2 Alabama Celebrities in NEW Thriller Black Balsam – Here’s how you can watch

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From the Black Balsam premiere. Left to right: Emily Topper (Caitlin Roth), Heath Franklin (Director), David Schifter (Writer/Producer), Jessica Fox-Thigpen (Casting Director) and Brian Kurlander (Bill Roth). (Carrie Johnson)

If you’re a fan of suspenseful thriller movies, we’ve got a new flick featuring Alabama celebrities you might recognize. We spoke to award-winning actor and former executive director of the Alabama Film Office, Brian Kurlander, for an inside look. Read on to learn more about the conversation.

About Black Balm

Black Balsam tells the chilling story of married couple Ellen (Josie Davis) and Bill (Brian Kurlander) who purchase their dreamy mountain retreat in North Carolina from the estate of a deceased woman. Unfortunately things take a turn for the worse when they arrive.

When the couple arrives at the secluded vacation home, they discover an unexpected tenant: the late owner’s vengeful son, who is turning their supposed dream home into a nightmare.

If you like exciting films The strangers (2008) and cottage in the forest (2011), be sure to add Black Balsam to your watch list.

Meet Brian Kurlander

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Dule Hill and Brian Kurlander in ABC’s The Wonderful Years. (Victor Nelli Jr.)

From the stage to the screen and behind the scenes, Brian Kurlander has had a huge impact on the Alabama film industry. We wanted to learn a little more about his latest venture, so we did a little digging.

Based in Atlanta, Kurlander has appeared on popular shows such as the award-winning miniseries Intoxicated on hulu, The Wonderful Years, house of cards and Cobra Kai. In one of his latest roles, Kurlander plays a father desperate to protect his family in the thriller Black Balm.

“The experience on set was just amazing. This was during COVID, so we were isolated at a compound in the mountains of South Carolina. We had very limited cell phone reception, so we were really out of touch. The relationships formed over the course of filming were incredible. These people are now among my dear friends.”

Brian Kurlander

Kurlander has decades of acting experience in theaters across the country and has applied his expertise to advance the motion picture industry in our state. He took a break from acting in the early 2000s to focus on his endeavors as executive director of the Alabama Film Office.

During the first three months of his leadership role, Kurlander successfully drafted and lobbied the state’s first film grants legislation and recruited Tim Burtons Big fish to film in Alabama. To date, it remains one of the most successful and successful films produced in Alabama.

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Kurlander at the premiere of Black Balm. (Carrie Johnson)

“I learned so much during my time in the office. It was wonderful. I cannot praise the fact that we have been able to do these things because we have been given the latitude to do so. I was able to go where I could meet people, tell them our story and show them the things that they can capture on film. Whether it was people in the counties or people in the cities, it was a really wonderful opportunity to talk about how the film industry could impact their communities and what they can do to help.”

Brian Kurlander

Kurlander also graduated from Leadership Birmingham in 2007, a program that brings together and empowers community leaders to create meaningful societal change.

During our conversation, Kurlander shared fascinating stories with me about what it’s like to be an actor, including working with Morgan Freeman in his upcoming film, muti. I had to ask the obvious question, how does that feel? For Kurlander, the key is to shut everything down and focus on the relationship between two characters.

“You can’t help but think… ‘I see and hear the voice of God! I can’t believe this is happening.” There are two difficult things on any set – one is the first day of shooting and the other is working opposite an icon. For this film, it just so happened that my first day of shooting was working with Morgan Freeman.”

Brian Kurlander

Kurlander has three releases including Black Balmset for 2023: mutiopposite Morgan Freeman and Cole Houser, hard matter with Harvery Keitel and Tyrese Gibson and the TV movie home safe.

You’ll also discover Thom Gossom Jr.!

Another iconic Alabamaan to look out for in Black Balsam is Thom Gossom Jr.

Born in Birmingham, Gossom received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Auburn University, where he advanced as the first black athlete in the Southeastern Conference, received a full scholarship, and graduated. Since then his career has prospered, acting in film, television and on stage, becoming a successful entrepreneur, public speaker and writer.

His film credits include fight club, Jeeper’s Creepers 2 and Miss Ever’s Boy’s. In the new movie Black BalmGossom stars as Sheriff Bensen.

“He’s really exceptional. He gave me his book about being one of the guys who helped integrate the Auburn football team. It was great to meet him and hear his story.”

Brian Kurlander

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tune in? Black Balm can be rented or purchased from many streaming services including iTunes, Amazon Video and YouTube.

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