The Verdict On Godzilla vs. Kong: Is It Worth Your Time And Money??

Screenshot from Warner Bros. Pictures’ YouTube Channel

Decades ago, these two gigantic monstrous creatures battled it out in an epic crossover film and left fans starved for years and years to see them duke it out in an updated cinematic slugfest. Warner Bros had found new success by rebooting Godzilla and King Kong by starting their own cinematic monster universe. All the previous 3 films had built up to this moment when Kong and Godzilla would meet and fight and update the legendary clash of titans with today’s modern technology and effects. Despite speed bumps here and there and the last Godzilla film, “King of the Monsters” being the most financially disappointing; Warner Bros and horror director Adam Wingard brought their last hurrah to life and closed out their ‘Monsterverse’ with the grandest of grand finales in the Godzilla, long believed to be the protector of the human world, has been lashing out at a tech company and destroying anything and anyone in his way; seemingly without rhyme or reason. A researcher and a Titan expert (Alexander Skarsgård and Rebecca Hall) are tasked with bringing King Kong from Skull Island to the mainland in hopes of returning him home to the fabled home of the titans ‘Hidden earth’ before Godzilla finds him and starts an epic battle that will decimate everything. When the two titans clash, questions are answered and new mysteries discovered. A research team discovers a dark secret that could prove to be even worse than Godzilla or Kong and must be stopped before all of humanity falls to the Titan’s path of destruction.

I had high hopes for this battle. Crossover monster fight films are a rare genre but one that I enjoy when it comes up (Freddy vs. Jason, Alien vs. Predator, etc). However, I also had high hopes for the second r4eboot of Godzilla when Warner Bros first announced they were doing another American Godzilla film and in both cases, I was sorely disappointed. “Godzilla vs. Kong” is, in a way, everything you hoped from a film like this but it’s also everything that is horribly wrong with this whole ‘Monsterverse’ amplified over 9000. Make no mistake, this is a fight focused movie so you expect the fighting to be pretty epic and grandiose, and it is. When Godzilla and Kong do throw down it lives up to your expectations, the environment and creativity behind their bombastic brawling is a spectacle to enjoy on every possible level.

The trouble is, you still have to wade your way through some substandard human characters spouting jacked-up exposition gibberish as they gawk and watch the monsters fight. Everyone is here for the monsters, not the human characters, that is painfully clear from the beginning and it never gets any better. People don’t feel like people in this film, they act like 3rd rate clichés who serve no purpose except to explain what is happening or why it’s happening. There’s no depth or humanity to any one of these so-called characters. I don’t remember anyone’s name or what they were like or even what their motive was, nor do I care. It also doesn’t help that they are written in a way where they talk about such absurdly stupid concepts like having a dragon skull operate a robot or energy sources in hidden kingdoms inside of Earth in such a serious and dramatic way.

The film overcomplicates the simplest things, as if having two giant animals beat the crap out of each other wasn’t compelling enough. The original film from the 1970’s simplified things in such a way that it made sense but it also didn’t take itself too seriously and admitted how silly things could and should get. There was never a need to make Godzilla and Kong species natural rivals, the film just extends itself to create explanations that come off as stupid rather than logical. If there’s one thing the original monster movies got it’s that less is more. You don’t need epic reasons or anything sensible like that, just a decent, tolerable cast and two monsters fighting and boom: you got yourself a good time. But this, this failed attempt to replicate and escalate the magic of the original film just proves that you don’t always need everything explained. Sometimes you just want to see two monsters fight and sadly, “Godzilla vs. Kong” clearly never understood that.

Rating: 2 stars out of 4 

It’s Official: Buddy-Comedy ‘Carmen and Bolude’ Receives Development Funding

“Best friends Carmen and Bolude travel from Harlem, NYC to Sydney, Australia, where they have ten days to collect 100 ‘welcomes’ so that Bolude’s traditional Nigerian father will agree to let her marry an Australian.”

‘Carmen & Bolude’ is not only relevant to the current public discourse on identity politics, it is also a hilariously entertaining story that showcases the unique gifts of multicultural Australia.

This might not be a biography, but it is most certainly based on true events. No doubt it was the authentic reflection of friendship and adventure that stole the hearts of Screen Australia’s decision-makers.

What makes the project even more powerful and compelling is the fact that the story is centered around how racial and cultural identity is affected by context, questions which the all-female, multicultural creative team has had to grapple with throughout their lives. The film will star Nigerian-Australian Bolude Watson and Latin American-Australian Michela Carattini, will be directed by Penelope Berkemeier and produced by Yolandi Franken and Michela Carattini.

“We’re excited because we know of no feature film which similarly represents mixed-race experiences, despite people with multiracial backgrounds making up a significant portion of the world’s population. To our knowledge, neither have the African female or Latina experiences been represented in an Australian feature,” says Carattini.

The film is fresh and funny, as it follows the two protagonists who, in the course of the film, learn to successfully integrate multiple cultural and race identities within themselves, their relationships and their intergenerational and international communities.

The screenplay for Carmen & Bolude was born when friends Carattini and Watson, an AACTA Award candidate and nominee respectively, teamed up to write their story which, shortly after, won the Mango Tree Story/Hubscript Live Read Session. Now having received Generate Development Funding from Screen Australia for the 2020/2021 round, the film is expected to go into production next year.

Not since ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ has there been a film which normalises close, contemporary relationships (“sisterhood”) between women of different races on equal footing, and not since ‘Crocodile Dundee’ has there been a film that geographically plays into the highly influential cultural relationship between America and Australia – but this time the experience is turned on its head through the perspectives of multicultural women. The film is fresh and funny, as it follows the two strong female protagonists who, in the course of the film, learn to successfully integrate multiple cultural and race identities within themselves, their relationships and their intergenerational and international communities.

While likely being Australia’s first film to incorporate Nollywood (Nigerian Hollywood) story concepts, this film does not whitewash the BIPOC experience, rather it integrates realism and empathy with comedy and adventure. The film responds to the current racially charged environment with the accessibility of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ and ‘The Bird Cage’. Furthermore, the film reflects Australia as it truly is, one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world, by way of a unique, story-driven tour of Sydney’s unseen geographies and ethnicities.

“The story of ‘Carmen & Bolude’, as well as the project itself, brings together all cultures and all races into one umbrella of humanity. It sets an example of equality and unity among us ALL. It is a story about what COULD and SHOULD happen in the middle, where all cultures come together,” says Franken.

Rising Star To Watch Out For In 2021: Introducing The Beautiful Rupanty Akid

Rupanty Akid is a Sydney-based actress and model. Her acting agent is PG’s, and modelling agent is Royalle Modelling. Although residing in Australia, she’s filmed several notable works overseas consisting of TV shows and telefilms, such as ‘Hello Bangladesh’. In Australia, she is currently filming for Marvel’s next Thor movie which is set to release in 2022.’

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Rupanty to discuss her journey as an actress and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about acting?

I love that through me, other creatives are able to present their work. The writers get to see their character come to life, the directors get to experiment with different ways for me to portray a scene. The DOP sees me through their lens for an aesthetic shot. For me, the best thing about being an actor is to become many people’s medium to express their creativity.

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

To be honest, in one word – nepotism. I grew up on sets and backstages as most of my relatives were working in the media. But that was just how I got started and interested. The rest was up to me to put in the hard work and hours to get myself jobs here in Australia. I think a lot of people just see the word “nepotism” and immediately have negative associations with it, but they don’t understand the number of auditions, castings, training, and working on sets that you actually have to experience yourself before you might start to get noticed.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

I recently filmed for Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” and that was a great learning experience for me. There was such a huge crew and everyone worked so efficiently together. Myself and other actors were managed really well during the very long shoot days. I’m not allowed to talk about my role or the amazing costumes and cool set, but definitely will be worth the wait when Thor releases in 2022!

What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?

My biggest challenge when acting overseas in another language is that it’s hard to improvise on the spot, whereas I can easily improvise in English. In many projects, I had to speak Bengali and the native speakers can always tell I have an accent. This has led to me being “typecast” into roles of the foreigner or tourist etc. so I am now improving my accent through a lot of conversations with some great friends and also watching Kolkata-made films. But just as people can’t pick up an “Aussie” accent overnight, it’s the same with me trying to practice another language.

What are your strong points as an actor?

I’m very adaptable to any situation and I can really understand what the directors want out of me, even when they don’t know how to explain it properly. It’s really important for any actor to be able to take any direction asked of you. I think also physically, I have a face that is extremely versatile with looks. I can look like a totally badass villain if I want to, but I can also look like a naive innocent if needed.

What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

I guess the biggest lesson I learned was “never go to acting school”. It’s something no course provider wants people to know as it is nowadays pitched as a necessity. Honestly from my experience, I have learned so much from being on sets than all the courses I took as a child. Including learning from all the bad experiences. For example, I once worked with a director who was absolutely drunk and still kept us working until 3 am most mornings, but I learned a lot from that which I wouldn’t have experienced in a class. There are so many different skill sets and traits you pick up from just constantly working with different personalities, different mentalities – and I don’t think there are any shortcuts to gaining real-life experience by packing it into materials for a semester.

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

Definitely the rejections. But you just have to remember not to take it personally, or else you will break. In most jobs, you get paid by the hour from when you start working. With acting, you have to constantly travel to auditions and castings which you’ll rarely hear back from. Spend hours on casting websites applying everywhere. Often work for student films or other unpaid gigs which may get you showreel material and potentially paid roles. In the creative industry, there’s a lot more time spent honing your craft and getting your work out there, before hoping to make a living out of it.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

Interpretation. It’s amazing how words on a script have no meaning by themselves, but different people will interpret them in different ways. It comes down to my perspective of the character and the director’s vision of it, then finding a middle ground that works best for the project. The most challenging part is the whole process and work going behind the character being built, before actually standing in front of the camera.

What do you do when you’re not filming?

I’m always working even when I’m chilling on my phone. For example; researching all the casting directors around the world for open calls, noting the trending “actor” hashtags of the day for higher engagement, jotting down ideas for my own scripts further down the line, scheduling future posts, editing videos for Reels/Showreel, etc. There’s always something I’m doing related to the media, even when I’m not actually working.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

There have been many but most recently. I just finished a course at Modelle Academy and I was very inspired by George Bastoli, especially as we had both been introduced to the media as kids through a relative and then stayed interested enough to make a career out of it. George taught us, students, a lot about the modelling industry whereas previously, I was only familiar with the acting side of things. He is very motivating, has accomplished huge things and at a young age so it was very interesting.

What are your future plans?

Currently, I am sponsoring one child in Bangladesh through Jaago Foundation, and my goal is to extend this in the future to help many more children when I’m able to. I would love to continue growing my career through media works; with hopefully bigger projects in Hollywood and also, modelling for bigger brands in the fashion industry. Eventually, I think I’ll end up working behind the camera, either producing or creating but still staying connected to the media world.

Meet The Rising Star Behind The Latest Issue Of FilmCentral Magazine: The Incredible Ruensito

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Growing up in between the favelas of Mexico City and Michoacán de Ocampo, this Latin artist got rhythm in his veins. Selena, Thalia, and other Latin pop stars helped him survive his surroundings and dream of stardom like his worldwide idols. Dancing in front of the mirror since he was 3 years old, a career in entertainment was the obvious choice for this loud kid.

Now living in Beirut, in the heart of the Middle East, this happy-go-lucky artist is creating a unique mix of hot Latin and chill Mediterranean vibes and building bridges between cultures by telling the stories of a global community united through his music.

As 2020 went down in history, it seemed the more the hardships, the more Ruensito was determined to be creative and push back the negativity. The year saw Ruensito’s dream become reality after the launch of his first song “Me Corono” which rose to the top quite fast and positioned in the Top #4 Latino chart on Anghami. The song also went around the world on Spotify accumulating more than 250 thousand reproductions around 85 countries. An amazing international audience that during the same year also welcomed his first book “Seven Moms” and that now is ready to receive all the love put on his latest song “Mi casa es tu casa.”

“With a laid-back vibe and acoustic sound, “Mi casa es su casa” it’s a reminder for us of what being home feels like” – Ruensito.

The song is a catchy Latin anthem characterized by traditional mariachi trumpets and mellow acoustic guitars. It’s an invitation for everyone to celebrate Mexican culture, its traditions, and its people, and it will transport you all the way to the warm streets of Ruensito’s busy town where you will shout ¡VIVA MEXICO!

What is this artist about? Love, friendship, and a good time wherever you may be on earth. If you want to know where that inspiration drives for life this versatile artist read between the lines on his blog “My Life Story” on www.ruensito.com.

FilmCentral magazine recently caught up with Ruensito to discuss his journey in the entertainment industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get started in the music industry?

It all started 10 years ago while I was still in school, I released my first single “Adorarte” accompanied by a music video that went viral on YouTube, at the dawn of the social media age.

But even though it did well I decided to take it down after not having the strength to deal with some bullying comments around it. I had wrongly focused more on the negative comments than the actual positive ones, and it literally put a stop to my dream of a music career. Instead, I focused on what I knew I was good at, which back then was studying. And it wasn’t till May 2020 during the lockdown that I decided to stop the little voices in my head and go for it with my first song “Me corono”. That’s when the real fun began.

How were you actually discovered?

Funny story, but I think that during the Corona lockdown last year while I was forced to fill my time between four walls, I started concentrating on singing again. I just couldn’t stop thinking about what I wanted to do with my life and my dreams of singing. So after some work, in collaboration with La Kate studio in Mataro Barcelona, we brought to life my first single “Me corono”.

This is when the magic happened. This song brought so much joy to my life. It travelled to more than 90 countries and rose to the top quite fast on Anghami, TV shows, radio, billboards and it put me in the spotlight not only in Mexico but in Lebanon too.

What do you like the most about being a singer?

I am a storyteller, and I believe that each song is a story to be shared. And I’m just in love with the whole process. From the excitement of having the initial idea of the song, to how it develops and then completed and recorded – It’s unbelievable! The excitement of recording in the studio… this excitement just increases especially if there is a video clip involved. The whole experience is like being high 24/7. You never get tired and you feel just like a kid having fun. The whole creative process gives me life, it’s really something that fulfills me in every way.

Can you tell us about your latest release?

Well If you haven’t been cheated on before, with this song you’ll know exactly how it feels like. CIEN X CIEN (100 x 100) is a Latin Urban / Romantic Ballad track that talks about love’s hurtful side. It’s about a guy who just got cheated on and goes through a rollercoaster of emotions. First the anger, and then to an “I don’t care” “ok it’s fine”, ending up asking for forgiveness to get his love back. It’s a whole journey not only in the lyrics but also in the melody. You go from the rock to the soft chill beats to a delightful melody that slows down the whole track and then takes you back to the ecstasy of our beating hearts.

What sort of person is going to love your music?

My music is for everyone who’s young and fun. But if I have to label it then I can tell you that I connect with anyone who loves life, lives life to the fullest, dreams big, and loves to dance and laugh. You know the saying the best things in life are free? That’s how it feels whenever you listen to my music. I think that my music can speak to anyone who has no judgment and no boundaries – they live their lives without giving a sh*t about what others are doing with their own. How do you call them? Free spirits? Yeah, free spirits.

What inspires you to be creative?

Having fun! Most of the time I feel more creative when I’m just having fun, laughing, and being free. Also traveling is another thing that helps my mind to get out of its cage. Reading, people… inspiration can come from anywhere. We just have to pay attention.

Is there anything special that you do to get into a creative mindset?

I don’t have any creative process I follow. Things just pop up in my head. But I like to feel; whichever emotion I’m feeling, I try to feel it to the max. By doing this, by never repressing my emotions, I learned how to completely let myself go and live in the moment. That is how I connect with everything around me, with my true self. It’s a double-edged sword, but it’s also the mark of a creative artist.

What message, if any, do you try to put into your work?

Positivity, love, and kindness. I know every person out there has their own struggles, even If we don’t get to see them. And I know from my own experience that behind every smile there is plenty of sad moments, hurt, and unhealed wounds, so I try to be a kind human being.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

So far, each moment of this career is coming with different surprises. Each song has brought different experiences that I try to live to the maximum. I’ve met new people, connected with fans, and discovered how much Latin music is really loved around the world. But most importantly, each song has taught me a lot… and for me, this is something memorable – constant learning and constant growth.

Do you ever find yourself unable to express your creativity to the fullest? What kinds of things inhibit you?

Yes, I’m no different than any person, insecurities are present all the time. But day by day I try to fight them and get more secure in my artistic decisions. I also try to surround myself with people that love me and that I trust. So in them, I also find the strength required sometimes to overcome fear.

Who is your greatest influence?

The love of my life. Being in a relationship with the most incredible person has been by far my greatest influence. It has taught me about the real meaning of love, partnership, comprehension, support and so many more values that mold me to be the human being I am now. And the best thing is, I still have plenty of time to learn from it.

Do you feel that you chose your passion or did it choose you?

I think it goes both ways. Singing has been a dream of mine since I can remember, it chose me a long time ago. But life circumstances were always getting in my way every time I tried to follow my dream and that kept me apart from it. But now, I’ve decided to choose it too. We finally merge and coincide in time. Because now I’ve come to realize that I have no other option but to do whatever it is that makes me happy.

If you hadn’t chosen your field, what would your alternate field have been?

I’m DRAMA personified. Acting absolutely!

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it

For now, I wanna keep exploring the arts. Keep writing and singing and at some point, I want to direct a music video. Who knows? Even do a movie adaptation of my book.

The ‘Lightning Fast’ round:

What do you consider beautiful and why? Sunset… it means that another day will come tomorrow.

What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Acting. I used to do musical theater but I stopped and now I still dream of being in a movie or a series and hopefully one day I’m going to be able to do it.

Complete this sentence: if I had no fear I’d …” Be the best version of myself.

What is one flaw you wouldn’t change about yourself? Thinking with my heart. Being extremely emotional and exposing myself that much to emotions. I think a lot with my heart, and I let emotions control my actions. This can sometimes be such a stupid way to go for things, leaving the reasoning on the side can make you do big mistakes. But you know what? I love being that way, because that’s how I’m able to understand emotions the way I do.

Rising Star Spotlight: Find Out More About Tom Gay From The USA

Amidst the backdrop of a worldwide pandemic, the American screen industry shifted its gears and moved its production to Australia. At the thick of the action is Tom Gay from the USA, a familiar face gracing the Australian and American television screens during these unprecedented times.

Chances are, you have seen Tom being an absolute joy in the Samsung/Telstra adverts or jumping into a glass of Coca-Cola in the Sensodyne advert. Perhaps, speaking the iconic Australian line, “That’s why I pick Woolies,” playing a father figure in the new Woolworths Discovery Garden commercial.

With his grit and his magnetic attitude, he scored television appearances for Australian household brands, which propelled him to national recognition. His signature curly hair, electric blue glasses, and energetic persona caught many directors’ eyes. The adverts caused a domino effect, which led to his growing recognition amongst the Australian public. 

“Many people have stopped me in the streets, I had an 80-year-old woman come up to me after eating lunch last week and said, ‘I love that ad with you and the Telstra dog.” Tom said, “People would even pose and take photos of the adverts I’m in around the city and send them to me. I seriously love receiving these!”

Due to this unique circumstance, his presence is ubiquitous on American screens, appearing on television such as the H&R Block commercial and the newest iconic game show, Name That Tune, without leaving Australia. Talk about being in two places at once!

His advert appearance in the H&R Block commercial, currently airing in the US, was directed by Micheal Gracey, Director of The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron. Tom said, “It was an honour to learn from such a talented director.”

Tom also appeared as a contestant on Name that Tune, which is currently airing on the FOX network and HULU in the USA—hosted by Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) and bandleader Randy Jackson (former American Idol judge). The show challenges Tom to dig deep into his wealth of music knowledge and identify specific songs for a chance to win a jackpot of cash.

Although you can easily typecast Tom as the eccentric, fun-loving character based on his television appearances, he can be serious when it comes to business and his media career. Not only is Tom an actor and model, but he is also a marketing guru as his latest project is managing the world’s largest inflatable theme park, The Big Bounce Australia, soon to expand to New Zealand.

With his extensive background in fashion and modelling, Tom has showcased us with his modelling expertise on the show Miss Multiverse Australia, which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and Tubi. He is the co-host and judge with Yolandi Franken. The series centres around beautiful, multifaceted women from around the country through a series of challenges until one woman is crowned Miss Multiverse Australia. 

Tom attributes his success to his partner, friends, and family, especially his mother, affectionately known as Mama Gay. 

His mother is the biggest cheerleader when it comes to Tom pursuing his dreams. “I remember a Runway Fashion Show I was in. From the silence of the crowd, the moment that I walked on stage my mum started cheering, not embarrassed at all, my serious model face turned into the brightest smile!” said Tom.

“My parents have always encouraged me to pursue my career goals whether it was in marketing, sports, modelling, television or film, even outside of the US.”

Despite leaving everything behind in the USA a few years back, Tom still has such a strong connection to home.

The rising star, Tom Gay from the USA, continues to make an impression within both the Australian and American screen industries. 

You can also follow him on Instagram and Facebook @TomGayUSA to keep up with his endeavours.

Producing a Movie, Television commercial, TV Show, or simply in need of a model? Look no further, you can book Tom Gay through his newly launched website to find out more.

Meet The Rising Stars Behind The Latest Issue Of FilmCentral Magazine: Winston and Sitara Vengapally

Photo Credit: Alex Matt
MUAH & Stylist: Daniel Cartagena
Designer: Polo

Winston Vengapally is an up-and-coming actor as well as a comedian. He was recently seen in the movie: “Big Feat” as well as in the music video of “Be Legendary” as the lead singer’s child version. He is currently represented by multiple agents and managers around the world.

Sitara Vengapally is a 12-year-old actress, and one of the most sponsored kids on social media. She recently booked a guest star appearance on a Netflix hit series (name under NDA) which is scheduled to shoot in a few weeks. She also starred on Netflix’s “Magic for Humans” as well as in the movie: “Big Feat.” Sitara is represented in several markets around the globe and she’s also an Instagram star as well as a favourite to many famous brands. In fact, she has been sponsored by brands such as Chi Hair, Target, Shein, Pat Pat, Vtech, and many more.

FilmCentral Magazine recently did an exclusive interview with Winston and Sitara’s mother and “momager” Meeta Vengapally and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself? How did your kids get started in the entertainment industry?

I am a businesswoman, influencer, writer, and I manage both of my kids: Winston and Sitara Vengapally. They actually got started by accident, I was invited to speak at a business panel at a convention center in a hotel and there was a Disney open call audition happening next door. I was there with my husband and both kids and we planned on spending the night there. As we checked into the hotel, the lady beside us happened to be a casting director and asked me if we were there for the Disney open call. I said no and told her we were there for the business convention. She said hello to the kids and wanted to know if they would like to attend the open call. Kids had a blast meeting everyone and with the entire experience. They caught the bug once they read the short script provided to them and wanted to explore the path. The rest is history.

What do they enjoy most about acting?

Their favorite is the experience of living the life of many different characters. In one project they are playing superheroes with special powers and in another, they are planning a mischievous escape from school. I think the variety of genres (comedy, drama, thriller) keeps their imaginations at their peak. As an actor, you never really know what role will get thrown at you and you just have to be ready for anything. This is one of the things I work with both kids on a daily basis, practicing and honing in on emotions including happiness, sorrow, anger, and how to cry on demand.

They also enjoy the journey wholeheartedly, they have met so many amazing people from famous A-list celebrities to famous producers and directors and then of course their fellow actors. They love to train together with their fellow actors.

What are their weak points when it comes to acting? How do they try to improve them?

I think one of the challenges for every actor is how to quickly change characters, as it requires an entire emotional shift and then finding that place where it feels true to be in the role. They work on this with their coach and by playing a wide range of roles. This is definitely a work in progress and with more experience they will improve their craft.

What are their strong points as an actor?

Winston and Sitara both are quick learners and take directions very well. I say this based on the feedback they’ve received from the directors, producers that have worked with them on different projects. Another strong trait that I think is really amazing is that they tackle every role, character, project, without losing their natural instinct. There are choices that actors have to make at any given moment and I admire how Winston and Sitara allow their intuition to guide them vs. faking something they are not.

What have they learned from the directors and industry experts that you have worked with throughout your career?

They were only 9 and 10 when they got started in this business, I think the key takeaways they have learned at such an early age is that politeness, kindness, and working hard takes you far. They have heard countless stories from famous directors and other industry experts on how they got started and it has a humbling factor on them to learn that everyone starts at ground level. It is so easy to get discouraged and disappointed in this business like you have your heart set on a project, and you work your butt off but you don’t book. One thing both kids have heard repeatedly from everyone they’ve had the honor to work with or meet in their journey is to keep going and not give up.

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

The biggest challenge of this business is that you can’t get your hopes up on any project. I continue to train my kids to put in their 1000% effort in each audition and as soon as that audition is over, forget about it. It is so easy to get tied up in thinking if you did well or not or if there was just feedback that can be provided. Unfortunately, in this industry, no news is bad news. You only hear back from casting or producers if they liked what they saw. However, in our case, these kids stay extremely busy. They sometimes get multiple auditions daily so it keeps them going. For us, the challenge is the juggling act, which I guess is a good problem to have.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

For my kids, it is almost always finding a link/bridge to their personal life in one way or the other. Most of the time the scripts are relatable but occasionally they’ll get something completely out of the blue like the character is an orphan living in an orphanage and the script is surrounding those emotions. In such cases, whats helped them is to create a story in their personal life about something/someone similar and living through that. It always helps when they can visualize the character in real life and then work backward if you know what I mean.

What do they do when they are not on set?

These guys are always filming, seriously. They each have so much filming equipment at home. They are also Top Video Creators on IGTV, so they make content for Instagram regularly as well, including sponsored content. Aside from that, they both love to play competitive sports. Winston plays in a Basketball competition and Sitara is in a Soccer competition. When not on set, they are with their teams practicing and playing games. They also love to play with their friends (who they see occasionally, depending on their schedule). Biking, gaming, and just hanging out on the front porch with their pals is still a fav for both.

What has been the most memorable experience of their career so far?

The most memorable experience is definitely their first big booking. For Winston, it was a show for Comedy Central, and for Sitara, it was her project for a Netflix series. Winston met some amazing actors on set and they are good friends since then. For Sitara, it’s also the people she met but also the amazing wardrobe, jewelry, make-up, etc. She enjoyed every bit of it all.

How do you help your children plan for the future? Inside their acting career or out of it.

I love this question. The way I see their acting endeavor is equivalent to any sports kids play. The only difference is that they are working in this industry vs. if it were any other industry they don’t work till they are adults. I see it as they can get bored of this any day. Because they are in business and are learning what commitment, building relationships, and hard work look like I think it’s vital for them to receive ongoing training to stay solid. I have a simple strategy in place that I use with them daily. Each time they receive an audition, I offer them an out. This helps remove the pressure like feeling where they feel like that’s too much work and it also provides a reality check. It places the responsibility of all the work required to put onto them but also makes them think hard and reevaluate their commitment and intentions. Mind you, getting an audition is only half the equation, there is an insane amount of effort and work that goes into executing it successfully. By offering them an out it becomes evident how much their heart is into it. I have to say, I get stronger and more genuine performances since I started doing this.

Actress To Watch Out For In 2021: Introducing The Beautiful Vanessa Davis

Vanessa Davis entered the entertainment industry at the young age of sixteen. Her passion for performing has earned her numerous roles in film and television over the years. She has also studied at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM) where she got her degree in Musical Theatre. Soon after Vanessa realised her love was acting and begun studying at Actors Pulse Sydney which lead to her landing her first television role. Vanessa is best known for her role in the much-celebrated Logie award-winning Australian TV series franchise ‘Housos’.

During the 2020 pandemic, Vanessa revisited her role on Housos to launch their latest series ‘Housos Vs the Virus’ that aired last October on 7MATE. She has recently wrapped filming on her series “Don’t Tell My Wife” and is looking forward to starting working with the cast and crew on ‘Our Friend Flint’ and her other upcoming projects for 2021. Vanessa lives in Sydney and is proudly represented by power agency GTE | GLOBAL TALENT ENTERPRISE.

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Vanessa to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

My mum says that from the moment I was born I was an entertainer. For me, it all began when I was in Year 10 when my drama teacher told me I had to audition for Mrs. Hangian in the production of Annie. I was a competitive 400m runner at the time with dreams of the Olympics
rather than being an actor. On opening night it turned out I was a natural and received a standing ovation and that was it, I was hooked.

What do you like most about acting?

My favourite thing is getting to become a character that is totally different from myself. There is nothing greater than being able to ‘step into someone else’s shoes’, take on their feelings and emotions, and do and say things that I wouldn’t typically do and say in my own life. That’s an amazing thing about acting, becoming someone totally different and at the end of the day I get to step away and be myself again after experiencing all these new things.

How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a TV series? And which one do you prefer?

I absolutely love both and while there are many similarities, there are all subtle differences. With a TV show, you film out of sequence a lot more, you do this as well for movies but sometimes it can be harder to connect with your character emotionally when you can start Ep.1 then jump to filming Ep. 5. Having to constantly jump between my character’s process is more of a challenging emotional journey.

What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?

One of my weak points as an actor is my modesty, I’m just no good at it… just kidding. Actually, it’s probably the fact that when I’m lacking a sense of balance in real life, this can occasionally travel over into my acting but that is also part of being human and the journey of being in someone else’s emotional ‘shoes’.

What are your strong points as an actor?

I am fearless brave, unique, determined, spontaneous, and love what I do very, very much.

What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

That the director is the person who decides how the story should be and there are many ways and styles to tell a story. A big thank you to Paul Fenech, Kevin Khachan, Jay Peacock, and Samantha Serhan, just to name a few, for all they have taught me and for being a great source of inspiration.

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

Trying to mold yourself to someone else’s vision or criteria is somewhat challenging. There are many traps and pitfalls in this industry however I am very lucky to have great representation and management who genuinely ‘have my back’ and go above and beyond to develop, promote and nurture my career.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

The most challenging part about bringing a script to life is keeping within the standards of the character/script that someone else has created but also adding my own level of depth so I can truly inhabit the character and tap into them on an emotional level.

What do you do when you’re not filming?

I love to shop, my sister, who is an incredibly talented and successful Australian fashion designer loves clothes and especially designer fashion dresses and I guess we share that passion for fashion to some extent. I do work incredibly hard so when I’m not, I take pleasure in the simple things like spending quality time with my partner and our dog Churro, spending time with my amazing sister and my family, and my secret love of pretending to be a mermaid.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Getting on a bus and seeing my face on it and being on the big screen was an absolute insane moment.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

The fans, they are absolutely incredible and truly make it all worthwhile. The support and devotion of Australian audiences and people around the world is incredible.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Definitely, 80’s young Goldie Hawn with a tan.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

Outside of my career, it is the simple pleasures of life… marriage, kids, and family. In terms of my career, just to continue to develop and grow as an actor and be the best possible actor that I can be. My best-case scenario is to be recognised by my peers in some capacity for my hard work and abilities and the dream would be to one day win an award for best actress in a major motion picture. In the meantime, I just want to be a part of making truly great films and television and to continue to do what I love.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Sorry, but it has to be Housos vs Authority.
2. What do you consider beautiful and why? The ocean because its moving art.
3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Write, direct and star in my own series/film.
4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” pack my bags and swim to an island with my partner and churro the dog/
5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? That I’m competitive.

Actress To Watch Out For In 2021: Introducing The Talented Brie Jurss

Brie Jurss is an Australian actor, producer, and voice actor who is passionate about connection and story. Brie has worked all over Australia. performing and teaching young people for The Grin & Tonic Theatre Troupe & Mashed Theatre. In 2019, Brie produced and performed in ‘FLOOD’ by Chris Isaacs which was an award-winning production a part of Anywhere Theatre Festival in Brisbane. Her array of skills helped get her selected by La Boite Theatre Company to perform a rehearsed reading in September, developing new Australian work – ‘Motive’ by Emily Burton & Steve Pirie.

Off the screen and stage, Brie loans out her voice to companies such as Suncorp and Queensland Writers Centre for their individual campaigns as a freelance voiceover artist. In 2020, Brie and her husband launched their own production company. Imperfect Creatives is designed to provide quality content for creatives at affordable prices. Brie is a proud member of M.E.A.A and currently sits on the Actors Equity branch council.

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Get To Know Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Actress Jacqueline Piñol

Multi-lingual, Latinx firecracker actress and video game veteran, Jacqueline Piñol is back as ‘Rio Morales,’ the mother of Miles Morales in “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.”

Picking up a year after the events of Marvel’s Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps, superhero hopeful Miles Morales has gained spider-like powers himself and looks to become the newest web-slinger of New York City under the guidance of his mentor, Peter Parker. Later after his training with Peter is complete, Miles has fully integrated himself into the black and red suit as an experienced Spider-Man while defending both his new home in Harlem and the rest of New York City from a gang war between the energy corporation, Roxxon and a high-tech criminal army, known as the Underground, lead by the Tinkerer. Parker tells Miles that he has to be like his late father and walk on the path to becoming a hero for the city of New York. Jacqueline brings to life ‘Rio Morales,’ the mother of protagonist and hero Miles Morales. She’s a strong and encouraging presence in Miles’ life whose support helps Miles keep his head above water when he feels overwhelmed. In this new story, ‘Rio’ has entered the political race, and is campaigning for office in Harlem against the nefarious power company Roxxon, which opens her up to a whole new world of attacks and danger.

Amazon Prime’s hit series “Bosch” follows the life of Los Angeles police detective ‘Harry Bosch’ who works to solve the murder of a thirteen-year-old boy while standing trial in federal court for the murder of a serial killer. Jacqueline brings to life ‘Detective Julie Espinosa’ a detective that works in the Robbery-Homicide Division of the LAPD.

The Latin beauty was born in Queens and moved to Los Angeles at a young age with her parents and 2 sisters. A determined child, Piñol always knew she wanted to be an actress. While attending Beverly Hills High School, she was busy early on with commercial jobs and landed her first television role as Ricky Martin’s younger sister on “General Hospital.” She went on to attend college at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and continued to pursue her dreams. Her resume grew quickly, landing major roles on popular shows including “Ponderosa,” “Resurrection Blvd,” “CSI: New York,” “Lincoln Heights” and many more. A woman that can do it all, Piñol has also excelled as a voiceover actress in feature films such as BRIDE WARS (Anne Hathaway & Kate Hudson) and in some of the most popular video games including “Transformers: The Game,” “Unchartered 3,” “Quantum Break,” and much more.

Not just a multifaceted actress, Jacqueline is a jack of all trades in her personal life. Most don’t know that Piñol fluently speaks 4 languages: English, Spanish, French and Italian. She is also a passionate animal advocate and works with various charities throughout the states and is currently working on a documentary about saving abandoned animals across the country.

Now a mother, when Jacqueline isn’t busy in front of a camera acting or working with motion capture experts on a new video game, she can be found spending time with her family. She is also a fierce advocate for dogs in the United States which lead to her creating THE CANINE CONDITION: A Dogumentary Series.

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Jaqueline and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself? How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

I was born in Queens, NY to Guatemalan and Colombian parents. Harsh winters drove them to Los Angeles when I was 5 and I grew up an L.A. kid. I always loved being in plays and choir and orchestra (I played the violin). All through school I was involved in the arts. I got my first agent by looking in the Yellow Pages. (I’m definitely dating myself here. LOL) I had my parents take 4×6 shots of me “posing” and I mailed them myself with typed letters and “my autograph” to about a dozen agents. I got my first agent at 13 and started to dabble in commercials and auditioning for TV and film. There wasn’t too much opportunity back then for a Latina kid but I had fun. Going to university was very important to me and the money I made from booking commercials helped me pay for 4 years at Loyola Marymount University. It was after college that I pursued my acting career full force.

Photographed by Annie Shak/Images from Spider-Man: Miles Morales courtesy of Sony

What do you like most about acting?

I love immersing myself in a fantasy written by others. It’s like when we are kids playing house, or doctor or flight attendant. It is an escape into another reality and to me that is thrilling.

How different is it to act in a video game and to act in a TV series? And which one do you prefer?

Very different. For me, a video game is more challenging. We film motion capture on a stage in special suits with camera equipment on our bodies and all of what we see or touch lives in our imagination. It gets brought to life on a screen by animators and the creative design team. We record the dialogue in a voice-over studio. Having to emotionally recreate the character’s journey from the motion capture shoot days is essential in the voice over recording is another challenge. I guess you can say it feels more fragmented to bring to life a character like Rio Morales in Spider-Man: Miles Morales. When we film TV shows and films, it is all happening in the moment and captured on film that way. It’s a much smoother experience to live through. I don’t prefer one over the other. For me, it’s about the story and the character. Rio Morales has been one of my absolute favorite characters to play. She has so much heart and strength and vulnerability. I couldn’t have asked for better writing. What a gift.

What are your strong points as an actress?

Hmm. It’s funny, I don’t often think about my strong points. I get caught up trying to perfect my imperfections. LOL. But I would say being multi-lingual has been one of the best things for my acting career. I speak French, Spanish and Italian with a perfect accent so that has allowed me to portray characters using those languages and/or speaking English with a French or Italian, or Spanish accent. I have had a lot more work opportunities in various mediums because of my hobby which is learning foreign languages. I speak conversational Mandarin Chinese now too. I love it!

What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

There are so many ways to direct. That is what I have learned. And the ones that get the best performances out of me are the ones that know how to communicate with actors. They know how to get what they want from an actor because they speak the actor’s language.

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

The biggest difficulty has always been “when will I book my next job?” Unless you are a superstar and being thrown scripts at you to choose from, an actor is always hungry for more. The ups and downs of that part of the journey are a challenge which is why I always have hobbies and other things to fulfill my life. I need to live a full life outside of acting otherwise I would feel too dependent on it for my happiness and that is no way to live.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

Filling in the missing pieces. But it is that very challenge that makes the work so much more fun and gratifying. A character is so much more than what is written on the page. Doing the work of what happens between the lines, that is the sweet spot. That is what brings the character to life.

What do you do when you’re not filming?

I have 6 dogs and a 4 1/2-year-old son. And a husband. Do I need to say more? I need a spa day (laughs). Prior to Covid times, road trips were our thing. Everyone piles up in a van or RV and we hit the road. We have driven across and around the U.S. several times. My hubby and I love to travel overseas as well. We can’t wait to get back to that. We have so much to explore and show our son about the world. I help rescue homeless dogs and find forever homes for them through licensed dog rescues.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Steven Spielberg. In my 20s he cast me in a small role in A.I. as a Tango Dancer. He is such an incredibly talented and visionary man. I was truly inspired to watch him work. He knows every aspect of every part of the whole. That production was massive and I was in awe of the flow with which it was run. Steven doesn’t miss a beat and runs his show like a Tango. Sharp, precise, and to a beat that delivers perfection. I am not even a Tango dancer but he turned me and Jude Law into a Tango dancing couple in a week! And to top it off, Steven learned the routine himself and danced it with me before the shoot. He is a true artist.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Sarah Edmondson. She was one of the main women in the cult documentary The Vow. I have been told so many times that I look like she or she looks like me. Or maybe I can play her in the film adaptation of The Vow…if there is one (laughs). Ya never know.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I want to continue to pursue film and TV roles as they come. I am immersed in my own project right now as a film documentarian. It is called The Canine Condition – a DOGumentary series. I bring awareness to dog adoption for homeless, abused, and neglected dogs around the United States while also focusing on the people and places that work/volunteer tirelessly to improve the canine condition. I hope to continue my journey as a producer and get this project seen wherever I can because the cause is very important to me.

I just launched a new podcast called The Canine Condition where I share conversations with dog lovers and dog experts who are making a difference every day to improve the canine condition. No dog topic is off the table!

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen – SOUL

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Looking up and the stars in the night sky in a remote area like Joshua Tree, Lake Arrowhead or Yosemite. Why? Because the idea of looking at infinity is mesmerizing and calming to me. There is so much space out there, I can’t get over that.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Gone to Egypt to see the Pyramids. I must get there one day.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” go deep-sea diving.”

Actress To Watch Out For In 2021: Introducing The Stunning Anthea Murfet

Anthea Murfet represented the Philippines along with two other Philippine beauties for Asia’s Super Model Competition in 2009 and guested in the Philippines’ local TV shows. Together with the other 4 co-hosts, she hosted a TV show in the Philippines which was shown on the TFC channels. In her first feature film, Chasing Fire, she played the lead role of “Kristine” – this indie film went on to win an award during the Barcelona, Spain Film Festival. She also played another lead role in “So Much Pain” and “So In Love.” Furthermore, she co-produced Trafficked and worked behind the scenes in building the character of various artists during 2013.

She has modelled for several high profile brands such as Bench, Guess, and Kasheica. She has also appeared in various TV commercials such as Royal Thai Airways, Splenda Sweetener, NIVEA cream, Fit & Right Delmonte, Nestle Products, HSBC bank, BDO bank, Lucky Me pancit canton, Coffee Mate, Skechers Shape-Ups, Hush Puppies, Coca Cola, Marlboro, and several others. She’s also the image model for Dr. Jart’s BB Cream campaign.

She has appeared in catalogs for Sundance, Tupperware, Natasha, Boardwalk, Oroton, SM Catalogue, and Zalora and during the year 2018 to 2020, she became the brand ambassadress of Shangri La Hotel, Anchorland, and Okada Casino and Resorts.