Interview: Director Tina Adams on Hotel Limbo and My Wacko Parents

Tina Adams Behind the scenes of video shooting production crew team silhouette and camera equipment in studio. Image courtesy Tina Adams

Tina Adams (Martina Adamcova) is a Canadian actress who has worked with such talents as Denis Villeneuve (Polytechnique), and Juraj Herz (Le Passage, Black Barons). She is an active member of ACTRA and l’Union des Artistes. She’s appreciated for her versatility, talent as a comedian, and authentic acting. Tina is working in four different languages and her carrier is international. She started in 1992 as a rule-breaker on a post-communist TV screen in her native town Prague (Games Without Frontiers) and graduated into an established and acknowledged world-class performer (French Kiss, The Perfect Kiss, Hotel Limbo, Muzzikanti, The World Of Trouble). For this interview, Adams talks to us about her recent directorial efforts, the comedies Hotel Limbo and My Wacko Parents both starring rising actress Lucie Vondrácková.

Jason: So just to start, just wondering if you could just tell a story of how you grew up?

Tina Adams: I grew up in a communist country, Czechoslovakia, so I know what oppression was, and I feel for people that are still living in those types of systems. We are happy because, in North America, we live in freedom. I had a very beautiful childhood, my family was very loving understanding, I had everything that a child can wish for, so I’m very family orientated. I grew up in Prague, which is a magic city full of mysteries, beautiful architecture. Today I am living in Canada. Interesting.

Jason: What led you to your career path?

Tina Adams: I was born to entertain, and I was doing everything to entertain around me, I love To invent stories. I see the humour in everything, including deaths and taxes. So there’s no gap about that I belong to entertainment.

Jason: Can you tell us the funniest mistake you made In your career, and what did you learn from that?

Tina Adams: I’m making mistakes every day, and sometimes they are funny, and sometimes they cost you. There’s always a price to pay with mistakes. So you better take it as a lesson that is given to you. I’m happy that I’m still doing something in my life because if your stop is, you don’t make mistakes. One thing I learned here in Canada, Is that Canadians showed me how to apologize. We are always saying, ‘oh, I’m sorry but, in other parts of the planet, to say that people look at it as a weakness. They do everything in their power, not to admit that they made a mistake, and it’s exhausting. It’s not weak.

Jason: Can you tell us about your two projects, Hotel Limbo and My Wacko Parents?

Tina Adams: So, I’m releasing two movies — both of them are romantic comedies. One is called Hotel Limbo and the other one is called My Wacko Parents. I decided to make romantic comedies or comedies with a romance if you want to put it like that. I received awards for cinematography, my actress was awarded one in Dublin, one in London as the Best Actress. I was named the best director. We’ve been to France with one of those comedies, and we won Best Comedy. So it’s rewarding to see that people actually want to watch those movies. They are pure entertainment. They are just a joyful invitation to spend 80-90 minutes in good company, to watch with nice people, good actors, good-looking people, beautiful locations. I was so blessed with locations here in Canada. It’s amazing. You know, the country is so beautiful.



Jason: Do you look for the same thing acting as when you’re choosing to project for directing?

Tina Adams: No, it’s two different things. When you’re acting, you are actually becoming somebody else. You have to change physically, you have to change your behaviour, the way you speak. Everything has to be different, you have to start to think as, as your character. When you’re writing or directing, it’s totally different because there you are yourself, and you are really trying to push members of your team to your vision, because when you’re directing the movie only exists in your head. I very often close my eyes when I’m explaining to my collaborators, what I want them to accomplish with me because I see my scene, my sequence, how I am editing it, so I know what I need.

Jason: When you began directing, were You at all daunted by the time by the industry?

Tina Adams: I’m independent, so I started to direct because I didn’t have money to, pay a director who had a movie. And so I was talking with a couple of famous people, and they say, ‘okay, I cost $1,200 per day. I was like, Oh my god,’ so you know what? I will be the director. The first night I didn’t sleep before going on set, I was so scared. I was thinking, ‘what am I doing? I’m crazy.’ I arrived there on set and was prepared, and I just said ‘action,’ Since that moment, I was, I completely changed. It was my ocean. I belong there. It’s where I could swim. I cannot stop anymore. I’m still acting in my movies, very small roles. I hate acting and It’s not my thing. I love directing because you’re really expressing yourself.

Jason: What are your feelings on diversity being represented in film and TV?

Tina Adams: It’s a good question. My movie, My Wacko Parents is a comedy and I have deals with cinema here in Canada to show it and I have distribution deals with Amazon Prime. Telefilm Canada is really supporting filmmakers, where we have e a priority to include women and First Nations filmmakers. My distributor is actually First Nations, and I didn’t choose him because of that. It’s actually a miracle that you make a move that can go to the cinema today it’s mainly Toronto, and hopefully here in Quebec, I actually wrote an open letter arguing for the inclusion of people like my distributor. It’s nice that the industry wants to include us. But when you open the book, It’s written on the first page, and then you go to the chapter that is excluding you. So how do you want to include us if you don’t change the program? I am pleading right now to add their movies produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada, or distributed by First Nations or having a director as a woman which will real inclusion.

Tina Adams
Image courtesy Tina Adams Photo © Dorothea Bylica

Jason: How do you like working in Canada?

Tina Adams? I love it because first, the workforce here is really competent. Second, there are so many topics, there are so many stories around. For example, the movie Hotel Limbo came from the situation when many people were crossing illegally the border between US and Canada, because they were running from Donald Trump politics, and you see those incredible images of people arriving with their suitcases dragging them over the snow. It’s an image that initiated something. So I imagined a story of a girl, Diana (Lucie Vondrácková) that is arriving in Canada to inherit a resort in Montreal, and she thinks she’s the next Paris Hilton. And when she arrives, she finds out that she actually inherited a hotel in the village, but it’s quoted by refugees that are waiting there for some kind of status. There are so many things around me. For example, My Wacko Parents is actually a more winter Christmasy thing. It’s about the first generation, of people from Eastern Europe. And how controlling Jewish mothers, can be, and of course, it’s coming from my background. It’s very easy for me, so I’m laughing at myself with me. I’m just having fun.

Jason: So, what are some projects you’re currently working on?

Tina Adams: Strangely enough to completely change the genre. I am in post-production of one movie that’s quite a story. It’s a documentary that is titled Concealed Identity about a professor that was teaching, and he’s a researcher in immunology and gentlemen of humans, here at McGill University, and when he was 60, he received a letter saying, you know, you’re living a luxurious life in Canada as a researcher and almost Nobel Prize nominee, and the person that saved your life is living in misery, and you are not who you think you are. So it’s a real story. He was saved by a SS soldier from Ukraine when he was a Jewish toddler. And that as a soldier put him in his backpack.

Another project is about history. There is a part of New York City that is taken down. And it’s Harlem. And with all these ugly buildings, they are also taking down all significant buildings for black cultures, like the place where Louis Armstrong was giving his concert, where Malcolm X was killed, those buildings, and so this project is about the last chance to see them. Of course, there is a movement to protect those buildings. It’s a very interesting topic.

Jason: How can readers follow you online?

Tina Adams: Instagram is Tina Adams. Most of the information is on the website of the distributor, which is 7 Art Distribution.

Jason: Thank you for speaking to us.

Tina Adams: Thank you for asking me. It’s very rewarding to speak about my work and about what I live for. I really appreciate it.

Written by Jason Sheppard

Entertainment reporter living at the end of very cold Canada. Proud owner of a diploma in journalism and just about every CD by John Williams ever released. Favorite directors are Spielberg, Scorsese, Kubrick, Tarantino, Fellini, Lynch and Fincher. Twin Peaks, Sopranos and Six Feet Under are the greatest TV dramas ever crafted and I love 90s sitcoms such as Spin City, Sports Night, Newsradio, Seinfeld and even that one with Deadpool working in the pizza place. Click linkies below to follow me.

Leave a Reply

Film Obsessive welcomes your comments. All submissions are moderated. Replies including personal attacks, spam, and other offensive remarks will not be published. Email addresses will not be visible on published comments.

Sam's dad sees a growth coming out of his head

No Time Like the Present to Pick Up the Scanner Cop 4K!

A man holds up a sign that reads "Marry Me" at a concert.

The Musical Betters the Romance in Marry Me