CHANGING FACES: Pallance Dladla will be the new Sbu Vilakazi from July 29 and is pretty excited about making an indelible impression on fans of Rhythm City.

WHEN you chat to Pallance Dladla, it’s really hard to believe that he is an up-and-coming actor. His savvy about this industry and wisdom belies his 21 years.

His journey into the big leagues kicked off with Class Act and it has only grown more exciting since.

He has had the good fortune to land some truly solid homegrown offerings like Isibaya, 4Play, Intersexions and Tempy Pushas. And he took home a Safta for his role in 4Play.

The Soweto-born actor has been honing his craft since he was a young boy.

He says, “Look, my mom got me into it (acting). At first, I didn’t really like it and my friends used to make fun of me. But my mom really wanted me to do something and she didn’t want me to hang around on the streets.”

Dladla continues, “She pushed me into commercials. Eventually, when I started falling in love with the craft and the storytelling element, I started doing theatre.

“Ever since then – I think I was 12 when I started in theatre – ever since, I carried on with it. It was my way to express myself.”

But what really changed the cut-throat tide in TV to his favour was Class Act.

He nods, “It played a huge part in my TV career. Before that I did theatre and TV commercials. After Class Act I started finding my sense of direction and what I really wanted to say. After that, TV and film was the medium I got to explore.”

Of the handful of characters he has played during his tenure on TV, Dladla says he makes a concerted effort to diversify with his role-playing.

“For me, exploring different types of worlds and characters is the fun and thrill of my job,” he notes.

As for Rhythm City and taking over the reins of an established and popular character, he says: “All the projects I have done were at the start of production. Now I’m joining something that has already been established.

“I think it is a very interesting challenge. It is like a moving train and you’ve got to hop on. It is still early days – I only started shooting my scenes for a week now.

“I have always said this even before I accepted RC: I’m not an imitator, I’m an actor. As an actor, the only way to make something truthful is to bring something from within.

“It is my interpretation of the role. I’m not comparing it to Shakespeare. Different types of people have played Caesar or Hamlet. It is how you interpret the character.

“I’m going to go with those points. But the character has a skeleton basis that’s attached to S’bu. But what lies between that skeleton? I’m going to be playing it with my interpretation.”

With a cast that has been most welcoming, Dladla is not only easing into things – he is being pushed to stay on his toes.

He laughs, “The scene can only exist if you have one mind and go in prepared as a team. The actors are driving me to think about the motive and objective of the scene. It is kind of disrespectful to go there unprepared.”

While excited about his upcoming soap debut, he is also keyed up about the response to Donovan Marsh’s iNumber Number and his other big screen release, Hard to Get. It will be released in August.

He says, “There are so many stories that don’t relate to people of my age. My character TK is a little bit of a womaniser. He is smooth and is in a very comfortable space when he meets Skiets. She is immune to his charms and, as such, turns him from a boy into a man, so to speak. I think people are going to enjoy that one.”

On his successes to date, he says, “I call it progress. I got a Safta for 4Play. When I won, I was chatting to one of my directors. She was so happy for me and asked me: ‘Why aren’t you happy too?’

“I said it was only the beginning. I don’t see these achievements as success. I see it as progress.”

He’s highly talented and smart about his career. Dladla is well on his way to leaving deeper footprints in the industry while creating more magic on the screen.

• Rhythm City airs on on weekdays at 6.30pm. Dladla makes his debut on July 29.