Thu Aug 17 03:46:47 SAST 2017

Theodore Jantjies: Stars in his eyes

2017-04-20 10:41:24.0 | Aneesa Adams |

While 7de Laan boasted 4000 episodes recently, Theodore Jantjies has been there for more than a decade.

Picture credit: Mduduzi Ndzingi

Originally from the beautiful town of Heidelberg in the Western Cape, this handsome lad who plays Xander Meintjies on the SABC2 soap, reckons he was destined to be on our screens.

"The industry just needed me," he gloats. "It has been an amazing rollercoaster ride and a blessing. I am very privileged to be here."

His contribution won him favourite actor at the YOU Spectacular awards two years ago. The actor, who plays the no-nonsense lawyer, says he relates to his character in many ways and has also invested some of his own qualities into the character.

"I have invested a lot of time building Xander; I want people to have an experience when watching. I also get a lot of inspiration and advice from my girlfriend, Tammy Van der Merwe, who is a lawyer," he says. Tammy keeps him grounded and focused.

"Everyday I'm blessed to have her in my life," he smiles.

The actor, who now resides in Johannesburg, has also acted in Scandal and award-winning films including Four Corners (Vier Hoeke) - where he had to buff up to play a gangster role.

Jantjies is just as charismatic when he does theatre productions, his favourite platform.

Comical, serious, tardy, romantic - his skills are versatile on this stage.

He is currently starring in a production called Die Vrou Uit Die See by Henrik Ibsen.

Although it was business economics that intrigued him at school, it was drama that drove him.

"My best part about school was the drama tours with the drama group and I had to be the leader of the school's disciplinary committee," Jantjies says of his days at Kairos Secondary School.

He says his very first professional production, Die Keiser, paid him R2000.

"I sent some to my mom and also gave some to my aunty, whom I lived with at the time."

Jantjies says he has his family to thank for their undying support, as he was not the most innocent child.

"During primary school I used to run around causing trouble. When I got to high school I toned it down to focus on what I wanted to be in life. There are many challenges that come when you are from a small town. So focus was important . Everything I am stems from where I come from and how I grew up. It motivates me to be even better," he says.

Serious about his chosen career, he took on acting and studied drama at Northlink College in Cape Town.

Jantjies started with community theatre in high school and worked his way up to professional theatre at the Baxter with actress Denise Newman.

"I was doing festivals and productions. I worked my way up to this point and I am still working to reach my goal.

"I am on a mission to change people's minds about the whole acting industry. People do not realise how hectic it actually is.

"I love being challenged and would love to play a character who is mentally ill in order to test my limits," he says.

His next goal is to graduate onto directing.

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