A portrait of a husband

Nathan and I are lying on the shaggy carpet we inherited from my grandparents. His feet rests on our old wooden couch (coincidentally also inherited from the same grandparents).

We’ve been together nearly seven years and married just over one. It’s incredible how intimate, almost uncomfortably so an interview can be with your spouse.

Nathan (formally known as Nathan James Lynn) is an athletic, dark-haired man with big blue eyes, although he’d fight to the death that those same eyes are green. Each to their own.

He’s an actor, working predominantly in film, currently living in Cape Town. On the street he may recognised as the tech-nerd in Deep Blue Sea 2, the guy who with typhoid in Outlander, or the yearbook guy from The Kissing Booth.

Over the years he’s also been a French sailor, Roman soldier, a dad with a mullet and a roommate from hell who drove a tractor into the living room. Just a few months ago he was a blonde-haired bank robber who wore crocodile-skin boots in a post-apocalyptic thriller. At the moment he’s playing a sullen teen – black hair, eye-liner, skateboard and all in a teen rom-com.

“There’s a stereotype about actors and performers that they’re dramatic and irrational people, especially when it comes to their goals. That’s like saying all accountants are boring. If you have confidence in your abilities you have a good work ethic to make your dreams a reality, I don’t see how you can’t succeed no matter what you do.”

Nathan is a performer at heart and has found pleasure in entertaining people his whole life. In third grade, his teacher allowed him to perform a scene from Kenan and Kel for the class at the end of class every day. Let’s just say that’s a major commitment to orange soda …

“I think acting is an incredibly difficult thing to craft, and I take a huge amount of pride out of doing it well. I love the process of becoming a new person, even if it’s for a tiny, insignificant role because you join the energy of being on set, and it’s an electric dynamic.”

Since his childhood he has lived in Kimberley, the former diamond-mining-mecca of South Africa, rural Tanzania, Bangalore in India and Pretoria upon his return to Africa. We met while studying in Cape Town and currently we’re plotting a move to Canada. The story of his life is a worldly one.

“I feel that I’ve had such a variety of influences and experiences that I take note of things, and that’s become a defining feature of my life. I like to live in the present and hate living through a cell phone, and I hate living through social media. Okay, social media is a hard one because as an actor I have to embrace it every now and again.”

Looking to his formative years he sees his dad as his greatest role model. Their similar habits and behaviours are uncanny – their cowboy-like struts, their confidence in talking to people, even their way of always misplacing their wallets and keys the moment you want to step out of the door.

In his parents’ house is a framed photo of the two on a beach holiday years ago, posing in matching purple speedos in front of the break.

“When I was younger, I just wanted to be like my dad. Today I feel that I’ve become my own person. Having said that, I think I got a lot of my personality from him, my idea of what a man should be from him. Having a level head, is one of the biggest traits my dad instilled in me.”

Nathan doesn’t want to be Hollywood’s new it-man, flexing for the paparazzi with his latest Oscar in hand. He simply wants to create a life by doing what he loves.

His eyes are to the stars while his feet are placed firmly on the ground. I’m the one looking up to him as a performer, husband and level-headed dreamer.

Cape Town – Vancouver


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