Clayton Boyd stars in the hit South African soap opera Generations: The Legacy; one of South Africa’s most popular series with nearly nine million viewers.
The soapie is also broadcast in countries like India and Jamaica.
Boyd said: “I play teacher Robert Carlson, a Grade 11 IT teacher. “I started with the role in November last year. There are things about to happen that will change his life forever. I can’t reveal too much at this stage but the subject matter is explosive and topical.”
Boyd will soon also be appearing seen in Patrick Garcia’s horror film Hell Trip, which premieres at Comic Con Africa today. He stars alongside Jonathan Boynton-Lee, Jay Anstey and US actor Stevel Marc.
The talented Boyd has an impressive resume which includes roles in a host of popular TV series: Isidingo, Binnelanders, The Wild, Thola, and MTV’s Shuga as well as Leonardo, a BBC series.
In the academic field, the Cape Town-born actor obtained a double major BA in psychology and theatre from San Diego State University before moving to University of Alabama.
He was also part of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, in US. In 2006, Boyd received a masters degree in fine arts in theatre, majoring in Shakespearean studies.
When not in front of the camera, he indulges in his other passion – food. He and his wife own and run the popular Johannesburg restaurant Dolci Cafe.
What can you reveal about your upcoming ‘Generations: The Legacy’ storyline without giving too much away?
It will deal with a number of very interesting issues that are prevalent not only in schools, but in any place where there are people in power.
Without giving away too much, we are dealing with Lesedi (Luyanda Mzazi) accusing teacher Robert Carlson (Boyd) of something very serious. What is so lovely about this storyline is that the writers of Generations have explored both sides of the story, and have given Carlson scenes where he is with his wife and other members of the Generations universe.
In the early days of filming, Carlson didn’t exist outside of the classroom or as a person; he was only viewed as a teacher. This storyline will allow the audience to see him as a man.
What is it like working on one of SA’s biggest shows?
Generations: The Legacy is a very smooth operating machine. The team is so professional and experienced and they are a pleasure to work with. The cast and crew are always chatting and joking with each other, but there is no time-wasting, they have fun and a laugh while getting the work done efficiently.
When I first joined the team, I was not sure how approachable the lead actors would be, but on my first day Luyanda Mzazi (Lesedi) knocked on my dressing room door and asked me if I would like to run lines before the scene.
That set the tone for how it has been since day one. The actors all want to do the best job possible.
Working with people who are so passionate about their craft is a pleasure, and it makes you work extra hard to up your game and not let the team down.
Why do you think Generations: The Legacy is so popular?
The writers and producers are always looking at what is happening in the world and the media and they use Generations as a mirror to reflect society back at itself. When people identify with a show because they feel that it represents them, they will go out of their way to follow it and watch.
You were born in Cape Town but were schooled in Europe and the US. What does this bring to you as an actor?
My upbringing has made me see the world as very grey. I was raised in a traditional SA household before my father was relocated to Belgium for business.
My 12th grade class comprised 24 students, and we had 18 different nationalities, and at least six different religions represented in that group. We had to learn how to be people and humans first, before we added our cultural, nationalist and religious views to the world.
I moved to southern California where I went to a state university, so I was pretty much the only non-American in my group of friends.
It was then on to Alabama and New York. All of these experiences have made me ask a lot of questions. I always try to walk a mile in another man’s shoes and see the world from as many points of view as possible.
Give us more details about your role in Hell Trip?
This film is really an ensemble hunting horror picture. We are a group of American tourists visiting a lodge in Africa and things start going wrong from the moment we arrive.
Slowly, members of the group are picked off one at a time. I play William Reese, boyfriend to Sarah, played by Jade Hubner (from Top Billing).
What are you watching on TV?
I’m a comic book movie fan, so I watch the TV shows as well. I’m watching Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix and the third season of Billions, which I recorded so that I can binge-watch.
Tell us a bit about your restaurant?
It is called Dolci Cafe and it is in Craighall Park [in Johannesburg]. My wife Jackie and I started Dolci as a day-time breakfast, lunch and pastry shop in September 2015. Since then, we have expanded four times and it is now a fullscale Italian restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week.
My wife was in corporate and hating it; I was working many freelance jobs and we wanted some creativity and control over our lives, so we decided to take what had been a part-time job for me, and part of her upbringing and turned it into a business. I have also worked in and around food since I was 18.
Describe yourself in five words?
Calm, cerebral, methodical, balanced and talkative.