In this week’s A-typical interview, we feature South African actress and voice-over artist Jay Anstey.
The 29-year-old was cast in her first Hollywood film Catch A Fire directed by Phillip Noyce. She played the daughter of Academy Award winner Tim Robbins.
Since then, Anstey has starred in many local and international TV and film productions such as SnitchII, Grace, the BBC’s Young Leonardo and French Film Les Deux Mondes alongside Benoit Poelvoorde.
She landed her breakthrough role as rebellious and popular character Charlie on the hit South African soapie Isidingo.
Among the many films and TV shows Anstey acted in are Hell Trip, Farewell Ella Bella, The Woods, Unfriended and Scandal .
In 2014, Anstey was named “Most Stylish Actress”, at the coveted South African Style Awards. She was nominated for the You Spectacular four times in various categories.
She plays the role of Tamsin on hit TV show Inconceivable, which is being aired on M-Net.
You are able to co-star alongside any actor in the world in an action-packed movie. Who do you choose?
The late Gene Kelly. I’m such a fan of old musical films. I grew up with his films and always loved his work. Action packed is not my style, so, if by action packed you mean a gorgeous song and dance number in the rain on roller blades shot on film, I’m in.
Robert de Niro or Al Pacino? Who do you choose and why?
I’m not really a fan of either (don’t judge), but Al Pacino – Scent of a Woman was pretty epic.
Your celebrity crush growing up?
Gosh, it’s times like these I wish I were a normal kid. I couldn’t care less about boys when I was younger but I did love Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. I suppose you’re picking up on a theme by now…
Your most challenging role as an actress?
Sleepers Wake. Every part was hard. The location, subject matter, nudity and the fact that my love scene co-star was the same age as my dad – in fact they are friends! Cringe!
What is the best part of playing Tamsin in Inconceivable?
I had a dry spell of no work for a long time. When the audition came up they originally weren’t gonna see me because I wasn’t Afrikaans and was too old for the role. But, luckily, my agent fought for me and when I sent the tape they were interested. Every part of shooting the series was magical. The cast, the story, the crew… every day on set I was the happiest human in the world.
You’re on death row. You are granted one final meal and drink. What do you choose to eat and drink?
Vegan mac and cheese with a Rooibos Kombucha. I’m fancy…
Which actress would play you in a movie about your life?
I’d cast myself! Haha. Um, I don’t really know many of the new actresses on the scene. But maybe Maragret Qualley.
The biggest misconception people have of Jay Anstey?
It’s best to not care what people think of you but social media doesn’t filter peoples opinions of you, so I’ve heard them all. But I suppose people see me on screen and assume I’m quite glamorous when in reality I’m quite the opposite.
What caught your attention on social media this week?
A recipe for vegan ramen and new geocentric dome house ideas. Haha. I like to follow only “hippie” pages and avoid anything to do with gossip or politics. I’m not interested in anything negative or superficial – my job is to live in a fantasy world of “glitz and glamour”, so in my normal life I’m as simple and plain as they come.
You are stuck in an elevator with President Cyril Ramaphosa. What is the first thing you ask him?
How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?” It can tell you a lot about a person.