An aspiring actor from South Africa is going to extremes to achieve a Hollywood dream.
He spends four days each week running barefoot through the forest in a loincloth, eating nuts and berries, swinging through trees, and often sleeping overnight on tree limbs.
DeWet Du Toit, 25, wants to be cast as the next Tarzan in a Hollywood production. His dedication has earned him hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, an invite to a Tarzan festival in Louisiana, and a meeting with a Hollywood director.
“When I started going for this nobody believed me. It was far-fetched,” said Du Toit.
Three years ago he came across an article online that said Warner Brothers was planning to produce a new film about the Lord of the Jungle. The long-time Tarzan fan instantly knew he would do everything he could to be cast as his hero.
“The first and second years were really tough. Everybody thought it was a joke. But I just kept trying to improve,” said Du Toit.
Improvement for the professional bodybuilder meant learning how to look and act the part.
“I started reading everything I could about Tarzan. Then spending lots of time in the forest, running, jumping, climbing. Working on acting and dialogue,” said Du Toit.
Du Toit then started to market himself, hoping to get the attention of Hollywood film directors. Since he posted his first audition tape on YouTube a year ago, it has been watched nearly 300,000 times. Earlier this year, he posted his own 1-hour Tarzan movie on Vimeo in which his performance is improved.
Du Toit is now focusing on a trip to the United States in April where he will be a special guest at the Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle festival in Morgan City, which is where the original Tarzan of the Apes silent movie was filmed. A German TV crew plans to follow him on the trip and has arranged for him to meet with a Warner Brothers’ film director in Los Angeles.
“I’m so excited. I have never been to the United States and this is a chance to get so close to my dream,” Du Toit said.
Du Toit has been a Tarzan enthusiast since he first saw a Tarzan movie when he was 6 years old. Growing up on a farm in Namibia and later near the border with Botswana in South Africa, he said he always felt fond of animals and nature.
“That’s why I relate to Tarzan. He lives in harmony with nature,” said Du Toit.
Unlike Tarzan, there is no Jane in Du Toit’s life. He said his demanding training and rehearsing schedule doesn’t leave time for dating.
“Right now, a girlfriend would be a distraction,” said Du Toit.
He has thought about his future beyond his Tarzan dream. He hopes to be able to work as an actor in other roles as well. At the moment, though, he prefers to keep his focus on being the best candidate possible to represent a legend.