University Estate actress Chanelle de Jager has come a long way since her first role as a fairy princess in a play staged by Laerskool Secunda in Tshwane.
Chanelle, who captured South African hearts in the late 1990s and early 2000s in her role as Des in Egoli, stars in local movie, Thys & Trix which opens nationwide at cinemas tomorrow, Friday June 22.
In Thys & Trix, she plays June, a rich hippie from Mossel Bay who, despite being married, enjoys flirting with other men – and she may or may not be involved in criminal activity.
Chanelle’s big break came in 1999 when she was 19 and cast as the lovable Des du Pont, the flirtatious PA at the Walco corporation, in the soapie, Egoli.
During her seven years on the show, Chanelle’s character became more serious, and was even held prisoner by an ex-boyfriend before getting involved with a doctor whose mother disapproved of her. In Thys & Trixie she is reunited with fellow Egoli actors Deon Coetzee, Dorette Potgieter and Ivan Zimmermann.
Chanelle’s career, however, is not limited to acting, having also worked as a casting director, a model and voice-over artist.
She has also appeared in advertisements and theatre productions.
Chanelle is involved with two organisations, one of which is Typecast in Observatory, a hub for like-minded professionals in the industry which helps with the casting of films and commercials.
The other is the Actor’s Toolbook, also in Observatory, an
NGO that helps aspiring actors cope with the demands of the industry, assists with brand development, interacting with agencies and teaches them how to handle their finances.
In addition to appearing in local television and movies like Die Boekklub and Smoorverlief, she has also been cast in in international television series and movies. Among these was season 3 of Outlander, a historical filmthat required her to adopt a Swedish accent.
She will also make an appearance in the drama series, The Widow with English actress, Kate Beckinsale and later this year she can be seen in the movie, The Red Sea Diving Resort with Chris Evans and Ben Kingsley.
For now, she continues to appear in proudly South African movies like Thys & Trix and will appear in another local movie later this year called Stroomop.