They live their lives in the limelight and met on the red carpet at the Ghoema Awards. One would think it is all about glitz and glam for them until they throw the doors to their home wide open with a warm welcome.
We meet up with Bianca le Grange and David Johnson in their Winchester Hills home.
A bubbly Bianca greets you at the door and then enters the more reserved David. Conversation flows easily and you soon realise there is a special dynamic between these two despite being described by many as chalk and cheese.
Bianca grew up in Eldorado Park, did Grades Six and Seven at Robertsham Primary School, matriculated at the National School of the Arts and studied piano and violin.
David was an all-rounder at school who enjoyed academics, was a top 400m sprints and hurdles athlete, played Sevens rugby, sang in the choir, always acted in school musicals and was head boy at The Settlers High School in Bellville.
‘Funnily enough, my dad contemplated on moving us to Alberton but my eldest two siblings were attending school in Cape Town, so we moved there,’ David said.
It has been 18 years since Bianca made it to fourth runner-up in the very first Idols competitions. Four albums later and she still finds a way to always be up there.
Bianca simply loves people and anything to do with entertaining. She mentors up-and-coming artists, supports young talent through social responsibility projects, acts, sings, writes songs and the list goes on.
‘Theatre is my first love. I am pure joy and want to bring joy to the world through my talents.’
David chose acting because of the stories and explained that coming from the past that we have had in South Africa and knowing how disempowered we were as a nation, he uses his skills for empowerment and giving a voice to the voiceless.
Career highlights and challenges
‘Finding yourself is always a journey filled with disappointments and self-realisation,’ David said.
‘Starting my career meant not always having work and living hand to mouth, but I found many lessons in that.
‘However, this journey has brought me to the point where directors request me by name for certain roles, and that means I have attached a certain brand of craftsmanship to the name David Arnold Johnson.’
The best part of his profession is fans who love his work – those who go on the journey with him and the characters he created.
Bianca, who described herself as a people pleaser, said she had to learn that not everybody is going to like you or agree with you.
‘I have had many disappointing relationships. I had to learn to forgive myself and those who hurt me and simply move on. Breakups are the worst kind of hurt when you’re in the limelight. I’ve learnt to love myself first.
‘The stage is where I am most comfortable. When the audience is touched by your offering and they applaud with appreciation, man, there is no other feeling like it.’
With busy schedules between Bianca shooting adverts, promoting their new single Ek baklei vir jou, David’s time spent on set for Getroud met rugby and other long to-do lists, one needs to ask how they juggle time.
‘I do most of the cooking at home. When hubby gets home dinner is ready and we eat together. I will end up watching some series and then prep for the next day and sleep.’
David grinned and said: ‘Dinner together is always fun. When I go to watch my wife perform at her gigs it always feels like I am the only one in the audience. Any moment that I have free I spend with her. She is my best friend.’
‘We also love to travel. I love to walk and I love to eat amazing food. I’m always looking for the next best restaurant. I enjoy entertaining at home. Having my friends and family over brings me much joy,’ said Bianca.
‘We enjoy board games, watching series and spending time in the garden with our dogs or lounging at the pool with our friends.
‘Bianca is very adventurous. When we travel she always wants to do something that gets the adrenalin pumping, like jumping off 10m-high cliffs into some river or shark diving. She prefers to do it without the cage. I think it’s an Eldos thing,’ David said with a huge grin.
Recipe for their marriage?
‘Marry your bestie. Respect and communication is key. Keep growing together and share your dreams with each other,’ said Bianca.
David replied: ‘If you set clear principles for yourself and values in a relationship that both stand by, it makes loving each other so much easier because you always have a blueprint on which your relationship is built. You can always add a renovation here and there but the relationship is built on a solid structure.’
They also feel their new single Ek baklei vir jou, written by Theunis Duvenage, comes out at just the right time.
‘The song was offered to Bianca at a time which best describes our marriage. We fight for each other, as the song says. We choose each other every day. The music shows us as teenagers meeting for the first time but it is also a representation of the importance of enjoying life and youth.
‘What better way to celebrate our fifth year of marriage with a love song?’
Festive season and family time
In her big bubbly way, Bianca describes Christmas as the best time every year. A time when they go big with family reunions where they sing, celebrate, eat and dance.
And a bit more reserved David said Christmas time is his ultimate.
‘It is a time to catch up properly, share stories about the past year, remembering special or silly moments and reflecting on life.
‘There is nothing more important to me than family. It is something my mother and father instilled in us. Especially when we were moving around so much. Your siblings become your best friends and I love spending time with them, even with Bianca’s brother Rudi and her sister Shana.’
Festive and future plans?
‘We want to have children. Two. A boy and a girl,’ was David’s quick answer.
‘I also always want to be better and grow with what I do. I enjoy directing and writing and those are facets of my career that I would like to focus on a bit more in the future,’ he added.
Bianca will be performing at Club Smooth on December 4 with Dr Victor and Dawnay and also at Thaba Eco Hotel on December 20 at the E|Bar.
And, of course, they will be celebrating their fifth anniversary.
• Rain vs sunshine?
Bianca: Sunshine please
David: Is it a sideways rain like in Cape Town or a Highland thunderstorm? I am a mostly Sun Kind of Guy.
• City or outdoors living?
Bianca: A bit of both I love the city but there is nothing like going on a boat safari
• Something few people know about you?
Bianca: I love graphic design, dog videos and walking bare feet.
David: Gardening is a great time for me to appreciate what a little love and attention can do.
• Who inspires you?
Bianca: People inspire me, Lisa Raleigh my fitness guru, Martin De Wee my trainer and my very good friend Lois Du Plessis.
David: My mother, father, wife and God.
• Your motto in live?
Bianca: You are what you think you are. Your attitude determines your altitude.
David: There are a few, but one of my old t-shirts use to read ‘you don’t have to be a winner to be a runner. That to me say’s you should live experiences in your way not like everyone else.
• What would you do if you won R10 million tomorrow?
Bianca: I’d live the same as today just with less financial worry, maybe invest some money to make more money. I wouldn’t tell a soul I would just gift people who I thought really need a change and I wouldn’t say a thing about where the money came from.
David: Do renovations on our home. Buy another property. Give my parents money and travel till it’s all up.
• Currently on your playlist?
Bianca: Alicia Keys new album Complex
David: K-os is an old Hip hop artist I discovered again. Michael Franks Best off, Stevie Wonder among others.
• You can bribe me any day with?
Bianca: Chocolate or a massage.
David: A holiday to Mauritius.
• Favourite movie of all time is?
Bianca: No that you can’t ask. I love so many movies and so many genres. The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, Schindler’s List, Pulp Fiction.
David: I have a few. Love Tarantino. His is always challenging the narrative.
* Text: Carina van der Walt. Photo: Afterglow Photography.