Interview with actress Anna Zaykova

  • How did you get involved in acting?

My parents are actors, I literally grew up in a theater, there was no other way for me, than to become an actor. I think once you get involved, you stay in this world forever. At least you really want to.

  • How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a theater play? And which one do you prefer?

I’d been working in a theater for 7 years before I tried myself in the cinema (I don’t count episodes now – there is usually no chance/time to understand anything). And I’m fully in love with it. It’s a different profession, different language, tone of story-telling. It’s very close, quiet, very intimate. There is a camera looking at you, it’s here, nearby, you know the group, you’re already a family. In the theater there’s a big hall, different people every time, different breath. You create a new story every time together with the viewers. In the cinema it’s your time and territory, your space – you can be yourself, can be honest and very detailed. Theater and cinema are like celebrating a wedding – it can be loud, crowded, drunken; can also be only about two people, fully in love sharing lovers’ vows in whisper.

  • What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?

I always want to do everything perfect. In my head I see a perfect picture of how it should be and when something goes in a different direction I can get very anxious and upset with myself. But sometimes it’s better just to relax and follow the flow, the partner, your today’s breath. Maybe you’ll do it different from what you wanted to do, but who knows – maybe it will be even better. I understand that it’s very important to enjoy the process and be flexible, light and not to go too hard on myself. To trust the director and the cameraman, because your acting is just a part of a big house that you built all together. And let it go even if something didn’t look/feel good enough for you. It’s today’s you, you did all you could. There will be another day, another try, another project. There is always a chance for growth and it’s wonderful. And I hate the auditions. Always feel like I have to prove something to somebody. It’s really bad because it’s an important part of the profession. But I work with myself. Trying to learn how to enjoy it.

  • What are your strong points as an actor?

I love my work, I’m very stubborn, ready to work day and night until I get satisfied with the result. I’m open for any experiments and offers, corrections. I try to be honest with the viewers and to make a little confession in every role – the audience always feels whether an actor opens her/his heart or just does a job.

  • What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

Directors have enough stuff to do, so it’s fully my job to make a character, have my own suggestion for each scene ( better a few), be open, be flexible and not to ask stupid questions ( I still love to do it).

  • What makes a good scene partner?

Trust, open heart, delicacy, attentiveness, creativity.

  • What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

Not much depends on you, you have to be chosen, someone needs to believe in you after you performed something strange at the audition. Sometimes you have to wait for years until someone sees a pearl in you.

  • What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

It’s more a question to the directors I think. Bringing a character to life is challenging because you have to understand another logic, find and cultivate it in yourself, live in this logic for some time ( even in the «real» life – you will not escape it), you have to have a clear understanding of what your message is and why you (particularly) are telling this (particular) story about this particular person and why is it so important to you to be heard.

  • What do you do when you’re not doing theater/film?

I play my «old» performances, spend time with the people whom I love, read books, travel ( sunny pre-covid times) cook and dream about new stories to tell.

  • If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?