MÉLANIE LAURENT (Alice Owen)
One of France’s most popular actresses, Mélanie Laurent is also very well-known worldwide. An actress, director and singer, she has pursued an eclectic career far from the beaten path.
Born in Paris, her first movie appearance was in The Bridge, directed by Frédéric Auburtin and Gérard Depardieu, who was in the film as well. In 2002, she received much positive notice for her role as Gaspard Ulliel’s girlfriend in Michel Blanc’s Summer Things. Five years later, she received the Most Promising Actress César for her performance in Philippe Lioret’s Don’t Worry, I’m Fine, as well as the Etoile d’or for Best Female Newcomer and the Lumière Award.
Since, Mélanie Laurent hasn’t left the limelight. Audacious in her choice of roles, she has notably appeared in the Hong Kongese movie Rice Rhapsody by Kenneth Bi, and The Last Day, directed by Rodolphe Marconi, in which she worked once again with Gaspard Ulliel. She played the leading role in Room of Death (aka Melodie’s Smile), Alfred Lot’s detective film with Gilles Lellouche, and in Cédric Anger’s thriller, The Killer. She can also be seen with Justin Bartah in Jennifer Devoldere’s romantic comedy Shoe at Your Foot.
In 2009, she made a remarkable Hollywood debut playing the role of the vengeful heroine in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds with Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz and Diane Kruger. In 2010, she shared the Gotham Award for best ensemble cast alongside Oscar-winning actor Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor for her performance in Mike Mills’ Beginners.
Her filmography equally includes This is My Body by Rodolphe Marconi, The Beat That My Heart Skipped, by Jacques Audiard, Days of Glory, by Rachid Bouchareb, Dikkenek, by Olivier Van Hoofstadt, Paris by Cédric Klapish, The Concert by Radu Mihaileanu, The Round Up by Rose Bosch, and Requiem for a Killer by Jérôme Le Gris.
She has since worked again with Jennifer Devoldere for the comedy-drama The Day I Saw Your Heart, in which she played Michel Blanc’s daughter, and she appeared in Bille August’s Night Train to Lisbon. She was M.K.’s voice in the animated film EPIC, and gained worldwide recognition for her role in Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me with Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco. Additionally, she was in Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy with Jake Gyllenhaal.
In 2011, Mélanie Laurent wrote, played in and directed the dramatic film The Adopted, with Marie Denarnaud and Denis Ménochet. In 2014, she also wrote and directed the dramatic film Breathe with Joséphine Japy and Lou de Laâge.
In Spring 2015, she joined the cast of Eternity directed by Tran Anh Hung with Audrey Tautou and Bérénice Bejo before traveling to South Africa to meet up with the cast and crew from Mia and the White Lion directed by Gilles de Maistre, a film shoot that will take place over 3 years.
LANGLEY KIRKWOOD (John Owen)
Langley Kirkwood was born in England, on 14 April 1973 of South African and West-Indian parents, and, amidst a tumultuous childhood in Apartheid-era South Africa, he fell in love with the art of acting. He studied drama at school and then at the prestigious University of the Witwatersrand and within a few years had become a multi-award winning actor of both stage and screen.
His breakthrough performance was as Billy the Kid in Shooting Billy the Kid at Johannesburg’s Market Theatre, for which he won an FNB Vita Award. Since then he has appeared in countless award-winning television shows, theatre productions and films, both in South Africa, and internationally. Langley’s career credits are extensive, and he has appeared in major international productions such as John Boorman’s In my Country, opposite Juliette Binoche and Samuel L. Jackson, also in the multi-Emmy award winning Generation Kill for HBO, in Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, with Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, and as Rudi in the BBC1 series Outcasts.
He played the twisted Judge Lex opposite Lena Headey and Karl Urban in Dredd, played King David in the Emmy-nominated mini-series The Bible, and more recently, starred in the British Indy thriller Tiger House, in Black Sails for Starz, in Dominion for SyFy and as a series regular in the Emmy-award winning Banshee for HBO/Cinemax, playing Colonel Douglas Stowe.
He is still passionate about the stage, and likes to return to theatre when time allows. He was a member of The Mechanicals Theatre Company in Cape Town, and his stand-out role on Cape Town stages was that of Biff Loman opposite Bill Flynn In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, which earned them both Fleur Du Cap awards.
He is the proud father of two children and lives between Cape Town and Los Angeles. He is passionate about helping to preserve our planet and its natural resources, as well as health and fitness, and he spends much of his free time trail running, cycling and competing in ultra distance triathlons.
Table Mountain is his happy place.
DANIAH DE VILLIERS (Mia Owen)
Daniah is 12 years old and hails from Cape Town, South Africa.
She developed a love for the theatre at a very early age when she was afforded the opportunity to perform at the local theatre in Jeffrey’s Bay.
She started drama and vocal training at the age of 10 and since then has taken part in a number of Eisteddfod’s and talent competitions, eventually earning provincial colours for drama.
One of the highlights of her young acting career was winning the Junior Grand Champion Award for acting in Los Angeles during the 2013 World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA).
Together with her sister Jedijah, she won the Junior Grand Champion Award for vocal duets.
Daniah has a number of radio and television commercials to her credit. Mia and the White Lion marks her big screen debut.
RYAN McLENNAN (Mick Owen)
Ryan is 11 years old and hails from Gauteng, South Africa.
In 2012 Ryan was cast as the lead in his school play Rumpelstilskin and garnered the award for Best Newcomer of the Year. Two years later in 2014, he again drew the attention of judges and was awarded Best Impersonation of a Male Character for his role in another school play.
Last year, he auditioned for and was cast in a commercial for international clothing brand WE Fashion.
Apart from his love for acting and the challenge of exploring different characters, he enjoys the outdoors, the beach and animals.
Mia and the White Lion marks Ryan’s big screen debut.