Having won the Mister Universe title three times, spearheading the successful TV show (Self Made Man), and starring/producing a slew of hit action films (Moscow Heat, Treasure Raiders, Magic Man, Showdown in Manila), Alexander Nevsky welcomes new challenges. Case in point is the action thriller Black Rose, a project which marks his feature directing debut.
Directing your first feature and essentially acting in almost all of its scenes is a herculean task for any artist, and thankfully Nevsky had a dependable group of talented co-stars and veteran cinematographer Rudy Harbon (the pair reunited for the 2016 film Showdown in Manila) to aid him through the process.
“It was tough,” said Nevsky, who also worked with revered director Walter Hill in Undisputed and Sofia Coppola in Somewhere. “It was my directorial debut. It was my intention to show how Moscow is a great and beautiful city and it was also my idea to show Los Angeles – it’s an unbelievable city. I live (in Los Angeles). I love Los Angeles, and both cities have different sides. Don’t get me wrong – it was tough all the way but I enjoyed it a lot. All of it.”
The story centers on a Russian Police Major (Nevsky) who transferred to Los Angeles to help the LAPD catch a serial killer. Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) plays his new partner in the investigation, with Adrian Paul and Robert Davi co-starring as members of the LAPD. “I was smart enough to surround myself with my friends,” added Nevsky. “They are great people. Kristanna is an amazing action star and she’s also a great actress.”
Along with the ambitious undertaking of shooting in Moscow and Los Angeles, Nevsky didn’t want Black Rose to be a one dimensional cop buddy film (although he and Kristanna Loken have a natural chemistry). A healthy portion of the narrative is a whodunit, as the identity of the serial killer isn’t revealed until the film’s final act. At the heart of Black Rose, however, is its unabashed love for movies from the 1980s and 1990s, when Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone films were a driving force in action infused cinema.
“We have something from Dirty Harry in the film,” said Nevsky. “We have something from Schwarzenegger and Stallone films in Black Rose. Because they made me. Thanks to Stallone, I started boxing. Thanks to Arnold I started bodybuilding. I’m a huge fan of classic action genre films.”
It’s great to see Nevsky bringing a bit of the old back into the new, and Black Rose is an intriguing blend of a buddy cop movie and mystery. The film, which opens in theaters today, also hits VOD and DVD May 2nd.