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Hollywood icon gives bursary to SA actor

2013-08-27 16:21
Kevin Spacey
London - Who can say that they got a career boost from veteran actor Kevin Spacey?

Danilo Antonelli received a scholarship from the Kevin Spacey Foundation for studying towards a BA (Hons) in Acting and Global Theater at Regent's University in London.

The South African born actor saw a tweet by the celebrity about the scholarship and thought it would be a great boost in his career as a director, he said in an interview with Times Live.

The scholarship covers tuition for the three year course, estimated cost around R700 000, and Antonelli underwent a rigorous selection process which involved telephonic and face-to-face interviews, audition workshops and tests.

The bursar also received a signed letter from Spacey himself congratulating him on his achievement. "I hope you will thoroughly enjoy your time at Regent's University, that you will learn and grow as an actor, and expand your understanding of global theatre." Antonelli will meet Spacey at a university master class which the Hollywood actor hosts twice a year at Regent's.

Experience on the stage

Antonelli has been acting since he left high school, and got a break when he got a role in Deon Opperman's My Fair Lady, which led to subsequent parts in Disney's The Lion King stage production and a Spongebob Squarepants musical. The 26-year-old completed a degree in Communications last year through UNISA.

He has done many rounds on the Johannesburg theater circuit, and looks forward to experiencing London's scene. "[The UK is] a brand new country for me but what is nice is that I have a few friends that I met from my time on The Lion King," said Antonelli."

"What's also nice is the course is only 16 hours a week so I hope to have a chance to find work at the many theaters in London."

'Send the elevator back down'

The Kevin Spacey Foundation was set up as an organisation to help cultivate potential among those involved in performing arts and film. On the website, Spacey notes the help he got from his mentor Academy Award-winner Jack Lemmon, and says now that he is famous himself he has to 'send the elevator back down'.

"I’d love you to help me keep the elevator moving, and in good working order, so that we can bring along as many passengers as possible."
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