Actress and Writer Nadia Litz’s killer moves

by Tom White

Gifted actress and accomplished writer Nadia Litz played an assassin in David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future, with such a calm and mysterious coolness, that fans online were left wanting more:  and in fact called for a spin-off based on her story line.

“My character’s an assassin posing as a mechanic, so of course Willam Dafoe would have to reprise his role from Existenz and be our ringleader… we would reveal in Season 2 he is actually my father,” offers the cinephilic Litz, whose creative-mind is always at work. “A plucky mechanic-assassin with father-issues?  We should really call David about this” she says with a wry smile.

Drawn to stories of mystery, her unique and haunting screenplay for The People Garden not only won the Audience Award at TIFF’s Screenwriter Lab but also garnered attention from iconic figures like Pamela Anderson and Dree Hemingway, both of whom ended up starring in the film. The movie’s global journey, from being shot in Canada and Japan to its in-competition screening at BAFICI, speaks to the universal appeal of Litz’s storytelling.  She recently divulged that she’s adapting a true crime book for a prominent production company.

Litz’s immersion in the craft began with a profound childhood experience, watching David Lynch’s Elephant Man with her father. The emotional impact of the performances and the cinematic world left a lasting mark on her, sparking a deep connection with the art of storytelling.

A defining moment in Litz’s career came when she played the late Pulitzer playwright and actor Sam Shepard’s daughter. It was during this role that she realized storytelling as a writer provided a means to portray characters beyond the scope of acting—an epiphany that launched her career as a screenwriter.

“Sam was out filming this miniseries with us in this strange prairie location, but taking meetings with the great Wim Wenders about a follow-up to Paris, Texas on weekends.  Sam and Wim would be in the breakfast buffet of the hotel, making plans.  Witnessing that, I became aware you could have a much more full experience if you were more involved in all aspects of film.”

Her dedication to diverse filmmakers, risky roles, and great auteurs has shaped her identity as a courageous, and intelligent actress ever since.

Challenges in the industry are inevitable, but for Litz, the key to overcoming them lies in her strong work ethic and discipline. Her resilience, coupled with a sense of humor, has been her guiding light through various challenges. It’s why Litz is celebrated for her fearlessness in acting roles and the compelling narratives she weaves as a writer.

It’s also why her Crimes of the Future costar (and one of the biggest stars on the planet) Viggo Mortensen hand-picked her for his sophomoric feature as a filmmaker, for his Western The Dead Don’t Hurt (which recently premiered to rave reviews at TIFF).  The film, which will have a large theatrical release later this year, had Litz on John Wayne’s old sprawling ranch in Durango, Mexico, working again with Mortensen – whom she describes as a “punk-rock artist, disguised as a movie star”.

The future holds exciting prospects for Litz, as she aims to play a critical lead role in bringing an array of narratives to the big screen. As an actress, her goal is to act as often and as long as possible, continuously reinventing herself for filmmakers of note.  As a writer, it’s to continue writing roles for the actors she admires to play.

Nadia Litz remains an innovator of cinematic storytelling, shaping narratives that transcend boundaries. The luminary actress and writer’s legacy is one of courage, resilience, and a profound love for riveting and inspiring art. By dedicating herself to creating roles that resonate with both admired peers and audiences worldwide, she ensures a lasting legacy in an industry that thrives on fearless storytelling.

Presented by S99

You may also like

Leave a Comment