Cape Town - We all have extravagant dreams and wishes for what we want to be when we grow up. All of them very rarely come true, mainly because not every little girl can become a princess and not every little boy has Spiderman’s powers.But one of the very few whose dreams have come true is the beautiful rising star, Leandi du Randt.
As a kid growing up would you ever have imagined being where you are today?I didn’t really think I would be where I am today, but I always dreamed about it and with the love and support from my family and my belief in God, that’s what got me where I am today.I have always loved performing and entertaining people and obviously the big ‘Hollywood dream’ was there, so I’ve always known it is something I wanted to do.What’s the most vivid memory from your childhood that stands out even today?It’s definitely the time I spent with my Barbies. I used to play with them all day long and pretend they’re acting in a movie or a soapie and whoever came to visit had to play Barbies with me and you were only allowed to play with the Barbie I gave you. It was always fun to come up with different things, living in a small town I had to come up with ways to stimulate my creativity.My mom also filmed me singing and preaching and acting out, which I have come to realise helped me in so many ways to be comfortable in front of a camera."Throw Back Thursday. My brother and I. #childhoodmemories #family"What made you decide to go in the direction of entertainment rather than the direction you studied for (Industrial psychology)?When I was studying, I stayed in residence and had to take part in the first year’s pageant. I won Miss Personality and so the prize was Brümilda van Rensburg’s drama course which was every Saturday for about 6 weeks.I figured I would do it while finishing my degree, I wanted to do acting and drama, but I didn’t want to formally study it because at that time of my life I wanted to work with and help people.I was very lucky because Brümilda saw something in me and spent a lot of time helping me and preparing me to work in the industry, and that’s where it all started.Which celebrity or public figure would you love to work with in the future?Anna-Mart van der Merwe was the first Afrikaans actress I looked up to and the reason I wanted to actually become an actress. I would love to act with her in the near future. Hopefully.I haven’t met her yet. I was honoured to be nominated in the same category as her for best actress at the Silwerskerm Festival earlier this year, obviously she won, but unfortunately she wasn’t there so we didn’t meet.Do you ever get nervous before an interview or TV appearance?It is in my personality to be confident, so I have never really been shy. I do get nervous, but it’s the normal adrenaline feeling, especially of the unknown.Before I auditioned for Strictly SA I was so nervous, it was the worst nerves I’ve experienced, so that shows that nerves never really go away. Being nervous, however, keeps you on your toes and it shows that you are doing something you are passionate about and want to do to the best of your abilities.It can’t be easy constantly living in the spotlight. How do you handle fans when you are enjoying personal time?I never actually get irritated by fans, we are so lucky to have them, especially our Afrikaans fans. If it wasn’t for them there wouldn’t be a market for Afrikaans films and series and we wouldn’t have our own channel. So I will always have time for them, they are the reason I have a job.The only time it can get quite daunting is at festivals, because people know you are going to be there, but then you also go to the festivals knowing that fans are expecting to see you and interact with you so it is actually nice to receive attention from them.Are you strict with the way you use social media and what you publish on your website?I love to share pictures of the people I love and who are part of my life, they are my safety net and I am so proud to have them so I am very active in terms of work and my personal life. However, when it comes to giving opinions I rather choose to stay quiet.If it is not a reply to someone who has directed something at me personally then I won’t randomly make statements, I don’t feel like that is part of my job and it is not who I am.Do you ever Google yourself to see what is written about you?I have, but it was only because someone asked me what I do for a living so I googled my name to see what it says.I never read any comments or what people say about me, obviously if people send me things directly then I will reply but other than that I don’t. I choose not to because what you don’t know can’t hurt you, and also, if you read too many good things about yourself it can give you a big head, which also isn’t good.You recently had a book published Comfortable in your own skin, tell us about the inspiration behind that?I loved reading self-help and motivational books when I was growing up and 2 years ago I read a book called The Magic, and I thought, 'I wish I knew then what I know now,' and so I just started writing.The book is basically about all the things I’ve read and learned in life put together in an easy way for teens to understand.You came second in season 7 of Strictly Come Dancing South Africa, did you ever think you would do so well dancing?Obviously when you go into something like that you envision yourself taking the win in the end, but performing in the final was an absolute honour, nothing can prepare you for something like that. I did have some dancing experience, I did ballet when I was little, but it didn’t actually benefit me because Ballroom and Latin dancing is totally different and it was difficult to get rid of my ballet dancing habits. But, it eventually worked out.What is the one thing you would still like to achieve in your career?I have achieved so much, but I would like to eventually move onto international movies, like Charlize Theron. I would love to work on that professional level to see what it is like and to challenge myself. I have also always wanted to be the face of something like a perfume or a clothing line, I don’t know why but yes, so we will see what the future holds.Your job requires you to be in tip top shape. Is that easy for you? How do you keep in shape?When I was doing Strictly SA it kept me busy and I actually lost 6kg, but now that I am finished I like to get to the gym at least 4 times a week. I am lucky because I’ve always eaten healthy. In matric I was quite overweight and I made a life change and lost 10kg, and from there I just got into the habit of eating healthy.You have 3 Afrikaans films set for release later this year and early next year, is there anything else you’re working on?I have a new Afrikaans series that I present with four other presenters, called NAweek, and then I am also working permanently on the Afrikaans medical series, Binnelanders, so most of my days I am in studio from 7am to 7pm.I don’t want to give too much away but there is another book in the works, that’s all I’m saying about that. And also a possible movie with my boyfriend in the near future so keep watching me and we’ll see what happens!You are still young, but do you see yourself settling down and starting a family anytime soon?Yes, I definitely want to get married soon and have children maybe in the next 5 years or so. I would first like to see where I want to settle down and enjoy time with my husband, before starting a family. I still have some growing up to do as well, before taking on the responsibility of children."Every girl needs a hot geek by her side @BouwerBosch #grateful"
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