James grew up on a wine farm in Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa. His parents were very conservative and separatists during the time of apartheid in South Africa, and James was the first liberal in the family. He also clashed with his father, a strict Reformed Dutchman, about his interest in theater. He and his father struck a bargain that if he were to letter in sports in school, he could choose his own study - which he did. After his course in the military, he decided on arts and performance.
Studying acting, singing, dance, and even the flute, James quickly made his mark in theater in South Africa. He has appeared in performances of Charlotte's Web, My Fair Lady, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Aladdin, among others. He has also appeared in many commercials and corporate promotional materials, including ads and promos for Ford, Toys 'R Us, and Compaq.
His television credits in South Africa are very different from his theater work, where he has often portrayed the menacing and even downright psychotic bad guy. His first big break came when he got the part of the snarling Koobus Venter in the 2009 science fiction hit District 9.
Name: David James
Known for: District 9