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Bianca Amato is an alien of extraordinary ability

2009-03-24 14:22
Bianca Amato

The beautiful Bianca Amato is probably best known for her role as Phillipa De Villiers on Isidingo - The Need.  Her role as the feisty young Englishwoman who was romantically involved with a black mine manager was groundbreaking and big news in post apartheid South African television. The role won her two prestigious awards – an Avante award for Best Actress in a Television Series and a Duku Duku award for South Africa’s Most Popular Actress.

After three years of Isidingo, the actress left our shores for the bright lights of New York in 2002 after receiving a green card as an alien of extraordinary ability.

After landing in NYC she’s acted in a number of exciting roles at the Guthrie Theater, including Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice, Rosalind in As You Like It, Marlene in Topgirls, and Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion for which she won the Star Tribune Award for best performance of 2004.

Bianca notes The Coast of Utopia as one of her highlights since leaving SA, "The man himself there all the way through the process... Nine hour trilogy. Awesome cast. Incomparable director. It was a huge experience." The Coast of Utopia is a trilogy of plays, Voyage, Shipwreck, and Salvage, written by Tom Stoppard.

To prove that she can act alongside the best of them, she also landed a guest appearance on Sex in the City alongside Sarah-Jessica Parker. And while it was only one episode, she was credited and her character had a full name!

Having conquered so much in a short time, what else could she possibly still want to achieve? "Oh, many things. But it feels a lot simpler now - I just want to do good, work with good people. And write regularly too."

Having been out of the country for almost seven years, this University of Cape Town alumnus says she misses her family, the skies and Rhodes Village most and would love to work with Meryl Streep, Mike Leigh and Steve Carell. And who would she thank if she ever won an Oscar? "My dad, mum and brothers; and then my agent, manager. All totally predictable!"

Bianca moved to the land of Botox and size zero a year ago to further her career. "I have to admit Los Angeles has not grown on me in the year that I have been there. I don't think it's for me. I miss New York. I miss the theater. I went to LA because I wanted to get more exposure, but it's a whole different world out there, and I'm not sure I can stomach it long enough to reap the rewards. But we'll see."

She is currently "with a friend in need" in Minneapolis and doesn't have any definite plans for the future "My life is on hold while I take care of a friend." But she hopes to resume work with a "delicious role in a meaty, wordy play back in NY..."

See a short Bianca Amato video portfolio here

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