photo by Lara Solanki

Clayton Morar

Special Correspondent

A Cape Town-born actress has wrapped up filming her first lead role in a Hollywood film and hopes to make waves on the international celebrity scene.

Lesley-Ann Brandt, who grew up in Greenhaven in Athlone, will be seen in Drift, which completed filming last month in Australia recently and is due out next year.

Brandt plays Hawaiian surfer girl Lani, the object of affection in a love triangle between two brothers

The role is Brandt’s first feature lead role in a Hollywood film, after she moved to Los Angeles more than three years ago. When Brandt moved to New Zealand in 1999 with her parents and brother, she pursued a modelling career before being bitten by the acting bug.

Brandt, who attended Gardens Commercial High and Pinelands High School, said she didn’t really see Drift as “a big Hollywood role”, but felt privileged to work with an esteemed cast.

“The film had such great directors (Morgan O’Neil and Ben Nott) and it was a project I wanted to be a part of. I told myself that this year I really wanted to break into feature film-making, so I was thrilled when we got the call that I’d be heading to Australia.”

In 2009, she bagged her first role in the television series Diplomatic Immunity in New Zealand before landing her first big role in international series Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Brandt has since made guest appearances in shows such as CSI: NY (alongside R&B singer Ne-Yo) and Chuck.

This month she will also be seen in US television film The Last Stand.

Brandt said she really missed South Africa. “There is a cultural vibe about my home town that I miss so much – the people, the sense of humour and the lekker seafood. It’s time for a visit, I think.”