The only thing currently fuller than versatile Leandie du Randt’s busy diary is her peaceful, contented heart.
“I am incredibly blessed, healthy and happy as I sit here. I am in a place where it feels like so much pain from my past has been healed and I have so many things that my heart has always desired. I’m absolutely in my sunshine phase,” the blonde actress and businesswoman tells RNews.
Not only is she currently in the hospital drama Heart beat not to be seen, but at the same time she helps the new Miss. choosing South Africa as a judge in the reality series, Crown Chasers.
This month she also keeps her body as a presenter during the filming of the eighth season of the weight loss program, Slimand will soon pack her bags for another overseas adventure.
“No look, I’ve never been good at sitting still.”
Leandie’s heart beats with gratitude for medics
She describes her portrayal of the medical doctor, Jolene Joubert, in the new kykNET drama series Heart beat as a “dream role”, but also one of the most challenging that she has undertaken so far in her career.
“Jolene is someone who, despite her sadness and pain, was able to rise above her circumstances and make a success of her life. I think people will be able to relate to her because she is trying to shake off the bad aspects of her childhood, but still one’s past has a way of catching up with you.”
Like her character Pattie in the Showmax series Dark forest is Jolene a role she deliberately wanted to take on to help break down the superficial image that has stuck to her over the years.
As an actress, she also strives to portray increasingly recognizable and genuine characters “with depth and pain”.
“I think people definitely have a wrong impression of me. They think I’m this doll or trying to be perfect because I’m a reverend’s child, where I’m definitely more of a wild child is. I want to play characters that represent real people and challenge me as an actress because I grew up privileged. It’s the best kind of satisfaction when your work can also help shape you as a person, isn’t it?”
Heart beatwhich is filmed in open halls and theaters at the Solomon Stix Morewa Memorial Hospital and at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, also gave her a renewed appreciation and respect for medics.
“I only got a taste of what doctors and medical staff have to go through. I was so nervous just filming the play-play surgery scenes, I can’t even imagine how it must feel for real doctors. Bless they!”
As for words, have Heart beat ‘s complicated text and medical terms, which aim to be as accurate as possible, also required intense preparation from everyone on set.
After months of practice, words like “tobacco pocket stab, incisions and embolectomy” now roll carelessly off her tongue.
“Everybody, from the actors to the make-up artists and camera crews, has theirs every single day A game brought, because a high standard was set from the beginning. So I made sure to learn and prepare my words well in advance – something I usually avoid in order to appear as natural as possible. I especially wanted the operation scenes to ‘sit inside me’.”
In addition to the fact that she shares the screen with actors such as Simoné Pretorius, Dawid Minnaar, David Louw, Jacques Bessenger and Marlee van der Merwe, Heart beat ‘s comfortable costumes of “scrubs and Crocs” are also a treat.
“I’m also going to have to lie if I say that I’ve never abused one of the set’s empty hospital beds for a quick nap.”
Crown Chasers challenge her
Leandie and the radio and television personality, Bonang Matheba, are currently seen as judges in the Miss. South African beauty pageant reality series, Crown Chasers.
This program gives a proper look behind the competition screens and shows first hand how the top 12’s entrepreneurial and business skills are put to the test.
Leandie compares this series to programs such as the Netflix hit series Drive to Survive and thinks it gives depth and transparency to the Miss. South Africa competition. “I think it will give people more respect for the whole journey, process and title. They will now be able to see for themselves why the person chosen deserves to wear the crown.”
A challenge winner is selected each week by a panel of judges, consisting of Leandie, Bonang and a guest judge, and the finalist who performed the worst is sent home.
Leandie confesses that she initially felt out of place among all the other judges.
“It is a huge responsibility and the process was initially difficult for me, because judging someone actually goes against my whole being. I’m wired to always lift people up and make them feel better about themselves, so sitting through those intense feedback sessions was draining for me.”
Still, she believes that this experience was beneficial for her own personal development and adds that Bonang and Crown Chasers-presenter Zozibini Tunzi, former Miss. South African and Miss. Universe title holder, spoke up for her courage.
“You only get better if you surround yourself with people who are better than you. I was nervous about the new challenge and new environment, because I am not a beauty queen. I decided to stop trying to prove something to anyone and instead focused on learning.”
Leandie says that as a judge she thinks like the general South African woman and is therefore looking for a Miss. South Africa who represents her as an ordinary person.
“I’m looking for the kind of person we can look up to, but who will still make us feel safe to just be ourselves, even if we don’t look and feel like her. Beauty is the last thing we look at. Everyone there is already beautiful, they now have to show what lies beneath that beauty.”
She believes that authenticity is the most important quality to radiate, not only as Miss. Not South Africa, but in everyday life.
“I became an actress thanks to a beauty contest because I was just myself throughout the process and consequently a drama course as a prize for Miss. Personality won. If I had tried to be someone else that night, I would never have been noticed. For me, this is confirmation from the Lord that you must always show up as yourself, otherwise you may miss opportunities that were meant for you.”
Silver Screen Festival and business development is now ahead
“It was a big but nice shock,” she says about her Silver Screen nomination as presenter of the weight loss programme, Slim.
Her boyfriend, producer Stephan Neethling’s production company Newday Films was also nominated for their show Hop in the step.
“It’s special and I’m so proud of him, because they also produce Slim. Whether you win or not, it’s just nice to be nominated, especially for something we did together. It was four years ago that I was at Silwerskerm, so we are also looking forward to dressing up and celebrating the arts with people again in live bodies.”
To Be Gift Boxes, her and her sister-in-law Michelle du Randt’s unique online business that allows customers to put together custom gift boxes full of local treats, is also thriving and will soon boast a gorgeous store in Hazelwood, Pretoria.
“It’s going to be an incredibly beautiful place where you can stop quickly after work and pack your own treat boxes and take them home, or have them delivered by us. I think it will open new doors for us and give us a chance to meet our customers in person.”
In addition, she has barely unpacked her bags after her recent holiday in England and Scotland, but will soon go overseas again with Stephan to support the Springboks in Paris and celebrate a friend’s fancy 30th birthday in Tuscany.
“He is an incredible man. He is my safety, but also my biggest adventure and I can always be 100% myself in front of him. I really have nothing to complain about and am just grateful and excited to see what the Lord has in store for me.”