Ana Cruz Kayne, daughter of Woodbridge Selectman Maria Cruz Kayne and her husband Richard, is off to an exciting new venture. The Barnard graduate, with a degree in neuroscience and Italian Literature, is being cast in a pilot TV drama called Four Stars. She will play the role of the beautiful daughter of a four-star General caught up in power struggles in Tampa, Fla. “Adventure!” she wrote in an email, expressing in one short word the excitement she feels about the upcoming film project.
Ana, now a New York City resident, is not a newcomer to the film industry, having been featured in several commercials as well as in Louie and Law & Order. Even though her college majors point to a very left-brain oriented individual, it turns out that acting was part of her upbringing, both during her childhood in Woodbridge as well as during her college years.
“At Columbia University, she was always on stage, even though she was no theater major,” said her mother Maria. Her choice of majors is a reflection of her parents’ interests: her father is an endocrinologist, and as for the Italian, “it was very much a part of my life,” said Maria.
Two months before Ana’s graduation from Barnard, she tried out and was picked for an off-Broadway production in the city. In the audience was a talent agent who noticed her, and the rest is history. She is now under contract with Innovative Artists and Industry Entertainment.
Her acting skills got a kick start during her teenage years right here in Connecticut. A student at Amity High School, she enrolled in ACES’ Educational Center for the Arts program, which she remembers fondly.
Even if acting has been a part of her whole life, the road to success is not a straight shot. It takes patience and persistence to get the breakthrough part. “Once you make your choice you have to give it your all,” she said. Is Four Stars that breakthrough? “Fingers crossed,” she writes. After all, George Clooney participated in 20 pilots before the first movie he starred in was picked up by the studios. “This is just my second pilot.”
According to the industry website “Deadline.com”, Four Stars centers on two powerful rival families in Tampa, Florida, who make decisions at the highest levels in the interest of national security. Ana Kayne will play Syd, the daughter of four-star General Rodriguez, “a foreign policy wunderkind and hardcore policy wonk”. The role of Rodriguez’s son Matt will be played by Wilmer Valderrama.
Kayne is leaving for Los Angeles later this month. She hopes that we will be able to catch up with her in Four Stars come fall 2016.
Pictured: Ana Kayne (standing, center) surrounded by her family; rear, from left, brother Daniel, father Dr. Richard Kayne, Ana, and brother Michael Kayne. Seated, mother and Woodbridge Selectman Maria Kayne; long-time housekeeper Doring; sister-in-law Carrie Specksgoor and son, Truman.
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent