Natalie Burn’s parents enrolled her in a gymnastics class in Ukraine at the age of four. The hard work and training Natalie endured in gymnastics was instilled into her and it was the beginning of her competitive and ambitious life. At age eleven she was accepted at Bolshoi Ballet, the top ballet school in the world that young dancers only dream of getting into.
Natalie already was an amazing dancer, but she knew the only way to become the best was by more arduous training and she worked with some of the best trainers and dancers. After the Bolshoi Ballet Natalie moved to London and joined another prestigious school, the Royal Ballet School which she graduated from. From there she went on to contemporary dance at Rambert Dance Company. Unfortunately while dancing there she tragically got injured and this sidelined her dancing career, which propelled her into choreographing. Immediately, Natalie choreographed fashion events, music, and plays throughout the world.
She could have continued that successful career, but she wanted to pursue her childhood dream of voice and acting. As Natalie knew, it would take lots of blood, sweat, and tears to be the best and already being conditioned to elaborate training, she attended numerous acting and voice schools to become a highly skilled actress. Just like dancing, after all the hard work, Natalie started moving up the acting ladder quickly and starred in many feature films, TV shows, and shorts. She played Mel Gibson’s wife in The Expendables 3 and recently it was announced that she will star in Mechanic: Resurrection alongside Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, and Michelle Yeoh.
However, do not think Natalie is complacent with being an actress. In recent years she has started up her own production company 7Heaven Productions, which recently completed the film Awaken. The film was directed by Mark Atkins and is due out soon. Natalie was kind enough to share a lot about Awaken along with her experiences filming it and information on her upcoming films.
Five Quick Questions with Natalie Burn
As the lead actress, can you tell us about your role and Awaken in general?
NATALIE: Awaken is an action movie adventurous type that shows young Billie in dangerous mysterious jungle, fighting for her life while trying to find her missing sister. Psychotic soldiers, eccentric wealthy businessmen and cold blooded gangster boss cannot stop Billie on her way in accomplishing her dream of reuniting with her sister who disappeared many years ago.
My character Billy is very strong physically and emotionally. But it’s only from the first sight. Deep inside it is simply a young girl with innocent soul and belief into the fair world, honest friendship and sincere love. She is tough, unstoppable and fearless but very lonely, and all her big heart filled with emotional memories and love for her older sister who was like a mother for her.
Billy was trained by her father as a soldier and showing any sort of emotions were considered by him as a weakness. After 5 years of a long search Billie almost lost hope to find sister’s trace, but her spirit doesn’t let her to give up. By the end of the movie we see different Billie, and that’s what I liked the most in this character, to show her transformation was my favorite part of this role!
In addition to acting in the film, you also are one of the producers, a co-writer, and did the casting. Can you share your experience from concept through production?
NATALIE: One day an article in the newspaper caught my eye and broke my heart. That article was about 9 years old Chinese boy who disappeared and later was found on the street but without his eye cord. I did research of Black Market human organs trafficking and was shocked by the scale of this problem that spread out globally and consumes many lives all over the world every year.
I was inspired to write a story where this ugly reality of life was faced by one young girl, strong and vulnerable, emotional, but brave and cold minded when it comes to protect friends and family. As more I was writing as more I was intrigued by the characters and then it came an idea to make a movie where I would play this girl the way I feel her.
But my background in ballet was not enough for this role and I spent three months of everyday training in kick boxing with famous Benny “The Jet” who by the end made me feel as Billie effortlessly.
Also I had to do casting and choose actors for all other main personages. I am very grateful to every actor who believed in me and took part in this movie.We had really nice atmosphere on set, and I Hope we will make other interesting projects together.
7Heaven is your production company. What made you start up your own company and any new projects in the works?
NATALIE: Being an actress in Hollywood especially not well known is tough as you have to be prepared facing rejections when you audition. Then I realized how important it is to have strength and ability of taking control of my own destiny and finding the way of expressing myself. This was when I decided to create 7Heaven Productions.
I started learning producing, found it quite difficult in theory, but even more difficult in practice. My first feature film I wrote and produced was ‘Awaken’. My next film is in setting and it is called ‘Devil’s Hope’- a Feature Film Written by Morgan Land.
A cop goes undercover to find out who killed his girlfriend. During his investigation he got to fight new dangerous drug called Devils Hope. The cop finds himself get deeply trapped into a chain of mysterious murders. He meets a gipsy girl Divinity who uses Voo Doo in her seductive way of help. The twist is unexpected and shocking, but the moral is inevitable: the truth should have never be revealed. We are set to go into pre-production and the casting process is about to start.
When and how will Awaken be available?
NATALIE: Our sales team just got back from Berlin Film Market where the Awaken had been presented for sale. I’m exited that my first film will be exposed worldwide. But we have not established the release date yet. I just hope that my movie will be shown to a big audience and in as many countries as possible.
The main goal is to raise the topic of human organ trafficking and create a platform for discussion of this problem. It is hard to please all the critics with the film. However, I hope that after seeing the movie everyone will have something to say. There is no bad publicity! Awaken so far gotten accepted to a few film festivals and I am looking forward to see the results and feedback from the audience.
Lastly, with staring in so many upcoming films, which ones are being released soon and what can you share about them?
NATALIE: The Second Coming of Christ- 2015 Feature Film Post-Production
Written by Daniel Anghelcev and Diana Angelson
Directed by Daniel Anghelcev
Produced by team of producers including myself, Daniel Anghelcev, Diana Angelson, Mike Kent, Tim Newhouse, and John Nickol
The journey of a woman scientist who discovers that true Faith can bring Miracles.Starring Tom Sizemore, Jason London, Quinton Aaron, myself and Diana Angelso, nBesides, I just returned from Thailand where I took part in an amazing film shoot Mechanic: Resurrection, which was an incredible experience. I’m looking forward to seeing this film when it’s out.
Thank you Natalie!
Natalie and 7Heaven Productions have a full slate so be sure to periodically check her websites to keep updated on all her projects.
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