KANSAS CITY, MO. – Bruce Heinrich's passion is providing one of the best rides in town and elsewhere. As the owner of Leader LLC, a Kansas City chauffeured services company, Heinrich has built his business slowly to keep quality high.
Heinrich grew up in Independence and after earning a marketing degree from Chaminade University in Honolulu, he spent a decade modeling and acting in Europe, Japan and the United States.
Disillusioned with that career, he took a break to work in guest services at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, Calif., and then drove everyone from sultans to studio executives for the limousine company that serviced the hotel.
“At the Ritz-Carlton you are so in tune with the guests that you learn to anticipate customers' needs before they do; when they ask for something you will never hear anybody say `no’,” he said. “I don't cut corners, literally or figuratively. I know I need to make money to stay in business but gratifying customers is what drives me.”
In 2000, Heinrich brought that level of service to Kansas City, opening his own limousine company.
But Heinrich hasn't completely given up acting. He's turned it into a working vacation, one that sent him to New Orleans for two weeks this year for a part in “All the King's Men,” a story of political and personal compromise and idealism.
The movie, set mostly in the 1930s, stars Sean Penn as a character similar to Louisiana Gov. Huey Long and Jude Law as a newspaper reporter. Heinrich plays Law’s father when Law was a child and then he ages to play his father later in life.
Heinrich shot six scenes and will see how many make it in the movie, which is scheduled to be released in December. Without revealing the ending, he said his character is one of the only ones who doesn’t compromise, much like Heinrich in his real-life career.