Bram van der Vlugt (86) announced in 2011 that he would stop as an 'adviser to Sinterklaas'.

Nine years later he can be seen in

De Grote Sinterklaasfilm


"The entire transition to soot wipers completely escapes children."

A day after the interview, Van der Vlugt announced by email that he had forgotten to explain the rules of the game when he was asked about Sinterklaas: "The game that I have been playing for over thirty years is that Sinterklaas exists! I play it. So not. At best I imitate him. And I am gradually able to do that quite well. The key phrase that fits the rules of the game is: I am / was the adviser to Sinterklaas in television matters. "

Whose deed.

Do you still think of Adrie van Oorschot, your predecessor as Sinterklaas?

"Very often. He was my great example. A Sinterklaas of the old school. That could frighten you a little. When I heard that he stopped and that Aart Staartjes was the chief of the entry, I wanted to take over. Aart was the back then. guru of youth television in which the child was central, and not the educator. Together we made Sinterklaas a bit more naughty and rowdy. A Sinterklaas who is more on the side of the child and is not used as a blackmail tool by parents. "

"But when I think of Adrie, I also think of things that I might not have said. For example, that he had quit because he was gradually becoming the same age as Sinterklaas himself. I still imitate Sinterklaas and have been twenty years older than Adrie was when he quit. "

This year the national entry will be canceled.

"They like that on television. It is exceptional that no entry is organized in any village. But if a global virus is circulating, this is only a minor inconvenience. The Sinterklaas party will survive. I would like it. find someone in the village who puts on a Santa Claus suit, puts on a miter and walks the streets: "Hello, hello, is there anyone? Where are you all?"

Bram van der Vlugt: sixty years of acting experience

  • 1961: Graduation drama school in Amsterdam

  • 1963: Gained nationwide fame through a Doctor's Memorandum series

  • 1970: Founds theater group Sater

  • 1986: Appears at the entrance of Sinterklaas

  • 2000: Receive the highest theater award for his performance in Copenhagen

  • 2011: Passes the miter on to Stefan de Walle

You've never been able to let it go, have you?

"How should I interpret that question?"

Stefan de Walle was appointed by the public broadcaster in 2011 to interpret Sinterklaas.

"Stefan de Walle is a good friend and at my request took on those public broadcasting tasks. There was a gentlemen's agreement that I would not be seen on NPO3 as Sint, for example, while he would be broadcast on NPO1. That would not help with the people's habituation to another Saint, and I have never done that since. But the world is bigger than the public broadcaster, and when people ask if I feel like imitating Saints again, I don't see how I put Stefan in the wheels. "

Especially now that there is no national entry, expressions in cinemas and on television are becoming more important.

You could argue that because of your contribution to the film, children are again presented with two 'advisers'.

“In the first place, I think children are less likely to get confused than adults. Whether Sinterklaas wears a miter with wide, gold bands and a cross on the back, like Stefan, or the old-fashioned way, like I did in the movie. , a child doesn't care about that.

"What I am saying now, you have to write down carefully: I am extremely grateful that I had a monopoly on Sinterklaas on Dutch television for 25 years. That went further than the public broadcaster. As a result, you almost become Sinterklaas yourself," because knowing someone else. We don't. ”When I stopped, voluntarily, I saw that I had left a good impression. And ten years later there are still people who think: hey, if I want to make a successful film, I might have to tie that Sinterklaas Then I'm not the one to say, "Let's not do that, because it creates confusion."

Stefan is also not able to participate in such a film for contractual reasons. "

Bram van der Vlugt as Sinterklaas: "I like nothing more than working with young people."

(Photo: WW Entertainment)

It feels a bit presumptuous just talking about this role, given that you have done so many other things in your life.

"Sorry, but I would stick those feathers up your own ass. You talk about it all the time.

The Great Sinterklaas film

has been running in the cinema since last Wednesday. So, done. I really want to talk about other things, because I have another one. great future ahead of me on the scene. "

As an 86-year-old actor, are you still willing to learn?

"I am so happy that we are finally getting to the heart of the matter. I enjoy nothing more than working with young people. What is taught in drama schools and cabaret academies today is very different from the training I did sixty years ago. have had."

"On my 85th birthday, I deliberately played in a performance written for me and produced by people in their twenties. It was amazing to work with people who have completely different ideas about theater. You are building a project together with someone fifty years younger. performance. Maybe that is a form of survival. "

When you can no longer act, the most important thing in your life falls away.

"If you take it so out of context, you might think that the man doesn't like it at home. I really like it at home, but mainly because I know that I have a job again the day after tomorrow and that people like to see me. I dread the moment when that is no longer possible. That's why I keep going until death follows. Why should I stop sooner? "

“When I can no longer walk, I do it in a wheelchair.

And if I can't remember anything, I'll do radio. ”

Bram van der Vlugt

"If I can't walk anymore, I'll do it in a wheelchair. And if I can't remember anything, I'll do radio. I don't feel like memorizing a play text is getting any worse, maybe a little. Sometimes. a text disappears from my mind after ten minutes, but I think I already had that before. Yet there is now the fear that I will deteriorate. "

Is there a role of which you say: this is how I should be remembered?

"There is one that stands out because it was such an unexpected success. That is the role of Niels Bohr in


. That play is about the fight between a Jewish man in Denmark and a Nazi in Germany, one of his pupils. And it, with today's knowledge, to help develop the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. "

“Some people say, 'Those bombs made me survive the Japanese camp.'

Others see it as the greatest crime against humanity. A piece with a mysterious, but incredibly important content. It was moving to be able to play it. By the way, for a large part with Stefan de Walle, yes! "

Your mother was murdered in Auschwitz.

Wasn't Niels Bohr playing so special because that story has such a strong connection with what was done to her and other family members of yours?

Unconsciously, of course. A piece that deals with the Holocaust - even if it is indirectly - also moves me more by definition. The fact that I am Jewish influences the choice of the things that I find important and beautiful. But that is not always decisive. "

Is the actor Bram van der Vlugt perfectly happy or is there still a stone missing?

"To be honest, I wouldn't know if there is a stone missing. Of course there are a lot of things that I have failed in. I have been incredibly affected by corona, but you don't want to talk about that. I don't want to die too soon because of it. But I know that if I get infected, the chances are good. So sometimes I am quite depressed. And nothing is perfect of course, neither is happiness. But I am very satisfied. "

The family film De Grote Sinterklaasfilm has been shown in the cinema since this week.