I've known Ana for quite a while now; come to think of it it'll soon be 10 years! She's a girl with a golden heart, luminous soul and a will that's stronger than her pride. However, Ana isn't just a lovely human being (as if that wasn't enough) but also an extremely talented young actress. That's why I felt the need to host her on the blog with a short but extremely inspiring interview. She discovered her passion for acting when she was still in high school, but the first serious step towards her acting career took place when she was finishing her study at a Slovene business school. Around that time she decided to pack her belongings and head for the Big Apple. She received the Talent Based Scholarship for her studies at the prestige New York Film Academy. She later moved to Los Angeles where she finished her acting education with the highest grade possible. This young lady has some serious talent and she's already shown it with her appearances in the famous The Players in Gramercy Park, the small Broadway stage in New York, ACME Theatre, and Complexx Theatre in Hollywood. Apart from that, she also collaborated with big names such as Mira Furlan, Malik Yoba, and Sidra Smith. She's been regularly attending various film festivals in New York and Los Angeles. Now dive into the interview and get encouraged to follow your dreams!
When was the first time you started thinking about a career in acting?
I did a few school plays and some theatre here and there when I was in High School, but I never in my wildest dreams thought of doing it as a profession. I didn't seriously consider it until I got to Business School. Then the shift happened and I decided to follow my heart. And the rest is history.
After a few years of acting in Slovenia you decided to take the plunge and flew directly to the New York Film Academy. What was it like? What was running through your mind?
I was nervous but I kept telling myself to ignore the nerves and just do it. I'm very close with my family, so it was very difficult to move 5.000 miles away. However, I'm very lucky to have a very firm support system and my family encouraged me and believed in me every step of the way. I couldn't have done it without them.
We've all heard stories about how some actors rigorously change their everyday life to authentically take on the personality and behavior of the person they're portraying. I assume this process must be a very interesting way to explore your own inner-self, but does it actually affect your development as a person? Can you improve yourself through getting under somebody else's skin?
Yes. You develop a strong sense of empathy by putting yourself in someone else's shoes. It forces you to look at the situation from a different perspective, based on the circumstances you create. I am a lot more patient and understanding with myself and others.
It's obvious that you're passionate about acting, but do you experience any fluctuations in this desire? What makes you love and what makes you hate acting?
I don't love or hate acting, it's just a part of me, a calling. It has awakened something in me that I never felt before. And I want to keep on feeling like this until the rest of my life.
What are some of the best memories from the Film Academy?
My classmates. They were some of the funniest, hardest working and most talented people I've ever met, I've learned so much from them. We created a very supportive environment and we trusted each other, it was very easy to feel comfortable and open up to them. The work we created together was magic.
You've lived in two most known American cities (New York and Los Angeles). We've all heard that New York makes you hard and LA makes you mellow – what are your experiences with both?
As it often happens, my relationship with New York began romantically. I knew I wanted to live there ever since I was ten years old and first saw it on television. Years later, when I first visited The Big Apple, I understood that the chaos of the city was alluring to me and New York was where I needed to be. The theatre scene was amazing, the skyscrapers boggled my mind and walking down the 5th Avenue made me feel like I was on top of the world. When I moved to Los Angeles, it was like another planet. There were mountains, palm trees and beaches. People were laid back and much more polite. Traffic was hideous and I felt lonelier. The weather was great. Both cities are equally terrible as they are awesome. I had a honeymoon period with both of them, where nothing about either city seemed wrong and I imagined myself living there for the rest of my life. Then I had a period where slowly, an acknowledgement of the city's flaws began to creep in. It's important to always keep in mind that you can't get away from yourself, moving from one place to another. Sometimes what you are running from is within you.
Looking back, what has changed the most in your life since you began with your acting career? Does being an actress become easier or more difficult with time?
It's important to get comfortable with yourself. I became aware of my strengths and weaknesses and learned how to accept both. As you train at your craft, you build emotional and physical stamina, you develop more focus, imagination and patience and expose your vulnerability. It never gets easier; you just become better at it.
Who do you look up to the most?
My father. He is my hero.
Who's your favorite actor/actress and why?
My favorite actor is Javier Bardem. He has an infinite amount of depth, he is versatile and has so much charisma. I absolutely love all of his movies.
Which is your absolute favorite movie that you could watch over and over again? Why?
My absolute favorite movie is Biutiful by Alejandro González Iñárritu, starring Javier Bardem (of course). It has so much visual poetry. It's an intense, very realistic movie and it ignores all Hollywood criteria of what a successful movie "should be". I like that.
Do you have a project in the works? If yes, can you share anything?
I am currently preparing for a lead female role in a Serbian feature film. It is emotionally demanding, so I am looking forward to the challenge. The cast is exquisite and I am very excited to start working with them.
Do you have any hidden talents? The quirkier, the better!
I can trip, walking on solid ground without obstacles in my way. Does that count? :)
What advice would you give to somebody that dreams about becoming an actor?
Do it. Don't listen to what other people say. Believe in yourself and do it for the love of the craft — not for the fame and certainly not for the money. There are many more sure-fire ways of becoming famous and rich. There are no magic answers or guarantees that will get you where you want to go. There are no shortcuts, only hard work. Expecting to succeed without experiencing pain, set-backs, discomfort or failure is unrealistic. Acting costs. But it's worth it.