Benjamin is back!

By admin
28 January 2011

He’s much thinner and has scars on his face but the guy who’s making his way to the Isidingo set at Auckland Park in Johannesburg looks no less cocky or energetic than when he was last at the SABC3 soapie’s studio more than seven months ago.

Arno Marais, the 26-year-old actor who plays Benjamin le Roux, returns to the set for the first time since a car accident last July landed him in hospital for six weeks. He had swelling on the brain, a collapsed lung, internal bleeding and severe head injuries and slipped in and out of a coma (YOU, 20 September 2010).

As Arno strides onto the set it’s difficult to believe that at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria he had to be resuscitated five times; he was in a coma and came close to dying.

The scars on his forehead are covered by make-up and his jaw is held together by metal pins. The pins will probably stay put forever, he says.

His recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. He initially battled with memory problems but he has overcome that and has all the lines for the scene he’s shooting today safely memorised.

Messages of support from fans motivated him to get better and he wouldn’t have recovered if it hadn’t been for his mom, Corrie Viviers, and his girlfriend, actress Michelle Victor, he adds.

“I realise now who and what is important to me and intend spending the rest of my life letting people know how much I cherish them. I want to start a charity with other celebrities to raise money for teenagers involved in car accidents who require motivation and financial assistance to get better.”

His work is also important, he says. He couldn’t wait to get back to the Isidingo set.

“I initially doubted I would return but the writers and producers have been absolutely wonderful,” he says.

Fans of the soap are in for a treat, the producers promise, because there’s an explosive, scandalous twist ahead for Arno’s popular character.

He has missed working with Michelle and Anton Dekker, who plays Benjamin’s dad, Braam le Roux. They have a good relationship on and off-screen and he has many other friends on the set.

As he walks off the set after the three-hour shoot Arno is cheered on by the cast and crew. He may be a bit skinnier and have a few scars but Arno Marais is back – and ready to make Benjamin SA’s most-loved soap star.

Read more about his remarkable recovery in YOU, 3 February 2011.

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