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The Interview: Roxane Hayward

Roxane Hayward has accomplished quite a bit in her 23 years on this planet and is just scratching the surface. From television to movies, this young South African beauty already has a feature film to her credit and is knocking hard on Hollywood’s doors. From stage to camera and even the soundbooth, Roxane Hayward is making noise.

At only 23 years of age, you’ve had some exciting opportunities to do some pretty cool things so far in your career. From Death Race: Inferno to television and even the upcoming movie Bordering on Bad Behavior due out early next year. Can you take a minute and let fans who might not be familiar with you know a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in the business? Who were some of your early influences and role models?

Hayward: Thanks Mike! I was extreme lucky to have my start in the business at a young age. From about 6 years old I knew that acting was what I wanted to do with my life, and so I dedicated all my time to achieving that goal and trying to figure out the quickest way there – onto a film set! Luckily I had my parents’ support every step of the way, and so they would drive me up and down to dance, drama, piano and singing classes. I absolutely loved every second and always had that one goal staring at me from the horizon. When I was about 11 years old I joined a really great acting agency  and then booked my first television commercial. This was when I got my first taste of being in front of the camera. It confirmed everything I thought it would be and more – absolutely incredible! I then booked a few roles in some great local South African television programs such as Isidingo and Jozi-H  and one job just led to the next.

To be honest, I didn’t really have a role model within the acting industry, but rather was surrounded by people who inspired me and motivated me to continue growing. Almost every member of my family that I was around a lot when growing up had made a success out of their passions, no matter the industry – my parents and sisters being a great example. They showed me that success is always achievable, provided you are doing something you love and that you spend every day working hard at it – I couldn’t ask for better influences.

Growing up in South Africa and later moving to London for school, was a career on-screen always your main goal or were you more focused on other things such as music, modeling and stage?

Hayward: All my schooling and training was actually done in South Africa, even though the system was all London based as were the examiners who would fly down to SA twice a year – I think that is where some people often get confused. But yes, an on-screen career was always my main goal. My studies were all theatrically based which I personally think is an excellent foundation for any form of acting, no matter the medium; but, even while studying, I never really focus on a career in theatre – I just love the energy of being on a film set too much! Modeling, I happened to stumble into while I was studying, and I am so glad I did! It was never a goal of mine, but I have met such incredible people along they way and have been really lucky to work on some great shoots with teams who have amazing talent. And music – that is my other love! I just wish that there were more hours in the day and another five of me! Haha.

Death Race: Inferno was your first feature film. How did the role of Prudence come about and what was the  experience like working on your first film?

Hayward: The development of ‘Prudence’ is actually such a great story and something that still makes me feel so flattered to this day! I firstly attended an audition for one of the smaller female roles. This then led to a series of callbacks and me eventually being optioned for one of the lead roles. Realistically though, I was too young at the time to pull off a role that was written for a woman in her 30’s, but I was then offered the role of ‘Prudence’ – this role already existed in the script, but was reworked and developed to make it a more substantial supporting role – something which I am so grateful for! Working on this feature was such an awesome experience. It was a Universal Pictures film so I was really thrown into the thick of things – a full on Hollywood production! I learnt so much; valuable lessons that cannot be taught in a classroom, and I had a lot of fun! Getting to work with such a dynamic international cast (such as the awesome Danny Trejo), as well as getting to meet and work with some of the best crew, talent and production within the South African industry, was just fantastic. So all in all, the experience was incredible!

Getting your start in television and now since completing two films, which is more comfortable for you and which platform do you have more of a preference?

Hayward: Oh, this is a tough one! They are both mediums that I really enjoy and both have their individual appeals. I love working on features because there is a constant energy on set throughout every department, and this lasts the entire shooting period. But working on a full season of a series can often last longer than a feature, and so you almost become a family with the people onset and your fellow actors – something which is so special and creates friendships that last a lifetime! But I can’t choose!

It was mentioned that you started working on your debut singing album a few years back but there was no mention of you finishing it. What ever happened to that album and is singing still as much of a passion of yours as acting?

Hayward: Yes! I absolutely love my music, singing, piano, writing, producing and anything else to do with that incredibly fantastic industry! Even the people are just so ‘cool’ (for lack of a better word). To be honest, I think I’ll have to up my ‘cool-game’ if I ever wanted to get fully involved in the music industry, haha. Saying that, I will be working with an awesome South African producer on some of his tracks, writing and singing vocals when I get back to South Africa later this month. Really excited to get stuck into that! So he obviously thinks I past the ‘cool test’ – phew!   The debut album I started recording was so much fun to work on and something I will definitely do again when I can dedicate time to it. It was a couple of years ago though and my style has changed slightly, so I would probably write and record from scratch.

Scheduled for release early in 2015 is a film you recently finished called Bordering on Bad Behavior. Can you tell us a little about the film and your role in it as Sarah?

Hayward: This was such a fun feature to work on, even thought my time on it was short. The story is set in the Middle East, but was filmed in beautiful Cape Town – you would never guess it when watching some of the playbacks. It’s amazing how diverse and easily transformed Cape Town is. I played ‘Sarah’ who is the fun loving, Australian sister of the female lead role. The story mainly focuses around male roles, their relationships and their stories, but I had and few great scenes that were a blast to work on.

What are some of the other projects you are currently working on and what’s next for you?

Hayward: Oh gosh, where do I begin! Something that I am really excited about is a feature film that I will be working on with the incredibly talented Markus Redmond. I am also orchestrating a project that will help develop the South African film industry that one step further. It is a huge project and we are still in the process of organizing it and confirming funding, but once it is up and running it will be amazing for this industry and the people in it! I also plan to be in studio quite a bit over the next year, writing vocals and recording with South African and London based producers – really excited to get back into that! I can’t say too much about the above just yet, but I can tell you that it’s all going to be amazing! There will also be the odd modelling job as well as other acting work that will pop up and that tends to keep me really busy. Completely unrelated to my acting, singing and modelling is a platform (currently only on Instagram and Facebook) that I created with my good friend, Julia Pietersma, called The Banting Blondes –  we basically just share our own original recipes and meal ideas, all focused on health and staying in shape; something that is extremely important for me in my industry. Almost overnight we reached a huge amount of followers and secured features on local South African radio stations, as well as features in magazines which are still to come out. We have even had a few companies offering us sponsorship! It just started as a fun past time, but seems to have grown into much more. It will be exciting to see where we can take it!

Thank you for taking the time Roxane. Please let fans know where they can find more about you and how to stay up to date on all that you are working on.

Hayward: My absolute pleasure Mike. Thank you for the fantastic questions! The best place to keep up to date with what I’m up to would be over Instagram @roxanehaywardofficial – I tend to update that more often than anything else. They can also find my profession Facebook page ‘Roxane Hayward’, as well as Twitter @roxanehayward – nothing too fancy, just my name so shouldn’t be too hard to find! Haha. Thanks again Mike and I look forward to speaking again soon!

Mike Ginn
Written By

Husband, father, craft bartender, writer and content creator.

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