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Celebrating Diversity In The Entertainment Industry

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RAM TEMPLE BOOMI PUJAN

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR W

elcome readers to our International Hollywood Weekly Magazine. We are beyond thrilled to have the three most wonderful words on our Cover: DAME MUNNI IRONE! Dame Munni Irone has truly been an incredible Gift to Hollywood Weekly Magazine and we appreciate her so much. She has spearheaded our HW India Edition and her Arts4Peace organization has been a bountiful of some other most the accomplished, socially conscious individuals I have met in my life. And now...Dame Munni Irone has taken her extraordinary talents and artistic, compassionate sensibilities and filed it into her new international film project "FREEDOM?" Dame Munni Irone's wonderful HW layout covers the production of her cinematic project, and the history and backstory about this incredibly accomplished woman. As an International Publication our wonderful relationship with Dame Munni Irone has helped greatly in building relationships with various countries throughout the world. Remember Dame Irone was the President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the United Nations so she is a woman with great diplomatic experience and sophistication. We know you will become enamored and enraptured with her just as everyone at Hollywood Weekly is.

PUBLISHER/EDITOR IN CHIEF Prather Jackson VICE PRESIDENT Bernice Harris Michael D. Coxson SENIOR BOOK CURATOR Jane Ubell-Meyer ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anthony Ewart DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE SERVICES & ASST TO THE PUBLISHER Jordan O'Quinn-Campbell MARKETING & SALES Launy Rhem CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Anthony Ewart Alex A. Kecskes Jenny Werth ART DIRECTOR Denise Chavez CHINA OPERATIONS Victor Migalchan victor@hollywoodweeklymagazine.com (213) 220-3052 (424) 371-9900

Finally, everyone at Hollywood Weekly Magazine is ecstatic to include our HW INDIA EDITION as a permanent part of our HW International Magazine beginning with our September 2020 issue. We are so happy to finally introduce our HW India Edition to our wonderful Global community. This would include updates on India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is seen here with President Trump.

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The content you can expect from our HW India Edition will include articles and feature stories from India covering Entertainment, Fashion, the Textile Industry, Music & Culture, Stories of Love & Compassion rich with traditional Indian practices. If you've been looking for direct access to your India's Bollywood Stars you'll find it in our HW India Edition. This is a very exciting addition to our HW International Magazine.

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4 Freedom? TEMPLE 10 RAM India Culture and Civilization DAS RAJKATI 15 PRIYANKA Priyankaleidoscope THOMAS 16 FR.VM Don Bosco Institute INDIA 18 74th Independance Day DON BOSCO 20 Dedicated to Education of Less Priviledged 24 ASKReal DealDR.AdviceJAI I'd Use Myself JEN & BRAD 26 Honeymoon Masion 28 HITHA Who Are We? Generation Z! M. COOPER 30 CELESTE Going the Distance in "Range Run" CAROLINA DE LA PACE 32 Designer DAME MUNNI IRONE

HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY IS A PUBLICATION WHOLLY OWNED BY PRATHER JACKSON HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY MAGAZINE LLC. © 2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION OF ANY CONTENT WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSSION OF THE PUBLISHER IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR MAY BE SENT TO: PRATHER@HOLLYWOODWEEKLYMAGAZINE.COM. 8345 RESEDA BLVD #117, NORTHRIDGE, CA 91324. FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES CALL: (424) 371-9900

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DAME MUNNI IRONE


FREEDOM? The Most Anticipated and Awaited movie in History showing in early 2021! Dame Munni Irone, Surprises Pre-Production Staff of FREEDOM? At the end of their first table read with special call from SAMIA Nikrumah the daughter of Former President of Glana Kwane Nikrumah. Dame Munni Irone the founder of ART 4 PEACE AWARDS (Beverly Hills) endorsing Ms. Samia for her position in the Parliament of Ghana!

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s the first official table read of the coming feature film “Freedom?”, the members of the team were met with an unexpected surprise. There was a discussion going on amongst the group, about the lack of information on the internet about the wife of the First Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, who is the principle character in the Movie. Dame Munni Irone, the Executive Producer of “Freedom? “and the Founder and CEO for the Arts4Peace Awards had a solution in the works. Much to the surprise and shock of the group, Irone was soon introducing Ms. Samia Nkrumah, the daughter of President Nkrumah, on the phone all the way from Ghana, Africa. The team was speechless as she shared firsthand information about her Father and Mother.

Ms. Samia is following in her Father’s footsteps and is in the process of running for a position in the Ghanaian election to continue her Fathers work in Uniting Africa.

Ms. Samia is supporting the Production of the movie “Freedom? and she has a small part in the movie. Her Father’s life is chronicled in the movie and the amazing story of his ascent to become the first President of Ghana is intertwined with American Civil Rights Leaders, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Malcom X. It also reveals the untold history of how friendships with other nations such as Israel and India all worked together to support one another’s quest for freedom. At the core of the movements in all these countries was the mission to gain Freedom through Peaceful, non-violent means.

As we watch protests in the streets America and across the globe, this movie will serve as a reminder to this generation of how to bring change in society.

This is a movie for the new generation of young people who need a lesson in how to obtain Freedom through Non -violent Peaceful Methods. 4 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

The movie Freedom? slated for release on early 2021, the celebration of freedom will mean more to Americans than ever before. The movie Chronicles the civil rights movement from a global perspective that has never been seen before. It is untold history! It reveals the evolution of the Civil rights beginning with Mahatma Gandhi’s techniques of civil resistance to achieve freedom for the masses. It’s the civil rights story that has never been told this way.

The movie is based on historical facts and it is action packed. Expect to be kept on the edge of your seat. At the center of the story is President Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President. His relationship with Famous civil rights leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, W.E.B. Dubois, and Martin Luther King Jr. will weave a narrative of how gaining Freedom for all of North Africa would spill over to America. The roles of India, Israel, Great Britain and America will be revealed as the story of Freedom is told. The story highlights Israel and India as they prove to be important allies in Nkrumah’s struggle as they would help


Ghana establish an Air force, with Israel also bolstering their economy by becoming invaluable trade partners with Ghana. Even as Israel was on war-footing to defend her own borders. Nkrumah’s strategy of staying neutral with Russia and USA are also highlighted as we see the sophisticated diplomacy that he has to employ to protect the nascent countries independence. Women who helped sustain the struggle are given voice as Maya Angelou plays host during the All African Women’s Conference held in Accra Ghana in 1963. Present are Sarah Fathai Nkrumah, Adelaide Tambo, Winnie Mandela, and Albertina Sisulu. Truly a cast of Historic Characters will command the interest of the audiences worldwide. The amazing production team consist of Dame Munni Irone, Executive Producer, Bonzi Williams, Raymond Camillo King ( Attorney). Executive Producer, Mark De Alessandro, Action Producer and Stunt Coordinator, Lamont A. Coleman , Producer, Isaiah J. White, Graphics Artist and Co Producer,Rosemarie Smith-Coleman, Producer and Actress, Eitan Evan Producer( Unit Producer for Israel) Euvonka Farabee, Screenwriter, Larry Dunn( EWF founding Member) Composer, Luisa Dunn, Composer, Phillip “Aphillyated” Guillory, Music Supervisor and Production Assistant, Adam Templar (actor) and The Full Cast will be announced soon.

Dame Munni Irone’s Art 4 Peace Awards Teams Up with BFN/ The Film Factory to Give the Younger Generation a Chance at Hollywood In this challenging time, Dame Munni Irone, founder of the Art 4 Peace Awards, and BFN/ The Film Factory will continue to provide motivational and creative activities to youth and artists worldwide, though by still conveying to COVID-19 regulations. Our inspiration for this year’s Hollywood International Kidz Cam Short Film Festival is inspired to help motivate young artists and entertainers alike to remain creative in safe small secured groups. We will be holding our Exposition and Awards Ceremony live on Zoom to accommodate social distancing laws by not meeting in large gatherings, allowing hundreds and thousands of viewers to participate in viewing our festival. *Draft Six with sublines and Draft Seven with no sublines are attached along with Jpegs of the Kidz Cam event. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 5


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A GOLDEN CHAPTER OF INDIAN CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION THAT MARKED THE “ BOOMI PUJAN ” OF RAM TEMPLE A historic day that was marked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday,05 August ’2020 for the Bhumi Pujan of Ram Temple at Ayodha in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The foundation stone laying ceremony marked the beginning of the construction of Ram Temple after a lengthy legal battle that culminated in favour of the construction of the temple at the disputed site which housed Babri Mosque before it was demolished by kar sevaks in 1992. Just like 15 August 1947 , is commemorated as the day of sacrifice and the will to be free displayed by many generations of Indians during the Independence struggle, the start of the Ram Temple construction on August 5, 2020 was a “symbol of penance, sacrifice and resolve” of many generations that struggled for it for over five centuries. Lord Ram is considered as the thread of India’s unity in diversity and that Mahatma Gandhi had dreamt of a Ram Rajya through the values of Lord Ram. The master architects who are building the Ram Temple in Ayodhya are the Sompura family from Palitana town in Gujarat , who have built numerous grand temples around the country and elsewhere, including the grand Somnath Temple that was opened in 1951, the Akshardham temples, and the Krishna Janmasthan in Mathura. FROM SOMNATH TO AYODHYA, A FAMILY OF TEMPLE BUILDERS The building of the temple is led by Chandrakant Sompura, 77, had started work on the temple to Ram Lalla in Ayodhya 30 years ago, after he first visited the site with then Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) president Ashok Singhal. Industrialist Ghanshyamdas Birla asked him if he would take up the Ram Mandir project, and introduced him to Singhal. Sompura had worked on several of the Birla 10 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

temples then. This was the longest time a project commissioned to the Sompuras has taken for the ground-breaking, says the patriarch, whose family has designed around 200 temples in India and abroad. Usually the bhoomi pujan happen within 2-3 years. The Sompura, watched Prime Minister Narendra Modi perform the shilanyas of the temple live, on television because of his age and the coronavirus pandemic. But his son, Ashish, 49, who has made the site plan of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple, was in Ayodhya to work out the details with Larsen & Toubro, the company that has been awarded the contract to build the temple. The art of temple building came to Ashish largely from his father and great grandfather Prabhashankar, who built the Somnath Temple in Prabhas Patan on the Gujarat coast that was inaugurated by the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, in 1951. Prabhashankar, who was later honoured with the Padma Shri, lost his son, Balwantrai, who was then 51, in an accident while Balwantrai was returning from a renovation project of the Badrinath temple. But for the family, the Somnath temple is the closest to their heart. The Sompuras believe that their ancestors were taught the art of temple building by the divine architect Vishwakarma himself. The Sompuras, who come from Palitana town of Bhavnagar, consider themselves to be ‘residents of the moon’ (Som = moon and pura= city). Their ancestor Ramji built the Jain temple complex on the Shetrunjay hills of Palitana, commissioned to him by a sugar merchant from Bombay who named the main dwar ‘Ram pol’ after him. He did not go to any formal school of architecture, having learnt it from his grandfather and father and the shastras and now his sons and others who joined in the temple project are, however, trained engineers or architects.


THREE DECADES OF WORK, STARTING WITH PENCIL SKETCHES

has been increased from 141 feet to 161 feet, its width from 160 feet to 235 feet, and its length from 280 feet to 360 feet.

From the time when Sompura first went inside the garbha griha at the site in Ayodhya, measuring it with his footsteps as he was not allowed to take any instruments, the site was out of bounds — and restrained the architects from drawing up plans for the future temple. Back then, Sompura would make the primary pencil drawing, and the inking would be done by experts, on tracing paper. Just as Sompura himself had assisted his grandfather Prabhashankar when he built the Somnath temple and the Krishna Janmasthan in Mathura, Ashish too, joined his father around 1993.

The expansion was made because the government wanted space for “more people”. As per the plan, each column will have 16 idols, which will include the ‘Dashavataras’, the ‘chausath joginis’, all the incarnations of Shiva, and the 12 incarnations of the Goddess Saraswati. The unique feature of the Ram Mandir will be the octagonal shape of the sanctum sanctorum, in keeping with the design provided in the shastras for a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Sompura had drawn up 2-3 plans for the temple, one of which was approved by the VHP, which had then taken up the task of building the temple. A wooden model was made, and at the Kumbh Mela that followed, the model was placed before the assembled sadhus, who gave their approval. Sompura recalls that before the Babri Masjid was razed, then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao had called him to ask if he would make an alternative plan for the temple to Lord Ram while keeping the mosque. An “Ayodhya Cell” had been set up in the Prime Minister’s Office at the time, according to Rao’s autobiography, ‘Ayodhya, 6 December, 1992’. Sompura built a model with the three domes of the mosque intact, and with the temple by its side — an arrangement similar to the one at the Krishna Janmasthan in Mathura. But the VHP was adamant. The demolition of the Babri Masjid plunged the country into communal violence. The temple project, however, got a boost — now that the mosque was no longer there, the possibility of building the temple at the site believed to be the actual birthplace of Ram Lalla had opened up. Between 1992 and 1996, work on the temple went on in full swing in the ‘karyashala’ in Ayodhya, and components of the temple were crafted. But then the VHP ran out of funds, got engaged in litigation, and work slowed down. At that stage, there would be just 8-10 artisans at the site. Hope skyrocketed last November, after the Supreme Court awarded the entire land for the building of the temple on a historical verdict . WHAT THE RAM TEMPLE WILL LOOK LIKE The temple has been planned in the Nagar ‘shaili’ (a style of temple architecture where the temple tower is built over the sanctum sanctorum. The other major style is the Dravidian, which includes gopurams), and is far bigger than what had been originally planned. Three more spires have been added, one in front and two at the sides, to extend the gudh mandap (the covered porch); the number of columns has gone up from around 160 in the original plan to 366 (160 on the ground floor, 132 on first floor, 74 on second floor); the width of the stairway to the ‘Ram Darbar’ on the first floor has been expanded from 6 feet to 16 feet. The height of the temple

The Ram temple, will be on a raised platform, and will have the four features of a typical Hindu temple: the ‘chauki’ (verandah), ‘nritya mandap’ (semi covered porch), ‘gudh mandap’ (covered porch), and ‘garbha griha’ (sanctum sanctorum), aligned on a single axis. The original would have used up to 3 lakh cubic feet of sandstone; an additional 3 lakh cubic feet will now be needed, which will be mined at Bansi Paharpur in Rajasthan. The Sompuras had initially estimated the construction to be completed in three and a half years, but the pandemic could push it back by another 6-8 months. The VHP had commissioned the building of the temple to three contractors, who have now been replaced by L&T. It was a long journey from Shah Bano case and Shilanyas to bhoomi pujan via a mobile typewriter and Vajpayee. For the Parivar, August 5 was the realization of a dream, the end of a journey and the start of another. Article 370 and the Ram temple were two ideological issues that the BJP, in the NDA’s earlier avatar under former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had been forced to place on the backburner due to coalition compulsions. Ahead of the foundation-stone laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dressed in a golden-coloured traditional dhoti kurta, the Prime Minister’s first stop was the 10th-century Hanuman Garhi temple wherein he offered special prayers . He was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Modi was gifted a headgear by the chief priest of the temple. After spending some time at the temple, he headed to 'Shree Ram Janmabhoomi' where he took part in pooja and darshan of 'Bhagwan Shree Ramlala Virajman'. On the significance of visiting Hanuman temple first, Hanuman Garhi Mahant Raju Das said that according to legends it is believed that no work is complete without the blessing of Lord Hanuman. Seventy-six steps lead to Hanuman Garhi which is one of the most popular Hanuman temples in North India. The shrine houses Hanuman's mother, Anjani, with a young Hanuman sitting on her lap. About this temple, the Mahant said, "When Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya after conquering Ravana, he gave this place to Hanuman ji to live, so its called Hanuman Garhi or Hanuman Kot. From here, it is believed that Lord Hanuman used to protect Ramkot."

HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 11


Minutes before Prime Minister Narendra Modi entered the tent for the bhoomi pujan of the temple for Ram in Ayodhya, he prostrated before the idol of Ram Lalla. That single frame, beamed live by public broadcaster Doordarshan, was not just an act of devotion but a powerful message to the country — of his party keeping its word on building a temple for Ram at his janmabhoomi, an ideological promise delayed by years of coalition dharma and courtroom battles that .layed by years of coalition dharma and courtroom battles. Inside the tent, the Parivar waited: RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat; UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, whose mentor and guru Mahant Avaidyanath was one of the leading lights of the temple movement; BJP firebrand Uma Bharti, who played a frontal role in the final months of the Babri Masjid; Durga Vahini’s Sadhvi Rithambara, whose fiery speeches were manna from heaven for kar sevaks staring at the doomed mosque; Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of the VHP-controlled Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and now president of the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, the Trust constituted by the Centre for the construction and management of the Ram temple; VHP leader Champat Rai who is now general secretary of the Trust.

Prime Minister standing and praying to Lord Hanuman. The belief in India is that one cannot visit the Ram Temple without offering prayers to Lord Hanuman.

For the Parivar, August 5 was the realization of a dream, the end of a journey and the start of another. It also marks one year of the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the state of Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories. Article 370 and the Ram temple were two ideological issues that the BJP, in the NDA’s earlier avatar under the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had been forced to place on the backburner due to coalition compulsions. In his speech , Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS Chief recalled how Balasaheb Deoras — Madhukar Dattatreya Deoras, the third Sarsanghchalak after Keshav Baliram Hedgewar and Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar had told them that the temple movement will require “20-30 years of struggle” and how, in the 30th year, that has been fulfilled. The movement to reclaim the disputed Ayodhya site had begun in earnest after the shilanyas in 1989 and it happened under the watch of the Congress government led by Rajiv Gandhi. Yet the first stirrings were in 1984 when the VHP called a dharma sansad and passed a resolution for the “liberation” of Ram Janmabhoomi.

Prime Minister’s Mother Hiraben in Gandhi Nagar ,blessing his son prostrated before the idol of Ram Lalla

Prime Minister Narendra Modi planted a Parijat sapling considered a divine plant, ahead of foundation stone-laying of Ram temple.

Home Minister Amit Shah, who was in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, called the event “historic”. In a series of tweets, he asserted that temple construction is now a reality because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “strong and decisive leadership”.

“Felicitations to all for the foundation laying of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Being built in tune with law, it defines India’s spirit of social harmony and people’s zeal. It will be a testimony to ideals of Ram Rajya and a symbol of modern India,” President Kovind tweeted. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also offered prayers with his family at his residence on the occasion of Bhoomi Puja for the construction of Ram Temple. The Vice President described the 12 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

construction of the temple as a re-coronation of the highest human values of truth, morality, and ideals that the Maryada Purushottam epitomized during his life. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla expressed hope that the temple construction will lead to unity and harmony. “It is a matter of great pleasure that the construction of the temple will be achieved with the support of people of all religions and classes,” Mr. Birla said in a statement.

BJP president J.P. Nadda complimented the citizens for accepting the Supreme Court verdict. “After a long struggle of 500 years, the Supreme Court paved the way for the construction of the temple and it is a matter of pride that all sections of society happily accepted this decision. The entire country set a unique example by following the ideals of Lord Ram,” Mr. Nadda said.


Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who had once represented the deity in court as a lawyer, tweeted: “The grand Ram temple is also the temple of the country. It is also a celebration of India’s pride, self respect and our spiritual inheritance.” PM NARENDRA MODI BEGAN AYODHYA SPEECH WITH 'JAI SIYA RAM' This (Jai Siya Ram) call was resonating not only in the city of Lord Ram but throughout the world .He expressed gratitude to all citizens of the nation, Indian diaspora across the world and all the devotees of Lord Ram on the pious occasion. A grand temple will now be built for Ram Lalla who had been staying in a tent. Ram janmbhoomi now breaks free of the cycle of breaking and getting built again that had been going on for centuries. Prime Minister launched the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya, terms Ram temple bhoomi pujan as a modern symbol of Indian culture and with it, the country was creating a golden chapter for itself. The Ram Janmabhoomi, the birthplace of Lord Ram as believed by Hindus, had finally been liberated from the cycle of “breaking and rising up again” that had been going on for centuries and Mr. Modi termed it a “historic” moment. The centuries of wait was finally over and the performing of the ‘bhoomipujan’ for the temple here in a tightly-arranged event held amid COVID-19. With a 40-kg silver brick, a sapling and soil from across the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the Ram temple in Ayodhya , amid chanting of shlokas, declaring that the Ram Janmabhoomi had been “liberated” from the “centuries-old cycle of destruction and resurrection”. The Prime Minister addressed a select gathering after performing the bhoomi pujan for the temple, ,he put his mark indelibly on what he called a defining moment in the nation’s history — the culmination of a campaign that powered the rise of the BJP and marked its principal promise to its electorate. He drew a parallel between the Ram temple movement and India’s struggle for freedom. Just like August 15 is the Independence Day, henceforth, August 5, too, will stand as a powerful symbol for the “sacrifice and commitment” of generations. The entire country is emotionally charged and the wait of centuries finally ended and added that “crores cannot believe” what they have witnessed on 05 August 2020. The Prime Minister shared the dais with UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Mahant Nritya Gopal Das who heads the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, a Trust constituted by the Centre for the construction and management of the Ram temple., Modi said for the Ramlalla, who has lived under a canopy and tent for years, finally a grand temple is going to be built. Several generations had devoted themselves completely during the freedom struggle. There was not a place in the country where sacrifices were not made for freedom. 15th August is the embod-

iment of sacrifices of millions of people and a deep yearning for independence. On similar lines, several generations have made selfless sacrifices for several centuries for the construction of the Ram temple. 5 August 2020 marked the culmination of that centuries-old penance, sacrifice and resolve. In his address he saluted them on behalf of the 130 crore people of the country and bowed before them for their sacrifices which have led to the foundation of the Ram temple. He thanked the Trust for inviting him to the event, the Prime Minister said how could he rest without accomplishing the work assigned by Lord Ram. Modi drew on Ram and the Ramayan to not just highlight their influence across India but also in other countries — from Indonesia to Malaysia, China to Nepal and Bangladesh. The Ram Temple would become a symbol of “ eternal faith,” national sentiments and collective willpower of crores of people. This temple will inspire the coming generations about faith, reverence and resolve adding that the temple would not only augment the grandeur of Ayodhya but also change the economy of the entire region. New opportunities would come up as people would come for a darshan of Lord Ram and Mata Janaki from world over. Ram belongs to all and lives in all. He assured that this grand temple being constructed in Ayodhya will be an indicator of the rich heritage of Indian culture and to ensure that the message of Lord Ram, Ram temple and the Indian tradition of thousands of years reaches the entire world till years to come. It would be the responsibility of the present generation and future generations to make the world familiar with the knowledge and the Indian way of life. Drawing on examples from the Ramayan, Modi said just like every being, from a squirrel to “vanar” to “kewat” to “vanvasi”, became the medium for the victory of Ram, the temple will be built by the people of the country. There is no corner of India which doesn’t reflect Lord Ram. Ram is in the faith of India, Ram is in the ideals of India, Ram is in India’s divinity, Rama resides in India’s philosophy. Owing to the situation caused by the corona pandemic, this occasion of bhoomi pujan was organized with strict decorum. The nation had displayed the decorum that should befit any work concerning Lord Ram. Similar discipline was displayed when the Supreme Court pronounced the historic decision referring to the ruling on the Ayodhya title suits which went in favour of the Hindus. Back then, the entire nation accepted the decision peacefully and graciously and kept in mind the sensitivities of everyone and was experienced in a similar way of peaceful conduct. Prime Minister Modi ended his speech by underlining the significance of the path of “maryada” (values) of Ram and said the Covid pandemic meant to maintain safe distance of two yards and always wear a mask. Ram and Ramayan belonged to all, and has been followed and written in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Kashmiri. This is the possible reason that Ram is the link for unity in diversity of India. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 13


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France appoints Assam girl, North East of India as Ambassador to Inspire Scientists of Tomorrow!

Priyanka Das Rajkakati PriyanKaleidoscope

Priyanka Das Rajkakati PriyanKaleidoscope

Priyanka Das, a youth from Assam, North East India presently based in Paris ,has been appointed as the Ambassador “For Girls and Science”, an initiative that was launched under the scholarship of the Government of France in 2014 to promote scientific pursuits among young people and especially, girls." She has even modified a particular part of the Rafale aircraft which is being purchased by Government of India and allotted to Indian Air Force. Her life resembles a three-sided Kaleidoscope. Each side represents the three things she has been passionate since she was a child: Science, Art ... and Space. Individually, each is just a regular façade depicting her interests, but combined they reflect a shining myriad of possibilities and completes her. A hitchhiker through the journey of life, she has always been in search of a route that would ultimately lead her into Space. Born in the Himalayan mountains, she grew up in Delhi, moved to France, and this year – a lunar analogue-astronaut mission in Hawai’i and a voyage to Antarctica! Furthermore, ever since she was a child, she had this dream where, apart from being an astronaut, she would one day be able to mix these three facades: Science, Art and Space. Priyanka says, “ I could see how much it confused my parents (and friends) as to what I wanted to become when I grew up – but they did encourage me to pave my own unique path. Constantly looking for inspiration and role models, I made use of this precious liberty gifted by my parents and experimented with my interests. A few unconventional choices later – I started in a Design school, went on to becoming a Physics graduate, to a Space Engineer and now finally, a Space Artist.”

“ For me, Art and Science are not distinct. If you pursue both fields, you reach a “grey zone” where the art you do requires a bit of science, and the science you do is heavily artistic. After years of experimenting with all kinds of scientific fields, I realized that I was always gravitating to the artistic aspect of the subject at hand. For example, in Biology, I was enthralled by bioluminescent bacteria and their patterns. In Computer Science, I saw an infinite potential for algorithmic art, even those generated by AI. In Signal Processing, which is a big part of my PhD on satellite signals, I was fascinated by the patterns made by the original geometric signals and the noise that the signal accumulates - the beauty of Fourier Transforms and Gaussian curves! ” This is the grey zone that excites her and where she has currently set up her workstation. Inspired by the work of a lot of physicists, artists and even philosophers who have been exploring this grey zone, she has been very fortunate to find a lot of collaborations especially with the European Space Agency (ESA), from world renowned space scientists to artists who have sent their work to the international space station (ISS). HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 15


A VISIONARY AND A HUMATARIAN FR.VM THOMAS, FOUNDER DON BOSCO INSTITUTE. HIS PHILOSOPHY – BUILDING DREAMS AND SHAPING LIVES. Fr. VM Thomas - Founder, Don Bosco Institute is a Harvard Graduate in Educational Administration,Planning and Social Policy. He was the Provincial of Don Bosco Group of Institutions, Province of Guwahati, Chancellor of Assam Don Bosco University, President of National Conference of Religious,India (CRI), President of Functional Vocational Training and Research Society, Founder Chairman of Child Friendly Guwahati ( CFG) which takes care of the holistic education of about 3000 Children on the streets of Guwahati. He is the Founder of Don Bosco Social Institute, Tezpur, Don Bosco College, Diphu, Bongaigaon and several schools in rural Assam. Formerly the Founder Director of Don Bosco Institute Guwahati, Rector, Don Bosco Institute of Management, Guwahati, Secretary, North Eastern Education Com- mission (NEEC) of Catholic Church and Secretary, Junior Red Cross, Assam, Managing Committee Member Indian Red Cross Society, Assam.Member of the Board of Studies of Rajiv Gandhi National University, Governing Board Member of SSA, Assam, Executive Member, 16 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

SSA., Board Member of CHAI (Catholic Health Association of India). A certified Trainer in HRD from the American Society for Training and Develop. Recently he is posted to New Delhi as the Director, National Don Bosco Skill Development. He is a former General Secretary of the All India Association of Catholic Schools, India; Director of North Eastern Regional Youth Commission, Guwahati; Rector of Don Bosco Institute of Management, Guwahati; Secretary-North Eastern Education Commission of Catholic Church; Secretary, Junior Red Cross, Assam; Man- aging Committee Member, Indian Red Cross Society, Assam; and a Trustee Member of Mahatma Gandhi Mandap, a State Heritage Institute. That’s not all. He is the Chancellor of Assam Don Bosco University that he collaborated to build and steer, President of National Conference of Religious, India, President of Functional Vocational Training and Research Society, Founder Chairman of Child Friendly Guwahati that takes care of the holistic education of about 3,000 children on the streets of Guwahati.

The state of Assam, a North East state of India was blessed to have Father VM Thomas, Founder, Don Bosco Institute, who is not only a renowned humanitarian but also a visionary leader who has been attempting to transform the face of the North East states through his philosophy of Building dreams, shaping lives and influencing societies that brought him back to Gauhati in 1993, renouncing the ambitious post of a trainer at the prestigious Harvard University. A visionary to the core, Fr. Thomas has the ability to transform his vision into reality. From his simple yet poignant gesture, thousands of youth from the North East states have been inspired as he has the courage to dream big and believes that anything that the mind can conceive ,can be achieved. His extensive work in the social-welfare sector and with his brainchild to create the Don Bosco Institute reveals his vision ,creativity, dynamism , resourcefulness, organizing capacity, ecological sense and above all his humanitarian heart and passion for development. The Don Bosco Institute is the Lighthouse by the Brahmaputra at Gauhati which happened only by Divine intervention and by his


DON BOSCO INSTITUTE,GAUHATI,ASSAM,INDIA

astounding faith in God ,his love for the young, his tenderness towards the poor ,marginalized and voiceless of the society that today the Don Bosco Institute is training thousands of students to empower the youth of numerous ethnic, cultural and linguistic provenances in North East India with job oriented skills ,language and personality development, team work and integration skills. His administrative planning skills and spending hours in animating teachers, officers and youth has not diminished his presence. His message goes out with lots of peace, love, compassion and selfless service. The Government of Assam and all the North East states has taken notice of Fr.VM Thomas’s tireless efforts. His extensive tireless work is to be noticed and recognized by the Government of India and the rest of the country. Fr.VM Thomas is a Harvard graduate in Educational Administration,

FR.VM THOMAS ADDRESSING THE LESS PRIVILEDGED CHILDREN

Planning and Social Policy. He is the Founder Executive Director of the multi-faceted Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati. He is also Head of the NGO ,Don Bosco Youth Mission and Educational Services. He is a certified trainer in HRD from the American Society for Training and Development. He is a visiting Faculty Member at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie ,Assam Administrative Staff College, Assam Staff College ,Gauhati University and Meghalaya Administrative Training Institute, Member of National Resource Group for Education Guarantee Scheme and Innovative Education ,Government of India. He was formerly the National General Secretary of the All India Association of Catholic Schools, New Delhi and Director, North Eastern Regional Youth Commission, Guwahati. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 17


INDIA CELEBRATES 74TH INDEPENDENCE DAY’ 2020 India celebrated its 74th Independence Day on Saturday,15 August 2020. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Rajghat and paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi as the celebrations started. The Prime Minister then proceeded to the Red Fort where he remembered those who laid their lives for India's Independence. External Affairs Minister,Dr. S Jaishankar on Saturday thanked the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Bhutan, the Maldives, Lithuania and Latvia for their wishes on India’s 74th Independence Day. Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid tweeted that India has aimed to be, and now become, an enduring example of democracy and development, for the region and the world. Jaishankar said their bilateral relationship is a shining example of ‘Neighbourhood First’. Israel Envoy wished in Hindi As India Celebrates 74th Independence Day. Ambassador Ron Malka, the Israeli envoy expressed greetings on Independence Day to all the Indian friends and wished for peace and prosperity. Swatantrata diwas ki hardik shubhkaamnaein," Recently, Israel shared "state-of-the-art artificial intelligence-based technologies and high-end equipment" with AIIMS, Delhi as part of Israel-India cooperation to fight ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is the most advanced medical equipment that they have developed especially for fighting COVID-19. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director of AIIMS Dr Randeep Guleria said that the India-Israel relations are strong. Earlier, India helped Israel with medicines and safety gear. Now Israel has sent equipment including robotic teleconsultation and telemonitoring equipment." India Independence Day 2020 ,Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the occasion of India’s 74th Independence Day and applauded frontline workers fighting against novel coronavirus. He said India was going through a unique phase owing to the pandemic but would come out victorious and thanked to the resolve of the people. PM Modi highlighted the importance to make India self-reliant, saying it was not just a word but should be a “mantra” for all countrymen. PM Modi launched a National Digital Health Mission and said it will usher in a revolution in India’s health sector. Every Indian will now get a unique health ID and the country must not only ‘Make in India’ but also ‘Make for the World’. The Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort was attended by over 4,000 people, including diplomats, officials and media personnel. Safety protocols were in place for the event, including social distancing and wearing masks.

INDEPENDENCE DAY 2020: 'MAKE FOR WORLD' IS PM MODI'S NEW CALL The call for Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) by PM Modi to fight the Covid-19 pandemic has captured people’s imagination and should be the mantra for everyone, as he delivered his seventh consecutive Independence Day speech while addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort to mark the 74th Independence Day, PM Modi, in his nearly 90-minute speech, put forward the mantra of ‘Make for World’ alongside his pet initiative of ‘Make in India’ as he exhorted all Indians to be ‘vocal for local’. 18 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

In the mission for Atmanirbhar Bharat there are six popular ‘Made in India’ apps that has been tried in the last few months and have seen many Made in India apps take the center stage . Since the Government of India banned over 100 Chinese applications including the very popular TikTok ,the country have witnessed the introduction of many Made in India applications. Most of these app developers claim that it’s PM Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat that has boosted their platforms and people in India are now preferring apps that ate made by Indians and for Indians. In the last few months we have seen many Made in India apps take the center stage. There are some Indian apps that were there before PM Modi announced the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign and have attracted the attention of many consumers. After TikTok was banned many Indian developers introduced rivals for the Chinese app. Chingari app is one of them. The platform was built around two years ago but gained popularity only after PM Modi announced the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign soon after TikTok was blocked in the country over security reasons. Chingari, today has millions of users onboard and is available for download on both Google Play store and Apple App store. In the Atmanirbhar Bharat innovation app challenge Chingari secured the first position in the social category. He agreed that there are lakhs of challenges for Atmanirbhar Bharat and they increase if there is global competitiveness. However, if there are lakhs of challenges, then the country also has power which gives crores of solutions. Citing an example, Modi said before the Covid-19 pandemic, the country was not making N-95 masks, PPE and ventilators, but now it was in a position to export such items. The mindset of free India should be ‘vocal for local’. The nation should appreciate the local products and if they din’t do this then the products will not get the opportunity to do better and will not get encouraged felt PM Modi . Ever since he assumed office in 2014, PM Modi’s Independence Day speeches have outlined a roadmap for the year ahead while listing the achievements of the government from the year gone by. This year was no different. Besides dwelling upon his pet theme of Atmanirbhar Bharat, PM Modi reinforced his government’s commitment to providing clean drinking water to every household while saying free gas cylinders


were given to seven crore poor families and 80 crore people provided free food grains. He also said the optical fibre network would be provided to 6 lakh villages in 1,000 days. For the infrastructure sector, PM Modi said about 7,000 projects of different sectors had been identified. National infrastructure pipeline project with the investment of 1.10 lakh crore should be given importance. The approach will be integrated, multi-model infrastructural projects. Announcing the National Digital Health Mission, PM Modi said it was the need of the hour and the ‘One Nation One Health Card’ scheme would help people get better healthcare facilities in the country. “National Digital Health Mission will bring a new revolution in India’s health sector. Under the mission, every Indian will get a unique health ID.

THE NATIONAL DIGITAL HEALTH MISSION A person’s medical records, such as tests, diagnosis, and treatments will be digitized and saved as a database that can be accessed from anywhere in the country. With all eyes on an antidote to Covid-19, PM Modi said three probable vaccine candidates were at different stages of testing and the entire roadmap of its production and delivery were ready. Today three vaccines are in testing stages in India. As soon as the scientists are given a green signal, the country will begin their large scale production. As soon as tests are complete, the entire roadmap of its production and delivery to the public will be ready in the shortest time. Days after the first anniversary of the abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir and conversion of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories, PM Modi said the government was committed to hold assembly elections in J&K once delimitation exercise was complete. The one year was a year of the new journey of development for Jammu and Kashmir. This one year is the year of the rights received by the women and the Dalits in Jammu and Kashmir. This one year was also the year of a life of dignity for the refugees in Jammu and Kashmir. Without naming China, with whom India has been locked in a border standoff since May in eastern Ladakh, PM Modi said, “Those who challenge the country’s sovereignty, be it LOC or LAC, have been given a befitting reply in their own language.” In the same breath, PM Modi said neighbours were not only those with whom “we share our geographical boundaries” but also “those with whom our hearts meet”. Today neighbour is not just the one with whom we share border but also those with whom our heart stays connected, where there is harmony in relations. He was happy that in past some time India has further strengthened its relations with all countries in ‘extended neighbourhood.

Asserting that the government was determined to provide equal opportunities of self-employment and employment to women, PM Modi said a committee had been set up to reconsider the minimum age for marriage of women. A committee would be set up to reconsider the minimum age for marriage of the daughters. The Government will take appropriate decision after the committee submits its report.

INDIA ANNOUNCES NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY. The National Education Policy was framed in 1986 and modified in 1992. More than three decades had passed since previous Policy. During this period significant changes had taken place in the country, society economy, and the world at large. It is in this context that the education sector needed to gear itself towards the demands of the 21st Century and the needs of the people and the country. Quality, innovation and research will be the pillars on which India will become a knowledge super power. Clearly, a new Education Policy was needed. The Government had initiated the process of formulating a New Education Policy through the consultation process for an inclusive, participatory and holistic approach, which takes into consideration expert opinions, field experiences, empirical research, stakeholder feedback, as well as lessons learned from best practices. Education is fundamental for achieving full human potential, developing an equitable and just society, and promoting national development. Providing universal access to quality education is the key to India’s continued ascent, and leadership on the global stage in terms of economic growth, social justice and equality, scientific advancement, national integration, and cultural preservation. Universal high-quality education is the best way forward for developing and maximizing the country's rich talents and resources for the good of the individual, the society, the country, and the world. India will have the highest population of young people in the world over the next decade, and the ability to provide high-quality educational opportunities to them will determine the future of the country. The global education development agenda reflected in the Goal 4 (SDG4) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by India in 2015 - seeks to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030. Such a lofty goal will require the entire education system to be reconfigured to support and foster learning, so that all of the critical targets and goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can be achieved. The world is undergoing rapid changes in the knowledge landscape. With various dramatic scientific and technological advances, such as the rise of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, many unskilled jobs worldwide may be taken over by machines, while the need for a skilled workforce, particularly involving mathematics, computer science, and data science, in conjunction with multidisciplinary abilities across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, will be increasingly in greater demand. With climate change, increasing pollution, and depleting natural resources, there will be a sizeable shift in how we meet the world’s energy, water, food, and sanitation needs, again resulting in the need for new skilled labour, particularly in biology, chemistry, physics, agriculture, climate science, and social science. The growing emergence of epidemics and pandemics will also call for collaborative research in infectious disease management and development of vaccines and the resultant social issues heightens the need for multidisciplinary learning. There will be a growing demand for humanities and art, as India moves towards becoming a developed country as well as among the three largest economies in the world. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 19


EMPOWERING

DON BOSCO IN INDIA YOUNG AT DEDICATED RISK

TO EDUCATION OF LESS PRIVILEDGED

Bosconet is the Resource Mobilization unit of Don Bosco India. Don Bosco (DB) has been empowering youth since 1906 through education, livelihood skills, right based gender equality with presence across 350 districts, 186 cities, and towns, with beneficiaries in over 30,000 villages in India. Their multifaceted projects have created sustainable impact towards lives of ten lakh marginalized children, youth, and women.

120 DB technical institutes and 129 youth centers have skilled over 8 lakh youth belonging to below poverty line families, Scheduled Tribes, women who are ensured employability through their 52 job placement centers. After being recognized by Government of India as the largest non-governmental technical education provider, they now have the mission to train 22 lakh youth in livelihood skills by this year 2020.

DB Young at Risk (YaR) forum, which has rehabilitated over 45,000 children, from the slums, rural communities. BOSCO was honored by the Government of India with the “National Award for Child Welfare” and recognized by Ministry of Women & Child Development for its “Quality Brand Award” for its outstanding services rendered to the vulnerable children. Till date, over 1.75 lakh missing children have been rescued. They also offer integral education through 257 schools in the cities, towns, and villages, adding a new spring of life to 2.4 lakh students under their care.

Empowering a woman is empowering a family. Believing the same spirit, they have enabled the socio-economic upliftment of over 82,500 women through more than 6,600 Self Help groups. Over 1.5 lakh women have been sensitized about Human Rights while 45,000 have been financially included in the economic structures through credit institutes.

20 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

All Don Bosco technical institutes take young people from the poorer sections of society and offer them not merely skills for a job but also transform them into responsible, hardworking citizens. Catering to the skilling and employability needs of the


youth, Don Bosco technical institutes in India have given skill training to thousands of young people. Don Bosco vocational training institutes offer government certified diploma courses. Non-formal technical institutes offer certificate or diploma courses for those who have not completed school education. Don Bosco technical institutes in India have well equipped work- shops with state of the art machines. The government of India has recognized the Salesians of Don Bosco as the largest non-governmental provider of technical education in the country. The 120 Don Bosco technical training centres in India provide skill training to 24,878* young people every year. Empowering the youth, especially the poor and the marginalized, through ca- reer guidance and job placement is one of the most important interventions of the Salesians of Don Bosco in India. The services offered by Salesians in India are on Career guidance services,Job placement & job training services,Self-employment & entrepreneurship training Skill based training & need based training,Hostel facilities for rural boys,Articles and books publishing on career & employment issues,Residential job-oriented training,Weekly motivation programmes for the rural poor youth. The Youth Centres all over the country are involved with Programmes of social inclusion, Programmes for health education, Programmes of child Life quality, Programmes of formation of volunteers, Programmes of education in leisure time and values,Programmes of training and advice for employ-ability for young people, Programmes of training and advice for employ-ability for women, Programmes of promotion of volunteers. Bosconet also carryout programmes which are organized to emancipate rural women,dalit women and other poor women through the Women centres and participatory interventions in organizing Self Help Groups, Associations and federations, Women associations for socio-economic development, Widows welfare group,Empowerment centre for women, Entrepreneurship training centres for young women, Income generation programme training centres and Job placement cells for women. Don Bosco India through its social development organisations have concentrated on social justice for all.Don Bosco Centres have laid emphasis on justice for women. They have also ventured to promote Equal rights for women, Education to girl child, Work against domestic violence, Unite women against gender based violence,Eradicate exploitation of women, Fight against child marriage. . Women are given livelihood training in agriculture, food processing, tailoring, handicraft and other similar products.15,000*Women are linked with credit institutions to scale up their economic ventures.1,50,000*Women are provided with social awareness programmes,35,000*,Women are enrolled in banks to save and use their income profitably,12,500*Women are trained to participate in the village and Panchayat( village council) administrative structures. The Don Bosco service centres in India focus on sustainable development models for their interventions. The young people are formed in such a way that they promote and protect nature.

They are trained not to exploit nature in its essence.The young people are guided to find solutions for their socio-economic problems,motivated to embark on efforts that will sustain them for life, directed to choose means and methods that do not affect society,Counselled to make right decisions in life. They are also trained to work in collaboration with all Skilled programmes to earn a living and empowered to change and transform society. The Don Bosco India is also involved in organizing specialized innovative and need based services implemented through novel ventures to cater to the socio -economic needs of the various most disadvantaged target groups . They are the HIV/AIDS prevention and rehabilitation centre, Home for aged, Residential care home for leprosy patients, Social welfare programmes for the Adivasi federations, Prison ministry for young convicts, Welfare centres for the differently abled, Refugees rehabilitation. Bosconet is playing a stellar role to do what visionary educationist John ‘Don’ Bosco had done almost two centuries ago which .is the Resource Mobilization unit of Don Bosco India. The Don Bosco Solidarity Covid 19 Relief The Don Bosco Solidarity Covid 19 Relief campaign brought together the entire Don Bosco family with one mission: to save and sustain the vulnerable impacted by the pandemic. In India, the Don Bosco Network reached out to over one million people in need. Due to the sudden lockdown announced in India on 25 March 2020,there was a sudden poor and vulnerable sections of people and migrant labourers had to find a way for safety that The Don Bosco Solidarity Covid 19 Relief was formed. The Bosconet represent 11 Don Bosco planning and development organizations across 29 states and 354 NGO’s were involved to take care for the homeless poor, responded to people wherever they were in the country. In India, the Don Bosco Network reached out to over one million people in need. The Don Bosco Solidarity COVID 19 Relief work in India, they had distributed over 145 thousand Grocery kits, feeding persons of over 345 thousand , distribution of meals to poor people were over 437 thousand, masks to over 410 thousand, medicine personal protection Equipment and sanitary kits were distributed to nearly 48 thousand and more, Sanitizers and nearly 260 thousand litres of drinking water was distributed to the poor and the needy. The volunteers followed safely protocols while reaching out to people . Despite challenges Don Bosco Network appreciates donors coming forward to improve the lives of affected people during pandemic. Fr. Noel Maddhichetty ,Director, Bosconet India with their motto to Motivate, Educate and Build Skills, the task of coordinating and mobilizing resources for Don Bosco works in South Asia, who has enriched them while pioneering and founding many works of Street children, Higher Education institutions and synergizing the national networks in Andhra Pradesh and other states of India in education and skill mission for an all round development and contributing towards nation building. Bosconet has demonstrated and set an example of outstanding acts of kindness, compassion and education to the less privileged youth of India and women entrepreneurs. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 21


FEATURES FROM

DOMINIQUE “MRSGIJANE” WILLIAMS: HEADING FOR THE BRIGHT LIGHTS

Do what moves your spirit.

22 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

DominiQue “MrsGiJane” Williams is a blossoming actress. She’s from Cincinnati, Ohio which she describes as a “fun little city full of wishers and dreamers that sometimes gets the opportunity to give their ambitions life.” The Isley Brothers, L.A. Reid, and Katt Williams all have roots in the city. DominiQue looks at herself as continuing the lineage of stars who had ambitions beyond the city limits. They were headed for the bright lights! DominiQue admits that Cincinnati “is not known as a place where stars are born,” but she is definitely proud to call it home.


I’m trying to give my audience the truest version of myself as the character that I am playing at the time. I embody that technique and truth into my artistic work.

She does not describe her developing career as an actress as a learned skill or even work. “As an actress, I don’t categorize what I do as a craft. I am who I am,” she explains. “I am who I have been called to be. Acting embodies my persona.” Self-care is important to DominiQue. She’s always working on herself. She says that it is important for her “spiritual side” to be taken care of as well. This is how she performs her best when she’s on screen. “I am channeling my most inner emotions into the roles I play,” she explains. “I’m trying to give my audience the truest version of myself as the character that I am playing at the time. I embody that technique and truth into my artistic work.” DominiQue Williams makes her debut on the big screen in Warner Bros’ Shaft (2019) with Samuel L. Jackson, Regina Lee Hall and a cameo by Richard Roundtree (the original Shaft). The new film is the fifth in the series and the sequel to the 2000’s film of the same name. It premieres at

the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) this summer in Miami and will be in theaters nationwide on June 14. She has a number of projects in the works but is playfully reluctant to share the details on those. She believes the suspense will keep the fans wanting more. “I could tell you more, but where’s the fun in that? I have to leave you with something to stay tuned for.” And just like that, we are left to guess the magnitude of her next projects. We have a feeling they’re going to be fantastic! To learn more about DominiQue “MrsGiJane” Williams, follow her on IG @mrsgijane. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 23


REAL DEAL ADVICE I’D USE MYSELF

Signed, ~IsitLove DEAR ISITLOVE: Thank you for writing queen. In all honesty, your question has a reoccurring theme that I am hearing more and more by women and men alike. The truth is that dating in these days and times is indeed different and finding new ways of meeting people especially online has become the new norm. So, let’s talk… about (duh... duh … duh) …love! Everyone who knows me knows I love talking about love and all its components in between, but in my reality and my opinion love doesn’t fit into one description. Just like a lot of us, I have fallen in love; thought I had fallen in love and been in and out of love a few times in my life. Each of these experiences were at the time something amazingly special and all were very different. With that said, my feelings are that the true definition of love is remarkably different for everyone. When we are first beginning a relationship there is a heavy production of hormones that can indeed give us an overwhelming feeling that one could consider love, but it could really can be love… right?! 24 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

So, are you ready? I’m going to give you some JRDA (Jai’s Real Deal Advice). • Take your time and focus on getting to know him. Statistics do show that it takes a year or more to really get to know someone, but not everyone fits into a statistic so follow your intuition on what is best for you. • Remember it’s okay to follow your heart. If you both are feeling love that’s a beautiful thing. The beauty of love is that if you both are feeling it there is no rush…with love comes patience. • Pay special attention to your feelings. Always make sure you feel comfortable and unpressured and if he truly loves you then this won’t be a problem at all. So, to answer your questions, I don’t think it is crazy “at all” to meet your new found guy online. My advice is the same as any good friend, parent or coach and that is to just be careful, making sure he is who he says he is. Review his social media presence as this is important., Is he good with his family? Is he okay with facetime? Always listen to your gut and notice the red flags. People meet people in the strangest places. I have met someone in a Starbucks, in a club, and on an airplane and each were all special in different ways and meant for me in that moment in time. Dating on line like anywhere else have nice guys and not so nice ones. There are jerks everywhere so again trust your instincts. My rule for you is if there is more than three red flags, you aren’t evenly yoked.

But you have to trust, believe, and use your intuition to determine when enough is enough for you. Remember “YOU GOT THIS”, and all will fall into place! Blessings to you and may you find your happily ever after”. ~Dr. Jai Strategic Ladies Generational Prospective Tips • Be mindful of how this relationship makes you feel about your true self… • Acknowledge the red flags so that you can rid yourself of negative energy… • Follow your instincts …and Background checks are good Monthly Mindful Relationship Quote

With all of your mite embrace the good and rid yourself of the all that is negative...Nourish you heart as you do your body

~Dr. Jai

DEAR DR. JAI: Is it weird that I am starting a relationship and already having strong feelings for someone during a pandemic? I have been single for a very long time and finally had the nerve to get on a dating site and met this great guy. He seems like everything I ever wanted, but because of the pandemic we haven’t met. Should I slow things down? He’s already told me he is falling in love.


HAVE A QUESTION? WANT COACHING ADVICE?

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Disclaimer Notice: All coaching/intuitive advice given on any platform, article, magazine, website etc.; does not substitute a medical practitioner or any other expert advice. All choices you make in life are your responsibility and in no way does Dr.Jai (Jacinta) guarantee and does not accept any liability for indirect or direct damage that may arise or for any loss or damage of any kind. Be safe, make wise choices and be blessed. All rights reserved and nothing can be partially or in whole be reprinted or reproduced without a written consent. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 25


Jen & Brad’s Honeymoon Mansion T

hough not much has been said lately about the possibility of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt getting back together again now that they’re both single, the drop-dead-gorgeous home they bought soon after they were married in 2000 for $13.5 million, and owned together until one year after their 2005 divorce, has just sold. The 11,173-square-foot home, originally built in 1934 for twotime Oscar-winning actor Fredric March as one of the first movie star mansions in Beverly Hills, came on the market last year listed at $56 million. The price was lowered over time but didn’t sell and was taken off the market when it reached $44.5 million in March. It finally sold for $32.5 million in an off-market deal, more than double what Aniston and Pitt originally paid for it.

26 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY


Jen and Brad’s love mansion is nestled into a bit over an acre on a quiet cul-de-sac with gated entrances on two streets, five bedrooms and thirteen baths between the main house and a one-bedroom guest house. Formal rooms are large with the dining room capable of seating 20 guests and the bar room with its original fireplace, eat-in gourmet kitchen and gym. The lower-level living room and bar-screening room open to the swimming pool terrace. Grounds are tropical and thick with mature greenery. Much of what exists inside and outside the house today was thanks to Jen and Brad. Soon after they bought the home in 2001, the super couple began a three-year renovation replacing the kitchen floor with heated marble, designing and installing a pub with floors sourced from a 200-year-old French château and adding a private screening room. They also added a tennis court and pavilion with a guest house on the upper level. In January of 2005, their separation was announced and the home sold in 2006 for $26 million to hedge fund executive Jonathan Brooks, who completed the renovation and added some features of his own. Having owned the home for 14 years and not counting the cost of his own changes, his profit on this sale was approximately $6 million. Susan Smith of Hilton & Hyland was the listing agent and representing the buyer were Justin Huchel and Drew Fenton who are also with Hilton & Hyland.

Source: TopTenRealEstateDeals.com • Photo Credit: Tyler Hogan Link: www. Toptenrealestatedeals.com/weekly-ten-best-homedeals/home/jen-brads-honeymoon-mansion-just-sold

HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 27


Hitha 28 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY


Who are we? GENERATION Z!

L

et’s face a fact, our generation, Generation Z, is one of the most powerful generations of all time. Born between 1995 and 2015, we entered the world just as a new century began. Growing up, we were taught about all the things we didn’t need to know. We are surrounded by technology, which can be considered good, but it can also be extremely harmful and not in the way most people think. Technological advancements such as phones and computers were introduced to us at a much earlier age than prior generations. It means we have had all the world’s knowledge and resources at our fingertips. Sure, these devices have been an incredible resource, but they have also introduced us to important things at a younger age, forcing us to grow up faster than ever before. Looking at social media, and seeing all the bad that’s happening around us, and then not learning about ways to solve these kinds of problems just left us confused and anxious. How are we suppose to resolve these issues when we are in charge? Then a tidal wave hit our world, COVID19. Everyone had to be self-quarantined in their own home for an unknown amount of time, and when everyone believed that the Corona Virus would be the worst of our problems, secrets started spilling out and bad things were done to good people. America started to see the truth behind our country. That’s when Generation Z finally took action. No matter what our political stances were, and no matter what situations we put ourselves in, we could count on each other as a whole community. Gen Z fought for their beliefs and made their mark on the world. Because we were introduced to technology earlier, we got to connect to people all over the world, unifying our generation and allowing many to name Generation Z as one of the most influential generations in history.

Now let’s talk about change. Many issues in the American societies started when the first colonists to discover America, took the land for themselves. As this country began to grow and develop, more and more discriminatory and unjust methods were taking action. Now, in 2020, we are at a time where the discrimination being hidden has been brought to light. Racism was embedded in our American history and still, even today is being shoved under a rug. But that’s not the only thing that’s happening. Influential people are being held accountable for their mistakes, no matter how big or small they were. People are raising awareness to the Native American women going missing. They are trying to bring attention to the number of unjust deaths to many African Americans, including Breonna Taylor and many more. People are not only focused on problems in America though, we are talking about worldwide issues such as Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and the concentration camps for Muslims in China. There are many problems all over the world right now. The best way to overcome them is by felling globally united and tackling one problem by one. When the world is at a time of crisis, Generation Z has shown that they can come together as a league and fight for what they believe in. After all, the way we were brought up lead us to be very forward-thinking and innovative, with strong morals and true clarification of what is right and what is wrong. This is only the start of a long journey to complete the vision of a perfect world, but this generation knows how to take the next step. We know just how strong we are as a union.

Hitha.me

Social: @OfficialHitha HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 29


CELESTE M. COOPER Going the distance in Range Runners

By Alex A. Kecskes Born and raised in Joliet, IL, Celeste M. Cooper is the youngest of four children of Keith, the former warden of Joliet Correctional Center, and Anitra, a special education teacher. A former shy athlete (track and field, basketball, volleyball, and swimming), Celeste got the acting bug after several teachers persuaded her to start acting. She eventually skipped track practice in her senior year of high school to audition for You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. Soon after, Celeste was cast as Lucy Van Pelt and never looked back. Celeste went on to study acting at Tennessee State University and then DePaul University’s The Theatre School, where she received her MFA in Acting in 2012. Less than a year out of school, Celeste performed at one of the top theaters in the Midwest—the Goodman Theatre—where she played Juliet in Measure for Measure. A few months later, she co-stared on Chicago P.D. as Medical Examiner Cooper, which turned into a recurring role. In 2014, Celeste was named Most Promising Actress at the Black Theatre Alliance Awards. In Range Runners, Celeste is Mel, a distance runner who encounters two drug criminals on a rugged mountain trail. After being beaten, tied up, and badly injured, she summons the courage and will survive. Thank you for taking the time for this interview. What drew you to Range Runners and the character of Mel? Celeste M. Cooper: As soon as I got the sides from my agent, I identified with Mel, which included being pushed and encouraged by her father and running to please him. I thought, OMG, I completely understand this woman. Succeeding in sports was part of my father’s dream for me and Mel was trying to prove that she could distance run and ultimately fight for her life. Did you audition for the role, if so, what was that like? Celeste: Yes, I got the sides and went into PR Casting. After doing both sides, they set up a callback but I was rehearsing for a play, so I met them at a shooting warehouse in Chicago. And when I saw the producer, director, and

30 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

writer, and no one else, I just assumed that the other actors for the role had come for their callback on another day. But I learned later, that I was the only one they called back. After seeing how I ran and engaged in fight coordination, the stunt coordinator, Aaron Crippen, who is amazing, liked me. Then the director, Philip S. Plowden started talking to me like I’d already got the part, saying, you’re the one I want for this. So I was a bit surprised. But then I thought, well, I proved that I could act and do the physical stuff, so why not? Being the only person in a callback was something I’d never experienced. I sometimes like auditions, just so I can prove to myself that, yeah, this one’s mine. I’m going to rock this thing (laughs). Are you a runner? Did you train for this physically grueling film?


myself, ‘no matter what, I have to get this shot…mind over matter.’ What did you draw from to portray the emotions of a woman at first defeated, then summoning the strength, willpower, and courage to go on? Celeste: I personalized every situation Devon Colwell wrote for Mel. I used my imagination, small pieces of my life, and/or personalized experiences I’ve heard about. What was the biggest challenge you faced in completing this film? Celeste: Two things: the conditions and dealing with unfamiliar props. We shot in the woods and it was extremely hot; however, I still had to run and fight whenever the scene called for it. There were ticks everywhere—sometimes on me—and snakes, bugs, dirt, and more. My make-up consisted of dirt, fake blood, and sweat. I felt gross every day. I was afraid of heights but quickly had to get over that. I used to call Range Runners the ultimate Fear Factor episode (laughs). The other challenge was dealing with several props for the first time in a scene. I remember filming one particular scene that overwhelmed me with what seemed like a multitude of unfamiliar props. But I pushed through my frustration and insecurity and I told myself, ‘I got this!’ That scene turned out pretty great and it makes me so happy. Mind over matter won once again.  Where was the film shot and how many days were you in the woods? Celeste: We shot for about 18 days in Southern, Illinois— Makanda and Carbondale.  Some of the fight scenes were pretty physical. Did you sustain any injuries?  Celeste: My father was the warden at the Joliet Correctional Center and Anitra pushed me in sports. So I was used to running—I’ve been running since I was seven years old and kept it up till I was 18. My father coached me in basketball and track, screaming at me from the sidelines. So what Carl Clemons-Hopkins, who plays my father in the film, was saying sounded very familiar (laughs). I was already doing lots of physical acting. In a play called The Doppelganger at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, I was sword fighting, dragging bodies, and doing lots of physical stuff—nine times a week for a couple of months. Distance runners often talk about ’hitting the wall.’ Did you experience any of that while filming or training? Celeste: I definitely had some exhausting shooting days; however, I was always focused on getting the shot. I’d tell

Celeste: Yes, but nothing that would stop me from shooting. I got some minor burns on my hands, several scrapes, and I rolled my ankle once or twice. What’s next for you? Drama or more physical action roles? Celeste: With this pandemic, who really knows? However, I’m great at staying busy. I will definitely continue to produce different creative projects. I’m currently working on a short film by Mia Chung with my theatre home, Steppenwolf Theatre Company. I’m also interested in more TV and film opportunities—drama, comedy, action, and thrillers. I’d love to do some more physical roles and I’ve always been interested in playing a superhero, action figure, boxer, and basketball star. 

HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 31


Designer Carolina Dela Pace Designer: Carolina Dela Pace Photo: Frankie Gorchess

Over 700 dressed brides during 6 years of her career. Happy couples from different continents: Asia, Europe, South and North America. Carolina Dela Pace is a new star who is rocking the wedding world. Summer and autumn usually are favorite marriage seasons. How to be a stylish bride or to be a wedding guest and do not spoil your relatives big day by having incorrect clothes or gifts. Today her advice is especially relevant for you. Carolina, is fashion a passion for you? Yes, there is nothing better than working with what you love and believe in! How did you start and why did you become a designer? If we talk about the very beginning, it was when I was a kid. My main fun was designing gala and bride dresses for my Barbies. But I was able to resume my passion and managed to rescue my dream of being a fashion designer at only 30 years old. I finished my specialization in haute couture and studied from renowned professors in the area. As I’ve always been in love with wedding dresses, I decided to quit my job to live my dream and believe in my talent. For whom do you design your dresses? I create my dresses for women who want to look beautiful on a very special day like their wedding or prom night. My wedding and gala dresses 32 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

are handmade, I make them unique for each lady. Is there a fashion in wedding dresses? Yes, just like in the casual fashion universe, in wedding dresses fashion is updated every season, but of course, in a more subtle way. As for example, a few years ago the chic dresses were made practically with taffeta fabric, bulky sleeves, large tails, volume throughout the dress, like the iconic dress of Princess Diana. Today the puff sleeves have become trendy again, however in a more modernized and balanced way with the rest of the dress and with lighter fabrics. How do you keep yourself updated in fashion? I study a lot about trends, take improvement courses. I follow fashion shows. I can say that every day I learn something new about fashion and its trends. But at the time of creation I follow my feeling of what I should exhibit in my shows. How should the most elegant bride and groom look in 2020? An elegant bride getting married this year should bet on a dress with fluidity and delicate lace, but of course never forget the importance of feeling beautiful! Today we have many brides who choose these seasons because they have a good climate for an external and romantic wedding, although it is also very chic

and luxurious to get married in winter. But I guarantee, if the bride chooses to wear a Carolina Dela Pace dress she will be elegant in any season. And of course, the most elegant bride and groom are those who do not overdo the look of the big day, romanticism is still the most elegant part of a wedding. What are the fashionable wedding accessories in 2020? An accessory that is very popular is the cape, especially for the bride who does not want to wear a headdress or bridal veil, the cape brings an air of royalty, power and sensuality. We started to see the use of the cape in 2019, but it is only the beginning, I believe we will have another 3 years with this upward trend. What are the fashion colors for wedding dresses in 2020? Blush and nude are still very strong in 2020, I believe we will still see a lot of these shades in 2021. How about forms? Must it be a big round dress or straight and simple? Every woman has a body shape and the ideal dress model should be the one that best values her. It doesn’t have to be the “right format” that is in fashion, because the wedding day is something linked to the dream of the bride, often from childhood. The bride idealized the dress for many years before starting to look for it. As a designer I have to adapt my designs


Signature gown of Bossa Nova collection 2020 at NYFW Designer: Carolina Dela Pace Makeup stylist: Fen Lin Photo: John Prescod Jarekay Studios Hair stylist: Cici Chang Retouch: Paryzhan Lecya

guests be dressed so as not to spoil the elegant wedding ceremony? This is an issue that varies greatly from country to country and religion, as each has its own rules of conduct when it comes to wedding dressing. In countries where brides have a tradition of wearing the white dress, it is not elegant for a guest to go dressed in white clothes, after all the focus of the wedding is the bride and groom and we don’t need anyone else wearing white at the party. Of course dress must not be casual, any sportswear, jeans and sneakers are absolutely forbidden for many countries. according her lifetime dream! I have done years of study on the creative process working with the brides because I think it’s important to have respect for each bride`s dream. I saw in your NYFW wedding collection that you even had "hood" for your brides. Is it a new fashion trend? Yes! As I said earlier, the cape is super hot and the hood that I added to the cape gives it an extra charm, a variation for that bride who likes to dare.

How does it feels to be a wedding designer? Do you feel you create special emotions for couples by the dresses you design for them? It is an incredible feeling when I see a bride making her dream come true with a dress created by me and thoughts of her! I was often thrilled when I saw the finished dress and the radiant bride wearing it. After all, besides great emotions it is also a great responsibility! How should wedding witnesses and close relatives or perhaps even

What’s the funniest wedding dress you’ve ever seen? I’ve seen some funny and very bad taste dresses. I guess they are eccentric brides and want to dare, but I think after a few years they look at the wedding photos and regret the choice! For example in Brazil some brides are football fanatics and take it to their wedding, it’s okay if you want something from your favorite team at the wedding, but making a wedding dress with the colors of the team’s HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 33


Bossa Nova collection 2020 at NYFW Photo: John Prescod Jarekay Studios

flag, surely the bride will not draw attention in a positive way. You've seen as more that most people. From your experience, what is the most stylish wedding gift? Because the gift is always a great challenge for all guests. Well, giving the honeymoon as a gift would be an excellent idea! It is good if the bride and groom make a list of gifts that they would like to receive, which greatly facilitates the lives of the guests when buying, as there is no mistake. But if you want to be different and rock, give the honeymoon as a gift! What is the secret of your success? 700 brides during 6 years is a big number for any new wedding designer. I honestly don’t know what the secret is, I just work with a lot of passion and love! And I work a lot, I study a lot, I’m 34 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

always updating myself to give the best to my clients. Achieving dreams is like a mission for me and I think my clients see it in me. Maybe the secret is to love what I do and feel fulfilled with my profession. What is your biggest dream? Consolidate myself as an international stylist. Who is the most stylish celebrity in your opinion? I am from Brazil, so I really like the style of a Brazilian celebrity line Marina Ruy Barbosa. What is the craziest thing you would like to do in Hollywood? To create costumes for movies like “Miss Congeniality” where women wear luxurious dresses. I would move to Hollywood especially for it!

How was New York Fashion Week in February 2020? I launched my winter / autumn Bossa Nova collection at NYFW 2020 in February. And it was a great success. I`m still full of amazing emotions. Fashion week was wonderful, I had positive feedback from people who watched my show and also from other designers who participated, which was a great honor for me. What other fashion events do you participating? I participated in many fashion shows in Brazil, NYFW in September last year opened many doors. For September 2020 I got proposals to participate in Fashion Week in London. Of course, dressing celebrities for the Oscars red carpet is coming next after that.


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Agnes Bruckner On acting, life and being Immortal By Alex A. Kecskes Thank you for taking the time for this interview. What attracted you to this film and the role of Vanessa? Agnes Bruckner: When I read my segment of the script, I was drawn to Vanessa, her different situations, and especially the surprise twist. I told director Danny Isaacs, I really didn’t see that coming. He was so enthusiastic—it was ‘his baby’— and that drew me further into the film. I’ve always liked the thriller-suspense genre and ideas that are more ‘out there.’ Did you audition for this role? If so, what was that like? Bruckner: No. The producer had recalled and greatly admired my performance in a film I did some time ago called Blue Car. They were aware of my background and felt confident that I’d be right for the role. After talking to Danny and giving him ideas about who I thought Vanessa was, it just felt right. I remember Blue Car. It was a great film that made human contact, unlike so many films you see today. Bruckner: It was great, although, I didn’t appreciate its impact back then. Today’s scripts seem to lack uniqueness. You’ve got lots of remakes and superhero movies. But films like Blue Car are truly rare today. I treasure it as one of my favorite experiences and roles. In Immortal, you play a complex woman about to give birth while betraying her husband. What did you draw from emotionally and physically to get into the character?

Born to a Hungarian father and Russian mother, Agnes Bruckner secured her first role in the film Girl, released in 1997. She then landed a role in the daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. Next came her first lead as a young girl dedicated to saving the residents of a miniature city in The Shrunken City. This was followed by a supporting role in the thriller The Glass House. Other key roles soon followed, including her breakout performance as a troubled teen in Blue Car, which earned Bruckner an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. Then came roles in the Columbine-inspired teen drama Home Room and the harrowing drama Rick, in which she played a girl targeted by an Internet predator. Bruckner is also remembered as Heather Fasulo in Lucky McKee’s girl-school chiller The Woods and as Pippa Ridley in the high-profile Hollywood crime drama Haven. More recent TV work includes playing Niki Banks in the fantasy drama The Returned and Heather Parker in the comedy-drama Private Practice. In the anthology thriller Immortal, Bruckner is Vanessa, a pregnant housewife who plots the death of her husband only to discover that things can go terribly wrong when you’re married to an immortal. 36 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

Bruckner: I don’t watch regular TV shows. I enjoy documentaries about people who’ve been in prison and unsolved murder mysteries. I think people like Vanessa, who can do something so awful, fascinate me. She’s pregnant and having this affair and ready to kill her husband. It’s just so crazy to think about. People like that have something missing, which is what I put in the back of my mind for Vanessa. Like when she’s on the phone and freaking out, then hangs up and exhales with a smile. Danny guided me through that. Emotionally, it’s very easy for me to get to a place like that, especially when I’m saying goodbye to him as he climbs on the roof. Brett (Edwards) is an amazing actor to work off of. It was a fun scene to do but it also makes you look crazy. I remember my manager calling and saying my God, the range you have. And I said does this make me look bad as a person? (laughs). What was the biggest challenge you faced in this film? Bruckner: That fact that we only had four days to shoot and our small budget. I played a pregnant girl so I had to wear this belly. We didn’t have much time to rehearse. We just talked a bit about this and that and then we’d just start shooting. We were lucky that everyone brought their A-game to the set. And this was my first film after having my first child—so I was balancing work and coming home to a six-month-old. This film speaks to several unique aspects of immortality. If you suddenly realized you were immortal, how would that change you?


Bruckner: OMG, I think I would freak out. I mean, how would it work? Would you age or stay the same? Would you watch your kids age in front of you? I don’t think I’d like it. When did you first realize you wanted to be an actor? Bruckner: I would say while filming Blue Car. Meg is the one character I’ll never forget. My mom took me to model when I was five. I was a dancer doing jazz, ballet, and hip-hop. So I was always performing in front of people. I did school plays and started auditioning when I was really young. When I did Blue Car, my parents were going through a separation. The script came along when I was 15. I remember reading it and I didn’t really feel anything toward the script. But when I went for the audition, I remember working with director Karen Moncrieff and it was the longest audition of my life. I talked to her about my life and it became a very personal project for me. When you’re 15, you don’t know how to handle emotions. Karen sensed that and was there for me. Then, when we shot the film, it was very therapeutic. I realized you could work through so many personal issues playing a character on set. It was a small film but we were so heavily involved in it. David Strathairn hugely impacted my acting career. He was handsdown one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with. He mentored me and was always so positive. Blue Car inspired me and drove me to want to make more movies like that. Many fail in this business and give up. What kept you going? Bruckner: I’ll get mad and sad if I don’t get a part I really want. But no matter how frustrated I get in thinking I was the best person for this role or that, I’ve come to realize that there’s so much more to life. My mom instilled that in me when I was younger. I was rejected a lot when I first started. But it’s about having the confidence to know that you’re worth it. Acting is not for everyone. My mom tried to get my younger sister in the business and she said nope, I’m way too sensitive. You need a thick skin and I think I have that.

When you leave the set, do you switch out of character right away or carry it with you for a while? Bruckner: I definitely switch out of character. When I experience a tragic or emotionally intense scene, I try to turn it around and make fun of the situation or myself and that helps me balance things. If I went home with every character I played, I think I would go insane. What have you learned about this business that surprised you? Bruckner: OMG, do you have an hour? I started acting when I was eleven years old, appearing on a soap opera called The Bold and the Beautiful. I didn’t know anything. My Russian mom was my only go-to source for career advice. She was very strict in terms of my friends and other things. So when I started working, I didn’t go to parties and make friends with actors. I just went to work and returned home. But as I got older, I realized the darker side of Hollywood and the need to socialize. I was never keen on going to parties and doing red carpets. It’s a harsh business but also very humbling. After I did Blue Car, I went to all these functions and I was the “it” girl for a while. It’s a very bizarre world and I try to stay out of the politics and the party scene as much as possible. I just want to meet talented people and do great work together. I also have no desire to write scripts or direct. What were you like in high school? The girl most likely to…? Bruckner: Not go to high school (laughs). It’s funny, I only attended an actual high school for about two months before my mom took me out because I was working so much. My high school experience was super awkward. Much of the social scene interrupts what you’re actually there for—to learn. I learned a lot because our family traveled around the world. And talking to people of different cultures and backgrounds was my favorite way of learning. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 37


38 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY


Think Outside the Studio The Thompson-Nicola Region in British Columbia, Canada, anchored by the cities Kamloops and Merritt, consists of desert, rolling grasslands, alpine rugged hills and snowcapped mountains. Picture colour palettes of emerald green to golden brown. A 45 minute flight from Vancouver, we boast an ultra-modern university, ski resorts, a western town, Middle East settings, and miles of open prairie-like range. Imagine the Thompson-Nicola.

FilmThompsonNicola.com HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 39


Think Outside the Studio The Thompson-Nicola Region in British Columbia, Canada, anchored by the cities Kamloops and Merritt, consists of desert, rolling grasslands, alpine rugged hills and snowcapped mountains. Picture colour palettes of emerald green to golden brown. A 45 minute flight from Vancouver, we boast an ultra-modern university, ski resorts, a western town, Middle East settings, and miles of open prairie-like range. Imagine the Thompson-Nicola.

FilmThompsonNicola.com

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