Category Archives: actor profile

Performer Jasynda Radanovic Achieves Success Across Mediums

Jasynda Radanovic
Actress Jasynda Radanovic

The world’s most successful artists, actors in particular, often source their creativity from a diverse set of experiences and lives that are not like any other. Jasynda Radanovic, with a rich cultural background that has placed her ancestral roots in Croatia, a childhood in Australia, work in the UK and now a successful career in the United States, is a clear example for how a unique biography endows an actor with an ability to excel and breathe life into a wide-range of high-profile roles and projects.

As she continues to build a successful screen career by stepping into a critical role in the American television series “Emergency: LA” starring “Warrior” actor and WWE superstar Kurt Angle, we look to Jasynda’s complex technique, expertise and successful career in live theatre as a driving force behind the powerful place she holds in the entertainment industry today.

The most obvious project which speaks to Jasynda’s excellence as an actor are her roles with one of the most well-known mass media companies in the world, Disney. Such is the breadth of Jasynda’s illustrious reputation within the entertainment industry, she was asked to perform in a critical role representing the Disney brand at Walt Disney World where she had to entertain the park’s thousands of visitors and ensure their visit was truly magical – a feat not just any actor could achieve but a task that Jasynda took to with gusto.

She tells us how her performance was not only creatively satisfying for her, but was also uniquely moving for audiences. “During the regular meet and greets there was a little girl in a wheelchair who had a disability…she could not react or move…she smile[d].” Jasynda recalled that when the girl smiled, “the family uttered that…it was the first time in the little girl’s life she had reacted to something.”

Jasynda’s outstanding body of work and critical roles in Disney productions extends to the iconic world of “Peter Pan.” In the Australian premiere of “Peter Pan: The Musical,” created by West End producers George Stiles and Anthony Drewe who are also well-known for their hugely successful production of “Mary Poppins,” Jasynda played the seminal character of Tinkerbell. A character somewhat difficult to prepare for, because of the physical challenges of the role including wire work and choreography, Jasynda gracefully stepped up to the plate and drew inspiration from the ‘Tinkerbell’ franchise and original “Peter Pan” films.

Jasynda Radanovic
Jasynda Radanovic as Tinkerbell in “Peter Pan”

Jasynda’s portrayal of Tinkerbell was crucial to the production’s success, as she not only brought the character to life in an interesting way, but Jasynda’s diverse and unique skill set in the areas of dance, choreography and puppetry were put on show and critical in ensuring the show impressed audiences. She mentions how renowned choreographer Mel Warwick and her “worked together every rehearsal to create new steps and [figure out] how to include props…Mel brought in a swing coach to teach us aerial movements, to create the illusion of flight.”

Jasynda’s achievements as an actor in the world of live entertainment have helped her build a reputation to the point where she was asked to perform the lead role in a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “A Whistle Down the Wind.” As Swallow, Jasynda had to play a fifteen-year-old girl grieving the loss of her mother while managing a distant relationship with her father. On Christmas Eve, Swallow discovers a mysterious man hiding in her family’s barn, bleeding from his hands and feet, leading her to think the man is Jesus. Such an important role and production again called on Jasynda’s distinctive abilities as a triple-threat, using her voice, body and performance skills to entertain audiences in a sold-out UK-Wimbledon season directed by Roger Jones.

It’s rare nowadays to find triple threats and trained stage actors who use their experience treading the boards to lay the foundation for a successful career in film. Jasynda proves that the tradition of excellence – where an actor can refine and expand their skill sets, not just a social media following – is the real key to success.

 

From the Stage to the Screen Australian Actress Natalie Page is a Knock Out!

Actress Natalie Page
Australian Actress Natalie Page shot by Andrew Rouse

 

Hailing from Sydney, Australia actress Natalie Page has created a dazzling reputation for herself as a uniquely talented performer whose dynamic character portrayals continually leave audiences wanting more. Over the past three decades Page has amassed an impressive repertoire of work that spans both the stage and screen, with each character she takes on shedding light on the multi-faceted nature of her craft.

In the world of network television fans will immediately recognize Page from her critical roles in the Awgie, Logie and AFI Award winning crime drama “Water Rats,” the long-running series “Deadly Women,” “Australia’s Most Wanted,” “White Collar Blue” and more.  

Page discovered her passion for performing early on in life. Driven to take her craft to the next level she began studying at Sydney’s renowned Genesian Theatre Company in her youth, where she immersed herself in Chekhov’s vast repertoire of work.

“I can bring all of myself to acting as it involves mind, body, energy, voice and a precision that requires my focus and dedication. A craft that I can bring all of myself to is both stimulating and enormously satisfying,” admits Page.

Early on in her career Page put her flare for the art of seduction on display in the critical role of a sultry mistress in the hit romantic drama “Home and Away,” which has earned a whopping 26 Logie Awards and six Awgie Awards to date.

In the series “Water Rats” Page struck a chord with audiences with her performance as a hostage fearing for her life. Sharing the screen with Astra and Logie Award winning actress Catherine McClements (“Tangle,” “Rush”) and Film Critics Circle of Australia Award winner Colin Friels (“Tom White,” “Ground Zero,” “Malcolm”), Page held her own acting alongside Australia’s best without ever missing a beat.

Her ability to tap in and embody the fear one feels when trapped in a situation where the question of whether she will live or die lays in the hands of a desperate criminal landed her another critical role as a hostage in “Australia’s Most Wanted,” which aired on Australia’s Nine Network, one of the two highest rated networks in the country.

Page’s incredible range has allowed her to portray the victim as believably as the villain, something she proved when she took on the starring role of Marie Noe in the popular series “Deadly Women” episode “Murder of Innocence” narrated by Lynnanne Zager (“Hotel Transylvania 2,” “Transcendence,” “Kung Fu Panda 3”).

A Philadelphia housewife who gave birth to 10 children, with two of them dying at birth and the other eight dying under suspicious circumstances, which turn out to be caused by her own hands, as she admits to strangling them nearly 30 years after the fact.

The way Page taps into this sinister, real life character, mastering Marie Noe’s Philadelphia accent and embodying the character’s mannerisms on screen not only makes the story that much more believable, but one that undoubtedly sends a shiver up the spine of all who watch the episode.

The actress admits, “I like a project that will present a challenge and one in which I can bring something unique to the role.”

While Natalie Page has left an indelible mark in the minds of audiences through her on-screen roles, she’s made just as powerful of an impact through her performances on stage. In 2014 she took on the starring role of Millicent in Brett Garland’s revival of “Estranged” staged at Sydney’s Tap Gallery theatre, which debuted in Australia during the Mardi Gras Festival.

Written by renowned playwright Jason Charles, “Estranged” brings to life the story of a dysfunctional family who comes together for the wedding of one of the sons while exploring themes of sexuality, societal acceptance and the way judgement can divide us from those we love. The mother of the son to be wed, Page’s character Millicent is the divisive force who causes the original rift in the family decades prior when she passes harsh judgements on her sister and subsequently banishes her and her son from their lives. As the drama and tension plays out over the course of the nuptials, we see Millicent and her sister engage in malicious attacks against one another, with Millicent going as far as to slap her sister in the face in front of everyone, a challenging move that Page pulls of with precision.

 

Natalie Page
Natalie Page (left) & Lena Sandberg (right) in “Estranged” shot by Brett Garland

 

Page explains, The reason I liked this role is because my struggle to accept such a mean spirited person was vast– I had to overcome this and be prepared to allow people to see me in a very ugly light, even slapping my sister across the face… When I completely surrendered to the role my work flourished.”

It comes as no surprise that the production received rave reviews across Australia as Page gave a phenomenal performance as the mean spirited Millicent in a portrayal that made her character one who is easily loathed by audiences.

While Page’s acting skill and commanding presence on the stage and screen have made her an easy fan favorite, these qualities have also been a huge draw factor for high-profile companies across the globe who have cast her as their lead actress. In 2014 she starred in a commercial for the popular Australian noodle company Maggi, and most recently she landed the lead role in a commercial for Australian Seniors Funeral Insurance, which is currently airing nationally across Australia.

UK Actor Anthony Warren Nails it Again with the Film “Hard Time Bus

Anthony Warren
Anthony Warren shot by Will Tudor

With lead roles in several highly rated BAFTA Award winning series and now the award winning feature film “Hard Time Bus” produced by 2HotFilms, Anthony Warren has enjoyed a tremendously successful acting career. The fact that he has now appeared in so many celebrated projects, and the addition of his most recent performance in “Hard Time Bus,” have made it clear that Warren’s success is a testament to his sensational skill, hard work and magnetism on screen.

If there’s one trend in Warren’s long list of characters, it’s his inimitable ability to convincingly slip into the world of crime. Warren’s feature films include the crime drama “The Contract” where he acts opposite Golden Globe nominee John Cusack (“Serendipity,” “Maps to the Stars”), as well as the Golden Reel Award nominated crime thriller “Control” starring Ray Liotta (“Goodfellas”) and two-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (“Spider-Man”).

In the world of television Warren’s taken on recurring key roles on several hit crime dramas such as the two-time BAFTA Award winning series “The Bill” where he acts alongside Simon Rouse (“The Practice”), “Eastenders” starring Patsy Palmer (“Do or Die”) and “Murphy’s Law” where he shares the screen with Golden Globe nominee James Nesbitt (“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”).

With such an impressive resume, Warren has certainly forged a distinguished and unique reputation for himself in the entertainment industry on an international level.

Warren, of course, did not wake up a success overnight. “I got into acting over twenty years ago,” Warren remarks. “Initially starting as a hobby, however, [it grew] into a passion and eventually a career choice.”

It’s clear that Warren has taken his craft seriously. After graduating from one of the UK’s leading drama schools and performing with the Ovalhouse Theatre Company, Warren has gone on to act in numerous film projects in the UK and Europe. He has worked alongside twice Academy-Award nominated director Bruce Beresford, Morgan Freeman, Michelle Rodriguez and many more household names.

 

hard-time-bus
Poster for “Hard Time Bus”

 

Now, with “Hard Time Bus” having screened internationally and recently winning the Jury Prize at the Hollywood Black Film Festival, Warren has yet another impressive credit to his resume. Directed by Dean Charles, also known for “Birthday Treat” starring “Casualty” star Neil Reidman, “Hard Time Bus” is a multi-faceted drama that examines the complexities of modern relationships and deceptive friendships. Warren brilliantly explores the latter in the lead role of Langas, a Jamaican-Patois speaking character who has no problem with bullying or cheating money from others.

 

"Hard Time Bus"
Still of Anthony Warren as Longas in “Hard Time Bus”

 

In a reflection of how he skillfully portrays people far different from himself, Anthony speaks of Langas like he would an old college friend. “He is so horrible to people around him but lovable to the audience in the way he is horrible – if he was one of your friends you’d keep a distance or want to punch him in the mouth.”

The film’s iconic pool hall scene, where the characters fight after Langas trash talks the girlfriend of one of the pool players, was a particular highlight for Anthony. “The scene had actors that I had worked with before and [am] still good friends with.” 

 

Michael Ellis Anthony Warren
Still of Michael Ellis (left) and Anthony Warren (right) in “Hard Time Bus”

 

It’s no surprise that Anthony’s maintained friendships with his fellow actors – those in the entertainment world are fully aware of his commitment and significant contributions to the industry. Besides his work of course, he has mentored numerous young actors and actresses and developed a reputation for being a friendly collaborator with everyone on set.

He admits, “It is a really different dynamic when you work with your friends. I feel a lot more at ease due to the experience and history we have together.”

With a cast that includes Aren Devlin (from Brad Pitt’s “World War Z”), Roger Griffiths (“Holby City,” “Doctors,” “Doctor Who”) and Naomi Ryan (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Mr Selfridge”), “Hard Time Bus” puts Warren in a position to call some illustrious company his friends.

The added benefit of being everyone’s favorite guy on set? People want to work with you even more, so it will come as no surprise that Anthony is slated to be involved in future productions produced with the production company 2HotFilms.

From the Screen to Magazines Andreas Holm-Hansen is Red Hot

Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark international actor and model Andreas Holm-Hansen was born with perfect bone structure, fiery red hair and a freckled and fit physique that effortlessly turns heads.

Over the last few years redheaded models with a healthy dose of freckles have gotten a major boost in the eyes of the public thanks to the work of leading photographers like Michelle Marshall, Maja Topcagic and her 2015 photo series “Freckled,” and Keith Barraclough’s “The Redhead Project,” but the list would not be complete without mentioning the innovative work of Thomas Knights.

In 2014 Knights released the Red Hot 100 book, a photo series that has been called ‘the ultimate bible for hot ginger men,’ and with his good looks and natural red hair it’s not at all surprising that Andreas Holm-Hansen made the cut, which makes him one of ‘the 100 sexiest Red Hot Guys in the World.’

Knights and Holm-Hansen clearly had a successful collaboration as the photographer called him back to shoot his newest exhibition and book “Red Hot II” earlier this year. Not only is Holm-Hansen featured throughout the book, but he also nabbed the cover shot for the “Red Hot II,” which was released in October. You can also check out Holm-Hansen in the highly seductive video that was made to promote the book, which reveals him in all is red headed freckled glory. Anyone who watches the video would find it difficult to say that Holm-Hansen is anything but on fire.

Andreas Holm-Hansen
Andreas Holm-Hansen on the cover of Red Hot II by Thomas Knights

 

In 2012 Holm-Hansen also landed a featured role in the music video for three-time Grammy Award winning artist P!nk’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” which has been astonishingly well-received by fans earning more than 72 million views on YouTube.

As a model Holm-Hansen’s international appeal has been a driving force in his success. Earlier this year he landed a massive campaign for Väla Centrum in Helsingborg, Sweden; if the local Swedes didn’t know him before, they definitely know him now, considering his face is plastered to the outer walls of the popular shopping center, and he is featured on the cover of the center’s Winter issue of Väla Magazine.

Andreas Holm-Hansen
Andreas Holm-Hansen on a billboard at Väla Centrum

From massive billboards to a lengthy list of high-profile commercials, Holm-Hansen’s captivating aesthetic appeal has made him a go-to talent among advertisers across the world. Audiences across Europe will immediately recognize him for his featured roles in popular commercials for brands and organizations such as Miracle Whip, Telmore Play, Eovendo, Synoptik, Danske Bank, Norwegian Airlines, Komplett, The Zulu Comedy Festival and others.

In addition to being featured in a number of magazines such as Tantalum Magazine, Visionarios Magazine, Elléments Magazine and PAF Magazine, he’s also been the face of a number of massive print campaigns including B&O’s H6 Limited Edition, Phoamy, Arbejdernes Landsbank, DSB and Sundhedsstyrelsen’s Stop for 5.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While his unique look has definitely put him in the spotlight, Andreas Holm-Hansen has a whole lot more than a just good-looking face going for him. Through a series of lead acting roles in productions such as Benjamin Murray’s crime mystery “The Hit” and “Don’t Bring Guns to a Knife Fight,” Jose Rico’s “Blood Legacy,” Jesper Holm Pedersen’s “Shit Happens” and David B. Sørensen’s “Bellum,” Holm-Hansen has proven himself to be a diversely talented actor who can bring virtually any character to life. His knock-out performances to date have revealed him as the rare kind of actor who is capable of captivating his audience regardless of the genre.

One performance that really stands out though was when Holm-Hansen took to the screen in the recurring lead role of ‘Mad’ Mads Steen in the satirical series “Dreaming in Mono.” Presented mockumentary style, “Dreaming in Mono” follows the rivalry of two Nordic ski champions, one of which desperately wants to break a record on a monoski and starts his own team of underdog skiers who actually think it’s possible, they are Team Monoski!

We first encounter Holm-Hansen’s character ‘Mad’ Mads Steen trying to fix his broken down car in the middle of blizzard wearing nothing but his underwear, furry hat and boots, making it easy to see how he earned the nickname ‘Mad.’ Unfortunately for Mad his skiing skills have something to be desired, which makes total sense considering his prior ski experience consisted of using his ski poles to thrust himself across the flat grass-covered lands of Denmark. It’s not a stretch to say that Holm-Hansen is one of the leading comedy highlights in the series, as we continually watch his character lose his balance and flail uncontrollably down the slope every time he clicks into his skis and sets down on actual snow.

Mad could easily be considered Team Monoski’s awkward rebel, but his constant boundary pushing ways eventually put him on thin ice with his teammates. In fact, “Dreaming in Mono” dedicates an entire episode to an intervention with Holm-Hansen’s character where the team tries to get the brash Dane to curb his unsportsmanlike ways, which leads Mad to huff and puff and storm his way all the way back to his hotel room; but thankfully for the team he comes around in the end.

 

Dreaming in Mono
Poster from “Dreaming in Mono”

 

Produced by the Swedish production company Happy Fiction and created by the international creative agency Perfect Fools “Dreaming in Mono” was written and directed by multi-award winner Jens Jonsson, who earned the Grand Jury Prize from the prestigious Sundance Film Festival for the film “Ping-pongkingen” in addition to being nominated for two Guldbagge Awards, which are the Sweden’s equivalent of an Academy Award.

The seven episode series was broadcast by four major TV networks in the Nordic countries, with Andreas Holm-Hansen dazzling audiences the whole way through. The series, which was ironically created to promote McDonald’s in the Nordic countries, but rarely,  if ever, mentions  the fast food chain verbally, also stars Bernard Cauchard (“Superhjältejul,” “It’s My Turn Now”) and Alexandra Alegren (“Gåsmamman,” “Madness of Many,” “Olivia Twist”).

With a rather astonishing list of leading roles in film and television projects, and even more high-profile modeling campaigns already under his belt, Andreas Holm-Hansen is one of the few actor/models we can confidently say will be doting his wide-spread talents upon both industries for years to come, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for this talented Dane.

 

Featured Actor: Canada’s Nathan Mitchell!

nm
Canadian Actor Nathan Mitchell shot by Rebecca Eady

 

For Canadian born actor Nathan Mitchell, who is known for his roles in an impressive list of hit films such as “Twist of Fate,” “Newlywed and Dead” and Lifetime’s “The Real MVP: The Wanda Durant Story,” as well as the multi-award winning series “Arrow” and “Motive,” the acting bug bit at a young age, and he hasn’t turned back since.

Mitchell says, “What’s appealing about acting for me is that it’s an art form that requires genuine connection with other people. You really have to listen; you really have to let yourself be affected by the other person to create something dynamic. When you’re that tuned into someone else you have this fun, meaningful experience.”

Starting out in the industry nearly a decade ago, Mitchell skyrocketed to the top of the Canadian TV scene almost immediately when he took on the recurring lead role of Jeffrey on The CW’s comedy “Aliens in America.” Mitchell’s character Jeffrey is the on-and-off boyfriend of lead character Claire Tolchuck, played by Lindsay Shaw from the multi-award winning series “Pretty Little Liars.”

A coming of age comedy about a Pakistani exchange student who moves to America to live with the Tolchuck family and attend high school in a foreign country, “Aliens in America” was an immediate fan favorite thanks to the way it wove together relatable storylines about the dramatic experiences of being a teenager in a way that left viewers feeling good.

One of Mitchell’s funniest and most unforgettable moments in the series was in the second episode when Claire tries to break up with him. Instead of fading out, he stands on her front lawn with a boombox on his shoulder blasting ‘In Your Eyes,’ an icon and effective move on his part.

While “Aliens in America” was the perfect venue for Mitchell to show off his comedy side, but what audiences have come to know the actor best for is his unparalleled skill in drama.

Over the years he’s given numerous memorable performances on hit TV series such as the Golden Globe nominated crime series “Covert Affairs,” the two-time Primetime Emmy nominated sci-fi series “Falling Skies,” the Gemini and Canadian Screen Award winning series “How to Be Indie,” the Joey Award winning series “The Tomorrow People” and more.

motive-2
Nathan Mitchell in a dramatic moment as Russell Bowman in “Motive”

In season 4 of the dramatic crime series “Motive” Mitchell took on a starring role as famed BC Furies quarterback Russell Bowman, a distraught husband mourning the loss of his murdered wife.

“There was a weight to this character because he is dealing with the most monumental loss of his life. We get to see some of the happy times they had as a couple. But then you’re dealing with the heaviness of going through such a deep loss,” recalls Mitchell about playing Russell Bowman on the series.

“He has to deal with losing the most important person in his life. Seeing how he handles that is just as interesting as solving the murder itself. Those two parts of the narrative keep you on your toes.”

Nathan Mitchell
Kristin Lehman (left), Nathan Mitchell (center) & Brendan Penny (right) in “Motive”

Mitchell’s riveting performance as Bowman is emotional, honest and impossible to peel our eyes away from, the actor definitely has a gift for bringing challenging and multi-layered characters to life on screen.

With the craze of comic book inspired blockbuster films and hit television series that have swept the entertainment industry over the last few years, it’s not at all surprising that Mitchell is a part of that world too, the DC Universe to be specific.

In season 3 of The CW’s “Arrow,” Mitchell guest starred as Isaac Stanzler, a key character in the developing plot between Oliver aka Arrow, played by Stephen Amell (“The Flash,” “Legends of Tomorrow”), and Roy aka Arsenal, played by Colton Hayes (“San Andreas,” “Teen Wolf”).

The abandoned protege of Wildcat (J.R. Ramirez), Isaac appears on the scene embittered from the betrayal and ready to make Wildcat pay by framing him for a string of mysterious murders.

Mitchell explains, “I came out of the shadows to frame Wild Cat for giving up on me and leaving me in the hands of criminals. It was exhilarating getting to be a part of the DC Comics Universe and bring comic book lore to life.”

A critical subplot in “Arrow’s” overall story arc, the relationship between Isaac and Wildcat reveal what could happen to Arrow if he were to be abandoned by Arsenal in the future; but only time will tell how that plays out.

Nailing the mark with his performance in “Arrow,” Mitchell brings his character to life seamlessly by tapping into the hurt and resentment Isaac has towards Wildcat. In the heart pumping fight scene where Isaac takes on Arsenal, Mitchell makes it’s clear that what’s driving his character is the need for vengeance, which makes him a relatable villain that we hate and feel sorry for at the same time.

As an actor, Nathan Mitchell brings a rare level of diversity to the table thanks to his ability to find the root of what drives each of his characters, an asset that has allowed him to play a wide range roles across practically every genre.

He explains, “The more I truly explore my roles the more I become aware of different facets of myself. There’s a huge psychological component to it. You’re taking the script and deducing how one would act based on the circumstances. You’re always learning about human nature. It’s very fulfilling.”

Nathan Mitchell
Rose McIver (left), Nathan Mitchell (center) & Malcolm Goodwin (right) in the season 2 finale of “iZombie”

Up next for Nathan Mitchell is season 3 of the TV series “iZombie,” which airs in 2017, as well as the upcoming sci-fi film “Scorched Earth,” where he takes on the critical role of Zee. Audiences will also be able to catch him in the upcoming film “The Marine 5: Battleground,” where he takes on the key role of Cole.

 

SEBASTIAN SACCO PORTRAY’S THE CREATIVE STRUGGLE IN “THE PATH”

Art imitates life and life imitates art. Whether it is in the artistic presentation of the real life experience, people are fascinated by passion. Love, hate, greed, altruism, faith, family, all of these involve this provocative emotion. Some enjoy a calm lifestyle while others are driven to the flame by their desires. Either can be a soothing or precarious scenario. For actors like Sebastian Sacco, he cannot deny his pursuit of a creative lifestyle. It’s not all red-carpet premiers and adoring fans. Quite often it means freezing in the rain while being shot with (paintball) bullets on a war film (as he did in Tommy), or being held underwater for long periods of time (in the Flawes music video “Don’t Wait For Me”). Even when he is given a less physically demanding role to play, it is often emotionally taxing, as in the film The Path. This film delves into the mindset and emotional obstacles of someone who pursues a life as an actor and the everyday securities with which they must forego; it’s a role which Sacco is ideally suited to play. He stars as Seb in the film by writer Harry Chadwick and directed by Tobias Brebner. This 2015 film investigates the sacrifices and uncertainties made in the pursuit of a dream, and the measures it takes to stay on that path.

If you transferred the same fixation and enthusiasm that one might have for say…futbol (or football, depending on your place of origin) you would have an indication of what dancers, writers, musicians, actors, and other creative types feel for their vocation. The true immersion of your joys and pains, fixated on one specific thing…it can be overpowering. Many entertainers profess their love of their creative pursuits while also recognizing the fact that it often requires them to forego a “normal” life and relationships. These careers are never 9 to 5 jobs. Witnessing Sacco’s performance as Seb feels like watching a new form of audience-viewable intense therapy. His character deals with the same doubt, drive, insecurities, and relationship struggles that undoubtedly almost every creative centered individual experiences. Specifically, this film focuses on a relationship. The Path is the story of an actor pursuing his dream. In this pursuit, he meets and falls in love with someone. Seb is constantly divided in his motivation between love and the demands of pursuing his career. He desperately wants the relationship to work but he can’t help but become diverted from it by the focus needed to pursue his dream. Seb realizes that he can only pursue one end and must choose between her or his passion. He takes the plunge and heads back on his path towards his dream.

the-path6

Sebastian has played many leading roles. It’s any easy conclusion to make that the reason so many critics and viewers found his portrayal of Seb in The Path so authentic is because it is so close to his own life experience. He confirms, “I’m very close to who this character is and what he has lived. Seb really has to deal with one big question. Life is filled with so many little decisions that dictate the path we follow but this film wanted to focus on just the big stuff for Seb; the huge pull for a loved one or for your dream and passion. It’s a sad fact that sometimes the two cannot work together. Towing the line in-between just makes both unhappy. I denied this fact in my own life for a long time. I had wanted to be an actor ever since I was a kid. I didn’t allow myself to consider it as a real possibility for such a long time. As I grew up and felt pressures from other factors, I just slowly pretended I wanted other things. I tried to forget about acting or tell myself I’d do it later. I attempted to use other things to occupy my attention rather than allowing myself to pursue my true desire. Eventually, when I made the decision… nothing else mattered. I wasn’t going back. I wasn’t going to deny myself again. That’s the exact struggle my character endures. I’m certain that most people who pursue creative lives relate to this, I was just fortunate that I found a film which allowed me to tell the story that many of us relate to.”

the-path5

Many of the scenes in The Path are emotionally taxing but one scene in particular depicts a physical representation of Seb’s turmoil. It’s somewhat humorous that Sacco has had a number of roles in his career that require submersion in water for long periods of time. It’s not a scenario or achievement which one regularly associates with a particular actor. Director Tobias Brebner (who has worked with such acclaimed actors as Kevin Spacey) notes, “We had to shoot Sebastian in the freezing wind and rain in Scotland as he traversed through the wilderness. On top of all that, he had to perform a sequence in which he had to jump into a freezing cold lake in the lake district during each take. Despite the obvious physical discomfort he was in, Sebastian performed each take with the utmost professionalism, never complaining about the conditions and always able to stay in character. His performance is a testament to the theme of the film – always enduring and working toward a goal regardless of the external circumstances. The success we achieved would not have been possible without his amazing talent and commitment to the film. In fact, I would go so far as to say he is the film.”

Sebastian agrees that he is quite close to his character in The Path. While he may not have made immense personal discoveries working on this production, it reinforced a pillar of his beliefs as he comments, “Seb reminded me to always follow your dream. The path might change or you might go in a different direction than you thought but, always keep following your dream.”

the-path11

BRAZIL’S VICTOR LUCENA GAINS CRITICAL ACCLAIM AND FANS IN “ARRUFOS”

Stage actor Victor Lucena knows a great deal about love. Yes, he has leading man looks and charisma but that’s not the reason. As a lead actor in the play Arrufos (translated as “Tiffs” in English) by XIX Theater Group in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Lucena explored various representation of love. Every actor uses a part of themselves and takes something with them from a role. As a celebrated theater actor in Brazil, Victor is recognized for his willingness to take on complicated roles as he did in Arrufos. The play received awards from the Shell Theatre Awards, the Sao Paulo Art Critics Association Awards, the Sao Paulo Theatre Co-Op Association, and countless others. As the lead actor in this production, Lucena’s ability to emote and relate to the three different characters he performs as in Arrufos was the driving force which led to these achievements. We all know about love but to communicate its various representations in a way that we can all relate to takes an actor of great skill and sensitivity. This Brazilian thespian’s decision to focus on theater rather than film is because of the changing nature of each performance that he thrives upon. Rather than embracing the security of a perfect take, Victor basks in the uncertainty that performing in front of a live audience grants. This is an appropriate metaphor for the changing aspects of love in each of our lives, which again points directly to Lucena’s astute attitude and ability at performing his roles in Arrufos.

arrufos_picture_3

Victor’s work with the XIX Theater Group has driven them to become one of the most beloved and respected of their kind in Brazil; it’s an attribute that Luiz Fernando Marquez (director of XIX Theater Group) does not take lightly. Marques declares, “Victor has an endless collection of credits. There can be no question that our incredible critical acclaim and commercial success is entirely thanks to Mr. Lucena’s leading role. Arrufos consistently achieved massive commercial success through sold out shows with large audiences, resulting in numerous awards. Victor’s unprecedented skillset allowed him to convey three extraordinarily different and crucial characters in such a way that the audience was able to understand the overarching theme of the production. Victor’s versatility as an actor was an invaluable asset to the creation of this production.” Lucena is the type of actor who delights both his peers and his audience, a testament to his talent and his professionalism. He is also quick to throw accolades to his director and co-stars as reasons behind the acclaim that Arrufos received. The actor notes, “Luiz Fernando Marques is truly talented, particularly in the way that he is able to take on the audience’s perspective. He is able to approach it with a fresh set of eyes each time and understand how the audience will see things, rather than getting lost in a director’s mind. My co-stars: Rodolfo Amorim, Ronaldo Serruya, Juliana Sanches and Janaina Leite…they all have such passion and presence! I’m fortunate that their performances challenged me to work at such a high level. Working with the best forces you to become even better…which is why I do it.”

One of the reasons that Victor was so lauded for his work in Arrufos is in regards to his multiple performances in the play and their believability. The production is a research into the history of love in Brazil, and was written into numerous skits and sketches which show the differing ways love can be perceived, given, and received. Despite wildly different depictions of this highly complex emotion, the overall theme of the play is the strength and prevalence of love across time and space. As a leading actor for Arrufos, Mr. Lucena performed three leading characters: The Priest, The Doctor, and The Lonely. Each character is a different look into various aspects of love. The Priest acts as a conduit of the influence of the Catholic Church in the 1700’s on love and faith, the Doctor establishes opposition to the church and the science of love, and the Lonely represents the lack of hope in life when loneliness is prominent and how love conquers it. Victor explains the acts of the play, “It is a really fascinating emotional curve for the actors involved in this play. The first act is so deep, dark, and heavy. Regardless of all the speeches we all have in it; it seems too silent. In order to create that atmosphere, we all would breathe together for a few minutes and then, about 15 minutes before play starts, each actor and actress would get quiet and start concentrating for it. The second act is much lighter. We took the heaviness off of the atmosphere to break away from the First Act, which is kind of relief for the actors and the audience. The Third Act was a joy! It was especially fun because we break the fourth wall; that was something that I felt really confident and comfortable with. A play is a live organism and as so it is always varying. While a song can be performed in the same way night after night in an orchestra, that’s impossible for a play; it depends on so many different variables. I think consistency is the most important achievement for a good performance but you have to explore new places at the same time.”

arrufos_picture_2

When a performance is as recognized by both consumers and critics, it’s natural to be curious about the preparation of the actor. For his roles in Arrufos, Lucena immersed himself with inspiration for the mood by reading books and watching films about the different presentations of love. He even created a specific playlist which he would listen to for 30 minutes prior to each performance. This gives credence to the idea that art inspires art. While Victor admits to ignoring critics during the run of the play, he admits to one self-congratulatory moment. He reveals, “During the First Act, as the Priest, I’d have to hide under a tiny bed, change clothes and “sing” a prayer in the complete darkness. To do all this, I had only about two and a half minutes, which is the time the character of the father had to give his speech. I’m 5’11’’ and the bed is about 5’5”. I truly believed that there was no way I could do all of this in such a cramped space, but I did and every time. When  I finished I’d secretly celebrate.” Perhaps it is this attitude, that of a man who focuses on the little things rather than worrying about grand acceptance from critics, that communicates Lucena’s joy of the stage and all its possibilities to a welcoming group of admirers.