BIGASK

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

DAR­REN DEV­LYN

BORN Richard Grant Ester­huy­sen, Richard E. Grant is the son of the last min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion in the Bri­tish colony of Swazi­land be­fore in­de­pen­dence in 1968.

He plays Michael He­sel­tine op­po­site Meryl Streep’s Mar­garet Thatcher in The Iron Lady and is in The Kath & Kim Filum.

He also wrote and di­rected the au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal film Wah-wah, set in Swazi­land at the end of the ’ 60s. What made you de­cide to get in­volved in The His­tory of Sa­fari? The BBC asked me as I grew up in Swazi­land. What did you learn while film­ing in East Africa? The dif­fi­culty of con­serv­ing vast tracts of land for wildlife and bal­anc­ing that with the pop­u­la­tion ex­plo­sion. Af­ter mov­ing to Eng­land in the 1980s do you think per­cep­tions of Africa have changed or is the view still of poverty? There seems to be a clear divi­sion be­tween ‘‘aid’’ from the west and ‘‘trade’’ from the far east. Hope­fully the north African rev­o­lu­tions which be­gan in Tu­nisia, then Egypt and Libya, will pro­voke a wa­ter­shed of democ­racy through­out the con­ti­nent and de­pose the dic­ta­tors who con­tinue to squan­der and keep their coun­tries yoked in poverty. What were your ex­pe­ri­ences of shoot­ing in Swazi­land for your film Wah-wah. Writ­ing and di­rect­ing my au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal film was the most chal­leng­ing and re­ward­ing creative ex­pe­ri­ence I’ve had so far. The His­tory of Sa­fari with Richard E. Grant ABC1, Mon­day, 8.30pm

Home­land: Richard E. Grant in Swazi­land

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