“I remember pointing to the screen and saying that’s what I want to be.” said Brandon Auret about the time he watched Return of the Jedi as a child in the 80’s. People thought he was talking about the Jedi, but the little boy had found his calling in life - acting. As a child, his first big break was performing in Bugsy Malone which he followed up later in life with Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as well as the Buddy Holly Story.
Years later, Brandon has become a frequent collaborator with Neill Blomkamp, appearing in nearly all of Neil’s big budget block busters namely District 9, Elysium and Chappie. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Since bidding farewell to Leon du Plessis, Brandon’s popular character on Isidingo, he has appeared in over 30 film and television productions, becoming one of South Africa’s most successful and prolific actors. Having worked his way up to achieving SAG membership, Brandon takes his profession very seriously.
“I am a jobbing actor, but above all I am a father first.” said Brandon. His experience of not being paid in the past, on more than one occasion, has made him a formidable force to be reckoned with. “There is no loyalty in the South African film industry. You can quote me on that.” said Brandon who seems to have a soft spot for his fellow actors and crew members who show up only to be bitterly disappointed. But says the actor, if everyone would stand together, the outcome could be very different
Being very outspoken and honest about the goings on within the South African film industry has made Brandon somewhat unpopular with various production houses. It is a touchy subject for many people and for many reasons. The industry is small and to ensure you get the next job, it is best not to go stepping on too many toes.
“...There is no loyalty in the South African film industry...” - Brandon Auret
Our conversation steered away from dodgy producers and into an area we are both passionate about - making movies. Being real and becoming the character is what makes Brandon such a great actor. “Be honest, tell me what you think of my work,” said Brandon. “People would tell me you were there man, you were there!” But, said Brandon, that is not what he wants to hear. “Tell me why was I there? Tell me what worked and what didn’t. It is my job to portray the character, it is the director’s job to give guidance and say give more or that’s too much!”
As co-owner and producer at A Breed Apart Pictures, Brandon has also been involved in some big projects of his own. One of these being Making A Killing, a project which started as a short film and has now received the go ahead for a full length feature film. With the short film winning numerous awards in the international short film festival circuit, the full lenght film definitely has a firm foundation to build on.
We said our goodbyes with Brandon on his way to yet another meeting while I remained to finish up my second cup of coffee, mulling over the various way I could portray him in this feature. It was only as I arrived home when the perfect word popped into my head. Brandon Auret reminds me of a war horse. Here is an actor who has seen it all, been through it all and is only getting better.