SA actor Anton David Jeftha chats to us about his new life in Hollywood

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Anton David Jeftha stars as Sebastian Price Jnr in Mnet telenovela Legacy. (Photo: Supplied)
Anton David Jeftha stars as Sebastian Price Jnr in Mnet telenovela Legacy. (Photo: Supplied)

The South African actor talks about his new life in Hollywood and his role in local telenovela Legacy.

RICH KID

Many viewers first got to know Anton in the kykNET soapie Suidooster as Rhiyaaz, and now he’s back on our screens as rich kid Sebastian Price Jnr in M-Net’s telenovela Legacy.

The series is centred on fictional investment group Legacy Investments, which Sebastian’s dad, Sebastian Snr (Trackers’ Deon Lotz), founded in the ’70s. But the lives of the wealthy Price family take a dramatic turn when the patriarch goes missing.

“I’m grateful to be part of Legacy because the work came at a time when most actors didn’t have any,” Anton says.

FROM LOS ANGELES TO JOZI

Anton, who was born in Cape Town, has lived in Los Angeles since 2016 and came to SA to visit his family in Durbanville, Cape Town. His plans to return to Hollywood in March were put on hold because of lockdown, and then the part in Legacy came his way.

Since June he’s been based in Johannesburg, where the series is filmed. He says it’s a privilege to work alongside veteran actors such as Deon and Michelle Botes (who played Isidingo’s villainous Cherel).

“It’s lovely working with Michelle. I’ve been watch-ing her play the baddie on TV my whole life. But in reality she’s so easy to talk to and committed to her work, just like Deon. Working with such superb actors can only improve your own work,” he says.

Anton
Anton David Jeftha filming a scene from local telenovela Legacy in Johannesburg. (Photo: Supplied)

FAMILY MAN

Anton grew up in Belhar on the Cape Flats, where he spent his childhood dreaming of Hollywood.

He shares some similarities with his character – like Sebastian Jnr, Anton is an only son to Anton Snr (65), an electrician, and Veronique (62), an accountant. Like Sebastian, Anton bears his father’s name and has three sisters – Anthea Jeftha (42), Chantel Walbrugh (37) and Danielle Fraser (29).

“It’s an interesting coincidence,” Anton says.

THE ROAD TO ACTING

He has a BCom degree from the University of the Western Cape but quit his honours degree in finance to become an actor.

“I’d always had a desire to act but if you grew up where I did, it’s not something you do,” he explains.

He made his TV debut as the kidnapper Zubair in an episode of M-Net’s true-crime series Crimes Uncovered (2012) about the 2006 murders of actor Brett Goldin and his friend Richard Bloom.

THE HOLLYWOOD LIFE

In December 2014 Anton went to Hollywood for a month to see what he’d need to do to make it there. Being in LA was a humbling experience, he says.

“Suddenly you’re a tiny fish in a massive pond and everyone’s doing their best to make their dreams come true.”

When he made the move to LA in 2016 he worked as a waiter for 18 months and did odd-jobs.

“I had to do a bunch of other things while I was going for auditions and taking acting lessons. It was challenging but I think it builds character.”

He’s had parts in US TV shows Homeland and Dominion. “When I was binge-­watching season 3 of Homeland, I didn’t imagine I’d be in the series one day.”

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