April 20, 2003 – Landing a role in the recently released Vin Diesel film "A Man Apart" — currently playing on St. Croix at Diamond Cinema — was a dream come true for Virgin Islander Karin Stephens.
Stephens had met the film's director F. Gary Gray, at a function in the Mandrian Hotel on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip in 2000. Two days later, she recalls, he telephoned her and offered her a role in the movie. Filming began later that year.
"It was basically a chance meeting between the director and myself, but I was blessed because of it," Stephens said.
This is Stephens' first appearance on the big screen. Don't look for "Karin Stephens" in the credits, though; as an actress she goes by Karrine Steffans.
The movie centers on the character Sean Vetter, an agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency whose wife has been brutally murdered by a member of a drug cartel. Vetter, played by Diesel (of "XXX" fame) works with his partner, Demetrius Hicks, portrayed by Larenz Tate ("Menace to Society"), to bring down the cartel's boss, Diablo.
Stephens plays Hicks' wife, Candice, the mother of a small child. Although her role is small, "it was a lot of fun," Stephens said, adding that Diesel and Tate "became like brothers to me."
Her own life experiences helped her prepare for the role, Stephens said. She is the mother of a 5-year-old son, Naiim, so portraying a mother came easily to her.
She says she always dreamed of an acting career while growing up as a child on St. Thomas. Working on "A Man Apart" has helped blaze the trail for what she hopes will be a successful acting career.
Diesel and Tate gave her a lot of important pointers that she will put into practice in the future, Stephens says. She currently is looking at scripts for roles in upcoming movies.
Stephens is the daughter of Josephine Ovesen and Kenneth Stephens, and the granddaughter of current St. Thomas resident Vivian Ovesen and the late Axel Ovesen Jr., a native of St. Croix. She attended Joseph Gomez Elementary School before moving to the U.S. mainland in 1989 with her mom.
Before making her film debut, she appeared in a number of music videos, most notably in the one for Mystical's song "Danger."
To see some photos of Karin/Karrine (copyrighted so the Source can't publish them) and read another interview she did recently about her role in "A Man Apart," see Romantic Movies Web site.
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