Bart & Bienkie a real-life item

By admin
23 April 2010

It’s a love link-up that surprised many in SA’s entertainment world: handsome actor Neil Sandilands and lovely actress Esta Terblanche – and it happened in Los Angeles.

Neil (7de Laan’s Bart) and Esta, who played Bienkie in Egoli some years back and became known in America after getting a part in popular soap All My Children, are deeply in love.

It all started when Neil went to LA late last year to try to contact fellow South Africans about a mini-series, De la Rey in LA, which he was planning. It’s a comedy about the adventures of Koedoe de la Rey, an SA actor sent to infiltrate Hollywood and turn it into an Afrikaans industry.

Neil, who’s the writer, director and lead actor, contacted Esta – who’d been living in America for more than a decade – to see if she’d like to get involved and she jumped at it.

They hit it off immediately. ‘‘One cup of coffee became two and soon we stopped counting,’’ Neil says. ‘‘The next evening we went out for Thai food and for the rest of my stay we saw each other practically every day.’’

They’ve both been around the block and are wary of revealing too much about their relationship. She was married to an American but divorced two years ago, and Neil says he doesn’t have a good track record in the love department.

‘‘This relationship caught us both by surprise and it’s good not to over-analyse relationships. All that matters is we complement each other and we’re very happy together.’’

She followed him to South Africa recently and joined him on a trip around the country to make a documentary on singer/songwriter Anton Goosen. Both will return to America soon.

Neil recently posted this on his blog: ‘‘Esta and I are going from strength to strength. Sometimes I look at her and wonder how it happened that our journeys converged at this juncture. There’s something incredibly beautiful about it all.’’

Read the full article in the latest issue of YOU

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