With the film “IJ inspector Jamshed” recently wrapping in Abu Dhabi, we sat down with Daria GZ to discuss her character (the dangerous and deadly Dye), the difficulties of the profession, and the arduous path to success.
In IJ Inspector Jamshed you play a powerful and dangerous female killer. Did you relate to Dye?
Like Dye, I am a strong and willful woman; unlike her I am kind and peaceful. Although, when I get deep into a role I intuitively become the heroine in reality for a short time.
I was reading the script on a flight to Munich, flying at an altitude of 10 thousand meters. The stewardess brings tea, and I imagine what Dye would do now. How would she drink this tea, how would she talk to passengers, what would she do in that very moment? What would she say to Inspector Jamshed? Could I hijack the plane if I wanted to? After landing, I went to passport control. The officer looked at my ID, then at me, and decided that I looked suspicious. At that moment, I was still “trying on” Dye. I was taken to the office, asked to take off my shoes, some of my clothes, and all my luggage was checked. Of course, everything was in order, but I got so deep into the role that even they suspected me of something.
Do you always try on the image of your heroines? How do you usually prepare for a role?
When I played the head of a terrorist group in Africa my character wore long capes and raincoats. They were always bold images. Then I began to notice the style of my character appearing in my personal wardrobe. The same long black raincoats, scarves, bright makeup. This went on for several months until I let her go.
Of course, I can shut it off and find some sort of balance, but a trail temporarily remains. I think it’s very professional, because you can really inhabit the role. I prepare thoroughly; I re-read the script at least 50 times. I write out all the characters and determine their relationships. And then I come up with a background. If the character is a villain, then why did she become that way? What influenced her in childhood or adolescence? I never judge my heroines, because I try to get to the bottom of their actions.
Such a masterful approach is amazing! You work all over the world, you have successful projects in China, Ukraine, Turkey, UAE, Russia, India and Australia. It remains only to conquer Hollywood! Is that on the docket?
I have already worked with the inimitable Hollywood director Simon West in China. Of course, I really liked his working methods. Everything is professional, but still so relaxed and at ease compared to a Chinese production. For example, one of the influential film studios in China belongs to the Army, and the director there is literally a general. The hierarchy of work is built super clearly, harmoniously, like in the army, everything is according to regulation.
Do you think your many years of international experience could benefit the American film industry?
Definitely. For example, during my work in international projects, I have learned to multitask and I’m a very versatile actress. I’m in excellent physical shape as well. Before each project, I spend several weeks physically working out the scenes and studying the choreography. I use all the equipment that will be on my costume during the filming. I don’t need an understudy, I can do all my own stunts. I know that in Hollywood there are three stunt doubles for every actor. Therefore, I am as prepared as possible, I am not afraid of hardship and I can share my experience with the film industry. Each country has its own nuances of work, but surely we’d agree, it’s great when you can put together the best of all worlds?
Sounds great! Especially when there is someone with so much experience, knowledge and willingness to share it! It isn’t all hardship and struggle though is it?
A few years ago, when I already had a couple of Chinese productions behind me, but I was not yet as in demand as I am now, I was asked to become Mila Jovovich’s body double. I am in great physical shape, it was an easy task and a great opportunity to get to know Mila better, so I agreed. But there was a misunderstanding on set. Because the team knew me from working on other projects, and did not know Mila, and because we have a similar body type and were wearing identical clothes, assistants and make-up artists could not distinguish us at all. Often times they needed Mila but they grabbed me instead because they couldn’t figure out which of us needed make-up touch ups, or who should be invited to the set to block the frame. I don’t know what Mila thought about this, but the situation amused me quite a bit.