Tag Archives: Mac Daddy’s Vegas Adventure

From Beauty Queen to Leading Lady On Screen

Actress Jane Kapriss
Actress Jane Kapriss shot by Bjoern Kommerell

 

It’s no secret that the media, and the general public for that matter, have a thing for beauty. We are mesmerized by beautiful things, places and of course, beautiful people. Ukrainian beauty Jane Kapriss seemed destined for the spotlight since a young age, and while she definitely achieved impressive success as a beauty queen, it’s her talent as an actress coupled with her stunning aesthete that has kept her in the public eye.

Over the years Jane has won countless beauty pageant titles such as the Miss Fashion Award at the Miss Teen International competition, Miss Pearl of the Ukraine from the Ukraine National Beauty Pageant, as well as being chosen as a top ten finalist at the Miss Teen World competition where she also took home the Brand Ambassador Award. But anyone who’s seen Jane’s performances as an actress, on both the screen and the stage, knows that she is much more than a pretty face.

Jane let us in on a funny story from her childhood, and it’s one that makes quite a bit of sense now, considering the career path she’s chosen. She recalls, “My parents still argue about my first word. In Russian the words ‘building crane’ and ‘movie screen’ are very similar. The difference is just the first letter. For some reason my first word was not mom or dad. My dad heard it as ‘building crane’ and he said it was a sign that I was gonna be an engineer. But my mom heard it as ‘movie screen’ and said that it was a sign that I was gonna be an actress. Now our friends who know the story say: well, we all know now what word she meant.”

Prior to moving the U.S. where her success has continued at record pace, Jane made a huge mark for herself Back home in Kiev, Ukraine with her lead role as Anastasiya in the 2008 comedy crime feature “Hand for Luck” aka “Ruka na Schaste.”

Since then Jane has become known for her stand-out performances in a plethora of films such as “Love Changes,” which was chosen as an Official Selection of the Odessa International Film Festival, Manhattan Film Festival and the Toronto Independent Film Festival, WIND International Film Festival Award winner Antonio Chavez Trejo’s (“Bloody Luck”) comedy crime film “Killer Tango,” as well as the film “Mac Daddy and the Lovers,” and the sequel “Mac Daddy’s Vegas Adventure,” which was released earlier this year.

Directed by Mac Jay, who plays the lead character Mac Giani, “Mac Daddy and the Lovers” follows the notorious Mac Daddy, a suave ladies man who seduces rich women and then robs them with the help of his two accomplices. While Mac Daddy doesn’t believe in love, his best friend Franco (played by Mario Novell) does; but unfortunately for Franco, his girlfriend Tina, played by Jane, is a ruthless gold digger who’s only with him for his money.

Jane says, “It was interesting. I personally disagree with her logic on so many levels so it was challenging and interesting to dive into her life to understand her and to be able to play her.”

Right before Franco is about to propose Tina dumps him for a wealthier man. Giving a knockout performance, Jane flawlessly breathes life into her conniving character making Tina an easy character to hate, one who also represents the reason Mac Daddy turned away from love in the first place.

After the successful release of “Mac Daddy and the Lovers,” which earned the Golden Reel Award from the Nevada International Film Festival in 2015, Jane was tapped once again to star in the sequel “Mac Daddy’s Vegas Adventure” where she acts alongside Madeleine Wade (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Sons of Anarchy”), Jacqui Holland (“My Best Friend’s Girl”) and C. Young Artist Award winner Thomas Howell (“The Outsiders,” “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” “Animal Kingdom”). This time Jane was cast in the critical role of Megan, and like the true chameleonic actress she is, she brings Megan to life in a way that it is so different from her character in the previous film that few could tell these characters are played by the same actress.

After finding love in the first film Mac Daddy takes himself out of the game, but when his accomplices continue his former racket without him in “Mac Daddy’s Vegas Adventure” Mac Daddy is forced to come to their rescue. After targeting the wrong woman and pissing off Vegas’ feared Italian mafia boss Alfieri (C. Thomas Howell), Mac Daddy’s accomplices find themselves in hot water. Realizing that his woman was susceptible to the con artists seduction tactics, Alfieri works out a deal with Mac Daddy to teach him his womanizing expertise in order to get a woman to really fall in love with him in exchange for sparing the life of his friend.

Jane’s character Megan comes onto the scene as the unassuming woman who Alfieri seduces into falling in love with him. “She shows that even the mafia lord can truly fall in love and second, that karma will find you no matter what,” says Jane about her character in the film.

While Jane Kapriss has made a name for herself on the big screen on an international scale, she is no stranger to the theatre. Over the years she’s performed starring roles in a number of productions across continents including “Dark Side of the Moon” at The Next Stage theatre in Los Angeles, “Something Outrageous” at the Michael Chekhov Theatre Company in New York, as well as “A Servant of Two Masters” and “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” in Ukraine.

It’s clear from Jane Kapriss’ impressive body of work over the past decade that her first word was without a doubt ‘movie screen’ and that’s exactly where she belongs.

 

Spotlight on Actress Birgit Ludemann

Birgit Ludemann
              Actress Birgit Ludemann shot by Charles Kovach

Whether on the stage or screen, there is one crucial ability that all of the most gifted and successful actors have in common. There are comedic actors, dramatic actors and those with a flair for action, but it’s those who can move from one genre to another without missing a beat who make their mark and capture the adoration of audiences. With each character she steps into, Birgit Ludemann displays that rare gift again and again.

Growing up in South Africa, Ludemann was just 12 years old when she knew that acting was to become her life’s pursuit. In the years since her first school performance in a Roald Dahl play, she’s gone on to tap into every facet of the human condition. From tragedy to comedy, the lifelike to the surreal, exhilarating to introspective, she has proven that no matter what the story is she can jump right into any role and deliver a knockout performance.

In Stay, Ludemann plays the best friend of a pregnant woman who goes into labor during her baby shower. The story turns tragic, however, when during labor the woman receives a phone call informing her that her husband has been shot and is dying. The woman is terrified, heartbroken and about to give birth, but Ludemann’s character continues to support and console her throughout the ordeal. What was already a difficult role emotionally was made even more challenging by the absence of spoken lines and the slow-motion style in which the film was shot. Ludemann’s performance had to walk the fine line between using only her movements and expressions to convey the story while being constantly aware of how each motion she made would appear when slowed down.

“There was no dialogue during the entire film, everything was purely physical,” she said. “The director wanted the finished edit to be in slow motion so I had to be very conscious of movements being too fast-paced or slow-paced. Also, as it was a heavily emotive-driven drama, portraying emotions strongly enough for them to read on camera in slow motion was different.”

Ludemann’s role as Suzanna in Fives is a huge shift from her character in Stay. Centered around an office romance, the film stars Alonso Grandio (Furious 7) as Eric and Melanie Steinmann (Mac Daddy’s Vegas Adventure, OddBall) as Eric’s love interest Meghan.

Suzanna is the “new girl” where Eric and Meghan work. She’s an attractive young woman, called a “7-out-of-10,” who catches the eyes of all the men in the office. All except Eric, who quickly hatches a scheme to use Suzanna to make Meghan jealous.

“Eric, the male lead, flirts with Suzanna in order to make another co-worker, Meghan, jealous,” explained Ludemann, whose character is by no means oblivious to the misguided plan. “Suzanna is fully aware of the situation and just plays along because she knows Eric and Meghan make a better couple than herself and Eric.”

On the surface Fives is a romantic comedy, but Ludemann chose to go deeper in her portrayal of Suzanna. She expertly conveyed Suzanna’s awareness of and confidence in her own beauty without making the character arrogant or unlikeable.

“One of the main challenges I faced playing this role was making sure the character did not come off as being cocky, narcissistic or vain,” she said.

Compared to the approach many of her peers might have taken, Ludemann went above and beyond in her commitment to preparing for the role. Both on- and off-camera, she was constantly focused on getting into the mindset of the beautiful and confident Suzanne. In order to embody the character, she learned what she could about the experiences attractive women had had working in office environments and incorporated what she learned into Suzanne’s onscreen personality.

“One of the themes this role highlights is the power women get from being good-looking, especially around the office space,” Ludemann said. “So that was one of the things I had to do some research on.”

Never one to become pegged down by genre, Ludemann is again stepping outside the familiar and pushing the boundaries of her acting experience. This time, she’s playing the role of Claudia in Mac Daddy’s Vegas Adventure, the sequel to the award-winning raucous comedy hit Mac Daddy and the Lovers (2013 Nevada International Film Festival’s Gold Reel Award). Audiences can catch Ludemann’s latest performance when Mac Daddy’s Vegas Adventure is released in spring 2016.