Mikaela Rüegg - Kiwi Star of 'The Stolen'
Mikaela Rüegg - Kiwi Star of The Stolen
Mikaela Ruegg, is about to make her big screen debut in the role of Flamenco, a major supporting role in the feature film the Stolen – which shot in Christchurch last year. The role marked her professional debut as an actor and has since lead to a string of other roles – including Power Rangers Ninja Steel and Ash vs Evil Dead.
Mikaela is a 21-year-old American actress who moved to Christchurch with her family in 2006, after they lost their home in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, USA. The Rüeggs made Christchurch home and when they faced another natural disaster with the earthquakes of 2010-2011, they decided to stay. Alongside her brothers and sister, Mikaela joined the Red Cross response team to support residents and visitors in need. Mikaela was the youngest member of the team at 15 years old.
When Mikaela was 16 years old she started her education in History and Political Science at the University of Canterbury. During her time at University she became President of the Political Science Society and Vice President of the University of Canterbury Students Association (UCSA). Where she was able to pave the way for a more inclusive University environment, by helping to instigate progressive change through the UCSA representation system to unsure that a Māori Representative, and an Equity and Wellbeing Representative were put into the constitution.
With a lifelong passion for film and the performing arts, Mikaela began her film career by directing The Road Home, a Canterbury short film that was featured in Canterbury Shorts: A Film Festival in 2016.
In mid-2016, a friend contacted with Mikaela to let her know that the feature film The Stolen would be filmed in Christchurch, New Zealand and that the Producers were looking for an actress to play a supporting lead — Flamenco, a young Spanish prostitute. The original actress pulled out due to family commitments. With the film fully cast with international stars, this was a unique and incredible opportunity for a local actress to work in an international film alongside international actors Alice Eve (Star Trek), Graham McTavish (The Hobbit/Outlander), Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean/Smash), and Kiwi actors such as Stan Walker (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), and Cohen Holloway (Hunt for the Wilderpeople/Thor).
On the off chance, Mikaela called Producer Emily Corcoran (Christchurch native) to ask for an audition. Mikaela auditioned for Director Niall Johnson and Emily over a couple of days and landed the role. This started a new and exciting chapter in her life. Mikaela filmed with the cast and crew over three months in Christchurch and Canterbury on an international film. That was life, and career, changing.
Mikaela will attend the red carpet premier of The Stolen in Christchurch on Tuesday 21 November 2017. She has since moved to Auckland to pursue acting full time and will appear in Power Rangers Ninja Steel on Nickelodeon in and Ash vs Evil Dead next year. She is also working to use her political science degree to advocate for the arts in New Zealand.
See Mikaela in The Stolen trailer here: