[AlKHallism: As Olga’s agent doesn’t have a website, i’ve linked all her pictures to her MySpace and IMDB pages.]
From the juiced-box, what Olga listens to when she has to wake up at 4:30am, and a song that fits her to a T: Alicia Keys – Superwoman
It seems like only 36 days ago (’cause it was) that i Booze Revoozed The Wolfmanand if y’all remember, i enjoyed the movie but… Which is kind of like, “i love you, but…”.
So there are faults to be found in The Wolfman but… there was one feature of the film that was fully flawless: the fantastic Ms Fedori. This young actress showed up in the Silken Butterfly section of the Booze Revooze (linked above) and though her role of the gypsy daughter of an elderly medium was fleeting, she made a lasting impression.
Before we uncork this puppy, i tried the dreaded mad-lib intro once more. The principle is still the same: i asked Olga for a list of words, which she graciously provided, and plugged them into a pre-written text whose contents she had absolutely no knowledge of. i’m including my list of word requests to help you improve your insight. Her answers are underlined in the intro.
(1) Favorite city, (2) Favorite Color, (3) Favorite Clothing, (4) Verb Of Motion, (5) Alcoholic Drink [she didn’t answer this one], (6) Favorite Animal [her full answer was: “too many real ones, plus all the ones from Avatar“], (7) Favorite Number [her full answer was: “13 and 17″], (8) Any Body Part, (9) Adverb with -ly, (10) Another Kind Of Drink
So there i was, riding this train from London to Guilfrod in the English countryside and this lovely young lady wearing something white (the less the better) was dancing down the aisle.
“Wait, aren’t you Olga Fedori from The Wolfman?”
She looked over at me drinking my Nemiroff vodka and looked away, pretending to look at the passing animals from Avatar.
“Look,” i persisted, “the 13 seats around me are empty. If you sit down and answer a few questions, i promise not to lay one finger on your hands.”
She sat down tenderly and ordered a green juice.
Al K Hall: You have a killer accent! i saw that you’re from the Ukraine, took off to the States long enough to graduate from Harvard and wound up in England. What’s up with that?
Olga Fedori: It’s too long of a story really.
Al K Hall: Don’t worry, we got plenty of time and as long as the train has enough vodka, i’m good.
Olga: The States is my second home in so many ways—a part of my identity—but I had to leave because I didn’t have a work permit to pursue acting and didn’t want to take on a normal/corporate job, which would take care of a visa. Young aspiring actors don’t get one so easily.
Al K Hall: So why England?
Olga: I’ve always liked London (I trained here when I used to dance) and am obsessed with BBC period dramas, so here I was.
Al K Hall: Cool. And while we’re on the subject of ‘cool’, do you have any cool nicknames?
Olga: Plenty of nicknames. My favorite ones are from childhood, though; for example, “Pencil”. I used to be ridiculously thin as a teen.
Al K Hall: And now you’re just right thin! Isn’t it great how life works? That you’re in great shape is obvious; what’s something you wish people knew about you before they met you?
Olga: I will leave it to chance. Way more fun.
Al K Hall: Exactly! Even if i’m not sure exactly what that means. i think i need another vodka. [i reach into my bag and pour three fingers into my plastic cup. Normally i’d hit it from the bottle but i’m with a lady here, after all.] Let’s talk about the movie a little. How did you get the role of “Maleva’s daughter” in The Wolfman?
Olga: Just an audition, well, a few actually, including a dancing one.
[Another juiced-box song dedicated to Olga, and another of her favorites: Nick Drake – I Was Made To Love Magic.]
Al K Hall: Where was the film shot?
Olga: The film was shot in many different locales but my bit was around and in Chatsworth as well as Guilford.
Al K Hall: Did they put you up in a nice hotel?
Olga: Indeed, the hotel was sweet and location was stunning. I spent hours walking around.
Al K Hall: Yeah, but did you get free booze?
Olga: I don’t drink but the food was great. I was fully raw at the time so the production company took great care of my dietary requirements.
Al K Hall: “Don’t drink”? Are you sure? [At this point i have a minor heart attack. EMT’s are called. They turn the vodka bottle upside down and MacGyver an IV. I come to my senses and am ready to continue the interview.] What did you think of the movie when you saw it in the theater?
Olga: I saw it recently at the cast and crew screening with my cousin. It’s always a bit startling to see yourself on the screen. A real exercise in acceptance for me. [Olga smiles an emoticon smile and i nearly suffer another heart attack.] Not comfortable, but then there were so few of my scenes left that it was not so tough after all.
Al K Hall: IMDB says you have another movie coming out soon, Signal From Shore. What can you tell us about it?
Olga: Signal From Shore was made in South Korea this past summer. It has a great story behind it: complete guerrilla film making, since after landing in Seoul I found out that all of our original budget was pulled. So we had no money, no production company, nothing.
Al K Hall: Holy Shlitz!
Olga: The Director, Peter Flaherty, Director of Photography, Pablo Colapinto, and me were faced with a choice of completely giving up or rewriting the whole film and shooting it without any budget at all. After a few bizarre mornings of stress and teaching at Seoul Art Institute Summer Intensive, which is in and of itself a full blown documentary worthy subject, we decided to make an entirely new film. Peter rewrote the script, sometimes on the day of shooting, and thus, Signal From Shore was born. We just got the Best Film Award for it at the LA Zero Film Festival. It’s making festival rounds at the moment.
Al K Hall: Intense! What a great story! Congratulations on the win, babe. Man, i sure hope the movie finds it’s way to Yeman. But you’re the only actress in the thing. Isn’t it hard to carry an entire movie on your own?
Olga: No, I wouldn’t say so. Plus, we didn’t have enough money to make it very long, so makes it easier.
Al K Hall: Good point. Speaking of short and sweet, your reel on your MySpace page is very impressive. What are some of the different scenes?
Olga: I think it’s an old one. It has a beautiful film GOLDFISH made by the brilliant Debbie Abrahamson, with whom I am hoping to work soon again; a film by Galen Peria; a few theatre shows I did at the University with Jay Scheib, whose work is truly juicy and dynamically rhythmical; and some other stuff. I will put a new reel on soon. Although, this one is dear to me—kind of like personal vintage.
Al K Hall: Yeah, i know all about “personal vintage”. i noticed you speak English and French on the reel. Are you fluent in both? i mean, a Harvard degree and speaking so many languages must mean you’re, like, super intelligent, right? Is it tough being prettier and smarter than the rest of the world, or are you able to deal with it?
Olga: Dude! [Man, y’all gotta see her when she’s shocked—she’s the cutest.]
[Another instrumental break… From the juiced-box and a request directly from Olga: Joni Mitchell Both Sides Now]
Al K Hall: Do you have any other projects that i was too lazy to discover?
Olga: You tell me. [i ponder this while the the EMT’s change my I.V.odka.] I’m working on a TV show now in the UK called Holby City. My roommate agrees that my character is like a girl/goth version of Dr. House. I am sure, he is humoring me, but hey!
Al K Hall: What a coincidence! i’d love to have my I.V.odka changed by a goth girl! But if someone else needs to contact you, like a director or a casting agent, what’s the best way?
Olga: My agent, or anything else works too. No rules.
Al K Hall: My philosophy exactly. What would you like these people to know about you?
Olga: I am a quick learner, when it is not my slow day.
Al K Hall: Babe, i can’t imagine you ever having a slow day. You ready for the mandatory Bar None Questionnaire? It’s like drinking at a bar: if you don’t know what to say, take your best shot. What’s your favorite alcoholic drink?
Olga: I don’t really drink, but in the past red wine happened, and Soviet Champagne—for very special mornings with very special friends.
Al K Hall: Hey, people call me “special” all the time! No? What about vodka then? Isn’t that like a staple in eastern Europe?
Olga: If I did drink vodka, I would drink Nemiroff. The pride of my motherland, and the cleanest, most ethical company in Ukraine.
Al K Hall: And just what i happen to be drinking! It’s a small world, but i wouldn’t want to buy it a round. When was the last time you had a hangover?
Olga: In Korea, I just had to try a traditional drink called Don-Don-Ju, I think, known to give the worst hangovers and, apparently, this is why they drink it!
Al K Hall: Sounds like a good reason to plan a vacation in Korea. Do you smoke?
Olga: Yes, sometimes—sometimes a lot—but not for the past few weeks. I started running, so smoking is out.
Al K Hall: “Running”? God, that term sounds familiar but i can’t say i know what it means… Wait, like “running” out of booze? Whatever it is, i know it’s like a swear word. Which reminds me, what’s your favorite curse word?
Olga: English doesn’t have that many. [Another emoticon smile that melts the sun.] Russian, on the other hand, has volumes; it’s tough to chose.
Al K Hall: And what’s a cool swear word in Ukranian?
Al K Hall: Speaking of “rougher”, what’s your favorite thing about me, Al K Hall?
Olga: Dude, I don’t know you.
Al K Hall: A lot of people’s favorite thing about me is that they don’t know me, babe! And on that note, we’re gonna hafta wrap this baby up ’cause if things go on, you’re gonna get to know me a lot better than you could ever want to.
Guess what. There was no trains, there was no Olga and, even worse, no Nemiroff. The interview was conducted exclusively by e-mail and i did not experience the pleasure of conversing with Olga face-to-face. As is my wont, i added in some transition crap to throw you, but i left Olga’s answers exactly as they were. Why mess with perfection?
Olga was especially sweet to take time to answer my questions, especially because she was also looking for a new apartment and sick as a cute puppy dog. Thank you so much, Olga, for making my job so much fun.
As a Thank You present, i have another of her favorite songs to sign off with: Joan Baez – Forever Young:
If y’all are interested in the other The Booze Talkin’: Exclusive Interviews, just click on the link.