Thursday, February 13, 2014

Danila Kozlovsky Interview with Moskovsky Komsomolets

Translated from Russian to English via @kapsya72:

Danila Kozlovsky continues the expansion of Russian actors to the West. Recently it was held the American premiere of “Vampire Academy” – the first part of the film adaptation of the bestselling author Richelle Mead, in which Kozlovsky played one of the main roles, Dimitri Belikov, the son of a vampire and a human woman, such called dhampirs. Dimitri works in the Academy as a mentor of real vampires and younger dhampirs. In particular, he protects two friends – Rosemarie and Lissa. On the eve of the film’s release in theaters, Kozlovsky met with MK to talk about the Hollywood experience, difficulties of translation and working with Olga Kurylenko, who became famous after her big role in “Quantum of Solace”.

Danila, tell us your secret of how best to overcome the language barrier?
I am afraid my secret is quite boring: I just learned the language.

You spent many nights with a textbook?
Not only the evenings. Basically, if I had a free five minutes, I devoted to their pursuits. Sometimes it is more effective than two hours of frustration. There are several stages of language learning. The first is the most difficult, when you’re bored and you’re struggling to overcome boredom. Second – when you start to get better, it seems to you, what you’re saying, but actually you are still not doing it. And the third stage is when you suddenly realize that you can talk. And you begin to enjoy the fact that you can formulate fairly complex thoughts, even to joke. Every newly learned word brings joy that you used to understand with difficulty before. And you really can’t wait for the evening, to sit back and learn the language, because it’s very interesting.

According to the plot, you’re a Dhampir. You have no fangs, and you don’t drink blood. Then what’s the buzz? I thought that first of all in vampire movies, actors liked the opportunity to aesthetically bite someone’s neck.
Firstly, this is wonderful mythology conceived and written by Richelle Mead, in which it is interesting to live. Secondly, the role itself is interesting. The guy lives a long time in America, but he remains Russian in the mental sense, in some fundamental things. It’s very nice that Richelle has established him as a man who loves, falls in love, is passionate. He is a hero in general. He is a man who educates, protects and saves. He is wonderful in all its manifestations. To play such a character is much nicer than to just suck the blood of someone’s neck even if it is impregnated with good perfume.

The film tells the story of contemporary America, but you filmed it in England.
It was really nice there. London is a lovely city. Although it was not easy in the first two weeks. For some reason I thought that it was going to be warm, but it was cold outside, plus 12. I brought only summer clothes. Now you say, “Oh, what’s the problem! He froze in London!” And the truth is, it was harder for me to cope with the new situation: the language, the shooting ground, the people around me. All of this was new to me. I experienced the first stress already at the airport, when I went to the passport control, and heard… (followed by several non-translatable sounds with a strong British accent. – MK.). And you don’t understand: is this English? And the driver is Englishman there. The director is an American. One producer is American of Indian origin. The other producer is Scottish. The third producer is pure American from somewhere in the South. Stuntmen were from the North. This is the complete mixture of accents, dialects. And nobody pays attention to the fact that English is not your native language. There were only two people who forgave me for my bad English. Those were my wonderful dialect coach, and a young girl who had Italian parents. Apparently, she just knew how difficult it is for a foreigner in a similar situation. On the other hand, they should not have to do me favors. Since now you got involved – so come on, work.

What language you spoke with Olga Kurylenko?
We spoke Russian when we were alone. And when we spoke in the presence of the Western comrades, then in English. She is a very good actress. Simply wonderful. In another case, Terrence Malick would not have invited her for his film. I think she did everything great, brightly, funny in this movie. I remember our first scene: we needed to keep a straight face. We played a conflict between us: she is the evil headmistress, and I must protect the girls. But she was so funny at this point that I was difficult to hold back. And, of course, she is very beautiful.


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