Category Archives: Film

Film Star James Preston Rogers, A Rare & Heart Warming Story

Actor James Preston Rogers
                                                                 Actor James Preston Rogers

For some, stardom is literally in the stars, but for actor James Preston Rogers it is a reality that seems to have been destined by the very stars most others dream upon.

In the modern fast-paced world we live in today the notion of an actor being “discovered” is often considered something of the past, but it is in fact, the very way that James got his start. Jump forward a decade to today and it seems that the James discovery was one of great value for many as this talented actor has become a highly sought after actor in Hollywood and abroad. With leading roles in the films Outlander, A Beginner’s Guide to Endings, You Might as Well Live, Jesse Stone: Sea Change and Defendor, James has proven time and time again that he has what it takes to succeed in the cut-throat world of today’s entertainment industry.

When he was in high school, James Preston Rogers acted in plays, but never considered “going big” until he got a phone call from an agent one day asking him to star in a nationally syndicated commercial for “Mr. Big” candy bars. Surprised, as he did not have an agent or even a headshot at the time, he agreed to take the role.

Since this serendipitous beginning, James has proven his worth and gone on to excel in far greater roles. His first major role outside of theatre productions and the Mr. Big commercial came in the six-part mini-series Jesse Stone: Sea Change where he acted alongside Golden Globe winner Tom Selleck.

“I played Terry Genest,” said James Preston Rogers, “a hired gun sent to kill Jesse Stone… That day was an emotional day for me on so many levels. Not only was it one of my first acting jobs, being shown across North America on CBS, but I was acting with Tom Selleck, Magnum PI, one of my childhood heroes.”

The show received critical acclaim and was nominated for several awards including a Primetime Emmy, Satellite Award, Canadian Society of Cinematographers Award and an American Society of Cinematographers Award.

There is another, more heartrending side to James Preston Rogers’ career, however. When he was a young adult, James lost his mother. “ I mean, she was so proud of me when I was a skinny zitty teenager with nothing to show for it” he said, speaking of his mother. “Now I am a man in my chosen profession, acting with some of the greats and also her favorites.”

It is astounding to see how many of her favorites James has had the chance to work with, too. Almost astounding enough to make one wonder if James Preston Rogers’ mother might very well know how well her son is doing after all.

“Tom Selleck was one of my mother’s favorite actors,” James explained. And this was just the beginning of James’s work with his mother’s favorites actors. After his first major acting role in the Jesse Stone: Sea Change series alongside Selleck, James snagged a role in the science fiction film Outlander. In this critically acclaimed feature, he played the Viking Bjorn alongside another one of his mother’s favorite actors, Golden Globe winner Ron Perlman.

After Outlander, James played the pivotal role of a slow-witted biker named Bob in the film Defendor, starring two-time Oscar nominated actor Woody Harrelson. “He was another one of my mother’s favorites actors,” Rogers remarked. Defendor received an award at the Whistler Film Festival, the Claude Jutra Award at the Genie Awards and was nominated for a Directors Guild of Canada Award.

One day, after the release of the Jesse Stone: Sea Change series, James and his father were watching an interview with Tom Selleck on the Regis and Kelly Show. “[Tom Selleck] decided to use our clip to promote the series and spent a few minutes talking about me, ending with ‘James you owe me’,” recalled Rogers. The actor described the look on his father’s face as “one of the changing of the guards.”

“It was a very humbling moment, one I wish I wish I could have shared with my mother,” explained Rogers.

With the groundbreaking career James Preston Rogers has had thus far, one might be led to believe that his mother may still be cheering him on from somewhere, a guardian angel who is undoubtedly incredibly proud of her son.

If you want to check out more of James Preston Rogers work head on over to his IMDb page http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2286416/

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Composer Spotlight: Alex Redfern!

Composer Alex Redfern
Composer Alex Redfern

UK born composer Alex Redfern is a master of blending music and visuals for film and television. Alex Redfern is known throughout the international entertainment industry for having created emotive scores for the films Happy Face and Tumbleweed: A True Story, as well as for contributing to the music departments of Walt Disney Picture’s upcoming feature Cinderella, which stars two-time Oscar Award winner Cate Blanchett, James Franco’s Holy Land, Penguin Trek, Larson’s Field, and many others.

The young yet highly skilled composer is currently working on Sisterhood of the Red Garter 3D, as well as the film Varanasi, which stars Adil Hussain from Life of Pi.  Directed by Richard Connew, the film Sisterhood of the Red Garter 3D is a UK comedy film that is scheduled to be released next year. A feature film about a mysterious cult set in Northern England, the film stars Brian Woodward from Peaky Blinders, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, The Theory of Everything and Hollows Wood 3D.

Redfern admits, “it’s fun writing for comedy, but you have to be delicate with the timing to make sure it has the right effect.” He adds that the music in the film ”is a cross between light-hearted and dark, and mysterious. It is mostly orchestral, but it has a few surprises thrown in.”

One aspect of Alex Redfern’s career that sets him apart from other composers is his incredible ability to bring diversity to all of his musical creations, something audience will notice in his other upcoming project Varanasi, where he is working as the film’s orchestrator. According to Redfern the film is “a dark thriller set in the holy city of Varanasi in India. It uses orchestral and Indian instruments together.”

Alex Redfern was also a key contributor to the music department on Mark Marchillo’s film The Curse of The Un-kissable Kid. A comedic and whimsical coming of age tale, The Curse of The Un-kissable Kid follows a young boy named Josh, played by William Leon from the hit television shows True Blood, New Girl and Modern Family, who finds himself in a sticky situation after taking a potion from a fortune teller at a local carnival without reading the fine print. After swallowing the potion Josh realizes that the bottle says it will make him disappear if he doesn’t find true love’s kiss within 24 hours. In an effort to keep from dissolving into nothingness, the desperate teen sets up a kissing booth and soon finds himself in a passionate lip-lock with a boy named Clark, played by Christopher Bones from the shows One Life to Live and My Name Is Earl. Redfern used his musical talents to heighten the fantastical elements of the film with his subtle orchestration of instruments.

A truly talented composer, there is no doubt on anyone’s mind that audiences around the world will be seeing, or rather hearing, a whole lot more of Redfern’s musical creations for many years to come. Be sure to check out the video below to see Alex Redfern conducting one of his original compositions “Riding Out West” with a 47-piece orchestra at Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers Studio in Los Angeles.

From the Theater to the Silver Screen, Actress Daniela Mandoki!

Actress Daniela Mandoki in the film "Obediencia Perfecta"
Actress Daniela Mandoki in the film “Obediencia Perfecta”

Recognized throughout Mexico for her roles on the popular shows María Belén and La Rosa de Guadalupe, Daniela Mandoki has created an astonishing reputation as a go-to actress for a variety of challenging roles.

Mandoki’s most recent film roles include Valeria in Divina Confusión and Laura in Obediencia Perfecta. Unfolding like a love story gone sour, Divina Confusión opens with a melancholy dialogue about moving on between Dante, played by Damer, and Javier, played by Xabiani Ponce de Leon who plays Marco on Disney’s hit series Violetta. The way the dialogue proceeds on an emotional level leads audiences to believe that the two men are lovers, however, with the appearance of Valeria, played by Daniela Mandoki, we quickly learn that the two men are talking about moving on from their band and Valeria is in fact Javier’s girlfriend.

“It was a very smart way to distract the audience,” explained Mandoki. “It’s incredible how we as the audience jump to conclusions forgetting that close relationships go beyond romance.”

In addition to her work on-camera, Daniela Mandoki has also starred in a lengthy list of well-known theater productions under the direction of world renowned directors including Emmy and Oscar Award winner Milton Justice and Christopher Thornton who is known for the films Sympathy for Delicious, Hitched, I’m With Stupid, Pretty Persuasion, Welcome To California, as well as many others.

Putting the vast nature of her craft on display, Mandoki took on two drastically different roles in Milton Justice’s production of “Our Town.” Taking the stage as both Rebecca Gibbs, an 8-year-old girl, and Mrs. Louella Soames, a 60-year-old woman, Mandoki transitioned with ease between the role of the young and naïve  Gibbs and the elderly town gossip and choir singer Mrs. Soames. A talented singer and musician herself, Mandoki amazed audiences across Los Angeles with her capacity as a vocalist in her performance of Mrs. Soames.

The actress proved her diversity once again when she took the stage in the male role of Schuppanzigh in the production of “Black Comedy” under the direction of Christopher Thornton. Mandoki’s remarkable theater resume also includes the productions of Juan Gabriel Moreno’s Delitto All’isola Delle Capre (Crime on Goat-Island), Ana Lourdes Lopez and Margarita Mandoki’s Abrir La Ventana (Open The Window), Israel Velasco’s El Paraiso De Los Gatos (Cat’s Paradise), and more.

Audiences in New York will have the opportunity to see Daniela perform this March in Elia K. Schneider’s upcoming theater production of “Judgment on a Gray Beach” where the actress will take the stage in the starring role of Josephine. A new production based on the work of Franz Kafka, the production will be held at the La MaMa theater. One of the most recognized venues for experimental theater in New York, La MaMa has received more than 30 OBIE Awards, as well as a long list of Drama Desk, Bessie and Villager Awards since its founding 50 years ago.

From the Stage to the Screen, Actress Maria Bosque Wows Audiences!

Maria Bosque in "The Seagull"
                                                                           Maria Bosque in “The Seagull”

Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Maria Bosque is an actress whose extraordinary range and versatile look has put her front and center as a go-to talent for film and theater productions in both Latin America and the United States.

Over the course of her career Maria has landed starring roles in the films Ellas, Solo Yo, Final Test, Oh Jesus and many more. In her most recent film, Oh Jesus, Maria Bosque touches the hearts of international audiences in the role of Violet, a young woman who is made to feel shame over her homosexuality. Riddled with theological and sci-fi influences, Oh Jesus follows Violet on a journey spearheaded by a chance encounter with Jesus who leads her back in time in order to decipher and repair the ill-fated event that brought about her homosexuality. However during her journey with Jesus, Violet discovers something much more valuable than the anecdote for her homosexuality– self-love and acceptance. After realizing that she cannot spend her entire life running away from herself and her problems, Violet comes out of the closet with confidence professing her true feelings for the girl she is in love with.

A film with a powerful message for audiences across the world regardless of their individual sexuality, Maria Bosque brought Violet’s struggle to life in a way that is honest, relatable and downright beautiful. She explained, “I love playing strong female roles, and I love doing things that have an important message, especially for those girls that are going through a similar thing in their one lives.”

In addition to her work as an actress on film, Maria Bosque is renowned for her talents on stage as well. She got her first taste of the theater in the production of The Wizard of Oz in Victoria, Canada, and has since gone on to star in countless productions including Titus Andronicus, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, and The Seagull, as well as the plays Six Degrees of Separation, Waiting For Godot and Middleton, which were directed by Oscar winner Milton Justice.

“I like to choose characters that are very different from me, ones that I haven’t done before,” said Bosque.

In the production of Anton Checkov’s The Seagull, Maria played the starring role of Masha, an affluent young woman who repeatedly refuses the affections of Medvedenko in an effort to hold out for Konstantin the man with whom she is in love. A sad melodrama about unrequited love, Masha eventually gives in and marries Medvedenko and has his child, a choice that dooms her to live a depressed and unfulfilled life as she continues to harbor feelings for Konstantin.

“There is something very sad and beautiful about her. I guess I like the darker side of things because I am always very drawn to these types of characters,” admitted Bosque.

Audiences will have the opportunity to see Maria Bosque on stage in New York in March 2015 at the La MaMa Theater in the production of The Beach of Joseph K. Directed by multi-award winning director Elia Schneider, The Beach of Joseph K is an experimental work derived from the writings of Franz Kafka.

Actor Spotlight: Helena-Alexis Seymour!

Actress Helena-Alexis Seymour
Actress Helena-Alexis Seymour

 

Born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, actress Helena-Alexis Seymour first discovered her passion for the performing arts when she entered the world of competitive dance during childhood. Having attended the same dance school as actor Ryan Gosling, an Ontario native, Seymour established herself as a well-rounded dancer, model and frequent beauty pageant contestant before discovering her prowess as an actress.

“I was already involved in competitive dance & loved to perform, so when I found acting at the age of 7 I realized it was the perfect avenue to perform in a way that allowed me to voice my personality,” said Helena-Alexis Seymour.

While she is known today for her diverse talent as an actress, Seymour continues to use the tools she learned early on in order to further her craft. As a strong dancer and lover of yoga, Seymour explained, “I am very connected to my body and my breath, which I think is the most important thing. If you connect your emotions to your breath and body, you can act and react on instinct, which makes for a very natural performance.”

A hot young talent who has worked with entertainment industry icons like Oscar Award winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, three-time Emmy nominee Vanessa Williams, Golden Globe nominee Michael Keaton, Emmy Award winner Zach Galifianakis, and many more, Seymour has had a whirlwind of success in the film industry.

While Helena-Alexis Seymour’s vast body of work includes several multi-award winning films, she notes her character Chantal from the HBO/TMN TV series The Line as her favorite to date.

“Chantal had the most interesting story with so much depth to her character,” said Seymour. In addition to Chantal being her favorite role, Seymour referred to working on the series as one of her best life experiences yet. “The character reminded me of myself in many ways, because synchronically I was going through a rebellious teenage phase of my own at the time. Mine wasn’t like Chantal’s, but it helped me relate to her.”

Directed by Gemini Award winner Shawn Thompson, and Toronto Female Eye Film Festival Award winner Gail Harvey, The Line focuses on the intricate underground lives of drug dealers. Displaying the true depths of her acting craft, Seymour portrays her character Chantal through multiple stages of drastic change in the show. Beginning the series as a bright and innocent teenager, audiences see Chantal turn into a female drug pusher after falling victim to the corrupting influence of her boyfriend. The Line, which also starred Daniel Kash from RoboCop, On The Road, Cinderella Man and many more, was highly acclaimed in Canada and received the prestigious Gemini Award.

Seymour also recently starred in Lifetime’s dramatic thriller film The Husband She Met Online, as well as the science fiction film Rulers of Darkness.

Directed by Curtis Crawford, The Husband She Met Online dives into the horrors of online dating gone wrong, and follows Seymour in the role of Elise. Seymour costarred alongside several successful actors in the film, including Jason Gray-Stanford from A Beautiful Mind, Flags of Our Fathers and Monk, as well as Meredith Monroe from Minority Report, Dawson’s Creek, The Closer, The Mentalist and Criminal Minds.

In the film Rulers of Darkness, which was directed by Dale Windle and received the Royal Reel Award at the Canada International Film Festival, Seymour starred in role of Kelly. The film follows a young man as he searches for answers to his mother’s mysterious death, only to discover a terrifying entity in the woods, which threatens to take his life as well.

An incredible actress who’s diversity has landed her roles in a wide range of films and television shows, be sure to keep your eyes out for this unequivocal beauty.