October 5, 1985
It's not every day that an actor making their feature debut gets to lock lips with their onscreen idol -- an improvised kiss, no less! -- but then again few things about the curious career path of 'X-Men Apocalypse" (2016) costar Carolina Bartczak could be interpreted as conventional. Born into a family of engineers in Gehrden, Germany, the budding young scientist seemed to follow suit when she immigrated to Canada and enrolled in the bioengineering program at The University of Toronto. But Bartczak wasn't exactly content to walk the well-manicured path before her, so when a friend nudged her to try her hand at acting, it didn't take much to make her budge. A stint as a travel writer in Croatia followed, but all signs seemed to point back to acting for Bartczak, even after she managed to get her foot in the door of the Canadian television industry. By 2009 it was time to get serious about acting, and what better place than The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater in New York City? It was over the course of her next two years in the home of Broadway that the burgeoning actor began to realize her potential as a performer. Her future was coming into focus, and a course at the Upright Citizens Brigade was just the thing to keep it sharp. Then, one day, while perusing Back Page at a cozy Brooklyn coffee shop, an ad seeking an actor for a short film about career woman with artistic ambitions caught Barczak's eye. The next thing she knew, she had landed the lead in the short, entitled "Plato's Reality Machine" (2013). Before long Barczak was back in Toronto, putting her training to good use as a television producer. As the voice of the eponymous tween sleuth on the animated French-Canadian TV series "Alfred Hedgehog Mysteries," Bartczak may not have become a familiar face to television viewers, but enjoyed the stability and steady work that afforded her the luxury of determining her own career path. The rising star's recognition factor spiked with an appearance as a high-strung mother in "Smurfs 2" (2013) and in 2014 Bartczak caught the eye of the late Paul Walker in "Brick Mansions" (2013), an American remake of the French parkour flick, "District B-13" (2004). Moviegoers were beginning to take notice, so when Bartczak auditioned for the role of Magneto's wife Magda in "X-Men Apocalypse" (2014), she was well prepared to play the role of the woman whose tragic death thrust her grieving husband down a dark path of vengeance and death. And with subsequent voiceover work in such hit videogames as "Rainbow 6: Siege" (2015) and "Far Cry 5" (2018) she seemed to strike a happy balance that could take her career virtually anywhere.