Also Appears in Steven Soderbergh's Upcoming Cinemax Series THE KNICK
NEW YORK (June 9, 2014) – Actress MAJA WAMPUSZYC delivers a gut-wrenching performance alongside Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard in James Gray’s period drama, THE IMMIGRANT.
Distributed by the Weinstein Company and currently playing in select theaters, THE IMMIGRANT follows Polish immigrants Ewa and Magda Cybulski (Cotillard and Angela Sarafyan) on their search for the American dream. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors detain Magda due to illness and Ewa is released onto the mean streets of Manhattan. Hopeful to reunite with her Aunt Edyta (Wampuszyc), who previously emigrated from Poland, Ewa instead falls prey to Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix), a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of two Polish emigrants, Wampuszyc was excited to bring this character to life. Having auditioned in English and Polish, Wampuszyc was asked to assist Cotillard with learning the Polish text. The women also used this time together to further create their characters familial bond, knowing this would deepen their on-screen chemistry. Wampuszyc explains, “I feel privileged to keep getting opportunities to create complicated character roles that don’t fit into any predetermined box.”
Coming up, Wampuszyc will appear in an episode of the highly-anticipated Cinemax series THE KNICK, from renowned director/creator Steven Soderbergh. The period drama, starring Clive Owen and Jeremy Bobb, takes a look at the professional and personal lives of the staff at New York's Knickerbocker Hospital during the early part of the twentieth century. Wampuszyc plays a widow caught up in a unique situation.
Wampuszyc has been turning in solid performances for some time now, with her most notable on-screen role in Henry Jaglom’s SHOPPING. She made her Broadway debut back in 2009, originating the role of Ida Haller in “Irena’s Vow,” by Academy Award nominee Dan Gordon and directed by Michael Parva at The Walter Kerr Theater. She was honored to be cast as Geraldine Connelly in Paul Green’s “House of Connelly,” a role that had not been reprised since Stella Adler played it back in 1931. Wampuszyc has emerged in numerous theater roles, including Kara, the German wife of a First Gulf War Veteran suffering with PTSD in “Guns Shackles and Winter Coats”; Marina Petrovna, a Russian Uzbekistani born terrorist in the political farce “Foggy Bottom” by James Armstrong at The Abingdon Theater; and a Palestinian activist, a Chicago lesbian and a 70 year old Israeli Zionist in the Chicago Silk Road Theater’s two hander play “Precious Stones.”
Wampuszyc has studied acting with some of the best in the business, including Uta Hagen, Austin Pendleton and her mentor Robert X. Modica. She previously studied Shakespeare at the British Academy of Dramatic Arts, interned with the Wooster Group and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in English Literature from Wayne State University.
Her other interests include: volunteering as a mentor with the 52nd Street Project and practicing and teaching Bikram yoga, having graduated from the Bikram Yoga College of India.
Maja Wampuszyc is represented by Bret Adams Agency in New York.
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