An interview with Stana Minincic ("Inspiration")
Before we chat about the film and your role, please tell us a bit about your background- how do a prolific designer and a plastic artist become an actress?
It was very simple. Two Spanish filmmakers, Alberto Martín–Aragón and Julia Doménech, asked me to appear in their experimental short films. They told me that my face reflects human emotions with deep and strong realism and that they were looking for someone who soberly expressed the essence of what is human. They consider that my physical appearance is the very suitable to show a part of their vision of life and art. I heard their proposal and I was interested in the challenge.
What were some of your first steps in the acting world? Did you go through any training, or are you mainly self-taught?
I am self-taught, but it is also true that my directors light the way for me with their advices and instructions. My acting school is the very work of preparing the role and the act of interpreting. I believe that working is the best way to learn. Fortunately, I work with people who have the same learning philosophy.
What makes you passionate about acting?
The possibility of being others allows me to achieve what the tragic Greeks called anagnorisis, which consists in recognizing the universal pain of humanity. Acting allows you to delve into eternal passions and purify your spirit through catharsis, which is an overcoming of the trauma of life through art and the reconciliation of contradictory emotions.
Who are your role models, are there any actors or filmmakers you look up to?
I really admire Jodie Foster and Tildon Swinton. I think these actresses are capable of doing anything. I also have great respect for the work of Al Pacino, Robert de Niro and Daniel Day-Lewis. They are actors who have always amazed me for their ability to convey radical emotions.
Inspiration is about a writer who suffers from ‘writer’s’ block' and struggles to find her creativity again. Have you experienced such ‘creative block’ in your personal life?
Naturally. Every so often my mind suffers from some kind of ‘creative block’. What I do during those days is walk around and look at the world as if it were something new and try not to take myself seriously. When one forgets oneself, one loses fear and begins to enjoy the usual things. Then the ideas come back to your mind. Nothing like laughing at your 'ego' so that your imagination regains its fertility.
Congratulations on a fantastic performance- truly, beautiful and so engaging. How did you prepare for this role, for which you’ve won ‘Best Actress in a Fantasy Film’?
When my director sent me the script, I tried to internalize the character's feelings and make them my own. My director wanted a transparent and neutral performance. This looks easy, but it required great discipline of my gestures on my part and a lot of work to be natural. For this reason, two weeks before the shoot, I was working on the entire psychological aspect of the character. My intention was to feel inside this sensation of imaginative paralysis. It was sometimes torturous, because it made me feel vulnerable. But this mental discipline allowed me to reflect without histrionics the impotence of an artist trapped in sterility.
What is it like working with director Alberto Martín-Aragón?
Alberto gives me great freedom of spontaneity so that I build the character intuitively. And this is possible because we work with a small crew which is always willing to experiment on the same set and that respects my initiative and ideas. In other words, my director tries to make me co-create the film and this seems to me to be a sign that he respects and values the work of the actors.
Was there any improv on set?
We improvised many times, but without leaving the scheme that the script marked us. Our script was like a couple of protective fences lining a highway. We were not allowed to jump over those fences, but inside the highway we could do what we wanted. We tried to create a dream world that had the transparency and accuracy of reality and wakefulness.
What was the most difficult scene to shoot?
There is a scene in which I am being strangled by a mysterious man, who embodies a kind of executioner of the imagination. It is a scene that requires significant body work and meticulous control of movements to avoid any sprain or injury. It was exciting.
Do some of the characters “stay with you” even after the shoot is over?
I get very involved in my characters. So there is always something of them left inside me. I've been lucky enough to play characters that appeal to me, so it doesn't bother me. Our mind, on the other hand, is prepared to accommodate fictitious beings without going completely crazy. In fact, I believe that the characters that continue to live within us allow us to reconcile with ourselves and balance our spirit.
You often play roles in fantasy and experimental films - do you have a particular love for this genre, or feel more comfortable working in it?
Circumstances and chance have caused my career as an actress to begin with experimental and fantastic films. But I must admit that I feel very comfortable in this genre of films because they are fun and unpredictable and because they force me to make an enormous physical and mental effort, since my work must give structure and a certain coherence to a fantasy. I love risks.
In your opinion, what does it take to be a great actor?
I believe that a great film actor is someone who manages to convey the essentials of life with naturalness and simplicity. For that you must live long and not be afraid to feel all kinds of emotions. The technique is very important, but there is a moment when you have to touch the soul of the audience and that is given by a face that has a story.
What are your career goals (for the short term and long term)? What are you hoping to focus on?
I am a multidisciplinary person, open-minded and curious. If someone offers me to take part in a project and I think that project can enrich me as a person and as an artist, I participate in it. Everything I do, whether it's designing necklaces or painting or acting in movies, is part of my idea of being a more whole, authentic and creative person. What diverts me from that path does not interest me.
For now I want to continue making experimental films and continue perfecting my technique alongside the filmmakers who have given me the opportunity to be an actress.
Where can our readers follow more of your work?
I provide you with these links where you can watch some of my films and where you can get to know me a little more.
Would you like to add anything, and/or thank someone?
I want to thank God for having linked my destiny to the lives of Alberto Martín-Aragón and Julia Doménech. I am very grateful to these people for giving me the opportunity to develop as an artist and a human being. I hope to continue sharing with them many hours of friendship and filming.
Thank you, Stana! We would also like to include the link to your store. Such beautiful jewelry!
Thank you! Here's the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StAnaDugme
Inspiration - Trailer