There are many roles and achievements that actor Bevan Viljoen is proud of including winning the Translantic Films Best Actor award last year. We recently sat down with him to find out what projects he has coming up. Here is what he had to say:
Please introduce yourself to the readers:
Hey everyone I’m Bevan Viljoen, an actor and former athlete, which pretty much sums me up! My two biggest passions are film acting, sport & exercise. I’m South African born but lived in England half my life. (My mum’s British). I grew up in South Africa and went to University in Europe.
How and when did you first get into performing?
I started acting in high school doing various plays. It felt incredibly natural and I knew I’d discovered something in me that I wanted to pursue. I didn’t really know where I was going with it, but it felt right and I kept getting positive feedback from my peers and most importantly I kept getting cast! It was only after selling an interest in a recruitment company I started out of University with offices based in London’s West End, that I decided it was time to give my acting career a full go.
Who were some of your biggest inspirations?
In terms of screen acting I have so many influences. I’m constantly observing fellow actors in various roles trying to understand their choices for character’s as well as just appreciating fine performances. If I had to narrow it down, I would have to say the late James Gandolfini for his use of inner monologue and stillness on camera that made him so powerful and intense to watch. Although I have to list Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro & Al Pacino amongst my influences and inspirations as well. All true master’s of the craft.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
I’m constantly attending professional acting workshops for camera whilst in London and when not attending workshops I’m usually at the Actor’s Centre doing various courses on improving my skills. I’ve also trained with several top acting coaches in Los Angeles and I am a total student of the game I guess you could say. I have an acting coach who I see regularly. He’s a native New Yorker and studied under Lee Strasbourg. Together we work on roles developing fully fledged three dimensional characters so that when I get on set I am totally prepared. Then I can just relax and trust my instincts that best fit the character I’m playing.
What has been your favorite role to play so far?
That’s a tough one as I’ve enjoyed all my roles so far. However if you had to nail it down I guess I would have to go with ‘Andy’ my character in the feature film ‘Pearls of Africa’. He’s driven by his love for ‘Tess’ and even when she initially rejects his marriage proposal he keeps fighting for her through thick and thin and eventually wins her over. I’ve probably given the plot away, but it was a great role to play as initially when I read the script, he comes across as very jealous and possessive but that’s driven by his intense love and devotion. I learned a lot from the role, as it was my first lead role in a feature film.
What has been one of your biggest achievements in your career so far?
Winning the Translantic Films Best Actor award last year. To receive the accolade and be recognized by my peers, as well as being acknowledged by several of the industry’s top producers and directors sort of validates all the hard work over the past few years. I’ve also just recently found out that two films I was involved in last year are up for awards at the Nova Film Festival in Atlanta. One of the nominations is for best fight choreography in an action film which I’m really proud of. As all of us worked so incredibly hard to make things as real as possible with weeks of fight rehearsal and lots of bumps and bruises along the way. However to be nominated, was all worth it.
What projects do you have coming up?
An action adventure heist feature film which starts production in London over the summer and a fantasy adventure feature film which is due to begin production later on in the year being. It is being filmed in various locations around the UK and Europe.
Who would be your ideal co-star and why?
I’d have to say Jessica Chastain. Her strength and depth of character work and on screen presence is something that I’ve always admired. I’ve heard that her character preparation is completely exhaustive and she is so passionate about each performance. I know all of us actors are, but she takes it to the next level. I admire that and feel I could learn from working with her.
What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to be working consistently in high level television and film on both sides of the Atlantic. Plus, I guess just continue to be a student of the game and always strive to be better than my last performance.
What is your advice to aspiring performers?
Believe in yourself. Trust your thought process and know where you’re going in your career. There’s so many people who will tell you ‘no’ in life you need to have the inner confidence to push the ‘no’s’ to one side and keep going forward to have a successful career.