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YOUTH MONTH: South African Actress Letticia Bissondut Shines in Hollywood

Recently, South African artists are securing international deals and are shinning in Hollywood.

Vogue published self -taught photographer, creative director, South African actress Letticia Bissondut is building a promising career in Hollywood and is determined to take over the television screens.

From a young age Letticia would spend hours dreaming up stories and writing them down or have her little nose in a book about adventure or watching a film. “We watched a lot of movies growing up and I fell in love with the idea of escaping into these wonderful imaginary worlds. That’s how I fell in love with the idea of being in front of a camera, she adds.

Her career as an actress took flight after being recognised by award-winning director, Tatia Pilvea. Her work includes several films and series, including “Underdress Me” by Tatia Pilvea, the Golden Lion winner at the prestigious Venus Film Festival. The short film was made for Show Times, “Masters of sex” and gained 49 million views and went viral within minutes of being released.

With an ambition to share her work with others Letticia has also starred in the compelling TV series Shameless. With the premiere of the ninth season on September 9, 2018. Shameless became the longest running original scripted series in Showtime history.

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As all actresses have, there are parts of her work that are challenging, “The most challenging aspect is the uncertainty that comes with freelance work, which is what acting, and photography work is. But, at the same time, the freedom that comes with it is unmatched. I am someone who often loves routine and craves structure, so that is often hard for me, but I have learned over the years that there is a lot of beauty in surrendering to a moment and going with the flow.”

Besides acting Letticia spends a considerable amount of time doing humanitarian work, something that has always been part of her upbringing. She regularly visits LA’s children’s hospital, where she volunteers through Art of Elysium basically using arts as tool for healing.

She has also spent a fair amount of time volunteering at Skid Row+ Watts Housing projects sharing information about free school health, teaching photography and acting to kids through various programs.

She follows her philanthropic endeavors as well as her photography adventures doing meaningful work through organizations such as foster America, where she has taught children photography.

She has traveled all over the world working with various nonprofit organization’s including UNICEF USA focusing on children and empowering communities through education arts and business.

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As part of a growing collective of incredibly talented African actors and actresses, Letticia is playing a key role in breaking barriers for other actresses who are working in Hollywood. She digs into her acting prowess in her most recent work, “The Wound” Starring alongside award-winning actor Kris Lemche of Final Destination fame.

The Short film directed by Chris Levitus has created a stir after taking home a win at the Dance of Cinema Film Festival and was selected for the acclaimed Hollyshorts Film Festival, which creates a path for most of the selected films to find their way to Academy Awards nominations.

She describes working with other Hollywood stars a great experience ,”I have managed to work with some incredible actors who are insanely talented but also really generous with their fellow actors. When we’re acting, we’re pouring into each other and feeding off each other’s energy, so when you are in the room with extremely talented stars, the wealth of knowledge that you absorb just by observing is next level. One of my favorite moments so far has to be sharing the screen with William H Macy, he is so talented and such a generous actor.”

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In her work, she portrays stories of equality and showcases a different narrative about Africa and its people, than what people normally see. her greatest goal is to show the strength, adaptability, and joy of Africa.

To people out there who want to peruse their career in acting Letticia has left a few words for you, “Do it! It’s a risky career path but so are many things. If you truly love what you do, work hard and know that there will be way more no’s than yes’s along the way, you’ll be fine. Make sure you work on your craft and have a strategy because it is after all a business too. I had a casting director once say to me that they get about 1500 to 2000 submissions for each role that they have. They end up auditioning around ten people from those and only one person actually gets the job. So it’s kind of intense but also incredibly rewarding when you do book a job.”

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