Alexander Nevsky, international action star and former Mr. Universe, recently wrote, directed, and starred in the film BLACK ROSE. BLACK ROSE is an action-thriller film about a Russian police major who is recruited by the Los Angeles Police Department. There he works with an American police officer, played by Kristanna Loken, to track down a serial killer murdering Russians and leaving the calling card of a black rose. The film contains several exciting action sequences and maintains suspense about the killer’s identity all the way through. DAILY GRINDHOUSE recently got the chance to talk to Alexander Nevsky about the film.
DAILY GRINDHOUSE: What was your background with detective work, or what research did you do before the film?
ALEXANDER NEVSKY: This was my dream project, I created it for myself. I always wanted to do a detective movie. I was Mr. Universe three times, and ended up training as a boxer and a bodybuilder. My first role was as a Russian cop in RED SERPENT. If you’ve seen RED SERPENT, this is a very similar movie, where I played Terminator. When I was creating a story I knew I needed good writers, so I got Brent Huff and George Saunders. We had great consultants and we created a great plot. They all supported me. It was really hard work, but we had a great team. For me it was a dream come true. I hope an American audience enjoys it, and it makes it was to Netflix and other outlets and is seen.
DG: Russia plays a big role in this film. How did your background as a Russian influence this work?
AN: You really have to fight against stereotype. I never played “the Russian” in Hollywood films. It’s important to make movies without stereotypes. Russia plays a big part, we shot the action scenes in South Moscow. Sometimes it’s almost like there’s a new Cold War going on. Russians and Americans should be working together, and I like how it’s about Russians and Americans working together against evil. I’m in post-production for a second movie, MAXIMUM IMPACT, about this, where a Russian is working with an American agent.
DG: What was the experience like of directing a film you also starred in?
AN: As an ex-Mr. Universe, I was really excited. It’s really hard, Kristanna Loken had time to work out. It was really hard, and probably a year off my life. I didn’t have time for that, because I had to do directing, production, all of that. I wish I would have had time to wake up earlier and work out, but everything else about it was pretty good.
DG: I read that you have refused playing the role of the “bad Russian” before. How did you make this role different from those others?
AN: Well, I’ve never played a bad Russian. I’ve been asked to play bad Russians before, once for a TV show that was similar to American Gladiators. I once was asked for a movie role too, but once I found out it was a bad Russian I turned it down. I wanted to explain to audiences that this stereotype wasn’t true. I didn’t go to Hollywood to do this. So no, I never played a bad Russian.
DG: How did your work as a bodybuilder influence your role?
AN: I’m a natural bodybuilder. It changes everyone, it doesn’t matter how old you are, man or woman, it will change your life. I’ve been trying to promote it in every movie, to show my muscles. In America, it’s like Stallone — he’s always in great shape and promotes himself as a bodybuilder. I do the same thing in Russia, and I hope to influence young people. It was a dream come true, and it all started with bodybuilding. I hope an American audience will enjoy this film, and I hope that Americans and Russians will be friends.
BLACK ROSE comes stateside April 28th, 2017 and will be released on VOD and DVD May 2nd.