Anton Jeftha is a local star on the rise

2014-08-28 05:00

Cape Town – It’s hard not to notice Anton Jeptha with his striking good looks.

While most people will recognise him as the Outsurance guy, there’s much more to him.

Seated across from him at the atrium in our office building I got to know a bit more about Anton.

"Describe yourself in one sentence," I ask.

"All of this in one sentence?" he says jokingly. "I have a hard time doing this on Twitter in 140 characters but I’ll try.

"I’m a family man, reliable; I believe in hard work and through me fulfilling my purpose inspire others."

Anton has been very busy making a name for himself in theatre and film.

"This year I made my professional theatre debut. I starred in the production Tannie Dora Goes Bos at the Grahamstown Festival and The Women’s Arts Festival. It was great fun."

Hearing Anton talk passionately about film and theatre it’s really hard to believe that almost six years ago he was working in the financial industry. But it never had his full attention and interest. It was after being an extra in a sci-fi short film that he was convinced that acting was something he could do.

"It was my first reality with what actually happens on set and the hard work that goes into putting a production together although it was just a short film. That is when I first realised that it is actually something I could do. My mother wasn’t too pleased when I said I was going to leave my honours in finance," says Anton.

But the acting bug bit way before that.

"The bug truly bit before I was ten years old. I was a very naughty, restless kid and my mother took me to the then Nico Malan theatre to see Annie the musical. I remember just being blown away by what I was seeing. The entire production blew me away. That’s when I first fell in love with the idea of getting into that same space or industry one day," Anton says with a smile.

And when he was 12 years old he had his first role in primary school playing Danny Zuko in Grease.

"Which is funny, they must have chosen me for my hair," he adds jokingly.

"What do you love about acting?" I ask.

"Every new job is a new challenge. You get to show a side of people that most would frown upon and make them relatable." He continues, "There is somebody out there who would find comfort in watching a role being portrayed that reminds them of themselves."

All about Dominion

Currently starring in the international sci-fi series Dominion, Anton’s portrayal of Furiad has garnered lots of attention from the American media and fans of the series. He even got a mention from Kirstie Alley on Twitter:

The series was shot in South Africa and features a number of South African famous faces including Kim Engelbrecht, Ty Keogh and Carl Beukes.

He tells me more about the series and the role he plays.

"It is a supernatural sci-fi series based on the film Legion. God has turned his back on humanity and a host of angels are trying to wipe out mankind. The series is a spin off from that film." He continues, "A host of angles led by Gabriel is trying to exterminate all of mankind and on the other side you have the Archangel Michael who has taken sides with mankind to protect them."

Anton plays Furiad, Gabriel’s left hand man.

"He is a higher power angel in charge of the low ranking angels and is responsible for the attacks on mankind," says Anton.

While this has been one of his most challenging roles, Anton says it was fantastic to play.

"The challenge was time constraints especially leading up to the pilot. We had a few weeks to get the most epic fight scene choreographed between Furiad and Michael played by Tom Wisdom."

He continues, "The director wanted Furiad’s movements to be fluid and to seem as if I had been wielding a sword for years.  It was very challenging for me, but we had an amazing stunt team on board and with their help everything became a dance. The fight scene came out amazing and it has been received well by the audience who has seen it," says Anton.

"What was it like acting alongside fellow South Africans and international stars?" I ask.

"It was a good opportunity for all the local stars to showcase their talents. Kim Engelbrecht and I are both from Belhar and we know each other from the audition circuits too." He continues, "Carl Beukes is a gem of a person we had really good conversations and Langley Kirkwood is a phenomenal actor who is going places."

He has learned a lot from the international stars especially their confidence on set.

"It’s a skill to be comfortable within yourself especially on set. You have crew and everybody looking at you and you have to learn to shut all of that out," says Anton.

Future plans

"If Dominion is renewed for another season I’d like to get onto that and hopefully see some character development. I’m looking forward to doing as much theatre I can and perhaps a musical soon," says Anton.

As for his dream role, it would be anything alongside Gary Oldman, one of his favourite actors.

"A role that can be laid out on an international platform as a lead character and have audiences resonate with that role," says Anton with a gleam in his eyes.

(Photos: Tinah Zabezolo, Channel24)

Dominion will air on M-Net Series Showcase (113) from Tuesday, 2 September at 20:00.

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