Chit Chat: James Alexander

2012-03-09 10:43

Introduce yourself to us please, Mr Alexander.
Please call me James. And by the way, good question. I always compare myself to Tristan, but I shouldn’t. I work as an actor. It’s been my passion since I was a teenager. I am also a silly, fun guy, a bit of a geek, love computers, technology and  your Xbox kind of stuff. I love to have a laugh. I love woodwork and fixing furniture. I’m a simple guy who lives in a ­­two-bedroom complex.

Why do you always land up in soapie land?
As a South African actor, there aren’t many jobs in the queue. But one has to pay bills and the only steady work is in dailies like soapies.

Take us through your soapie characters.
Binnelanders was my first big break into mainstream. I had to act in Afrikaans and English. Then I had a cameo in Generations, followed by Isidingo, where I acted as Barker’s lawyer. I had hoped that character would last and develop because I really loved Isidingo. However, that character came at the time when the SABC was going through a financial crisis, so most new roles were cut short. Luckily at that time, The Wild was casting and now I am here acting as a tan redhead when I am actually pale.

How is James different from Tristan?
There is always a portion of yourself in every character you play. I like Tristan when it comes to his belief that family is everything. That is something we share. Like him, I hate injustice and I love the bush.

Besides soapies, what else have you done?
I did more international work prior to this, mostly British TV. The shows were shot here in South Africa because we are supposedly a cheaper shooting destination. I did shows like Strike Back, Young Leonardo, The Sinking of the Laconia, Women in Love, Wild at Heart and many more.

Any goals and plans for the rest of this year?
I plan to have more fun, be myself and have a good laugh, and learn to not take life for granted. I am also learning isiZulu from my friends.

Female characters in The Wild just love you! Do you get that in real life?
I don’t know much about that because I am happily married, and have been for almost 10 years now to my beautiful wife, Anel. She is also an actress and we are business partners. We produced a film, Semi-Soet, with Nico Panagio as the lead actor.

Do you have any kids?
I would love to be a father. Anel and I are talking more and more about it every day. We both want a family life, but she was concerned about how that would affect her roles. But after her sister had a baby, she changed her mind, so maybe next year. We have two dogs who are more like our kids.

How do you and your wife unwind?
I spend most of my time with Anel and her family since my family is in Mossel Bay and others are in Scotland. We travel when we get the time. We also love eating out and trying new restaurants. We also enjoy walking in the parks, but we don’t like going to movies because it feels like work.

What do you do when you want to be romantic?

We make a certain day our Valentine’s Day each year, a day where we are both going to be available. On those days, I love spoiling her with gifts, chocolates, flowers, lingerie and a night in a hotel where we can be alone. Or we try a new restaurant for dinner. I do anything to get myself a few brownie points.

» Semi-Soet is currently on circuit

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