Crossing: Rudolf Martin on Playing Against Type & Cold War Memories

Rudolf Martin has had such a unique career in Hollywood since it started not long following the Cold War; growing up in Germany, but the memories of the Berlin Wall falling, marking the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union, remain as vivid as ever. Some of the Ford v Ferrari star's earlier work as a character actor include All My Children, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Bedazzled. In his latest film Crossing, the actor plays Andrei, who returns to his former homeland in the former Soviet Union after becoming a successful businessman in the United States. Forced to reunite with his family, including his eccentric mother (Marina Sirtis), and caught between present and past struggles, Andrei reexamines the values from the life he left behind. Martin spoke to Bleeding Cool about working with first-time director Arthur Ian, reliving his childhood through the film, and why the film was a refreshing experience.

Crossing Star Marina Sirtis on Cold War Film & Reliving the Experience
Rudolf Martin in "Crossing" (2019). Image courtesy of Off Shore Productions

How 'Crossing' Was a Story Worth Investing In

Bleeding Cool: What intrigued you about the 'Crossing?'
Martin: I was intrigued because it read unusual in terms of its form. It was like a series. The scenes are short, and that was unusual. I also noticed there's a personal nature to the story. Those two things drew me to it, and in my first meeting with Arthur, I told him I was concerned about all the short scenes, but he knew what he was doing. I was drawn to the project because of its personal and unusual nature since it doesn't read like the cookie-cutter script you usually get.

Do you feel a sense of déjà vu geopolitically since [Crossing] was set during the Cold War compared with Russia's current conflict in Ukraine?
We each have personal perspectives on the Cold War aspect of this. I'll throw in mine quickly. I grew up in West Berlin [Germany], obviously surrounded by the [Berlin] Wall. I was in it on that side, and that never seemed unusual to me because I was born into it. I was surprised when the Wall came down [and] that seemed odd to me there was actually in the countryside around Berlin a whole other part of the city, which I knew intellectually, but now you can go there. I spent 30 years outside of Germany, mainly in the States, and mostly live here now. It's strange for me to be thrown back into this. Now, since all this seems so far in my childhood and into my past, coming back with the politics and this war going on. The film triggers some of those feelings and memories for sure, and not on purpose.

Crossing: Rudolf Martin on Playing Against Type & Cold War Memories
Marina Sirtis & Rudolf Martin in "Crossing" (2019). Image courtesy of Off Shore Productions

What does a project like this afford you to do that you weren't able to do before?
Being European or specifically Eastern European, we mostly get to play bad guys, and we mostly die. It was so nice to play a three-dimensional character, which I sometimes get to do, but not always. We also do a lot of TV work, and then we often die. Alex [Veadov] and I have played half-brothers before. Even though we didn't see together in 'NCIS.' This was a nice feeling to be able to play a human being. Not that it's not fun to play in these adventure projects in roles of spies, double agents, assassins, and demons, but you feel like something's missing if you don't get to play like a real person once in a while. That's what this film felt like to me. I can't wait for the sequel [laughs].

Off Shore Productions' Crossing, which also stars Teri Reeves, Kathleen Gati, Mesrop Tsaghikyan, Isidora Goreshter, Lily Vardan, and Ilia Volok, is available on digital.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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