The South African accent is unmistakable, but every now and then her words betray her roots. Genevieve Morton laughs, “I go to dialect classes every week to learn how to speak 'American' for my acting. Sometimes I slip into that American way and haven't even realised it." It reminds one of Charlize Theron, the “other” Benoni-born superstar now living in the United States. Acting is just one of the things that Genevieve, the 28-year-old KwaZulu-Natal-raised swimsuit model does well. In fact, pretty much everything she touches is a success story.
However, while she is a committed South African, Los Angeles is now home. "Being able to forge a career in acting attracted me to the city. It's also a great lifestyle. I live right next to a hiking trail, which I love because it keeps me in shape and gets me back to nature. There are great restaurants and bars out here. One of my favourite places is The Spare Room. It has two bowling alleys and plenty of other games you can play: Monopoly, backgammon and jenga. One evening I entered a jenga competition – and I won. I'm really competitive!”. Then she laughs again.
It's her open and down-to-earth personality that endears her to people. She is unaffected by increasing fame and fortune and there is an energy about her that is infectious. She has featured in the iconic American Issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit four times and she also graced the cover of its South African sister publication in 2011, and she even had the honour of closing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange. "I work a lot with Sports Illustrated and my Facebook page – over 2 million likes – are often guys who enjoy sport, so it's important that I relate to that. I really love watching basketball and hockey. I'm still learning American football but then again nothing compares to a good game of rugby."
While LA is now her playground, and her office, New York holds a special place in her heart. “I've been to some amazing destinations – the best were the Maldives and Fiji – but my favourite place in the world is New York City. I loved living in Manhattan, and it's inspiring to live amongst people who are achieving.” She also has to travel with a bodyguard while in the Big Apple, leaving no doubt as to how high her star has risen. What this IMG-signed beauty also has is an opinion – she considers herself outspoken –and she's thoughtful and carries a sense of humour. One could say she's the complete package. However, there remains plenty she still wants to achieve, not least pursuing her acting. “It's important to have dreams in life because that's what inspires you to do great things. The best part is that when you do achieve a goal you go ahead and set another one”, she says.
A typical day starts at 8am and includes gym, a hike, more gym, an acting class and then time with friends. Most nights she'll watch something on her laptop, go to bed and sign off to the world at 2am. There really aren't enough hours in a day for this dynamic star.
Image above by Warwick Saint
Written by Gary Lemke
Cover Image by The Riker Brothers