That Cali lifestyle


Nicolas Jung is climbing the
Hollywood ladder.

Jung’s film “The Way” – which he wrote, directed and acted in – premiered at the Warner Bros backlot recently to much applause.

His film was also screened in the world famous TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

Born in Johannesburg to a Hungarian father and Bolivian mother, they moved to Ballito when his mom’s job relocated to Umhlanga.

Jung’s first job was as a Spanish teacher, but he said he put that aside as he felt more content in acting, a passion of his since childhood, when he would constantly perform for his family.

“I was a character or maybe I was just an overly imaginative problem child that would pull down curtains for capes to fly high above the dinning table, remembered Jung.

“I had a vivid imagination, which made me want to do every profession and so when I was in grade 6 I came to understand that acting was the only profession that gave me that opportunity”

Jung told the Courier the industry was not as easy as it seemed: “But if it’s not hard you’re not pushing yourself enough.”

As he says: we guide the ship of our lives, and with the wrong mindset you sail into a detrimental storm.

“One of the projects that I just recently completed was about racial profiling and how sometimes we have to get rid of the preconceived notions that have been set by society. My friend and I submitted this project into film festivals and our greatest privilege was in Saudi Arabia, where we received the award for ‘best film’ from the King’s son.”

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“The Way” is a story that follows a boy, Max, who rejects feeling the breadth of loss but soon realises, with the help of his sister, that the only obstacle harder than holding on is progressing forward. It is described as beautiful, sweet, and up-lifting.

“Prior to writing the script I saw my parents lose their parents and how devastating it is to accept the death of a person so dear, that’s why I wrote this script, for the message it conveys.
“It was also autobiographical in the sense that I implemented something important that I learned; to breathe. I think sometimes we tend to get so caught up in the moment that we don’t take a step back, process and breathe.”

Jung said he loved the California lifestyle.

“Much like South Africa, is very culturally diverse, it’s a melting pot, which I love. People here are friendlier than they make them out to be on TV, but as the nature of the industry corrupts certain people, you will see some who only want to be friends if they gain something from it.”

Jung gave some advice for aspiring young actors:

  1. You can only be present by eliminating self-consciousness.
  2. Don’t take anything personally. The majority of the time casting directors have a very specific look they want for the character, so you may not get the part because you just don’t have straight hair or brown eyes. I’ve actually lost two major film projects because of my hair and eye color.
    Work your butt off and do the best you can.
  3. FOCUS! I’m only starting and it has required a great deal of focus.
  4. You only fail when you quit.
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He said the atmosphere in LA was electric and there was always something happening.

“The industry is great, I love walking on the street and seeing films being shot, you see production trucks or signage for film sets quite often.

“I remember when I first came out to LA and I was shooting on the Universal backlot, tour groups would come by in their vans and just stare at you and take pictures, and if you start waving they get all excited and start waving back. They didn’t even who I am, which cracks me up. All-in-all, I’m very happy out here doing what I know will bring me happiness, despite the occasional feeling of homesickness.”

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