Q&A with Tough Rides: Brazil’s Ryan Pyle

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The new season of Tough Rides kicks off on Travel Channel on 23 July. Check out my Q&A with host, Ryan Pyle to see what he gets up to in this season of Tough Rides: Brazil:

1.    On 23 July, your show Tough Rides: Brazil kicks off on Travel Channel, channel 179 on DStv. Riding a bike can be nerve-wracking at the best of times. Do you get nervous leading up to a new show’s debut on TV?
RP: I don’t get nervous when I am riding motorcycles, but it can always be a little bit scary when you travel around a country as wonderful as Brazil and you have so many honest and intimate moments with people, and you wonder if your television audiences around the world will “buy in” and want to follow in your footsteps and watch the rest of the episode. My goal is to explore, educate and storytell, and I think we did that in Brazil.

 

2.    In this series, you’re riding across South America’s biggest country, Brazil. What is the best aspect about traversing a country like this on nothing but a bike?
RP: A motorcycle puts you in touch with a country the way a car or bus or train never can. On a motorcycle you are connected to nature, to the weather, to the landscape and to the people. It’s a 360 degree experience that is real, rich and incredibly fullfilling.

 

3.    How did this idea come about?
RP: We are now in Season #3 of Tough Rides. I’ve already completed journey’s in China (S1) and India (S2). Originally my brother joined me in China and India and it was a wonderful experience, it was something that we had always wanted to do. Instead of “riding around the world” I always just wanted to learn as much about one country at one time; so riding a motorcycle for a few weeks or months around a single country and learning as much as possible about what makes that country special is just wonderful and very rewarding. The best way to explore the world is on two wheels.

4.    In the first episode, you’re in the incredible city of Rio de Janeiro, which is amazing. It can also be a bit scary in parts, can you tell us a bit about that?
RP: Rio is a city of great contrasts. If you stay near Copa Cabanna beach where all the tourists are then there are no real issues. If you go wandering off in other parts of the city there could be some issues. We toured the favella’s as part of our series and it was a unique look at a city of great constrasts. Highly educational.

 

5.    When you’re in these different cities, or making your way from A to B, do you ever get time to just pull over and admire the beauty, the scenery, the people?
RP: Sure, we always stop and film and meet people on the road and take our time. We are never rushing from A to B, and most of the time the best stories and the best people we meet are in those places inbetween. My series is un-scripted for the most part so we are always on the look-out for chance encounters.

 

6.    What were some of your personal highlights that perhaps didn’t quite make the TV cut?
RP: There is so much content that never makes it in to the TV Cut. Wow, where do I begin? There were a lot of challenging moments along the BR-319, the most dangerous road in Brazil, that we were just unable to film because of extreme conditions due to personal safety. But that could have been an entire series all by itself. I hope I can go back at some stage.

 

7.    What was the most difficult thing about the trip?
RP: The most difficult thing for me about making adventure television shows is being away from my family for long stretches at a time. As “tough” as I am in traveling by motorcycle through the Amazon, I have an incredible support team in my family….that I miss dearly everyday.

 

8.    If someone is going to Brazil for the Olympics next month, what are some of the words or phrases can you share with them to get by while they’re there?
RP: In Brazil, you don’t need language. You need body language. Be loose. Be fun. Smile. And be sure to drink and dance the night way, just like all the locals. You’ll be embraced but what it means to be Brazilian. What a beautiful way of life.

 

9.    You’re an adventurer by trade. So what’s next for Ryan? Maybe a trip from Cape Town to Cairo?
RP: I make a lot of different television shows, and Tough Rides is one of my absolute favorites. I would love to do an adventure in Africa but I would prefer to visit only one or two countries at a time and really try to learn about their diversity and what makes them special. I am less interested about crossing continents or doing “round the world” rides. I am on my motorcycle to connect with people and learn about places that I want to visit.

 

10.  In closing and in two sentences, why should people watch Tough Rides: Brazil?
RP: You should watch Tough Rides: Brazil because it is real, it is honest and it is epic. Enjoy the adventure!

 

11.  Where do we find you on the social networks?
RP: Facebook (@ryanpyle) – Twitter (@ryanpyle) – Instagram (@ryanpyle)

Be the A-lister you’ve always believed you were with M-Net Movies

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Okay, hands up. How many of you pretend to be an actor, a singer or both in the comforts of your car, your shower or your home? Your home becomes your set location, your car becomes your stage and it’s there that you act out one of your favourite movie scenes or belt out your best version of your ultimate song. I have, you can see it here (disclaimer, my singing isn’t grand), but you can watch it anyway. I also sometimes catch myself re-enacting a scene from a movie or a series because I’m just that amazing. There’s a point to all of this, I promise…

M-Net Movies is giving its viewers the opportunity of a lifetime: to ‘Star in your own Greatest Movie Ever Made’ and maybe win a trip to the mecca of moviemaking i.e. Hollywood!!! The movies stable on DStv has created this platform for aspiring A-listers to get their big break and big wanderlust adventure at the same time. All you need to do is this:

  • Re-enact a scene from a movie now showing on one of the movie channels (M-Net Movies Premiere (Channel 104); M-Net Movies Smile (Channel 105); M-Net Movies Action + (Channel 106), M-Net Movies Showcase (Channel 107); M-Net Movies Action (Channel 110); M-Net Movies All Stars (Channel 111) and M-Net Movies Zone (Channel 139)
  • Upload your video to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MMGreatest
  • To validate your entry, you must go to mnet.tv to fill out the entry form too.

The competition will run through to the 20th of August and thereafter the fun starts. 24 of the top entries will then be selected by a panel of experts. The public will then choose their top 12, who will be selected to star in a production by the highly acclaimed production company, Bomb Productions. Sidebar, this team is incredible guys and girls. They’re the brains behind shows like Isibaya and Jacob’s Cross, both of which are brilliant from production values and casting perspectives. So best you know you’re working with the crème de la crème. The script for this production will be written by Tebogo Malope, and the top 12 will co-star alongside acting greats Thapelo Mokoena, Thomas Gumede, Lalla Land’s Lalla Hirayama and Maps Maponyane when the shoot takes places on the 26th of September. #NOTKAK at all!!!

So the big question is, SHALL WE? I’m in… I know what scene will get me a couple of votes, but you’ll have to wait and see what it is. Which movie scene would you act out?

If you want more information visit www.mnet.tv

 

Jonathan Rhys Meyers talks Roots on HISTORY

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Tonight, viewers across the African continent will get to see the second episode of the highly acclaimed, Roots on HISTORY (channel 186 on DStv) at 20:30. When you sit down to watch the series, you’ll be introduced to Tom Lea played by none other than Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Check out this Q&A with Rhys Meyers to see what he has to say about being part of such a significant and important show like Roots.
Q: You play the Tom Lea one of the most challenging characters in Roots. How would you describe him?
Jonathan Rhys Meyers:  Tom Lea is a representation of what happens when greed and ignorance get the better of a complete people. He is a manifestation of everything that was wrong about the 19th century. He is the physical embodiment of the sociopathic sort of plantation owner. He’s a ne’er-do-well, he’s a drunk, a gambler. He is brutal to his wife, he is brutal to his slaves, and then something happens which changes his world completely. Through a very nasty, terrible experience, he forces on Kizzy, a child is born and this gives Lea enormous conflict, because, of course, when a child is yours, you have to love it, but the child is also his property, so it’s love, property, love, property. There’s a duality there the whole time. You know, I could feel heartbroken, I suppose, in many ways, for a character like Tom Lea, falling prey to the foulest practices of his time.

Q: Tell us about some of your experiences shooting the series
JRM:  I had never planned to do Roots. I got a phone call to do it and found myself ten days later in Louisiana. We didn’t shoot this on sets. We went to the plantations, we built the cabins. It was hot, it was muddy, there were mosquitoes, it smelt, so the whole experience was like the most intense historical re-enactment you could possibly imagine, because we lived it.

Q: How difficult was it to play such an evil man?
JRM:  It was not the easiest part to play. I have to tell you that the things I had to do and the brutality which I had to show were not very easy to go home and sleep on in the evening. I didn’t sleep very much during the making of Roots, but that was okay, because that’s what I had to be.  It’s actually the only production I’ve ever been in, and this is a testament to everybody who was involved in it by the way, but it was, like, six weeks that it was completely suspended from every other experience in my life. What would I say about my character? Tom Lea is not a hero, he is a villain, but if you don’t play the villain for the true brutality of what it is, then it’s a disservice to the story. I am very proud of my role and performance in Roots. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder.

Q&A supplied.

Netflix launches in SA, heating the VOD space up.

The video on demand space just got a whole lot more interesting, with the official introduction of Netflix into the South African market. The big announcement was made by Netflix CEO and co-founder, Reed Hastings at CES in Las Vegas yesterday. With a short address and probably the push of a button (or in this case, 130) the service extended its offering to a much bigger audience… 130 for the win, shem.

Watch:

So now we have Netflix versus ShowMax. I’ve been using ShowMax for quite some time now and I really enjoy it. Not only is it affordable, R99 a month, but they have thousands of hours of series, movies and lots of local content too. That’s what sets them apart from Netflix at this stage. But then Netflix commissions its own shows, which is something ShowMax hasn’t ventured into yet. No time like the present though 😉 I actually suggested that to industry friend, who is acclaimed producer and writer in the market.

What will be very interesting is to see how DStv will react. Their monopoly in the pay-TV industry will definitely take a big knock with the introduction of Netflix. ShowMax is already coming in a lot cheaper. Sure they don’t have the latest seasons, or live sport or news, but I’d like to believe Naspers will take that into consideration… It’s going to be a very interesting time.

What are you thinking? Are you sticking to DStv? Changed over to ShowMax, or dropping them both and going with Netflix? Netflix will charge $7.99 to use their service btw.

Our first #Unscreening event: Maps To The Stars

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Last night I hosted an #Unscreening movie night, in conjunction with Times Media Films and my radio family, Cliff Central. The movie in question is called Maps to the Stars, which hits South African cinemas on the 23rd. The film stars the fantastic Julianne Moore, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson, among others. Here’s a short synopsis:

 A tour into the heart of a Hollywood family chasing celebrity, one another and the relentless ghosts of their pasts.

Moore plays the role of Havana Segrand in this one, an actress who is ageing – and in Hollywood terms this means fading. Segrand battles to remain relevant in the competitive world of showbiz. Moore’s portrayal in this film has scored her much acclaim from the critics. She also won Cannes’ Best Actress award, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for the role. The film is directed by the highly acclaimed, David Croneberg. I must admit, I’m not familiar with his work so I didn’t have any expectations… And maybe that’s for the best. The movie is WEIRD!!!! Dark, twisted, but oddly fascinating at the same time.

 

I think a lot of my guests were like, what the actual fuck? Some left early, others giggled nervously and many left scratching their heads, wondering what on earth just happened. Bless. The film hits cinemas on Friday, so if you’re into movies like this, go and check it out and then let me know what you think 😉

 

Prior to the screening, we had the good folks at Martini South Africa providing cocktails for the guests. I invited a lot of my friends, industry peers and some of SA’s most loved – and they all turned up! Stars like the lovely Jay Anstey, Shashi Naidoo, Chad Saaiman, LeAnne Dlamini, Tamerin Jardine, Thenji Stemela, Hayley Owen, Khabonina Qubeka, Seline van der Wat, Nicole Da Silva and many others were all there to enjoy the drinks, festivities and hopefully the movie too. And what would an event be without some kick ass prizes too:

 

  • @Converse_Africa gave us away ten varsity jackets and five hoodies. Just look how cool these hoodies are on the right:
  •    10013571_10205799139239360_8109223946360538883_nBig Concerts gave away four double tickets to The Script, along with their special guest Phillip Phillips. There was an awesome sing off between two guests, who were both eager to go and see Mamma Mia and then we had tickets to Lord of the Dance to giveaway too… All of that entertainment coming to SA this year, not shit at all J
  • One of my favourite channels on DStv is BBC Entertainment. They have some of the best talent and shows on television and the team there were more than happy to share some giveaway love. So two lucky people walked off with two very heavy hamper bags, packed with loads of cool goodies. Check them out on Twitter for all the latest news and show updates: @BBCEnt_SA
  • Sony Max gave away three sets of headphones, which is never terrible. People bugging you in the office? Drown them out with some awesome headphones… Well three of my guests will get that opportunity
  • Two very lucky guests walked away with watches from 1 Face Watch. These watches are not only awesome in terms of design, but they’re attached to good causes too. They have several different colours, each of which is attached to a certain cause or charity and last night we gave away a team #HayLeigh, Smile Foundation watch because it’s a cause I believe in and have worked with for almost a year now. We also gave away an education watch. I believe in the power of education and also the importance of learning and educating our young South Africans. We can only move forward and compete globally if we’re empowering our people with the necessary skills to go out there and shine. Love their work and I love these watches. If you want more details, please visit them on 1facewatch.co.za or on Twitter: @1FaceWatchza
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All in all it was a fun evening. I think if there’s to be a next time, we’ll focus more on rom-coms or something a little lighter. This was supposed to be a way for people to ease into the New Year, not scratch their heads or do too much thinking. Haha. Good times though. Thank you to everyone involved.

 

#BBHotshots Hangouts with Esther, Sabina and Lilian

If you’re a Big Brother Hotshots fan, you may be surprised by not one, not two by the three evictions that went down on Sunday evening. Housemates Esther, Lilian and Sabina were all booted out of Africa’s most watched house, making them three of five Housemates now out of the game… All five are women too, so what is up Africa? Why you booting all the ladies out? Anyways it shows that you need to vote to keep your favourite in.

I’ve started by annual Google Hangouts with the Housemates again. The Hangouts happen every Monday between 12 and 1pm. If you missed this week’s edition, check them out below:

Esther and Lilian… The crazies who sang for me. Watch:

Want to see Nigeria’s Lilian twerking? Well I got her to:

Don’t forget to visit the official site for all the latest news, videos and views: http://bigbrotherafrica.dstv.com/ or watch all the action on channel 197 and 198 on DStv.

Big Brother Hotshots – more Housemates revealed

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Permithias
Age: 25

Professional sushi chef Permithias unsurprisingly lists sushi as one of his favourite foods, alongside pizza. He doesn’t have a favourite book, but enjoys watching The Originals on TV. A fan of animation, Permithias’ favourite films are Turbo and Happy Feet, while he also likes the music of Chris Brown, James Blunt and Joe Tomas.

His mom is his role model, because she provided for the family with ‘nothing but blood, sweat and tears’. He is the eldest of five children; he has three sisters and a brother. Permithias says that becoming a chef is his greatest achievement so far, because it ‘opened a window’ for himself and his family.

He was inspired to enter Big Brother Hotshots because he’s been watching the show for years but won’t sell his soul or lose his self-worth in the process. Asked how he feels knowing that the whole continent will be watching him 24/7, he says: ‘scared, but it will all come together the way it should’. If he wins, he’ll take care of his Mom and open his own restaurant.

Permithias says he’s easy-going, open-minded and ‘down for whatever is fun’ and enjoys others who are also open-minded.

 

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Nhlanhla
Age: 24

Nhlanhla is from Witbank in South Africa, and is a Business Analyst, Actor and Model with an Honours degree in Information Systems. He loves fresh butternut soup, lamb shank & vegetables and cottage cheese pie. His favourite books include Animal Farm and The Great Gatsby and he enjoys Game of Thrones, Shameless, Suits and Heroes on TV. He lists Brad Pitt and Will Smith as two of his favourite actors.

His favourite place in South Africa is the Groenkloof Nature Reserve in Pretoria and the best things about the continent as a whole are the people and their strength & resilience. Amsterdam made a big impression on him at a young age when he went there and learnt a lot about himself and personal growth.

His mother is his role model, because she sacrificed a lot to get him where he is today and taught him a great many things. Together with his Grandmother, she has influenced his life a great deal because they were always strong-willed and gently guided him through life.

Nhlanhla entered Big Brother Hotshots because he’s been a fan ever since he saw his first season on DStv. ‘I just knew that I wanted to be on the show myself, and wanted to take the opportunity to have my personality spread all over the world’. He thinks having the continent’s eyes on him 24/7 will be ‘nerve-wracking’, but says it’s a great feeling knowing he’ll be watched by the continent and can influence the viewers.

He describes himself as ‘crazy, eccentric, narcissistic, energetic and spiritual’ and enjoys the fact that he’s always positive and optimistic, and always sees the beauty in others.

Continue reading “Big Brother Hotshots – more Housemates revealed”