Johannesburg - Hayley Owen says she’s always been known as the “Bryanston girl”. The High Rollers actress grew up down the road from the townhouse complex where she now lives in the Johannesburg suburb.
She had lived with her sister before moving into her own place next door after getting married. Now her friends tease her because she never left the neighbourhood.
Owen’s three bedroom home is a cultured mix of classic decor, quality accessories and French inspiration. The open-plan kitchen-living area is ideal for having friends and welcoming next-door dogs out of the blue. Two years spent in London helped develop a continental flair and the inviting atmosphere keeps friends coming back.
When not relaxing in her sleek home, Owen, 29, could be strolling around in a sequined outfit, with a feather headdress. “ I had a gun to my head just a few hours ago!” The blonde actress is starring in High Rollers, playing the part of Tallulah, a showgirl and had just filmed a high action jewellery heist scene for the second season.
The actress graduated from St Stithians College and studied drama at Wits, where she was involved in cultivating educational theatre. After varsity Owen was cast in The Wild as Angie, the tomboy game ranger. When it ended, she landed a part on Isidingo, where her character died. She is only too aware that she needs to keep all her options open and hosts a social investment feature on Hot FM twice a week.
“I’m involved in a few adventurous fields at the moment. I’d like to develop my brands and do more with educational theatre. It’s my passion.”
The actress has created a popular concept of pupil social media education for schools wanting to offer informative workshops on the dangers and pitfalls of social media. Owen says she’d love to produce educational roadshows and wants to focus more on this, but she still dreams of being in a big American drama series.
When she isn’t watching Nashville from her plush couch, Owen likes to run and work-out. She says she is a big Sweat 1000 fan and attends classes at the newly developed Nicol on Main near her home.
Her sister lives next door and they “share” dogs, so Bonnie the Jack Russell comes and goes as she pleases. But Owen is accustomed to the activity.
“I literally am the girl next door. (My husband) Shaun moved into this place when I lived next door and that’s how we got to know each other.”
From the many comfortable corners in the home,Owen can study her lines and help out with her side business, Actorvate. And the location of the complex is ideal for her demanding work schedule.
Owen describes the complex as similar to Melrose Place, the popular TV show from the ’90s. “It’s just like Melrose – the other tenants are young and have Jacuzzi parties!”
Married for just four months, the Bryanston haven is a newly-weds postcard, with boxes of Champagne, endless candles and quirky scatters. The couple love to entertain friends with intimate dinner parties and braais. Owen says she is looking forward to gardening and “just nesting” in summer.
Upstairs two of the three bedrooms have been treated with a delicate wallpaper, Owen’s touch to the home they now share. The bedroom linen echoes the muted pale shades which are balanced with a dusky brown. “My husband is a tri-athlete so one of our bedrooms is just sports equipment.”
Owen plans to balance this with a collection of their wedding pictures which she wants to frame and exhibit on a wall. “Getting married is awesome.”
Samantha Hartshorne, Saturday Star