Actor Sharlto Copley: Five top facts about the SA actor

Sharlto Copley is one of quite a few South African actors living it up abroad in Hollywood.

44-year-old Sharlto Copley is a South African actor and film producer who suddenly swept the globe when he stared in a local movie called District 9. Born in Jozi and now living abroad in LA, we thought we would look at some of our favourite Sharlto Copley facts.

Special District 9 genius
While we all know Sharlto from his magical “fokin prawns” lines in District 9. Most people have absolutely no idea that Wikus’ words were all his own work. While there was a very detailed script for Wikus, 100% of the character’s lines were improvised on the spot by Sharlto. What a legend, eh?


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His role in The A-Team had been a long time coming
Straight after District 9 gave Sharlto some more international job opportunities, he landed the role of H.M Murdock in The A-Team remake.

While his parents didn’t actually allow him to watch the show growing up, he would leave a tape recorder behind the TV set, record the show’s audio and listen to it later. All while his parents thought he was asleep. That really is a master plan coming together.

He got Matt Damon properly
Sharlto starred alongside Matt Damon in the sci-fi epic called Elysium. While he played the bad guy for a change, he took a page out of the method acting book and gave Matt a prank that he would never forget.

“I had made his trailer look like Kruger and his henchmen had been living in the trailer for a week,” Copley told Entertainment Weekly.


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“There were bloodied limbs in the shower and the sink. There was blood on the sheets. I had left all my dirty clothes from the movie — my underwear, smelly socks — in his bed. There was porn in the DVD player. You know, just trash, everywhere.”

Our Sharlto isn’t scared of the A-listers.

Sharlto and Neil Blomkamp
Neil Blomkamp is the South African director behind both Elysium and District 9. While many credit him as the mastermind behind Sharlto’s rise, it was actually Sharlto who mentored him back in the day.

Sharlto met a 16-year-old Blomkamp when he was just 22. He already had a film production company going so he thought he would provide his future director with access to his computers. Both Sharlto and Neil were passionate about visual effects and 3D animation.

At that stage, we bet they had no idea that they would be animating prawns together.


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A power SA star duo
Sharlto may have been a bit quieter on the movie front over the past few years but we are pleased to say he is back. Not just back, but back with fellow South African star actor Charlize Theron.

The 2018 crime-comedy film, Gringo, boasts other stars like Amanda Seyfried and David Oyelowo and follows a mild-mannered businessman who is sent to Mexico to deliver an experimental marijuana pill. The man is then kidnapped by the drug cartel and his attempted escape brings with it much hilarity.

The film is currently out and we can’t wait to see Sharlto and Charlize on screen at the same time. Talk about making SA proud.


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