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Biography

Jump to: Overview (1)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (9)  | Personal Quotes (8)

Overview (1)

Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

James grew up on a wine farm in Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa. His parents were very conservative and separatists during the time of apartheid in South Africa, and James was the first liberal in the family. He also clashed with his father, a strict Reformed Dutchman, about his interest in theater. He and his father struck a bargain that if he were to letter in sports in school, he could choose his own study

  • which he did. After his course in the military, he decided on arts
and performance.

Studying acting, singing, dance, and even the flute, James quickly made his mark in theater in South Africa. He has appeared in performances of Charlotte's Web, My Fair Lady, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Aladdin, among others. He has also appeared in many commercials and corporate promotional materials, including ads and promos for Ford, Toys 'R Us, and Compaq.

His television credits in South Africa are very different from his theater work, where he has often portrayed the menacing and even downright psychotic bad guy. His first big break came when he got the part of the snarling Koobus Venter in the 2009 science fiction hit District 9.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: BobbyAndBeans

Trade Mark (2)

In television and in his breakthrough performance in District 9, James has portrayed the menacing and even psychotic "bad guy."
In theater work, David James often prefers musicals and even youth theater

Trivia (9)

Was actually in the military when he was younger and so was comfortable with the weapons and battle sequences of District 9, however, has said that he did struggle with the amount of profanity expected of him when playing the character of Koobus.
Was in a beauty salon getting a treatment for his feet in preparation for a German ad for heel products when he received the call from his agent that he had gotten the role of the menacing Koobus Venter in District 9.
Owns a cat, Gypsey.
To prepare for his acting career, he studied singing, dancing, and even the flute.
His family were very conservative and separatists, his father a Dutch Reformed man, whereas James was liberal. They also clashed regarding his choice of careers. As a young man, James struck a bargain with his family that if he were to letter in sports, he could then pursue his choice of studies. After accomplishing this and after his tour of duty in the military, he chose to study acting.
He is bilingual, speaking both English and Afrikaans.
Since the Lord of the Rings movies were released, it was a personal dream of his to work on a Peter Jackson film; he would jokingly say to his agent after every meeting, "Tell Spielberg I can't work for him since I'm working for Peter Jackson now." During his auditions and call-backs for District 9 he had no idea the details of the film. When his agent called to tell him he had the part and included the fact that it was a Peter Jackson-produced film, he thought she was joking as well.
To prepare for his role in District 9, David took a short course of steroids to put on 10kg (approx. 22lbs) of muscle.
In September 2012, David was accosted in a shop in South Africa, where he had stopped to buy cigarettes. The shopkeeper threw the cigarettes at him and ran out the back door; shocked, David left money on the counter and walked out. The shopkeeper then followed him and threw a rock at his head, yelling "Hermanus!" [a reference to his character, the bad guy Hermanus Meyer on Rhythm City (2007)] and told him to "Voetsek!" ("Get lost! Go Away!").

Personal Quotes (8)

[on the making of District 9 (2009)]: I'm being paid to be a boy of twelve. As a kid growing up and wanting to shoot aliens and play with my mates and my friends, you created all this in the back of your mind.
[on the release of District 9 (2009), 19 August 2009]: Friends of mine from overseas, who I have not spoken to in six or seven years, suddenly asked me "Are you involved in this?" So when the buzz started, with the level of secrecy [the director and producer] implanted from the start, you knew something was coming.
[on District 9 (2009)]: I think Neill [Blomkamp] liked the psychopathic edge I gave to Koobus in my audition. He can lie so convincingly to everyone around him - he's operating with his own agenda. Whenever I was in doubt about what my character would do in a situation, I went back to that.
Like so many of us I sometimes give in to [fears] ... sometimes I'm strong enough to shut my eyes and just push through believing ... and sometimes I sit on my friend Carlynn's couch and work through the negative "ego" and dispel the "famous 3" ... DENY DEFEND DISCOUNT ... and then jump off the couch, have a Vodka and go chase that dream.
[on his definition of happiness] Doing what I love, loving what I do, and being able to look in the mirror and still like myself.
[on working with first-year students at Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa in 2012] I do a lot of student projects, and I love working with them and to assist in enhancing their competence by developing their skills.
Musical theatre, for me, is like foreplay. It is that constant interaction of youth and energy, the dancing the singing and the audience taking part. I see straight theatre as a challenge and the hard work in the relationship. There are moments in theatre when you realise that you have the audience in your hands and are crying or laughing. Being able to do that is hard work, because you have to prepare thoroughly outside of the script. Television and film is the fun part, especially if you get to understand the mediums. You have the room to take things to many different levels and play around with a lot of options.
I still want to play characters that are off the wall. The weirder the better. I would love to play Iago from Othello. I want to play characters as far removed from myself as much as possible. I would love to do Afrikaans comedy as well. That is something that I want to get into.

See also

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