Katja Schuurman (1975), one of the first soap stars of the Netherlands. She showed durability as a TV host and as an actress in countless TV series and films.

Katja Schuurman
Dutch postcard in the GTST-verzamelkaarten series by RTL4, no. 10. Photo: Govert de Roos. Publicity still for the TV series Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST.

Katja Schuurman
Dutch postcard by Boomerang, no. P18-06. Photo: Frans Jansen / BNN.

Miss Carnaval
Katja Schuurman was born in Utrecht, Netherlands in 1975. She grew up in Bunnik as the eldest daughter of a Dutch father and a Chinese-Surinamese mother. Her younger sister, Birgit Schuurman, is also a singer/actress. She studied political science for a while, but soon focused on a show business career, which had started with the Elizabeth Dancers. In February 1992 they travelled to Italy to compete in a Carnaval-Show festival and there she was elected Miss Carnaval. Later that year the Elizabeth Dancers won the dance competition in the Soundmix Show on Dutch television. A year later she started to act in TV series, such as Uit de school geklapt (1992, Bram van Erkel) with Nelly Frijda, and the crime series Cover Story (1994, Bram van Erkel a.o.) starring Ton Lutz. Together with her sister Birgit Schuurman, she sang in the band Jeune Turcs. She had her breakthrough in the first Dutch soap series Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST. As Jessica Harmsen, she became one of the most popular characters. With two co-stars, Babette van Veen and Guusje Nederhorst, she formed the girl group Linda, Roos & Jessica, named after their characters in the series. They had a huge chart hit with the song Ademnood (Turn Your Love Around). Several more hits, including some solo songs, followed. Schuurman appeared in 69 episodes of GTST between 1994 and 1999. One of her few disappointments in this successful period was her film debut in the comedy De Zeemeerman/The Merman (1996, Frank Herrebout) featuring Daniel Boissevain. The film failed to draw people to the cinemas and was voted the worst Dutch film ever made. She also appeared in a GTST spoof, the comedy series Pittige tijden/Hard Times (1997-1999) with Carlo Boszhard and Irene Moors. At the time, Schuurman had a relationship with Gerd Jan van Dalen, one of the producers of Goede tijden, slechte tijden, but they broke up in 1998.

Katja Schuurman
Dutch postcard in the GTST-verzamelkaarten series by RTL4, no. 28. Photo: Govert de Roos. Publicity still for Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST.

Most Sexy woman of Holland
Katja Schuurman soon became a media star who not only acted and sung but also became a MTV VJ, internet babe and film star. Her second film was No Trains No Planes (1999, Jos Stelling), about an ordinary Dutch cafe, where a suicidal man (Dirk van Dijck) spends his last day saying goodbye to his friends. A huge box office hit was the romantic comedy Costa! (2001, Johan Nijenhuis), the story about a wild week at the Spanish coast, in which her co-stars were Daan Schuurmans and Georgina Verbaan, who had played her sister Hedwig in Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden. Another hit was the heartwarming Minoes/Miss Minoes (2001, Vincent Bal) starring Carice van Houten as a cat who turns into a young woman. Schuurman dubbed the voice of the Minoes’ cat sister. She continued to play in popular TV series like Westenwind/Western Wind (1999-2000, Johan Nijenhuis) with Daan Schuurmans, and All Stars (2001, Jack Wouterse) starring Peter Paul Muller and Antonie Kamerling. The latter was a spin-off of the successful comedy film All Stars (1997, Jean van de Velde), with the same cast and characters about a talentless amateur soccer team. The film and series were both remade in Belgium as Team Spirit (2000, Jan Verheyen) and Team Spirit - de serie/Team Spirit – the series (2003, Christophe Van Rompaey, Jan Verheyen). Schuurman also starred in the spin off series Costa (2001-2002). She grew into more mature roles in films like Oesters van Nam Kee/Oysters at Nam Kee's (2002, Pollo de Pimentel) in which she played Thera, a nightclub dancer who has a passionate affair with a teenage drop-out (Egbert Jan Weeber). As part of her role, she posed nude as Thera in the October 2002 edition of the Dutch edition of Playboy Magazine. That year she was voted Most Sexy woman of Holland. She posed again in the May 2004 edition of Playboy, this time as herself. Her other film appearances included the TV film Zeus (2001, Marcel Visbeen) costarring with Jeroen Spitzenberger, and a bit role in the Bret Easton Ellis adaptation The Rules of Attraction (2002, Roger Avary) starring James van der Beek and Jessica Biel.

Katja Schuurman
Dutch postcard in the GTST-verzamelkaarten series by RTL4, no. 20. Photo: Govert de Roos. Publicity still for Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden/GTST.

More Than Just A Pretty Face
Katja Schuurman received good reviews for her acting in Interview (2003, Theo van Gogh) opposite famous Dutch stage actor Pierre Bokma. Rik Janssen at IMDb: “Theo van Gogh did it again, and Theodor Holman earns every bit of respect on writing one of the best dialogue-movies I've seen in years. Pierre Bokma proves once again to be a great actor, and Katja Schuurman proves she's more than just a pretty face. Her role as a spoiled actress is greatly ironic, 'cause most narrow-minded viewers have only looked at her in this respect for over a decade. By playing this role with such finesse, she maybe proves to be exactly the opposite.” She worked again with Theo van Gogh at the film Cool! (2004, Theo van Gogh) and the TV series Medea (2004, Theo van Gogh) with Thijs Römer. Römer became her lover. That same year, Theo van Gogh, a great-great-grandson of Vincent van Gogh’s brother Theo, was murdered by a Muslim extremist following a television documentary on the mistreatment of women in the Islam sector. The murder created an international shock, and Schuurman was devastated by the loss of her director and friend. On TV, she went on to host programs for BNN alongside Bridget Maasland. She married Thijs Römer in 2006 at the Château de Condé in the French town of Vallery. He had proposed to her in Wladiwostok, Russia, over the 2005 holidays. Their daughter Sammie was born in 2010. Schuurman appeared briefly in the American remake of Interview (2007, Steve Buscemi) in which Sienna Miller played her part of the Dutch version. Other films during that period included Sextet (2007, Eddy Terstall), the children’s adventure Kapitein Rob en het Geheim van Professor Lupardi/Captain Rob and the Secret of Professor Lupardi (2007, Hans Pos) and the commercial failure Het wapen van Geldrop/The weapon of Geldrop (2008, Thijs Römer). In 2007 she launched a Fair Food-line and did a lot of presenting work, including a talkshow with Sophie Hilbrand. A hit was the TV series S1ngle (2008-2010), based on a popular cartoon about three single girlfriends. Since then she appeared in the sequel All Stars 2: Old Stars (2011, Jean van de Velde), the crime comedy Black Out (2012, Arne Toonen), the TV series Van God Los/Godforsaken (2012, Pieter Kuijpers) and the family film De Club van Lelijke Kinderen/The Ugly Children Club (2012, Jonathan Elbers). On TV she scored another ratings hit as the host of the show Nick tegen Simon (Nick Against Simon) (2012). Katja Schuurman and her family live in Uitdam.

Clip with Katja Schuurman singing Wereldmeid (1997). Source: Riahamburg (YouTube).

Trailer Interview (2003). Source: Entertainmentone (YouTube).

Trailer Black Out (2012). Source: Pathenl (YouTube).

Sources: Rik Janssen (IMDb), AllMovie, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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