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5 minutes with JONATHAN BOYNTON LEE



From disliking boy bands, to never being at home on a Sunday, it's always great seeing how celebrity personalities are just like the rest of us. You might recognise him as the winner of the 2012 Top Billing Presenter search, Joop model, Strictly come dancing South Africa 7th season winner or Top Billing presenter. SA Life Magazine sat down with  Jonathan for a quick Q & A just for our readers..... ladies, you can!


Describe yourself in 5 words?

Passionate, crazy, adventurous, loving, humble. 


What was your childhood like?

So grateful I had a childhood filled with imagination and bruises from playing outside, rather than apps and how many likes you get on a picture.  


When did you first discover a love for the entertainment industry?

 For as long as I can remember I've always wanted to be in this industry. As a kid I used to steal my dads camcorder and make movies in the backyard with my toy soldiers. I was always in my own world, creating stories and acting them out, whether there was an audience or not.


Who are you when you’re simply at home, on a Sunday afternoon?

I'm never home on Sunday afternoons lol. 




Who do you admire within the South African entertainment industry, and why?

 I really admire what Patience Stevens and Basetsana Kumalo did for entertainment in this country. Together they changed the landscape of South African television and continue to do so today. Lets face it, they created arguably the most popular brand in the country(Top Billing) and it's still going strong after 25 years.


How do you deal with negative criticism?

 Very easily. 


Who is your role model and why?

My parents. For showing me the only thing you can control in life is the amount of love you choose to give out without ever expecting anything back in return.


Where’s the most interesting place you have travelled to and why?

So many. I love South Africa though more than anywhere else in the world though. We have so many hidden gems. I love all the small towns rich with history, they are always the most interesting. Drakensberg is my favorite place in the world.  


What motto or words do you live by?

I have two mottos I live by. "Don't just dream at night, dream all day, dream for a living". And "the only way to truly find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." 




We all know that the media doesn’t always get all their info correct, what is the strangest thing you have read about yourself that wasn’t true?

That I was gonna be playing the part of Christian Grey lol.


You have a growing following on social media! What is the most memorable tweet you have received, or been tagged in?

The most memorable tweets are always from people thanking me for having a positive and inspiring influence in their lives. It's always very humbling and good to know you making a positive difference out there in some way. I recently did a random give away on social media and people have been amazing. Everyone has been paying it forward and helping other strangers out. It's started a movement, been amazing to watch.


Everybody starts their working careers off small, what was your very first job? 

Some obscure modeling shoot for some forgotten magazine. 


The entertainment industry is a tough industry to break into. What encouraging words do you have for anyone starting out?

Don't do it for the wrong reasons, like fame and fortune. It needs to be something you are so passionate about, you live and breath it.  




In your line of work, you get to meet a wide variety of people. Who was your most memorable?

That's impossible to say. I've traveled the world and shared the screen with the likes of Channing Tatum, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Branson, Cameron Diaz, Harry Styles, Bruce Willis, Ana Winter, Michael Bublé, Idris Elba. The list goes on. So many remarkable people out there. My favorite is still showcasing all the incredible proudly South African talent we have. They're not as well known but just as talented, if not more so, than all the big international names. 


I am sure you have encountered a few fans along the way, what has been your favourite fan encounter?

All fan encounters are very special and so humbling. I really love all the encounters I have with younger fans, hearing how they want to pursue their dreams just like I did.


Did you always see yourself in the entertainment industry, or did you have different dreams as a child?

Always wanted to be in the entertainment industry.

 

What has been your most challenging decision in your career thus far? What made it so challenging?

When the Top Billing opportunity came along I was really taking off as a commercials and film director. I had just won a Loerie award, and my first feature film had picked up an award in LA. So the momentum was crazy good. But when Top Billing comes knocking you drop everything and take the opportunity with both hands, so I guess in retrospect the decision wasn't challenging at all, Top Billing won hands down. It's actually worked out beautifully in the end. Although I lost some of the directing momentum at the time(had to throw myself completely into Top Billing life), the contacts and network developed through Top Billing have been incredible. I just wrapped my third feature film(this time round as an actor), and soon soon I'll be I the directors chair again, shooting a game changing feature film for SA. None of this would have happened so quickly if it weren't for Top Billing.  




Everyone harbours a pet peeve. What is yours?

Boy bands.


Final Question. If you could choose any superhero to play on a big budget Hollywood production, who would you play?

Deadpool for sure. 

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