Hollywood’s singing her praises
When Cape Town’s Roxanne Jooste hit the lottery – a trip to the US – little did she realise how her fate would become intertwined with Hollywood. Today, she is making her mark with a top model agency, hosting a YouTube talk show, and has bagged an acting
OUTH African presenter Dalen Lance’s younger sister – Roxanne Jooste – is flying our flag high in the hills of Hollywood.
Some people dream big, but never realise their dreams. For this talent, nothing was going to stand in her way, not even the word, “no”.
Her journey may have started as a chance act, but it snowballed into something more.
She explains: “In 2009, I won a trip to the US through a random student lottery. The news of me winning the trip was quite surreal, as you can imagine. It was an allexpenses paid trip, whereby I ended up working at an elite sports camp in New York for nine months. And the US is quite fast-paced, which was quite a challenge to adapt to, especially with me not being with my family. Being the baby in the family and being completely separated was not easy at all.”
After finding her rhythm, that fire in her belly to make her mark in the international Mecca of all things entertainment was ignited.
Of course, in that dog-eat-dog environment, a thick skin and doggedness akin to Arnold “I’ll be back” Schwarzenegger ( The Terminator) is what got Jooste to where she is now.
She laughs: “Well, let’s just say my tenacious attitude came into play once again. Wilhelmina Models turned me down twice. When I basically walked into their offices for a third time, the head agent came running up to me and shouted: ‘We do not do walk-ins’. She called security on me. As I was being escorted out, I turned around, ran back into the office and said: ‘Please, take my model card as this is all I wanted to drop off…’ Again, she called security, but she took it.
“Three weeks later, while my
Sfamily were visiting, I got an e-mail from them. God’s blessings, once again! I have done an array of beauty and lifestyle campaigns for them.”
Among her projects was a Dior campaign.
Now NDB Productions, the company behind The Millers, The Kingstons and Fame in the Family, are also involved with her YouTube talk show, Roxanne Meets.
She explains: “It is a show that I created and am co-producing with my brother Dalen Lance and NDB Productions. It is centred on one-onone interviews with established and rising figures in the entertainment industry and showcases some of the coolest hot spots in Hollywood – ones that you don’t find in your tour guide book.
“It’s a four- to six-minute show that focuses on people and places that you will not see every day either by turning on your TV or in your travel guide. It’s a show that reveals a few secrets that the stars don’t even share with the public. I’m not trying to be anyone but me and my show is just my take on the things and people I have contact with, who just happen to be a few movers and shakers in Hollywood.”
Expanding on her guest list, she notes: “The first episode featured Don Benjamin, a former America’s Next Top Model contestant. The second episode featured Sam Jones III, from the TV shows Smallville, Blue Mountain State and ER.”
And Jooste is very hands-on with this baby of her hers.
“I do most of the bookings as I have a large network of contacts in the industry. I book talent based on what’s happening or about to happen to them in the industry.
“For example, the Don B interview took place just before he did the Keshia Cole music video and the release of his hit single with Eric Bellinger. I plan each show according to my guests’ availability and usually preparation starts two weeks prior.”
While she isn’t trying to be the next Oprah or Ellen DeGeneres, she does catch the re-runs of their shows.
On bagging a role in The Choir Director, she shares:” It’s a movie by New York Times best-selling author, Carl Weber. The movie is set to be released on the big screen in April. I play the role of Sandra Gianetti, a women married to a pastor but who ends up sleeping with the entire community, which is quite crazy. It features a cast of well known actors.”
While she is making her footprints in Hollywood, she hasn’t turned a blind eye to opportunities on her home soil.
She offers: “I definitely will be visiting South Africa very soon and, yes, if the right opportunity arises I would most certainly work on a few projects. In fact, I’m in talks with some companies as we speak.”
And, that’s a wrap on another local success story in Hollywood.
TALKING POINT: Model, actress, producer and talk show host, Roxanne Jooste, right, with guest Don Benjamin on Roxanne Meets.