Mafia tales and sitcoms give SA actor a Hollywood rush

South African actor Stelio Savante (44) has found a place in the Hollywood spotlight, after being featured in notable films and television shows that have earned him widespread recognition in the entertainment industry.

His most recent shining moment was starring as the character Hunter S Kimbrough in the drama Eisenstein in Guanajuato, written and directed by Peter Greenaway. The film was nominated for the Golden Bear award at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival following its premiere there in February.

The 2015 film focuses on the journey and transformation of Soviet-era director Sergei Eisenstein, who travels to Guanajuato to direct his film Que viva México.

Those haven’t watched Eisenstein in Guanajuato might remember Savante from his recurring role as Steve, a private investigator in the United States comedy series Ugly Betty. He was part of the sitcom’s ensemble that was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2007. His other roles include parts on television shows such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Sopranos, Guiding Light and All My Children.

Mafia in the spotlight

His latest appearance is on the eight-part Mafia docudrama series Making of the Mob: New York. According to Variety, (http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/making-of-the-mob-new-york-amc-miniseries-1201399628/), the series “begins in 1905 and spans more than 50 years, tracing the original five families that led to the modern American Mafia, including the rise of Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel”.

Making of the Mob: New York premieres in mid-2015 in the US and Savante will portray Joe Masseria, the former head of the Genovese crime family who was also known as the Mafia boss in New York during the 1920s and 1930s.

It’s been quite a busy season for Savante, who’ll also star in National Geographic’s docudrama series called American Genius, which sheds light on history’s inventors and creative individuals. He portrays David Sarnoff, a pioneer of American radio and television who led the Radio Corporation of America in the 1920s.

Acting over tennis

Savante’s love for acting dates back to his university days. He left South Africa for the US in the early 1990s after receiving an international tennis scholarship to study at the University of West Alabama. The acting bug bit while he was performing in plays in university, and he decided to pursue it as a career.


Through his roles, Savante has succeeded in telling stories that challenge the audience. His performance in Once We Were Slaves (2014) earned him a merit award for best actor at the Best Shorts Competition.

Once We Were Slaves is known as the “Good Friday story”, and tells of two Jewish prisoners awaiting their fate in a Jerusalem jail cell.

He also starred in the 2014 film Where the Road Runs Out, the first feature film ever to be shot in Equatorial Guinea.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Safety at schools: ‘Keep your distance and your pen’

The department of basic education has developed guidelines to assist schools with minimising the spread of the coronavirus

‘Soon he’ll be seen as threatening, not cute’: What it’s...

There is no separating George Floyd’s killing from the struggles black people have faced ever since the first slave ships landed on these shores

How schools could work during Covid

Ahead of their opening, the basic education department has given schools three models to consider to ensure physical distancing
Advertising

Press Releases

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday