American Rhapsody, An : About The Cast

Nastassja Kinski

Nastassja Kinski stars as Margit, a young Hungarian mother who makes a daring escape to America, only to discover her infant child has to be left behind. Years later, reunited, Margit realizes that the only way to truly get her daughter back is to let her return to Hungary and the secrets of years ago.

Kinski was born in West Berlin the daughter of the highly regarded German actor Klaus Kinski. She quickly followed in her father's footsteps when, at age 13, she received the German Outstanding Individual Achievement Award for her portrayal of the mute character Mignon in Wim Wender's False Move. Her career quickly gained momentum. After posing for a series of fashion photographs taken by director Roman Polanski for the Christmas 1976 edition of Vogue, Polanksi cast her as the title heroine in his landmark film, Tess. Her stunning performance in the six-time Academy Award nominated feature, garnered Kinski a Golden Globe Award as Best New Female Star of the Year in a Motion Picture.

Kinski continued her success, both in the United States and abroad, starring in such films as One From the Heart, Cat People, The Hotel New Hampshire, Symphony of Love, Maria's Lovers (for which she won the Italian Best Actress Award), Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas and Faraway, So Close (both winners at the Cannes Film Festival) and the comedy Father's Day with Billy Crystal and Robin Williams.

Her other credits include Neil LaBute's Your Friends And Neighbors, Mike Figgis' One Night Stand, Somebody in Waiting with Gabriel Byrne, Savior with Dennis Quaid and Susan's Plan with Dan Aykroyd. Kinski most recently starred in Michael Winterbottom's critically praised Western, The Claim.

She was most recently seen in Peter Chelsom's Town and Country opposite Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Gary Shandling; and in Gigi Gaston's casino heist movie, Beyond City Limits.

On television, Kinski has been seen in two highly rated mini-series: "Bella Mafia" with Vanessa Redgrave and "The Ring" based on the best-selling novel by Danielle Steel.

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson stars as Suzanne, an American teenager who sets off on a quest to discover the true meaning of family, freedom and home. Johansson attained world-wide recognition for her performance as Grace Maclean, the teen traumatized in a riding accident in Robert Redford's hit feature The Horse Whisperer.

Johansson recently completed Terry Zwigoff's Ghost World starring opposite Thora Birch, the Coen Brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There and Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich's Arac Attack.

A New York native, Johansson made her professional acting debut at age eight in the off-Broadway production of "Sophistry" at New York's Playwrights Horizon. Her breakthrough role as Manny in the critically acclaimed film Manny and Lo earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead.

Johansson's additional credits include Rob Reiner's comedy North, the role of Sean Connery's daughter in Just Cause, as well as appearances in If Lucy Fell and Home Alone 3.

Tony Goldwyn

Tony Goldwyn plays Peter, a Hungarian book publisher and devoted family man driven from his homeland to America, where he and his wife try to start a new life without the infant daughter they were forced to leave behind.

Goldwyn recently appeared in Bounce with Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow and in The 6th Day with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is currently finishing production on the independent feature film Joshua, and he is next set to direct Walk of Fame from Mark Andrus' script. He has also provided the voice of the title character in the Disney animated film Tarzan.

Goldwyn made his feature debut in Luis Mandoki's Gaby: A True Story and gained international attention for his co-starring role in the box office phenomenon Ghost. His many memorable roles include the thriller Kiss The Girls, the film version of Jon Robin Baitz' The Substance of Fir and the villain in The Pelican Brief. Other film credits include Nixon, Reckless, Kuffs and the independent films Trouble in the Corner and The Lesser Evil.

Goldwyn has also won rave reviews for his high-profile television work including the Hallmark telefilm "The Boys Next Door," the HBO bio-pic "Truman" and the six hour mini-series "A Woman of Independent Means" opposite Sally Field. He has also starred in HBO's "Doomsday Gun" and "Tales From the Crypt" and Showtime's "Love Matters. "

Goldwyn made his debut as a feature film director with the critically acclaimed A Walk on the Moon starring Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen and Anna Paquin. He recently directed Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman in Someone Like You.

Goldwyn, an Obie Award winner for his performance in the Off-Broadway show, "The Sum of Us," has an impressive list of theater credits including his most recent, "The Dying Gaul" at New York's Vineyard Theater. Other theatrical credits include the Broadway production of "Holiday" opposite Laura Linney, Williamstown Theater productions of "Picnic" opposite his Bounce co-star Gwyneth Paltrow, "Tom Jones" and "Oedipus. "

Mae Whitman

Mae Whitman, who stars as young Maria, made her debut at age 3 when she inadvertently wandered into her mother's commercial audition and booked the job. A year later she was cast in her first feature film, When a Man Loves a Woman, starring Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia. This was followed by the comedy Bye, Bye Love and the record-breaking ID4: Independence Day, where she appeared as the President's daughter. She then starred in One Fine Day with George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer, followed by Robert Altman's The Gingerbread Man and Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock, Gena Rowlands and Harry Connick Jr.

On television, Whitman has been seen in two miniseries: playing Ashley Judd in the biographical drama "The Judds" and co-starring in "Degree of Guilt" based on the best selling book. Her telefilms include "Invisible Child," "After Jimmy" and the Hallmark Christmas offering, "A Season of Miracles. " She has also been seen regularly on "Chicago Hope" as Christina Lahti's characters daughter, Sara; as well as guest-starring as a "Brownbird" trying to sell cookies to Ross and Chandler on "Friends;" on a Christmas episode of "Jag;" in the "Providence" Thanksgiving episode; and on "Judging Amy. " She is currently starring as Grace in Fox Family Channel's new series, "State of Grace. " Whitman's voice can also be heard in various cartoons including "Johnny Bravo" and the forthcoming feature Jungle Book II.

Balazs Galko

Balazs Galko plays Jeno, little Zsuzsa's foster father in the Hungarian countryside. After graduating from the prestigious Hungarian Drama School, Balazs immediately started to perform in one of the most distinguished theaters, the National Theatre. He has appeared in "Romeo and Juliet," the witch in "Macbeth" and Matyi in "Ludas Matyi," among other roles in major theater productions.

Soon after Balazs started his career in acting he began directing theatre as well. His director credits include "May 35" by Kastner and "The Mug" by Plautus. In 1975 Balazs Galko became one of the founders of the Country Theatre in Hungary where over the years he has been actively promoting the cultural traditions of the Hungarian Nation. He also can be seen in such national and international films as Allegro Barbaro, The Blue Danube Waltz and Cyrano.

Zsuzsa Czinkoczi

Zsuzsa Czinkoczi plays Teri, the foster mother to young Zsuzsi in the Hungarian countryside. Zsuzsa started her film career as a child in one of the widely known Hungarian films Arvacska (Nobody's Daughter) in 1976. This movie was watched by virtually everyone in the country and her character "Csore" has planted herself into the heart of all Hungarians. Through the years she managed to touch a large crowd of international filmgoers with her sensitive performances and natural talent. She has worked repeatedly with the internationally known and multiple award winning Hungarian director Marta Meszaros. Zsuzsa's film credits include Ok Ketten (Women), Naplo Szerelmeimnek (Diary for My Lovers) and Siodmy Pokoj (The Seventh Room).

Kelly Endresz Banlaki

After an extended search, including advertising on television and the Internet, going to schools all over Budapest and videotaping and interviewing hundreds of girls, the part of young Suzanne went to Kelly Endresz Banlaki. Banlaki was born on March 24th 1993 in Huntingdon, England and she moved to Budapest at the age of two. She attends the Erkel Ferenc Grammar School in Budapest. She is an accomplished dancer and piano player. Her hobbies are drawing, clothes and fighting with her younger brother. Banlaki came to the audition purely by chance accompanying a family friend. Timmermann and Gardos were so taken by her natural spark, that they knew immediately that she was the right girl for the role. Banlaki enjoyed her first experience in being an actress working both in Budapest and Los Angeles. She says: "I think that I will be a director or producer when I grow up as they seem to be the ones in charge!"

Author : Paramount Classics