So, who exactly is Greg Kriek? He's definitely a talented actor and immensely dedicated to his craft. With now over 80 international screen-acting credits to his name, Greg Kriek is an award-winning actor (originally from Cape Town) who is officially South Africa’s most internationally credited actor in his category. He is the leading man in the EMMY winning The Serengeti Rules and stars in the OSCAR nominated Incognito and won the Best Actor in a Feature Film for The Recce at the KIFF with Emmy judges. Greg also has top 3 billing as Mike Barasa with Megan Fox in Lionsgate’s upcoming action thriller Rogue. In his rising career, he has already had the privilege of acting alongside Hollywood screen legends such as Morgan Freeman, Dylan O Brien, Billy Zane, Rutger Hauer, James Purefoy, Miley Cyrus, and many more. Greg currently has 7 new upcoming features and other series that will be released globally over 2021 and 2022 these include the leading role in the sci-fi epic Colonials (with Emmy winner Sean Kanan), a lead in the Western Homestead, a lead in Holocaust drama Trust and starring roles in Night of the Witch, Blowin' Smoke, Condor's Nest, Brothers Keeper, The Interviews and HBO’s Insecure (with Issa Rae).
Greg Kriek grew up in Africa and spent many of his early years with his grandmother, who cared for thousands of HIV AIDS orphans. After playing soccer with the orphans, Greg was encouraged by his grandmother to tell the kids stories. During these “story” sessions under the trees, Greg started realizing how powerful storytelling can be as a tool to tear down cultural divides and connect with people all over the world. That is where the spark for acting ignited.
However, only later in life, after graduating with honors in economics, my late uncle Daniel encouraged me to dig deep and figure out what he was genuinely passionate about. After Greg attending his first Hollywood acting classes, the rest was history. Between him and Greg's mother (making tremendous sacrifices in life for Greg to pursue his dreams), he feels that he would not be where he is today. My mother is my biggest fan. Greg said, "There are so many people in my life who have supported me in following my dreams - it did, however, take some time to prove that I can do this haha."
When Greg had a moment, he sat down with Gemma Magazine to talk about his aspirations, the incredible roles that he has taken on, and parts of his creative process.
Did you formally train?
I never formally trained, but I have the philosophy that acting is an ongoing learning experience. I continuously do what I can to stay training and growing in various ways—still figuring it all out as I go.
You have so many credits and have played an amazing amount of roles. Are there 2-3 characters that are your favorites?
IT WAS A GREAT MOMENT when I started booking significant projects such as Black Mirror, Maze Runner, Inside Man, Samson, Tremors, and recently having top 3 billing with Megan Fox in Lionsgate's Rogue. It sounds cliché, but every project has its magic, so it is tough to narrow it down, but there have been many milestone moments. I especially loved playing real-life characters such as Oxford Zoologist Dr. Tony Sinclair in the EMMY award-winning The Serengeti Rules and Leon Terreblanche in Lionsgate's Born to Win. Born To Win was my first leading role in a theatrically released film. The Reece was another turning point in my career, and of course, I was super proud as a South African actor to transition into an international career.
What was being in "Incognito" like?
I loved doing something so different and stylistic. To travel back to Hollywood in the 50s in a Noir style was epic. The entire cast and crew got along so well, and something just clicked. I hope I get to work with this team again someday. Proud of all of its awards and Oscar nominations- it was such an honor!
Tell us a bit about your character, Mike Barasa, in Rogue with Megan Fox.
Mike BARASA, in a nutshell, is a rough around edges ex ROYAL MARINE - with a heart of GOLD- who is the voice of reason in trying circumstances but has no problem questioning authority when his crew is in danger due to lack of leadership.
How do you keep such a positive attitude?
Like so many others -having gone through the wringer in my life - especially in my childhood - I had tried my best to constructively turn my pain into positivity and be the man to others that I needed when I was growing up. I believe you cannot change what happens to you, but you can CHOOSE what you become.
How has acting made you evolve as a person?
Acting truly has taught me what it means to be a human being. To truly put me in someone else’s shoes has humbled me in so many ways - realizing that we all have so many factors that shape us in life - that each of us has a story to tell - that we can never judge a book by its cover because we NEVER know what someone has been through. Acting has taught me to live more intentionally, seize the moment, and face my fears honestly.
You are from Cape Town. What do you think of LA?
LA is the Olympic Games of acting - a dream come true to live and work with the world’s best but a daunting task at times to keep leveling up in an industry that more than ever is at the top of its game in terms of excellence. I sure miss my family and friends, but I am grateful to be in a chapter in life where I am GROWING exponentially. LA is the kind of place that either MAKES or BREAKS you - that choice, however, is yours to make.
Where do you see yourself in two years?
I see myself established in LA -- as a series regular on a big network show, doing more films with meaning, and having a flourishing producing career with our production company in South Africa.
Gemma Magazine is excited to watch Greg's career take off. To keep up with Greg,
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