Nadia Litz: The Sought-After Actress Writing Award-Winning Scripts… Frame by Frame

by Tom White

Nadia Litz has starred alongside big names and has the nominations to prove her mettle. At the same time, her scripts are hotly pursued. It’s an energizing combination that the actress-screenwriter has mastered. 

“There’s a magic that happens when the camera starts to roll.  My breath slows down, my body relaxes and I can just be. Every moment counts and is alive and fleeting.  Writing is the opposite. It’s more of a frenetic act that, if done well, leads to something permanent.”   

When asked why she thinks she’s worked with some of the biggest directors in the world – Nicolas Winding Refn, Fernando Meirelles, David Cronenberg, and super star turned filmmaker Viggo Mortensen to name a few – she says she thinks it is her ‘style’. 

“I think some of these directors might see a shared style when they look at me. It’s hard to explain.  They see our common film references or taste in music or books as compatible.  It’s an unspoken connection and perhaps they trust I can deliver something interesting because of that.” 

Deliver she has.  After starring in the award-winning The Five Senses by Emmy-nominated director Jeremy Podeswa, Nadia went on to star in the hit miniseries, “After the Harvest,” with iconic playwright, screenwriter and actor Sam Shepard. For her portrayal as his daughter, she received a nomination for Best Actress in a Lead Role.  Working with Shepard was an experience that had a lasting impression on her.  

“Sam was the most ideal person to convey that acting and writing were not mutually exclusive pursuits. They could be in elegant harmony with each other”. 

She tells an amusing story about going down to the breakfast buffet on their way to set, where Shepard was having “ instant motel waffles” with brilliant auteur Wim Wenders who had flown down to collaborate with Shepard on the follow-up to their seminal film Paris, Texas. 

Among her own writing successes is the standout, The People Garden, which was hotly pursued by both Pamela Anderson (yes THE Pamela Anderson) and the always enjoyable and stylish Dree Hemingway.  Landing two of the most sought after actresses in the world came naturally. 

“I like to create roles for women that aren’t straightforward… and I want them to win awards playing those roles!”     

After winning the audience award at TIFF’s Screenwriter Lab The People Garden went on to play in-competition at BAFICI where it was sold to Orion FIlms. 

Best Actress in a Lead Role: The Road to “The Dead Don’t Hurt” 

With a Best Actress nomination on her record, Nadia continued her acting career, which included starring in Hotel Congress  which she wrote herself. In 2022, she acted alongside famed actors Mortensen, Kristin Stewart, and Léa Seydoux in David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.  

Mortensen then hand-picked Nadia for a Western film he was writing, directing and producing, called The Dead Don’t Hurt. The film made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2023 and will be in wide theatrical release in May of this year. 

“I found myself suddenly shooting this epic Western on John Wayne’s old ranch in Durango, Mexico for a month. You could feel ghosts all around…”  

When asked if she’ll be working with Mortensen a third time, she says “Of course, I hope so!  Viggo’s a true artist.  You’ll see that in The Dead Don’t Hurt.  He’s got style….”  adding with a confident grin “… maybe one of my scripts, next time.” 

Presented by S99 

You may also like

Leave a Comment