Having shared a rather tasty cognac with Top Billing star and local heart-throb Aidan Bennetts we decided to catch up and get a little bit deeper into the serious matters of TV hand-gestures and fan-licking. Here’s what transpired during our chat with one of the coolest guys around…
MCBN: You were born in Jozi, spent a great deal of time living in Cape Town and have travelled the world- what is your favorite city and why?
Aidan Bennetts (AB): It’s a toss up between Milan and Hong Kong, Milan is chic, full of art and I can walk the streets for days, also the Italian woman are something else! You fall in love at every bus stop. Hong Kong is the city of my young teenage dreams, kung fu being taught on rooftops, Chinese junks in the harbor, I am fascinated by oriental culture.
MCBN: You’ve got some pretty bad-ass tattoos, is there any advice you can give to someone who’s thinking about get inked? I was considering getting a massive dolphin on my back with the words “when days are dark friends are dolphins”.
AB: My tjappies are a collection/memory of my past. I wouldn’t change them for anything. One word of advice, call up Derek Baker of Metal Machine Tattoo studio. He’s been in the business nearly two decades and boasts some of the latest most refined tattooing technology.
MCBN: You opened the Aidan Bennetts Design Studio way back in 2005 and have undertaken several projects since then, which include some work done for the Habanas. Do you have one particular project that you’re really proud about or that you enjoyed doing more?
AB: Working with Janine and Bryan Habana was a blessing, such good people!
I did a kick ass project for Levis at the last Rocking The Daisies, we created a pop up retail store for them out of recycled materials, it’s cool to work with S.A. companies that allow you to apply your imagination and think out the box.
MCBN: Dogs or Cats?
AB: I dig all animals
MCBN: What do you think the sexiest car on the planet is?
AB: The Aston Martin V12 Vanquished is a smmmmoker!
MCBN: You’re one of the Top Billing presenters and probably the only one who doesn’t use weird hand gestures when they talk. Do they train you to become more “Top Billing-anised” (yes I just made up that word) when you start there?
AB: Ha-ha that’s funny, Top Billing is South Africa’s most popular and longest running TV show for good reason, they allow you bring your own personality to the table, which I try to do.
MCBN: The girls (and some of the boys) really love you to bits- has there been a fan that has done something weird, like ask for you to sign their face when coming up to say hi?
AB: There have been a few stalkers… oh yeah I was doing this gig at the 15 on Orange in Cape Town and this chick run up out of the blue and licked my face and ran off giggling… she wasn’t bad, if you’re out there you should have stuck around! Generally South Africans are pretty chilled about celebs… thank goodness.
MCBN: If you could have 3 celebs in your entourage, dead or alive, who would they be and why would you want them there?
AB: Bob Marley, Bruce Lee and Ghandi… all for obvious reasons.
MCBN: Having been involved in design and the functional use of materials is there anything in particular that one should keep in mind when using design for everyday environments?
AB: You got it there, look at the environment and then look again; far too many designs are products of the designer’s ego and have not been thought of specifically.
MCBN: We’re bloggers here at MyCity By Night and sometimes I struggle to find inspiration for the more off the cuff pieces of writing that you see gracing these pages. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
AB: I travel a lot, we have so much to learn from other cultures, and sometimes they have the most elegant solutions in the obvious ways. Also I’m an astute follower of bio-mimicry, nature has solved everything already…
MCBN: Do you think that social media and digital publishing has a role to play in the type of media that we are offered here in South Africa?
AB: Online media is the way of the future… magazines, I’m sorry are on their way out.
MCBN: Smurfs or Gummy bears?
AB: Neither, they both freak me out.
MCBN: You’ve had a fairly stellar career thus far, are there any massive plans in the pipeline for the rest of 2011 that we should know about?
AB: Just completed Safe House, starring Denzyl Washington and Ryan Reynolds.
I am opening “The Bank” a collaborative design centre featuring a retail store stocking my favorite pieces from the world over as well as some of my designs, I am also actively campaigning for Cape Town to win the World Design Capital bid in 2014.
MCBN: When you’re not off being awesome and putting together some really awesome design work, what do you do to relax?
AB: I try get in the water, whether it’s a swim, surf or splash… this chills me out.
MCBN: What are some of your favorite websites, other than My City By Night of course?
MCBN: Where can the masses find you if they want to find out more about your design work and you as a person?
Facebook : Aidan Bennetts
Facebook: Aidan Bennetts Design
MCBN: And now for our infamous MyCityByNight would you rather question:
Would you rather run naked through a field of prickly pears or instead be forced eat only beans on toast for the duration of the time it takes before Blackburn Rovers wins the English Premier League again?
AB: Naked through prickley pears…Blackburn Rovers will never win! (sorry Ryan Nelson)