The surprising news of 7de Laan actor Jacques Blignaut’s departure from the SABC2 soapy has taken many fans by surprise.
Well known for his role as beloved chef Vince Meintjies for 15 years, the actor says his exit was a need for “a new adventure”, something different and challenging.
Speaking to The Citizen, Blignaut says the decision had been a long time coming.
That there were plenty of moments where he thought the time had come to leave and using his faith he said he prayed often about the decision.
“The only time I seriously thought about leaving was in my seventh year, just think I stayed on for another eight years. I am not getting any younger, there are still roles I want to play.”
So when the “right time” came, the actor says he wasn’t expecting it.
“I went for an audition, I wasn’t expecting to get cast. They asked for a few callbacks and they said they wanted me to join this new series. Now was the time, someone gave me a role and now I was ready, leaving 7de Laan at the right time.”
Watch his emotional farewell:
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The exciting casting is for SABC3 new drama series The Estate. Blignaut says one of the many things he is delighted about is shooting on location, as for so long he acted on an indoor set.
“I am also excited to work with other directors, actors outside 7de Laan and just enjoying it.”
Blignaut admitted what he most feared about staying on for so long was his ability to act in different roles.
“Playing Vince or playing one character for so long almost naturally becomes second nature and you don’t really think about it. That could be a danger for an actor. As an actor you want to remain fresh and do fresh things. So I am happy to be doing something new.”
The family man’s new role is a doctor, Martin van Wyk, and he gave as much as he could about who he is.
“You would think doctors have their ducks in a row but my character has a lot of challenges and he doesn’t always face them well. It will be interesting to see how viewers react to that.”
Blignaut says he will miss the cast and crew of the 7de Laan Afrikaans soapy the most.
“They are really such a nice group of people. I made very good lasting friendships, we have done so much together and been through so much as well.
“The amazing thing I learnt there is not just about acting, or about the industry, it was how to deal with life. I grew so much as a person.”
A proud dad of three, Blignaut adds because of his profession his children are just as interested in the arts and telling stories.
“My kids are very creative, they love to write, draw and now they have an interest in film and acting so it will be fascinating to see where that goes.”
One of South Africa’s most beloved actors says the possibility of returning to 7de Laan is still very possible and the door is not closed.
Bio of author:
Sandisiwe Mbhele is a digital content producer covering lifestyle, entertainment and current affairs. Always aiming to inform readers of the best content out there since her days at Caxton Greater North publications in 2019. Producing content that mirrors her interests and opinions, with an honours degree in media studies, she enjoys writing stories of the people behind the headlines in the arts and food culture.