Tamika Interviews Grant Ross

Arriving at Seapoint’s very cosmopolitan little café, Giovanni’s, I am met with the confident and good-looking smile of local actor and personal trainer, Grant Ross. Fresh from his trip to India for an acting job, the newlywed looks the perfect picture of health, wealth & happiness. We order our cappuccinos and I begin my interview:

Tamika: So we are both from PE! Where did you go to school there?

Grant: Yip, that’s correct! I went to Alex.

Tamika: And when you left school, what did you do? Did you come straight to Cape Town?

Grant: Yes. I studied my degree in Live Performance at AFDA and found myself doing a lot of modelling on the side! Acting is my passion, so after my degree I enrolled in some courses to hone my craft. I did classes through my previous acting agent, Samantha Bernhardi, and I also did Bjorn Steinbach’s course in the Meisner technique. I took his classes for a year.

Tamika: Brilliant! So that was your training for acting?

Grant: Yes.

Tamika: What would you say it is that you do primarily?

Grant: Acting for film. But I love all forms of acting. Currently I’ve been getting a lot of work in creature performing. I’m also a personal trainer at the Virgin Active gym in Greenpoint. I did modelling also for many years but put that on hold. Now I’m slowly getting back into it.

Tamika: What are some of your most memorable roles?

Grant: A Portugese TV series that I did. I played a South African cop. That was shot in 2008 here in Cape Town. It was called Despertar. I also love my ‘creature performing’, which is actually what the job I did up in India entailed. Think ‘Gollum’ in Lord of the Rings! A documentary I was involved in a while back also stands out for me. It was shot in 2007 here in Cape Town. It was called The Sinking of the Lusitania. I played a British TV reporter.

Gollum from Lord of the Rings

Tamika: Have you done any commercials?

Grant: Yes I have. Coca-Cola, Spur, T-Com & Tiger beer stand out.

Tamika: Have you won any awards?

Grant: Yeah sure, at school I was nominated with my colours for drama, at AFDA I was the only actor nominated for the Dean’s list in my 3rd year. I was nominated for ‘Best Supporting actor in a 3rd year film’ whilst only in 2nd year and won the award for best play in 2nd year, where i played 3 characters in a single play. I was also nominated as ‘Best Presenter’ in South Africa for the KTV Yamaha Young Talent Presenter Search a few years back.

Tamika: What’s in the pipeline for you at the moment?

Grant: Well I have the premier in Durban for the Bollywood Film Action Entertainment I was just recently in. I did creature acting in that – I played an Animatronic Gorilla! I’ve also written my own short film as well as been approached to star in 2 other scripts currently under development. And, of course, personal training takes up a lot of my time.

Tamika: Who is your agent?

Grant: Paula Pursch.

Tamika: Do you also model?

Grant: I did model but I realised that I was working more as an actor and therefore wanted to focus more of my time on the one thing that I am more passionate about – acting. I will be looking into it again in the near future.

Tamika: What are your favourite South African films?

Grant: The Gods Must Be Crazy, There’s a Zulu On My Stoep, Mr Bones, Tsotsi, Faith like PotatoesDistrict 9, Invictus.

Tamika: Where do you party, usually?

Grant: To be totally honest, I’m all partied out. I started quite young – having an older brother and sister – so I’ve pretty much done it all and experienced all that nightlife has to offer. Don’t get me wrong though, I love a good jam when I get the chance to. There’s nothing better than to let your hair down and jam to one of Avicci’s tracks – that man is a legend! But I have definitely become somewhat of a chilled out person, so where I used to party hard, I now enjoy watching a great movie, writing scripts, reading a good book and focusing on how I can gain more knowledge to push myself further into reaching my goals. I really enjoy my sleep now hey, I mean seriously! It’s like just thinking of going out jolling after working so hard just doesn’t sit well with me. I know I sound like such a bore…. it’s just, well, time is precious and I’d like to use it wisely. Getting my sleep in gets me prepared for a productive day ahead!

Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?

Grant: oh, um…bags, clothes and training gear. There’s also boxing gloves, skipping ropes and a gear lock – cant be too careful hey 🙂

Tamika: Do you have siblings?

Grant: Yes I do. I have a sister in London and a brother in Cape Town.

Tamika: What does your family do?

Grant: My brother Craig is a sound engineer and my sister works as an assistant for Corporate and Investment Bankers in the UK. My mother is now the underwriting manager of Mutual and Federal in Port Elizabeth. My father, Ronnie Ross, who is not with us anymore was a man of many talents. He was an actor, singer, TV presenter, radio presenter, rally car driver and a business man. Where my mother was an actress, dancer and a singer.

Tamika: What is your health routine like?

Grant: I’m a health fanatic, period. I love exercise and I am very careful with what I eat. I usually train 5 – 7 times per week, this involves weight training and high intense and low intense cardiovascular workouts such as swimming, running, and hiking. I follow a strict eating plan during the week and on weekends I let myself go a little so as to enjoy what life has to offer. I find that a healthy balance is very important in life.

Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

Grant: To be honest, I would love to see myself working consistently in my industry, where I do not have to worry about where the next paycheck is coming from. I would love to be working in my own country as an actor and seeing the industry and culture grow  alot bigger. I would also love to have a family with 2 kids and travel the world giving them what I was not fortunate enough to have as a child.

Tamika: What is something interesting about you that your followers don’t know?

Grant: God is the center of everything in my world. I draw my strength from Him. Also… I’m afraid of the dark and I’ve never eaten a tomato in my life! I love kids and I am addicted to computer games. I built my first computer at 14. I know…GEEK!

Tamika: Haha! Name a place you love.

Grant: I have only ever been to London and India and India takes the cake. It’s amazing to see how different their culture is. The food is out of this world and there is such a variety of dishes. Their film culture is also massive! They are shooting 300 full length features a year, which means that there is so much work for actors that side. Even though they are so poverty stricken, they are a country that is still so happy.

Tamika: Do you do any charity work?

Grant: I serve my community in a leadership position at a church in Sea Point called Life Church. We hold a youth games evening every Friday night for youth between the ages of 14 and 18 years old, where  we open our doors to any youth in the area no matter who it is and no matter how broken they are. We play games such as Xbox, table tennis, snooker and just really connect to build relationships so we are able to to speak into these kids’ lives and set them up on the correct path. Our aim is to keep them on the right track and off of the streets. So many of our youth today are  homeless, or without a father and/or mother. This often causes them to feel unloved… pushing them in the direction of gangs, drugs, alcohol and crime.  Our mission is to show them love and help them to understand that they are worth something and worthy of greater things by empowering them through the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you walk out of an audition?

Grant: “You gave it your best, it’s not up to you anymore.” I don’t like to sit and think about it; I move forward and remain positive.

If you want to follow him on Twitter, he goes by @GrantRMross

You can also check him out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grant-RM-Ross/129728607119416

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