February 12, 2015 —
Nine year old Anne Van den Heuvel of Clayton is looking forward to seeing a movie in theaters this spring. Not just any movie, either — but the movie she herself appeared in, Mary Loss of Soul, which will be released in theaters on March 27.
Anne, who goes by the stage name Bex, plays Sophia, and in the movie her 15-year-old sister Mary returns from a disappearance without any memory of the traumatic events she experienced — or her soul. The family must figure out how to solve the mystery and save Mary before it’s too late.
The 4th grader at Lincoln is following a dream by appearing in movies. “I always wanted to either model or act,” she said. “I tried out modeling, but I didn’t like it, so I’m doing this instead.”
So, she went to Toledo Starbound for acting classes, then to California for auditions. Anne says the difference between Hudson and LA is that Hudson is, “a lot smaller. There’s no Warner Brothers next to you. It’s also just another state.”
Anne chose the stage name Anne Bex after receiving few callbacks after a year of auditioning and managers assumed the issue was her hard to pronounce name. “I wanted to choose Hill,” said Anne, But there was already an Anne Hill. So my mom said, “Why not choose Bex?”
“Bex is my maiden name,” explains Anne’s mother, Miranda, “it’s easier, pronounces easier, not as long. But I mean, those little things do help.”
The movie was filmed on location in Foxborough, Massachusetts over three weeks in May of 2012. Anne was on location for that time. The movie was written and directed by Jennifer B. White, who said in a statement that Bex is “a young Drew Barrymore – vibrant, with inexhaustible energy and extremely talented.”
Also featured in the movie are José Zúñiga, who plays the father Victor Solis; her sister is Kaylee Bryant, who plays Mary Solis, and her movie mother is Gina Solis, played by Catherine Black. Anne says of the cast, “My sister, we had a friendship for three weeks. She was very nice. She was next door and usually if I didn’t have anything to do in the hotel she would keep me company. And the dad? He is a very tight hugger.” Miranda said Zuniga was “a very sweet man.”
Mary Loss of Soul has been to four film festivals: two in California – the LA Women’s International Film Festival and the IFS Film Festival; one in Florida, the Palm Beach International Film Festival, and the Boston International Film Festival, where it was the winner of Best Picture and Best Director. Anne had to fly to see her movie in film festivals since it hadn’t been released in theaters yet.
Anne is hoping to get more movie roles in the future, although nothing is lined up yet. “We have to go out there and do auditions,” said Miranda, “then you might land it, and if not, maybe the next one.” Anne is leaving for more auditions in California at the end of February.
On Anne getting roles, Miranda says, “When we’re out there, she’s doing okay. She’s gets some auditions here and there — and there are thousands and thousands and thousands of pictures stream in for one role, and then they pick out maybe forty, fifty kids, and then still, it’s hard, it’s really hard. Mary Loss of Soul being released into the theaters will “help, it’ll definitely help,” said Miranda.
Miranda went on to say, “She’s been doing it for four years now, and she’s still enjoying it every day. If that’s what she wants to do, that’s what she wants to do. Some kids want to play sports, some kids want to be in music, and she wants to do this. If I have to believe the people who have some knowledge about it, they think she can do quite well.”
Anne says she doesn’t like horror movies, but she liked her own. She’s looking forward to seeing her movie in the theater, “with a bucket of popcorn. I’m excited to see it on the big screen,” she said.
Anne was notified she received the role in Mary Loss of Soul on her birthday, and Miranda hopes it will be in theaters by her tenth birthday. Anne says, “I’m getting big birthday presents!”