Roberto Kyle. Picture: Supplied
Roberto Kyle. Picture: Supplied

Roberto Kyle: 'My dream role is to play queer figure, Kewpie'

By Alyssia Birjalal Time of article published Jun 16, 2020

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Actor Roberto Kyle is no stranger to TV. 

He has starred in the fourth season of the Emmy winning show, "Homeland" and more recently in "Arendsvlei" and "Fynskrif" season 3, with other projects lined up for release in the near future. 

On the kykNET  telenovela, "Arendsvlei", Kyle portrays the character Lee-Roy Foster- an outspoken, smart and loving young man. 

Last year Kyle's character broken boundaries for the local Afrikaans telenovela as it aired their first queer kiss between Lee-Roy and Wesley Rossouw, played by Craig Adriaanse. The romance unfolded as the two boys lip-locked after an emotional scene. 

"I like taking on roles that I find challenging, and that changes over time. It is important to me that the character reflects a true and well-rounded representation of the human experience," says Kyle.  

The actor, whose last five characters were all younger than him, prefers to take on younger roles.  

"I look at briefs and I question and interrogate whether I can pull off certain character ‘elements’. This is something I do with all characters. If I do not feel as though I could play a character truthfully, then I won’t go for it. If it isn’t authentic, then chances are, it’ll be offensive." 

Kyle says even though there are challenges in the industry, hard work does pay off. 

"I believe that if your intentions are true, opportunities will find you. I know this is easier said than done. We look at industry professionals often not taking into consideration the hard work and efforts that had to go into them taking up their own space. However, we must also fight for new faces and voices to enter that space, I believe this is critical for moving forward and evolving," he says.  

One of the biggest problems facing youth today, he says, is having an opportunity to showcase what you have to offer. 

"I think we are afraid of creating opportunities for each other, or encouraging each other to wholeheartedly go for them. And self worth; young professionals aren’t really taught and encouraged to see ourselves as valuable business bodies, that can bring something valuable to the table. Instead, we are made to believe that we are only talented, and lucky 'for getting the part'." 

Kyle looks up to industry giants like Marc Lottering, Brendan Daniels, Jody Abrahams and Terence Bridgett. 

In five years Kyle hopes to see himself thriving in his career and owning property. His advice for upcoming talent is to "be prepared to build your own dream, or help build someone else's". 

His dream role? 

"My dream is to play Eugene Fritz, known as ‘Kewpie’, hairdresser, drag queen and overall iconic queer figure from District Six." 

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