Arriving at Newport Market & Deli in Mouille Point, Cape Town, I can’t miss the big smile & exuberant energy from an old friend who is now making waves in the Cape Town film industry. Approachable and friendly, Richard greets me and we waste no time before getting down to blog business 🙂
Tamika: So where are you from originally?
Richard: I’m originally from Natal…. But I’ve lived in every province in South Africa in the last 12 years! Now I find myself here, living near Rafikis….. aww yeah! 😉
Tamika: Ha! Where did you go to school?
Richard: I went to Camps Bay High for a while and ended up matriculating at Boston House College.
Tamika: What did you do after school?
Richard: I spent three months travelling around Europe. Then I came back here and was managing a bar for about a year. It was called ‘Velvet Lounge’. I did that for a while until I decided that I wanted to be an actor.
Tamika: What kind of training did you do for acting? And do you have training for any other skills?
Richard: Well since primary school I was always in every school play! I did 3 years at City Varsity and graduated with a Higher Diploma in Acting in 2006. After that, I focused on Stunt work at “DSS” – Dimensional Stunt School. That was 4 months. I graduated in 2007 and after that I continued drilling myself in martial arts training and honing my skills. I joined a circus school in Mowbray for 6 months and specialised in silks and aerial acrobats. Oh, and the trapeze! At the circus school I trained with a guy named Keith Anderson who all but brought the circus to SA. After that I was employed by Circus Sideshow – my first professional stage production. That was 3 weeks of rehearsals and 1 month at the Artscape.
Tamika: What would you say it is that you do primarily –acting for theatre or for film?
Richard: I was trained in film and I love the medium. It’s very natural and real. But I also love the theatre. I would recommend that any actor gets involved in the theatre at some stage of his career!
Tamika: Name some of your most memorable roles.
Richard: Well, a recent film I did in 2011 stands out for me. It was a re-enactment of Gettysburg, produced by Riddley Scott and directed by Adrian Moat. I had a lead role in that, ‘Lieutenant Colonel Rufus Dawes’. It was shot here in Cape Town near Stellenbosch. Safehouse last year was also a great film to be part of! It wasn’t a big role but it was great to be on set. A play I did in 2009 was also an unforgettable experience – It was The Jungle Book and I played ‘Baloo’. It was at Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Finally, a musical I was in during 2010, called Assassins, was a memorable experience for me. It was a musical by Steven Sondheim and was directed by Fred Abrahamse. I played ‘John Hinkley’ and it was to commemorate the opening of The New Space Theatre here in Cape Town.
Tamika: Have you done any commercials? If so, what?
Richard: Yes I have. A few that come to mind are ones I did for the Homemaker’s Expo, Hi-Q, Miller’s, KFC – where I got slapped in the face repeatedly – and a Weetabix ad where I spent 3 days dressed as a giant peanut!
Tamika: Haha! Have you won any awards?
Richard: Yes I have. I graduated top in my class at City Varsity and won the award for ‘Most Promising Actor’.
Tamika: What is the most recent you have done?
Richard: A Miller’s Commercial.
Tamika: What’s in the pipeline for you at the moment?
Richard: Coming up are 2 theatre productions called Trains. I’ll be playing one of the leads. It’s physical theatre which involves puppetry. They’ll be at Theatre In The District in District Six. Also, a kid’s show is in the pipeline for me. It’s called Cooked and it’s an incredibly fun, messy show! That will be at the Kalk Bay Theatre before we take it to the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Other than that, continuing my work as a casting director. I’m mainly at Catalyst Casting these days. I’m between there and Loop Street.
Tamika: Who is your agent?
Tamika: Do you also model?
Tamika: What are your favourite South African films?
Richard: District 9 and Skeem.
Tamika: Where do you party, usually?
Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?
Richard: My surf board and about 12 changes of clothes!
Tamika: Do you have siblings?
Richard: Yes I do; a younger sister.
Tamika: What does your family do?
Richard: My father is an entrepreneur – at the moment he teaches English to French students online. And my mother is involved with the Education Department.
Tamika: What is your health routine like?
Richard: I definitely try and surf at least twice a week. And I also love Parkour – free running. It works well for me with my gymnastics background.
Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
Richard: Having made some kind of an impact or change in the South African film industry. I believe we are part of a generation of young future talent………….. And if I end up being a household name, that’s fine also!
Tamika: What’s one interesting thing about you that your followers don’t know?
Richard: I just about never stop singing. And I can Beat Box like a demon!
Tamika: Name a place you love.
Richard: A quiet quarry just at the top of Vredehoek where I can go to sit and think.
Tamika: Do you do any charity work?
Richard: Yes. Although nothing through any groups. I used to work with an organisation called ‘Hope’ and quite recently, a group called ‘The Up’ – they are an upliftment group for kids in hospices, mainly. I like spreading hope and smiles.
Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you walk out of an audition?
Richard: To take the lessons from any mistakes I made forward, into the next audition.
Check Richard out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=596170832