Movies & TV / Columns

Alexander Nevsky On His New Movie Moscow Heat, Working With Adrian Paul & More

February 3, 2022 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Moscow Heat Image Credit: UMVD

The 411 Interview: Alexander Nevsky

Image Credit: Alexander Nevsky

Alexander Nevsky is an international action superstar from Russia who has been in the movie business since the year 2000. A former professional bodybuilder, multi-time Mr. Universe winner, and current member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Nevsky has starred in movies like Showdown in Manila, Maximum Impact, and directed and starred in Black Rose. Nevsky’s first starring vehicle, the 2005 action flick Moscow Heat, was recently released to Tubi via ITN Distribution. In this interview, Nevsky talks with this writer about making Moscow Heat, what the movie did for his career, and more.


Image Credit: UMVD

Bryan Kristopowitz: How did you get involved in Moscow Heat, both as an actor and as a producer?

Alexander Nevsky: I started Moscow Heat in the beginning of 2003. The script was based on my idea and written by me and Robert Madrid. I moved to LA from Moscow in 1999 and made several Hollywood movies (Undisputed with Wesley Snipes, Red Serpent with Roy Scheider) but realized that I needed a “starring vehicle” and had to produce it by myself. Moscow Heat was a story about a tough Russian cop and I knew it would be a great part for me as an actor.

BK: When and where was Moscow Heat made? How long did it take to actually make the movie?

AN: The film was shot in Moscow and LA in summer of 2003. I think we spent about six weeks on production but another six months on post-production which took place in California. The world premiere happened in Russia in 2004 (film was a box office hit and made almost $1.2M theatrically in ex-USSR) and a year later it was released worldwide. We sold it to 31 countries and Universal became a distributor in the US. Moscow Heat was very successful financially so I started my next action film Treasure Raiders right away – in 2005.

Image Credit: Alexander Nevsky

BK: How did you meet your fellow Moscow Heat co-star and producer Robert Madrid?

AN: I met Robert in the gym in 2001. I was a bodybuilding star in Russia in 90s and promoted drug-free sport. I continued to do this in California and Robert saw my interview in the Los Angeles Times. So he approached me in the gym and I was surprised to know that he was my neighbor. I lived in Westwood at the time because it was close to UCLA (where I studied English). We quickly became friends so later I was glad to get him involved in Moscow Heat.

BK: Describe your working relationship with Moscow Heat director Jeff Celentano.

AN: I’m very lucky because I’ve worked with many talented and famous directors: Walter Hill (Undisputed), Sofia Coppola (Somewhere), Eldar Ryazanov (Tihie Omuti), Andrzej Bartkowiak (Maximum Impact). I’ve also worked with independent filmmakers and Jeff Celentano was one of them. He did a good job on Moscow Heat. But, to be honest with you, the best director I’ve ever worked with is Joe Cornet! We made two movies together last year and I can’t wait for the releases of our Western Assault on Rio Bravo and Horror movie Night of the Caregiver!

BK: How did you assemble the cast for Moscow Heat? What was it like working with Michael York, Adrian Paul, Richard Tyson, and Andrew Divoff?

AN: I knew that my name alone would be enough to “open” the film theatrically in Russia but I needed well known Hollywood actors for an international release. Michael York loved the script and signed to be my co-star. Adrian Paul wanted to work with Michael and signed as well. Later we got Richard Tyson, Joanna Pacula and Andrew Divoff. Robert Madrid decided to play one of the parts, too, and that’s how we got this great cast. All my co-stars were very supportive. We spent a lot of time rehearsing. Michael York told me a lot of interesting things about acting and Adrian Paul helped to choreograph some fights (he had a lot of experience because of the Highlander series).

Image Credit: Alexander Nevsky

BK: What did the release of Moscow Heat do for your career as an actor and filmmaker, both in Russia and worldwide?

AN: Moscow Heat proved that I can have a successful theatrical film in Russia which can be also perfectly sellable internationally. That’s why I started to make them one after another – Treasure Raiders, Magic Man, Black Rose, etc. Moscow Heat made me an international action star and I was very happy about that. Distribution companies from all over the world started to ask about my movies. I remember the night I won “Mister Universe” in Slovakia in 2010. Audience cheered “Wolf is number one!” because they really loved my character from Treasure Raiders (this action-adventure film was very popular in Europe). By the way, I still work out almost every day and continue to promote fitness and healthy lifestyle. A cover story about me was just published in N1 Russian bodybuilding magazine “Hercules”.

BK: How has the movie business changed for you since the initial release of Moscow Heat?

AN: I think 2020 changed the business for everyone and it doesn’t matter if we talk about major studios or independent companies. Everything is different now and all producers have to be much more creative and careful. Budgets should be tighter and marketing campaigns should be smarter. Moscow Heat was made on more than $1 million budget and to spend that amount on an independent action film today would be dangerous. With that kind of money you should make two movies instead of one! 😉

BK: Several of your movies have been released by ITN Distribution. How have they been to work with?

AN: Stuart Alson, Nicole Holland and their ITN Distribution team are doing a great job! Black Rose was exclusively on Netflix for three years and Showdown in Manila is on almost all of the digital platforms in North America. I’m glad that ITN re-released Moscow Heat in the US and Canada as well and your readers can check it out on Tubi and AVOD YouTube channels.

Image Credit: Alexander Nevsky

BK: Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?

AN: I’ve mentioned Assault on Rio Bravo and Night of the Caregiver already. Joe Cornet directed both films and they will be released this year. Assault on Rio Bravo is an action Western, I produced it and starred in it with Matthias Hues, Olivier Gruner, Joe Cornet and Anna Oris. Night of the Caregiver is a classic Horror film starring Eileen Dietz, Natalie Denise Sperl, Anna Oris, Eric Roberts and Joe Cornet. Both films were written by Craig Hamann. And I’ll start production on my next action film Savage Attack in April.

BK: What do you hope audiences get out of Moscow Heat?

AN: I hope people will have fun because Moscow Heat is a big and exciting action film. Also, it was my first movie with a clear message: Russian and American can be friends and can fight together against evil, not against each other. I think this message is still very important today!

Image Credit: Alexander Nevsky


A very special thanks to Alexander Nevsky for agreeing to participate in this interview and to david j. moore for setting it up.

Moscow Heat is available to watch for free on Tubi here! You can also purchase Moscow Heat on DVD here!

Check out my review of Moscow Heat here!

You can check out Alexander Nevsky on Twitter here and on Instagram here.

Alexander Nevsky’s movies Showdown in Manilla, Maximum Impact, Black Rose, Treasure Raiders, and Red Prophecies are also available to watch for free on Tubi!

Moscow Heat DVD cover from Amazon. All other images courtesy of Alexander Nevsky.