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The monster dies the way he lived

By Edward Tsumele | Mar 18, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

HIS CHARACTER is larger than life. He plays an evil sex fiend, who kills and maims anyone who crosses his path.

HIS CHARACTER is larger than life. He plays an evil sex fiend, who kills and maims anyone who crosses his path.

In the eyes of those who follow the soapie Rhythm City, he has transformed this character into a real person.

Meet David Genaro, the devil himself. He met his fate on Wednesday when his ex-lover, Gina, shot and killed him in cold blood after he married Luccilla, the woman he has been obsessed with, at gunpoint.

Luccilla is played by singer KB.

Time Out met Jamie Bartlett, the man who plays Genaro. this week to speak about his career.

The interview was held at's coffee shop in Johannesburg - and what an interview it turned out to be as we tried to get into the mind of the evil Genaro and Bartlett, the professional actor.

The lines between Bartlett and Genaro became blurred during our discussion because Bartlett spoke in the same tone as his character. His facial expressions, particularly when he wanted to emphasise a point, were as aggressive as the character he plays.

The interview was supposed to take place over a cup of coffee, but I never got to drink the coffee before it got cold. I tried to keep up with his pace because he is not only a fast talker, but he was also acting out his thoughts and ideas as we spoke.

The man who many a soapie fan has come to love, hate, love and hate again and again, was in his element. Though there was a chair to sit and relax in, he spent three-quarters of the time standing, walking up and down, acting and jumping up and down.

I was not quite sure at some stage, whether I was talking to Genaro or Bartlett.

"I play this character convincingly because I am a classically trained actor steeped in the classics tradition, such as Shakespeare, and as David Genaro, the elements of the classics are quite strong, the aggression, the evilness and all that are part of this character.

" Genaro' s character has bled his way into the fabric of society and this has been possible because of teamwork at Rhythm City and not because of my solo effort," he said.

He said Genaro made him famous beyond South Africa.

"I do a lot of film work in countries such as Tanzania and Namibia. I was in Tanzania recently and there was chaos at the airport and in the bars. It was embarrassing because even prostitutes accosted me in the bars. They just love to hate this character. It is so unbelievable," he said.

Currently, Bartlett is rehearsing a play, Death of a Colonialist, which will run at the Market Theatre.

"Going back to the Market Theatre is like going home for me because I started there. I accepted a role in this play because it asks the question I would like to ask this society. And when you look closely, you discover that we all ask the same question as a society and because we have the same challenges.

"All we need to do is to hold our hands together, all the tribes in South Africa and ask this relevant question 16 years after we won our freedom. We will then get the right answer as a collective," he said.


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