Tag Archives: Actress

Spotlight: Dynamic Actress Manuela Osmont

Manuela Osmont
                                      Actress Manuela Osmont shot by Brian David

Dynamic actress Manuela Osmont’s stunning beauty is matched only by her ability to meld into character. Highly talented and experienced, Manuela has been at home on stage and behind the camera since the age of five. Raised and trained in four countries on three continents, her works run the proverbial gamut; from Gnossienne, a film which grapples with the subject of clinical depression, to the lighthearted Vice-Versa about a love triangle with a twist.

In the tragic and beautiful Gnossienne, which was recently accepted as an Official Selection of the Cannes Short Film Corner, Osmont plays the wife of a doctor. After the death of their first child, Osmont’s character becomes hopelessly depressed. The film follows her and her husband as she grapples with depression, and through the narrative the film examines one of the most prevalent mental illnesses in society.

“Each person is very singular about how they deal with grief and the loss of a child, and I enjoyed being able to experiment with my character’s vulnerable side,” said Osmont.

Osmont’s astounding ability to shift characters is seen in Mariana Can, where she plays the role of a prostitute who meets a writer and becomes his muse. The setting and cinematography take a surreal approach, making this film, like all of Osmont’s work, a cerebral and artistic examination of human emotion.

“I try and go for the roles with big moments and emotions that truly reflect how people behave,” Osmont said about choosing her roles. “I mostly try to do the projects that scare me the most. If I read a script and start to doubt my ability to do it, then I go for it. In my opinion, that’s what helps me grow.”

In Vice-Versa, Osmont plays a married woman who is having an affair; only, the woman she is seeing is also involved in a tryst with her husband. Osmont’s first comedic film role, Vice-Versa forced her out of her element; exactly what she loves in a role.

“I usually try and choose roles that I haven’t done,” Osmont said. “I don’t want to put myself in a box.”

In addition to her film experience, Osmont has spent practically her entire life on stage. Her repertoire includes roles such as Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Queen Margaret in Henry VI, Blanche Dubois in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire and Carol Cutrere in Orpheus Descending. Of her work on stage though, her most dynamic role was that of Sergei Upgobkin in Tony Kushner’s Slavs. The play centers on the fall of the USSR, with Osmont playing an old Bolshevik man.

“I had to work really hard to get the Russian accent right combined with the voice of an old man, which proved to be quite challenging, but a lot of fun nonetheless,” said Osmont, the consummate professional.

All of Osmont’s experience onstage and in front of the camera is compounded by her training at the renowned Cours Florent Acting School in Paris and UCLA’s Film School. A polyglot, Osmont fluently speaks French, Spanish and English, and is functional in German and Italian as well. With her diverse background Osmont is able to blend into almost any cross-cultural role.

“Because my father is French and my mother is Colombian, I am ethnically ambiguous; I get called in for European, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and sometimes even Indian parts,” said Osmont.

Her upcoming projects include Across The Desert, a film about a devoted sister spreading her brother’s ashes along a road trip; Smoking Gun, about a spy in the CIA who learns more than she’s supposed to; and Galleon, about the search for a shipwreck containing an enormous cache of treasure.

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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.

Canadian Star Kelsey Oluk

Kelsey Oluk
                                                                 Kelsey Oluk

A genuinely talented actress both on the stage and silver screen, Kelsey Oluk has proven time and time again the dynamic nature of her craft through the vast number of diverse roles she has taken on over the course of her career.

In the film My Little Girl Kelsey plays the starring role of a girl caught between the dilemma of no longer being a teenager and what it means to be a grown up. Kelsey explains, “On the morning of her 20-something birthday, my character wakes up hiding from herself, and the reality that another year has passed.”

A shy young thing confused by the fact that while her age keeps growing, she still feels like a child, the film is a beautiful display of self-discovery and the confusion most 20-somethings face in the wake of getting older.

While Kelsey’s character in the film My Little Girl shows the actress’s softer more vulnerable side, viewers have the opportunity to see her get under the skin of a totally different character in the film Secret Clubhouse. 

Much like the film My Little Girl, the film Secret Clubhouse also revolves around the fear that comes with transitioning into adulthood, however this time Kelsey undertakes the role of Natalie, the film’s supreme bitch. Nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award, the film follows an anxious 29-year-old named Shannon, played by Sara Hennessey, who flees a party after Kelsey’s character Natalie destroys her confidence with a cutting dialogue that hits like an iron-fist.

Aside from the films My Little Girl and Secret Clubhouse, Kelsey Oluk has starred in the films Ivadelle, Kenneyville, Crazytown, the documentary Look At What The Light Did Now, and the shows Goodbye Sara Hennessey and How To Be A Friend. 

A recognizable face in the Canadian entertainment industry, Ms. Oluk has also been in several Canadian public service announcements including “Taking Pulse,” which was sponsored by the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society’s “Julyna” PSA for Cervical Cancer Awareness, and the Autism Awareness PSA entitled “Carly’s Café.”

Although Kelsey has undoubtedly staked her claim as a highly sought after actress in the Canadian entertainment industry, she is also known on an international level for her extraordinary abilities as dancer.

Kelsey was chosen by multi-award winning choreographer Noémie Lafrance to dance in Feist’s music video for the song “1,2,3,4.” The video, which was also used for a commercial for Apple’s iPods Nano, was so successful that it received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Music Video, the Le Prix Victoire de la Music for Best Music Video of the Year, which is often referred to as the French Grammy, and a CAD Award in London, as well as garnered Noémie Lafrance the award for MVPA Music Video Production Award for Best Choreography.

Besides starring in the music videos for the songs “The Way It Should Be” by PLEX,   “Laces Out” by USS, “You got it” by George Leach, “PF” by Controller.Controller and “Do it in the Dark” by The Balconies, Kelsey also choreographed the video for The Balconies’ song “Boys and Girls,” which she danced in as well.

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.

 

 

 

 

Maria Patricia to Star in New Film ‘Blood Punch’!

Actress Maria Patricia in "Fruit Punch"
Actress Maria Patricia in “Fruit Punch”

Actress Maria Patricia is slated to star in the new feature-length film Blood Punch scheduled to begin filming this October. Blood Punch is the follow up to the film Fruit Punch in which Maria Patricia stars in the quirky role of Sophie, the female counterpart of a fruit punch obsessed couple that decides to rob their neighbor of his back stock of fruit punch after suffering from a grave shortage of their own.

Written and directed by Eva Yirou He, the film Blood Punch was inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, and was created to commemorate the film’s 20-year anniversary. Blood Punch continues the story line of Fruit Punch, which begins after the couple gets home from robbing their neighbor of his fruit punch and discovers two highly dangerous and professional robbers have made them their new target.

Audiences get a chance to see Maria Patricia’s knack for the horror genre in the film Host House, which was written and directed by Lok Hwa. The film follows Marla, played by Maria Patricia, an unassuming young woman who books a room on an Air BnB-esque website while in town for a job interview. Unfortunately, Marla’s host turns out to be a psycho killer who’s out for blood turning Marla’s brief stay into a suspenseful fight for survival.

“Maria Patricia was unstoppable in the role of Marla. I was amazed by how well she brought the character I wrote to life, she was even better than I imagined,” said Host House director Lok Hwa.

Maria Patricia also starred in the film noir Avinyó 36, which was shot in Barcelona, Spain. Directed and produced by renowned Austrian artist Verena Grundhammer, Avinyó 36 follows Maria Patricia in the exciting role of Helga, a German native living in Francoist Spain during the 1950’s. Making her character even more dynamic, Helga is a single mother who provides for her three-year-old daughter by working as a professional hit-woman.

“When I arrived in Barcelona, I had not seen the script yet…. So I worked on building my character, Helga, around the clock. I spent hours discussing the role with the writer and director off set in order to bring their vision alive, and find my character’s motivations to be able to kill for a living,” said actress Maria Patricia.

“Apart from that I translated the whole script from Spanish to German on our off days because the writer only spoke Spanish, but my character and her child had a couple of scenes in German. So all in all it was a very busy shoot where I wore a lot of different hats.”

 Check out actress Maria Patricia in the trailer for Avinyó 36 below.