Close-up: An Interview with Irina Starshenbaum

Q: Attraction is now out in UK cinemas. What can audiences expect from the film?

A: THIS is a film about Russian mentality – jokes, sense of humour, actors, even a district called Chertanovo, part of Moscow. In my opinion, this is a story about all of us. Humanity generally. About love, opposition, feuds, war, the television-mind, friends and relations between children and parents.

So I hope every person can find something for their self in Attraction.

Q: How was your experience working on the film?

A: PERSONALLY, it was a great experience – my first big film worldwide. I will never forget every day of this experience.

It was also a big pleasure to work with director Fedor Bodarchuk. He is a huge figure in Russian industry, but he is so light and romantic in his work process. He is like a flying bird, full in love with history, the characters and the time we all spent together.

Q: What attracted you to the story and your character Julia?

A: I WAS attracted to Julia’s bravery. She is full of it. She will risk everything for truth and love.

Q: Do you have a favourite sci-fi film?

A: I GUESS my favourite sci-fi movie is Lucy. It is a beautiful story with a strong woman (Scarlett Johansson) as the main character.

Q: Can you tell us about your background and how you got into acting?

A: I WAS a TV host at first, but always dreamt about acting. It was a hard journey actually. I did some art films and after them my agent signed me up. So I am not a professional actress with the right education and training. I am a journalist and PR [laughs], but how fantastic it is now to be involved in films and the theatre – the wonderful Gogol Center in Moscow.


Q: What do you enjoy about performing?

A: THE most charming part of acting and cameras is the process – where the time stops and the here and now. It allows you to show your soul. You can share your heart and happiness with the audience. You can just live with everything in the world, like meditation and having a personal psychoanalyst.

Q: Is there a good diversity of roles for female performers in Russian cinema?

A: I WISH to have more of it in our industry. We are ready for more roles. I am often interested in stories of that nature. I want the time and opportunity to demonstrate my ambitions, acting and personality. I am not only a main hero’s girlfriend [laughs].

Q: What are your ambitions for the future? What kind of stories do you want to tell?

A: I HAVE great ambitions. Of course I want to try European and American cinema. It is another dream. To grow, become better, faster and stronger.


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