Former Springs standout reaches new heights in Cirque film

By: STEPHANIE EARLS
December 20, 2012
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photo - Erica Linz, left, plays Mia and Benedikt Negro plays Le Vieux in "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away," from Paramount Pictures and James Cameron. Linz grew up in Colorado Springs and attended Air Academy High School where she was named Gazette Gymnast of the Year. Photo by Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Erica Linz, left, plays Mia and Benedikt Negro plays Le Vieux in "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away," from Paramount Pictures and James Cameron. Linz grew up in Colorado Springs and attended Air Academy High School where she was named Gazette Gymnast of the Year. Photo by Courtesy of Paramount Pictures 

At a diminutive 4 feet, 11 inches, Colorado Springs native Erica Linz admits she’s always had a fascination with heights.

“It’s novel for me to see the top of people’s heads,” she said.

Except, that is, when she’s at work.

Linz, a standout gymnast and 2001 graduate of Air Academy High School, has spent more than a decade soaring above the crowds in Las Vegas as a featured performer with Cirque du Soleil shows “Mystère” and “Kà.”

These days, she’s looking down on things from slightly greater heights, barnstorming the globe to promote the film in which she stars, “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away,” which opens nationally Friday.

The 3D visual spectacular, directed by Andrew Adamson (Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) and helmed by uber-producer James Cameron, presents a big-screen medley of some of Cirque’s more popular shows, with Linz and co-star Igor Zaripov providing the love story through-line.

Linz plays Mia, a quirky misfit who is swept, Alice In Wonderland-style, into a dreamlike world of the visually surreal.

“My character has two lines — ‘No, thank you’ and ‘Help,’” Linz said. “In Montreal, they said they’d send me a French-dubbed version.”

Achieving this artistic goal put physical demands on more than just the performers.

During filming, “there would be moments when we’d be on stage with Andrew Adamson directing the action and James Cameron would be 70 feet above us in a harness shooting down,” Linz said.

Linz earned her acting chops early as a member of the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale.

“Erica has always been one who sets her mind to what she wants to do,” said Linz’ father, Tom, who lives in Colorado Springs with wife Mary-Mike. “We’ve really just enjoyed following Erica’s progress.”

Contact Stephanie Earls: 636-0364

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