by Sherif Awad
This is actress Daria Grinkevich-Zhabska a.k.a Daria GZ
Well…. I was born in Ukraine in the small town of New Kahovka. My family had nothing to do with cinema, in fact, there was no idea in my head to devote my life to cinema. I dreamed of being a lawyer or a computer programmer or Mary Poppins.
At the age of 17, I moved to Kiev, met with a television presenter Svetlana Ryzhuk, once visiting her studio, I immediately fell in love with the process of creating video stories. Not understanding where, and how I can be useful, but I knew for sure that this was my world. I got a job as a props assistant at the A-Media company, a Russian production company making television and feature films. I was on film sets from that moment on, all day and night. Then my break came, a director asked me to sit at the table as an extra. My life was changed forever. This was just the beginning.
-My main role models from cinema, theatre, dance, TV during childhood and teen years was Luc Besson, the well known French Director, who literally pushed me into the film industry with his films “Leon” and the “Fifth Element” and on with his working partnerships with fantastic actresses like Natalie Portman and Milla Jovovich.
-About studying and learning to become a creator: Can a person be taught to love? I think no. So it is with acting. The academy teaches the rules, but life teaches you to feel and be attentive to feelings.
-It is very important for me to be in demand, it is very important to constantly be in the frame and working with incredible storytellers. In regard to being famous, it’s a side effect of being in demand and being busy.
-Regarding gender challenges: I say I did face any. In my career thus far I’ve been able to work with incredibly professional people who are only focused on the story and the audience reaction. We are here to work together to share amazing stories and build characters. That is all.
-It is difficult for me to say about the film industry in Ukraine, since I have never really worked in Ukraine. For the last 4 years I have been working for Chinese cinema, and it’s been incredible. At the moment, the Chinese film industry is fine, and they are back working after the Global Pandemic. At the moment I am currently in Dubai and I cannot go back to China as China is now closed to foreigners, so filming there is not an option at this stage in my career. I am looking towards Europe.
-Castings are now taking place mainly online and I can say that this is a completely new experience for me. It’s a little difficult to do online casting without talking to the director. It is important for me to feel a connection with the director and understand his or her vision. I hope live communication, and the simple act of meeting people for coffee, will return to our world again.
-For me projects, first, of course, I look at the quality of the character, and then I review the previous work from the directors and gauge how much the director’s previous works inspire me. These are the two most important things when I am reviewing work offered to me.
-About my greatest achievements so far: well, this is hard to say. Each of my projects is very dear to my heart, regardless of how the public perceived it.
-In addition to acting, I take classes in dance, boxing, and kickboxing and this helps keep my body ready for any role. In regard to my storytelling activities I love to read books, watch new films and watch old ones and learn from those actors and actresses and directors because learning is an ongoing process and there is always more to learn. I make equilibrium between my profession and my private life Easily! My profession is my personal life. I live and breath being an actress at every moment in my life so don’t have to separate. It is everything I am and everything I aspire to be.
-I advise other young talents to prepare carefully for the casting. Never compare yourself with other actors or actresses, as everyone has their own path in the creative industry. Of course the most important thing is practice, practice, practice; as without this we have nothing.
-Today I am preparing for several projects, but in view of the current global viral pandemic situation with quarantines and the difficulty of travel it is hard to say when and what exactly can be filmed and where. Many productions at the moment are on hold and waiting until the situation becomes more stable. But still we must prepare and be ready to work again in the very near future.