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The 50 shades of David

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TO DAVID KONRAD ETCH

LOVE ONLINE: David Konrad plays John, an affluent businessman who thinks hes found the perfect match in Lucilla in e.tvs Rhythm City. Picture: Rhythm City

He’s charming, ridiculously wealthy, gorgeous and witty – and he is the new guy in Lu’s life. But John doesn’t suffer fools easily and Lucilla’s skeletons – not to mention her relationship with Sifiso – could throw a spanner in the works of her budding romance. Debashine Thangevelo caught up with David Konrad to learn |more about his dashing character, who is loosely based on Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey…

WHILE David Konrad has appeared on almost every home-grown soap – and a few dramas, such as Zero Tolerance and Jacob’s Cross – he hasn’t quite cracked the household name league.

But, if he continues to charm, as he did in our tête-à-tête, it won’t be long before he does.

The 37-year-old actor, who confessed to not being much of a morning person, has been in Jacob’s Cross, where he was cast as Robert, a stockbroker.

He says, “I am still a call actor for them. It was a really positive experience. A few years back, I had a small character in the show. The last shoot was at the JSE, so it was different from the whole multi-cam stable.”

Interestingly, he auditioned for Rhythm City in 2011 – but it was for a different character.

“They saw the tapes and liked what they saw for this character,” he says.

Such practices aren’t uncommon for actors. And they certainly work to their advantage in the long run.

Konrad agrees, “It is more of a positive thing (for an actor). I had a similar experience in Isidingo in 2008. I had to audition for a balding man in his 40s. I wasn’t so sure about it but my agent said, ‘They asked for you, just see what happens’. I read for the part and, in 2009, they said they created a part for me.”

And he found himself cast as Detective De Vos.

On trying his hand at diverse role-play, Konrad offers, “Any actor’s focal point is to tell different stories and play different characters. I think it might be working to my detriment (laughs)… people say they don’t recognise me. I have been doing quite a lot of commercials as well. One of my close friends said, only at the end of a commercial, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s David’. I guess that sums it up.”

Konrad recently made his foray as John in the soap. He is the guy Lu meets while taking a stab at internet dating.

As for the storyline, he comments, “Ja, I thought the internet dating thing was quite interesting. I can’t say it is something I have a lot of experience in. I think I have that old-fashioned outlook when it comes to that sort of thing. But I do see the benefits. I think there was an episode on Carte Blanche recently where they were talking about online dating and how it is becoming more and more prevalent.”

This is the first time he is working with KB Motsilanyane and, from his praises, I take it it won’t be the last.

The actor coos, “She is very nice and I’m not just saying that because I’m speaking to a newspaper. But I have had my fair share of prima donnas. She is not that type of person. In fact, she is very accommodating and down-to-earth.”

So what is the deal with John?

“It is always difficult (to gauge the character) when you are a call actor. So I had a sit down with one of the writers and was told that they based the character loosely on 50 Shades of Grey. Yes, I started reading the book to see what the fuss is all about.”

He adds, “I would say John is exactly like that (Christian Grey). He is a millionaire playboy. But it has helped me bring that sort of extreme confidence to the character. On the whole, John is emotionally stable and a very good guy. And he isn’t an arrogant ass. He is a nice 50 Shades of Grey.”

Although the budding romance has hit a snag, what with Lucilla’s relationship with Sifiso and John being in the dark about it.

And while viewers are glued to their screens to see how this love affair pans out, Konrad will be on stage for Schalk Schoombie’s noir thriller Risiko at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival.

Nothing like a bit of risqué intrigue to get attention, and Konrad is bound to get that and more now.

• Rhythm City airs on e.tv, weekdays at 6.30pm.

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