He knew he was destined to be a TV star, but he never imagined he'd get his break on one of the country's most beloved shows.
Kyle Clark recently made his acting debut on popular Afrikaans SABC2 soapie 7de Laan. The 32-year-old actor plays the part of Hillside doctor Sudesh Reddy – and audiences can't seem to get enough of him.
“He’s very charming, progressive and sophisticated. I think he represents a character that a lot of people have been waiting for on soap dramas,” Kyle tells YOU.
“I’m really excited for him; he’s got a lot of stuff going on that will actually shock the viewers, which is great. I’m really grateful to be able to portray him,” he adds.
Kyle lives in Joburg and has been waiting for his big break for the past 10 years. Seven years ago, he opened his own media agency, Clark Media, to support himself while his acting career got off the ground. He also runs a luxury design and events company with his brother Dane (35).
“I’ve been in media for a very long time,” Kyle tells us.
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“I’ve worked at 94.7 radio station for a while, I’ve done TV presenting and a lot of commercials, but nothing that ever required me to act in character."
Even though he’s never studied acting, he's thrilled to be making a name for himself in showbiz.
“It’s really cool because they gave me an opportunity. As a fresh talent they are able to mould me and teach me in the ways that work well. The cast, the team, the producers are just unreal. It’s unmatched; I don’t know how I couldn't feel at home," he gushes.
It was a gruelling audition process, though. He tried out for the role three times via video tape before he was called in for a final audition opposite some of his soon-to-be cast members.
Two weeks later, while he was walking his golden retriever puppy, Alaska, he got the call that would change his life.
Kyle says he squealed in excitement when he heard he'd landed the role. But no one was more excited than his mother, Angela (60), who’s seen her son having to deal with one disappointment after another in his pursuit of a career in radio or television.
“My mom and I are best friends. As a mother, she just wanted something that’s permanent, that solidifies me and gives me affirmation that I’m talented. She’s still in absolute awe," he says.
“My story just shows you that resilience is really the key in any industry. You can make it at any time and any age.”
Kyle says he didn’t have to dig too deep to portray Dr Reddy because they have a lot in common.
“The one that sticks out the most is that he’s always ready to create a safe space for people to talk. People love to open up to him and I’m completely that person," he says.
“When I read the script I automatically clicked with him and he made so much sense – the way they described him, the type of person he was. I just knew it was something I’d be able to portray and I gave it my best shot," he continues.
For now, there’s a sense of mystery to the character and viewers are already speculating about Dr Reddy’s love life.
Kyle, who identifies as queer, is remaining tight-lipped on the topic, though. Viewers will just have to wait and see, he says.
7de Laan is broadcast on SABC2 (DStv channel 192) every Monday to Friday at 6pm.