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Movie review of director Zev Howley's 'The Last Supper of the Damned'
Actress Linda Jean Bruno, like her character Diamond, is the linchpin that pushes this film into the exceptional story it has become know as.

Actress Linda Jean Bruno has a gift for inhabiting darker characters. While she’s portrayed those of a lighter nature in international mega hits such as Neighbours (multiple Logie Award Winner distributed around the world by The Fremantle Corporation) and others, there’s an ability to smolder that seems easily accessible for this actress.

Director Zev Howley (with a resume of award-winning films like Walkman which appeared at Cannes and others) of The Last Supper of the Damned instantly recognized this and immediately cast her as Sally, the high end escort in a story of society’s less “cuddly” citizens. What this film does so adeptly is to portray characters of depth and invites the question “What would your past mistakes cause you to do and how far would you go to rectify them?”

As Diamond (Sally’s escort name), Bruno is the opportunity for one man’s redemption; a redemption that she is not about to offer up easily. The Last Supper of the Damned is a crime drama. but not at all in the way you likely think of this genre. The story is about people who have made a series of bad decisions and this evening may bring the best or the worst. It’s the complex characters delivered from cast members like Linda Jean Bruno which make The Last Supper of the Damned more of a study of human nature than a monotone crime film.

Diamond may be a call-girl but she has constructed a story for herself in which she is not at all a victim. Bruno explains, “She’s a fan of the Golden Era of Hollywood and has adopted this sense of style in both fashion and sense of a woman’s seductive power. She dresses up like a glamorous vintage vixen, taking in her experience with clients like a role in a Film Noir. She is the object of much desire but gets to control the outcome. In her line of work, she gets to walk away from the people who desire her the most… at least in her mind.” While not a participant in the robbery, Diamond has great impact on one of its perpetrators known as Frank. Frank has made an appointment with Diamond because she is the daughter of his long-time partner and lover, Diamond’s biological mother. Diamond’s own mother was a prostitute who abandoned her at a very young age to spare her this association. After discovering Diamond herself had turned to prostitution, the mother committed suicide. While Diamond expects a “John” to meet with her, Frank’s aim is to give her enough money to start a new life because he feels he may not live to have the opportunity to do so following this one last job.

Iconic actresses who have played the role of a “lady of the evening” are numerous: Audrey Hepburn (in the Oscar nominated for Breakfast at Tiffany’s), Charlize Theron (won the Oscar for Monster), Elizabeth Taylor (won the Oscar for portraying a prostitute in Butterfield 8); all drastically different representations of someone in this vocation. Likewise, Bruno challenged herself to bring a unique sense of Diamond to this film. “Diamond is incredibly smart. Her difficult upbringing may have placed her in this world but she’s clever enough to find the best possible way of managing it. She presents herself as being in absolute control, speaking ever so slowly but with intent behind her carefree dialogue. She is a paradox. She dictates her minutes with Frank, hurrying their time together by seducing him or playing games. Beautiful and poised, oozing old world charm on the outside, we soon come to realize she is deeply broken and ugly on the inside. She wears her heavy cat eyes and red lips as a mask. When she enters his home, she applies lipstick to her already made up face. It appears as a seductive move, but it is filled with insecurity, this is her unconscious mask that she wears; her emotional armour,” relates Bruno.

Producer and Writer Dennis Vossos approached Linda Jean about appearing in the film upon noticing her prior work and states of her performance in it, “The audience felt every gamut of emotion from her portrayal alluding to her skill as an Actor. Linda Jean is simply captivating on film.” Her intensity is a trait that she is often called for.

The Actress concedes, “I do get cast quite often to do these darker roles. I’ve been told that there is melancholy in my eyes which attracts that type of filmmaker or storyteller. I was approached by film colleagues of the creator of The Last Supper [of the Damned] for another role similar in nature but I declined as I found I wanted to steer away from those dark roles and head into something lighter. It’s hard to say no as an Actor but sometimes you need to make those tough choices because you believe there is another path for you to take. I truly enjoy any great role but the life of an Actor is seeking different types of characters in order to grow.”

Since her work on The Last Supper of the Damned, Bruno has been exploring the comedic side of her professional skills with acclaimed comedy institutions The Second City and The Groundlings; these groups who have given the world household names like Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Melissa McCarthy, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, and countless others.

Thanks to Linda Jean’s performance and those of her fellow cast and crew, The Last Supper of the Damned has garnered numerous accolades including the Orson Welles Award at the California Film Awards, Best Drama Feature nominee at the Genre Celebration Festival, Official Selection at the World Premier Film Awards, and a host of others. For a young student who had to petition to be released from the school’s Psychology program in order to focus her passion on acting, Diamond reinforces the idea that Linda Jean Bruno has a sizable mastery of both.

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