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Tue Sep 02 20:57:38 SAST 2014

It's Genaro's grand exit tonight

BONGIWE KHUMALO | 17 March, 2010 00:480 Comments

Jamie Bartlett, now famous for his role as David Genaro in the soapie Rhythm City, appeared for many years in Isidingo as Michael O'Reilly. He has also starred alongside Angelina Jolie in Beyond Borders.



Now Bartlett is due to take a break from Rhythm City to spend time on other things. He spoke to The Times about his life and what he plans to get up to next.

Q: Who is Jamie Bartlett?

A: He is a complex character, hence the characters he plays are complex too. I have been acting for 25 years in film, TV and theatre productions both overseas and locally. I am also involved with the Brothers for Life Campaign, a national men's movement that promotes positive attitudes towards women. I'm also father to a son who is married.

Q: How different is the role of David Genaro to that of Michael O'Reilly?

A: O'Reilly was a "status 6" while Genaro is a "status 10" character. O'Reilly wore grey shoes and white socks. He had a poor white background. Genaro is a peruser who is too clever emotionally. He relies on his gut a lot . Genaro 's choice of words shows that he is from a rich Shakespearean background.

Q: Do you write your own scripts?

A: Working with Neil McCarthy, who is a renowned writer, has been phenomenal. He has actually worked O'Reilly into Genaro's character, which makes it very easy to play. I have a lot of input as far as my lines are concerned.

Q: What is the cast of Rhythm City like, especially Ron (James Borthwick) and Lucilla (KB Motsilanyane)?

A: The cast is fantastic. I have been working with James for the past 20 years and we have become friends. We have a very funny acting style that we call "black humour", which has become a hit with the audience. Working with KB has been such an incredible journey, which is sadly coming to an end.

Q: Since you are taking a break from the soapie, what will you be focusing on?

A: I am currently at the Market Theatre playing 65-year-old Harold Smith in a play called Death of a Colonialist. I also own Stones pool bar in Cape Town.

Q: Which South African actors do you dream of working with?

A: I adore Tony Kgoroge and Fana Mokoena. They have done so much for the industry. I met Kgoroge while acting in Isidingo and he was such a talented young artist. He has since grown to do amazing stuff.

Viewers can watch 'Rhythm City' tonight at 6.30pm to see how David Genaro makes his exit.

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