South African Actors On (And Behind) the Big Screen – Part 2
More of the Names You Know, Don’t Know and Should Know
We’re back! There are so many SAFFAs flying our flag in Hollywood, we had to make a second post! You can catch up on part 1 here in case you missed it. Otherwise, let’s not waste any time meeting more proudly South African big screen exports.
Where’s she from: (Born) Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Relocated to Vancouver, Canada and Canada
Discovered when: very luckily (or is it?) landed a role from her very first audition. It was for the lead role as Brandy in the 1999 telefilm, In a Class of His Own. She played alongside opposite Lou Diamond Philips!
Famous for: playing Anastasia Dualla in Battlestar Galactica and Dr Clementine Chasseur in Hemlock Grove. Watch carefully, and you’ll spot her in the 2000 classic Romeo Must Die as well as S11E19 of Supernatural.
Where’s she from: Upington, Northern Cape
Discovered when: she played Sybil Gordon in the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, Chariots of Fire in 1981. This was her feature film debut!
Famous for: her legendary portrayal of the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact, and again in the Star Trek: Voyager finale, “Endgame”.
As if being a part of Trekkie history is not enough, she has appeared in several other genre productions, including the dystopian dragon film Reign of Fire, the prehistoric children’s favourite Dinotopia, Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers and the highly acclaimed miniseries Children of Dune.
Where’s he from: Durban, KwaZulu Natal
Discovered when: he bagged the role of Raja in the comedy sitcom, Aliens in America. This soon paved the way for his most famous role.
Famous for: playing Timmy in the hit CBS comedy series, Rules of Engagement.
Fun Fact: Adhir’s mom, Santosh Vinita “Sandy” Kalyan represents the DA as a member of our parliament.
The moment you’ve been waiting for (if you’ve read part 1).
Where’s he from: Johannesburg, Gauteng (South Africa) and Vancouver, Canada.
Discovered when: he had worked a few special effects jobs, working his way up to lead animator for the TV series, Dark Angel. He only went up from there. In fact, we highly recommend that you check out his full bio
Famous for: District 9 (2009), Elysium (2013) and Chappie (2015). It is his film direction, producing, screenwriting, and animation talents that made him a name in Hollywood. In particular, his documentary-style, hand-held, cinéma vérité technique, blending naturalistic and photo-realistic computer-generated effects, has earned him high acclaim.
Where’s he from: Johannesburg, Gauteng
Discovered when: Tsotsi smashed its way onto our screens and into our hearts. Few movies have achieved piercing one’s soul the way that Tsotsi did. The highly acclaimed film put Gavin on the international map. Here’s the kicker, more than just directing, he wrote the movie too!
Famous for: writing and directing Tsotsi, directing X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ender’s Game, Eye in the Sky, and Official Secrets.
We’ve only scratched the surface! South Africa has loads more talent than we realise. If you’d like to see more, let us know.