Pavle with Erik Audť
Your upcoming movie Killing Joan
- in a few words, what is it
about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?
is about a bad ass chick who works in
the mob as an enforcer, realizes her lifeís wrongs after an event and
comes after her former employer to redeem herself. The character I play is
the main antagonist's nephew, George, and is the 1st antagonist who feels
the wrath of Joan's revenge on her journey to salvation.
did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much of Pavle
Mara can we find in George Saltino?
is an egotistical, sleazy Italian-American gangster from New York that
grew up with a silver spoon. I donít relate to the character so much as
I understand his position, his desires and goals. My research involved
watching all of Scorcese's films (our director Todd Bartoo [Todd Bartoo
interview - click here] told me my portrayal of George
reminded him of a young DeNiro after he asked me to be in Killing Joan), it definitely
helped with the accent. Also I sculpted a pretty solid idea of how
different from my own Georgeís psyche is by following the more
negative, indulgent impulses that came up.
How did you get
involved with the project in the first place?
submitted on LACasting for George's part, the character description caught
my attention, it sounded like the perfect part for me, Iíve always
wanted to play a character like that. I went in to audition and was told
there would be callback in a month. I had completely forgotten about it by
then and received a callback to read with Joan. 2nd time was more fun,
there were a few laughs, it felt good to have someone to work of off.
I received a call from Todd a few days later asking me to be in it
and I couldn't say no.
features quite a bit of action - so how did you handle that
aspect of the movie?
done so many different sports growing up and then martial arts too, so I
am very comfortable with any kind of action, it only helped George come to
life, it also helped me stay present throughout the shoot. Of course,
having Erik Audť as the stunt coordinator really added to the whole
experience. All in all I cant wait to do more action oriented films.
What can you tell us about your
director Todd Bartoo [Todd Bartoo
interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?
was quite an amazing experience. Todd made me feel like every 1st take was
a playground for exploration of your character, it would then get tailored
by Todd and his vision as the takes went on. He was so open to suggestions
that it created an illusion that everyone had equal part in guiding the
story forward, an actor's dream. I do wish I had more time to just talk to
Pavle, Erik Audť, Dion Basco
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
single person was a necessary ingredient to this energetic, fun and
respectful atmosphere, from the PAs up to the director. Everyone was so
supportive and open to everyone's work and there was no attitude to lead us
away from telling the story, only positive feedback and encouragement
from one another. Everyone was a class act.
Before Killing Joan, you've starred in the Serbian film Bicemo Prvaci
Sveta/We'll be World Champions - you have to talk acout that
one for a bit of course, and your character? And how did you get hooked up
with that project?
cool movie was filmed in Slovenia and Serbia. It is a Serbian film by
Darko Bajic and it is about the
very beginnings of Yugoslavian basketball in the late 30ís until
Yugoslaviaís victory over the US basketball team at the world
championship of 1970 and the underlying tone of communism
that fueled the need for excellence throughout the depicted period.
The character I play is an American basketball player, Art Wilmore.
A producer from InterMedia Network, Aleksandar Radosevic saw the
potential of my knowledge of American pop culture and the standard-American accent for the role and he offered it to me, I
said yes immediately because I knew some of my favorite Serbian
actors were going to be in it and I wanted to experience working on
such a large set. There were days, while we were filming the final game, that required over 400 extras. I also got to go on the
Serbian tour for the premiering of the film which made us travel from
city to city and going to do signings and pictures and always a good
party at the end of the night. Overall great time, great people and good
fun, it made me feel more in touch with my culture.
We'll be World Champions
Any other present, past and future
filmwork of yours you'd like to talk about?
am currently preparing for an awesome role in a feature length pilot
called Batman Beyond: The Series directed by Nate Lyles, it is
a fan funded project about the Batman Beyond cartoons/comics. Also
preparing for a feature called In The Wilderness which starts
filming in May, and writing a feature film with my creative partner, actor
Brett Justin Koppel.
What got you
into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal education
on the subject?
always performed and played, since I was a kid imitating the TV, my mom
was super supportive from day one and would make me these costumes of
Peter Pan and Robin Hood and
Phantom of the jungle that fueled this game
turning it into a real passion. The 1st time I got to actually practice acting was
when my family moved to Singapore and my middle school offered drama
class. That was how it started, it was mainly theater and
improv based stuff. In Beijing, in my senior year I had the pleasure of
doing film studies and ended up going to New York after high school
and getting an Associate of Fine Arts degree in Acting for Film from the
New York Film Academy. This allowed me to stay in the US and work as a
You have made movies pretty much all
over the world - so how do the sets in different countries compare, and
which method of filmmaking appeals to you the most?
only things that rank movie-sets apart for me is the quality of work and
everyone's commitment and mutual respect on set. Iíve seen all kinds of
sets all over the world and every single one is different. This is one of
the main reasons I like this work so much, it tests your patience and compatibility
skills every day. The best sets are those where everyone feels responsible
to do their particular task and respects everyone elseís task as
much as their own. Mutual comfort and respect is key on any good set
Iíve ever stepped on.
We'll be World Champions
making movies you've also done your fair share of theatre - so how does
performing on stage compare to acting in a movie?
It's a strange line between the two. They
say theater is an actor's medium and film the director's (or editor's as
Iíd like to think of it) and it's so true. In theater your director and
pretty much anyone else has nothing to do with your performance, they
lead you through rehearsals but after the lights go up and curtains open
you can walk out there naked and juggle for all they know. But in film
you have to be on point every take, make sure your continuity is right,
make sure to give options to the editor or no options at all depending
on what you want to go into the film, but there will always be better
takes that will never see the light of day because of who knows what. So
it's a lot more unnervingÖ not a lot of control in film
acting from the actorís point of view but that's a thrill to me to some
extent, I just donít like feeling like unless my director cares about
me I will not see my failures until the movie is done with post
production. The reason I like both is because creating a character is
the same regardless of the medium.
also a musician, right? So what can you tell us about your music, and your
I was 4 I wanted a violin after I saw the cricket in Pinocchio, so my
interest started early. I started taking guitar lessons when I was 10 but
they were on Saturday mornings so I soon gave up. I picked up drums when I
was 14 as an extra curricular activity in my middle school in
Singapore. That made me turn my ears towards rock music and I started up
again on the guitar. Soon I was in a high school rock band until
senior year, this is when I moved to Beijing. There I didnít have a band
to jam with so at 1st I started rapping, and making my own beats and writing lyrics.
My voice was too kiddy so I stopped rapping and focused on making
instrumentals for a while and writing. My girlfriend stayed behind in
Singapore and I missed her a lot so I started to record songs for her
over my instrumentals and slowly through that Iíve branched off into my
own genre of music that I enjoy making almost every day.
Any other talents of yours you'd
like to talk about?
in particular, I do professional photography as well as most other art
forms whenever inspiration calls, I do parkour too and I love me some
How would you describe yourself as
an actor, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?
would say Iím a very physical actor, I use a lot of Michael
Chekovís technique and some other body related techniques to guide the
building of my characters. Iím fascinated by actors like Daniel Day
Lewis or the late Philip Seymour Hoffman that have the ability to
transform into a different human being to represent their character and I
always strive for that. For research I like to find ways in which my
characterís body carries itself through space differently to me and then
I take it out for walks and let impulses inform me. It tends to be easier
to stay in character if I have a clear image of the differences and
if Iím focusing on my character's actions at hand (Stanislavski). I use
Meisner when it comes time to interact with other characters. Its an ever
changing formula though and cracking every character takes a different
approach. All really fun work.
(and indeed actresses) who inspire you?
I would love to work with and watch are Joaquin Phoenix, Shia LaBouf, Jake
Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman from the gents and from the ladies I like
Melissa McCarthy, Tilda Swinton, Charlize Theron, Penelope Cruz to name a
many to choose from, some films I appreciate for the cinematography, some
for the story, some for the acting so its hard to choose... Goodfellas
or anything Scorsese made with DeNiro, any of Tarantinoís films, Big
Lebowski, True Romance, Snatch or anything by Guy
Ritchie, Darjeeling Limited by Wes Anderson, Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn. The
more I think the more I find...
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Iím not a big fan
of horror films because I have a very developed imagination but not a
lot of control over it, so I avoid voluntarily steering it in a
website, Facebook, whatever else?
official website is
where you can find my bio, music, pictures and videos. You can also find
me as Pavle Mara on Facebook.
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
and my creative partner Brett Justin Koppel just started a channel on YouZube called
KidCreative where weíll be posting our own short
films, comedy skits, musical covers and anything else we might create and
feel like sharing. And also thank you for the interview Michael, I
hope we talk again soon regarding another interesting project.
for the interview!