Canadian actress Alison Balnar’s acting career is taking off. This versatile young actress, originally from Guelph, Ontario, is starring in the upcoming and anticipated web series Bloggers, had a role in the short film 60 Eight that premiered at Cannes, and now she is in a stars in the science fiction short film Nexus.
Nexus, Balnar’s first role in the sci-fi drama, premiered at Space City Comic Con on May 29, where it saw the beginning of its success.
“Premiering the short film at Space City Comic Con was a great experience. It was wonderful to present Nexus on such a great platform surrounded by true science fiction fans,” said Balnar. “It was a lot of fun. It was the best place to premiere the film. The genre is science fiction and we were in an environment where some of the best sci-fi fans in the world were present. After we showed the film, it was great being on the panel with everyone to answer questions regarding the film. This was a terrific way to connect with the audience and reflect on the completion of the film.”
Nexus follows the story of Lucy, played by celebrated sci-fi actress Gigi Edgely. Lucy is a brilliant physicist, who discovers a new technology that can open a physical connection (a Nexus) between two alternate universes. Balnar plays the role of Ashley, Lucy’s teenage daughter. The two become stuck in a parallel universe on the verge of existence and must fight for their survival. A lot of the film’s success can be attributed to the dynamic team of Edgely and Balnar.
“Alison is a complete dream to work with. We share very similar techniques so we connected immediately. She is beyond professional, focused and passionate. I can’t wait to work with her again,” said Edgely. “It was an absolute delight to make this phenomenal production with Alison. I have complete faith that she will continue to have an astronomically successful career.”
Balnar believes that working alongside Edgely has made her a better actress.
“Working with Gigi was a great pleasure. She is an expert when it comes to this particular genre so it was an honor to be able to work and learn from her,” said Balnar. “She is also extremely talented and has a great energy about her. This made the overall experience a lot of fun and I walked away learning even more about the craft of acting from her.”
The role, in a new genre for Balnar, provided ample opportunity to learn new aspects to the trade, and overcome new challenges that she was presented with.
“I think a challenge for me with this film was working in a green screen environment. As an actor, you are taught to take in the external environment surrounding the character. By taking this in, you can often find stimuli to motivate the character’s physical or emotional responses,” she described. “However, when acting with green screen, this environment is not there. Although this was a challenge, it was a fantastic one. It was a new experience and a lot of fun.”
Balnar also did her own stunts in the film, with the help of the two stunt coordinators, Narayana Cabral and Katelyn Brooke.
“Before we shot, they taught me how to do certain stunts for the film. They were also present on set and guided me through the stunt process and watched over,” she said. “They were such wonderful energy and I am so honoured to have worked with two talented individuals.”
Balnar was excited about the project since the moment she heard about it.
“I think that science fiction is a great genre that allows for the freedom of imagination. To play a character, that is stuck in a totally different universe sounded like a fun role to take on,” she said. “I loved the experience of filming this genre. From doing stunts, working with an amazing cast and crew, to imagining a parallel universe, it was all a fantastic creative experience.”
As a whole, Balnar says the success of the film is due to the team effort that was involved with making it.
“Lots of wonderfully talented people worked on this film. I had the pleasure of collaborating and working with these people and I am extremely grateful for it.” she said. “This film was a shining example of the importance of team work. Every person who worked on Nexus added to making it the best it could be. This was a very technical film and without the coordination of the stunt coordinators, crew, actors and producers, it wouldn’t have tied together so beautifully.”