Ex-PE actor Bjorn’s on a role

Zandile Mbabela

PORT Elizabeth-born-and- bred actor Bjorn Steinbach will be giving Cape Town audiences a taste of his acting prowess next week in a stage production set the day after the attack on America’s World Trade Centre10 years ago.

Steinbach, who returned to South Africa a year ago following a successful stint on the US television series, Generation Kill, said he hoped to bring the production, The Mercy Seat, to Port Elizabeth  as well.

His co-star, Lee-Anne Summers, was also born in the city but raised in Johannesburg.

The 26-year-old former Grey High School pupil found playing his character, Ben, to be his biggest acting challenge to date.

 He plays a married father of two who worked at the World Trade Centre and was assumed dead after the attacks.

However, he was not in the office, but out with his mistress – also his boss. The play sees him torn between telling his wife and family he is alive, or just pretending to be dead and carrying on with his mistress. “Ben was the hardest character I’ve ever had to play, so I had to dig very deep into past relations in trying to somehow relate with him,” he said.

“Well, I don’t have a wife and two kids, and I definitely don’t have a mistress, so it was quite difficult. And I had to stop judging my character so much as he tried so hard to justify his bad decisions.”

Steinbach has been in rehearsals for three hours daily for the past four weeks. while also filming for a feature film to be released early next year. He realised his passion for acting a year into his psychology studies at the University of Cape Town, where he had received a bursary in rugby and water-polo.

Realising psychology was not for him, he went to study acting at City Varsity and landed his first major role a mere two months after graduating.

He said Generation Kill, in which he played series regular Michael Stinetorf, had been amazing and had opened many doors for him as he had been very busy ever since.

Steinbach plans to return to New York in the near future.


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