Cinematic Diplomacy: A Conversation with Alexander Nevsky
Alexander Nevsky’s latest film, Black Rose, blends horror, mystery, and action genres for a fresh take on cinematic Russian/American relations. His directorial debut gets rid of the tired, Cold War stereotype of the Soviet villain versus the US hero. Instead, Black Rose tells the story of Nevsky’s Russian Police Major, Vladimir Kazatov, working side by side with the LAPD to find a killer targeting young women in West Hollywood. This simple change in perspective facilitates a conversation about international diplomacy and the political realities of 2017, as we are confronted daily with questions about Donald Trump’s relationship to Vladimir Putin and whether Russia interfered with last year’s presidential election.
My conversation with Alexander introduces many of these serious themes, while getting to the heart of why Black Rose is one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen in a long time. We discuss Alexander’s early days as a bodybuilder and boxer, the inevitable comparisons to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone when he started acting, and how being a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press influences his approach to making movies. Alexander’s refusal to compromise his creative vision is inspiring. And that earnestness brings life to Black Rose. This interview will get you primed to see the film in theaters on April 28th or when it hits VOD platforms and iTunes on May 2nd. Alexander’s charisma and precise timing are supported by a talented cast, including Kristanna Loken, Adrian Paul, Robert Davi, and Matthias Hues, as well as the adept writing of Brent Huff and George Saunders. I give the film 5 out of 5 hairpieces for revising an old theme and ambitiously blending genres for a unique movie-going experience.
NOTE: The song used at the end of the podcast is “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” from War’s 1975 album of the same name.