Its 7:58 pm
spring is in the air!
Welcome to another edition of “8 Questions with…..”.
Yep,we’re back with back to back interviews! I wasn’t kidding when I said I got 50 responses to my latest request of who wanted to talk with me here on the blog. As I type this up,I have sent questions to 15 of the 50 so far. Since anyone who has read my interviews knows,I don’t send a form questionnaire out,I tailor each interview to suit the person I’m talking to…makes it far more interesting if you ask me.
It’s time to meet Ieva Lykos. I knew I was going love talking to her when she called me a journalist. Its the first time that anyone has and it does have a certain flair to it. Ieva is a very hard working actress who moved from her native country,Romania, to Italy as a step to pursuing her goals. That is a quite a career move for anyone to attempt but not only has Ieva done it,she has thrived in doing so overcoming big obstacles in doing so.
This is Ieva’s first interview that has been published in America and I am quite honored to be able to have gotten the first chance to ask this gracious artist 8 Questions……
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your upbringing.
It is such a pleasure to be interviewed by an American journalist and I really want to thank you for that! There are enough articles about me in Europe, but none of them is written in English, so that people can get to know me better. So, as it’s all about new readers, I am happy and excited to introduce myself to them. I am Ieva Lykos, a “melting pot” actress, screenwriter and documentary director. I was born in North of Romania, at Botosani. My mother Romanian – Hungarian was raised by a German family from Munich and my father had Greek ancestry, coming from Kefalonia.
I attended both Journalism and Letters in Romania, but I chose to interrupt University and study Theater and Dramatic Arts in Milan, Italy. This way I got focused on Stanislawskij Acting Techniques.
What was growing up in Romania like?
As Romania was under the communist dictatorship, there were hard times for the people but, as my family was connected with other countries, I was not that unlucky. At that time, Romanians could not even get out of their country, there were no international TV programs or international products to buy. People weren’t allowed to know that other countries got better, they couldn’t have the opportunity to compare, appreciate other nation’s values. So, let’s just say I was special, in a certain way because I had all the prohibited things. Anyway, I was 6 yo when the dictator,Ceausescu, got shot and things have changed a bit for everybody, even if the democracy in ex-communist countries is growing quite slow.
My Greek grandfather, was the first one to construct a showie rides Luna Park in the communist Romania, this becoming a family business so I had the opportunity to travel and to know different kind of people. This thing enriched me a lot and I really had a lot of fun.
How did you decide that you wanted to be a actress? What was your first role that you
I always had this dream and I performed a lot of times during my high school period, but my town was too far away from Bucharest, Romania’ s capital, where the Drama Academy resides. So, as I had good marks because I liked to study, I decided to attend Journalism and Letters, which was not easy at all. Then, as I didn’t want to depend anymore on my family‘s money, I’ve decided to go for some months in the West Europe, Italy and get a job, and then turn back and finish my studies but I couldn’t resist Italy’s charm and I felt like I should start a new life. At that time, I really needed one.
After four years of studies and exhibitions at Gedeone Theater in Milan, I’ve moved to Florence and acted for Riccardo Rombi, the Catalyst Company director at the Puccini Theater, a very historical theater in Italy. I could not believe it, it was really difficult for me to get a leading role until that time, usually those roles are only for Italians, which are very patriotic. I really felt grateful and honored to play on that stage.
Even if before that I had different small parts in various works on the national TV channels. I’ve also presented the Italian national dubbing festival –” Voci nell’Ombra” and co-starred with Robert Woods in “Racconto Calabrese” directed by Renato Pagliuso . I consider my work at Puccini the real strong beginning of my career. That time I’ve performed a double role : the paper ballerina (changed into a porcelain one) and Arlechino (imaginary character) in “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”.
It was a very difficult performing do because every 10 minutes I had to go in the backstage and change my dress in a hurry. It was not a theatrical work only for kids, by the way.
What led you into studying in Milan,Italy? What were the thee biggest adjustments you
found yourself making?
Moving to Italy was very difficult for me. First of all, I had to learn Italian language very fast, usually Italians don’t talk other languages. It took only one month for me to talk it fluently and I was lucky because also Romanian is a Latin language. Then I continued to have other language problems. As I wanted to become an actress, I had to speak it perfectly and, on that time, I caught an Italian Nordic accent which is so hard to get rid of it. So I took lots of diction lessons, it was frustrating, believe me! It’s said that Italian has to be sung, not talked and I totally agree with that. There’s so much music in this language and I really felt ridiculous by trying to sing it.
Then I had great difficult times because I also had to work and provide for myself, I used to finish working in the late afternoon and get one hour by car to the theater lab and stay there until midnight. It also happened to me to have some television offers that I had to reject because of my job.
It’s difficult to be a foreigner from all the points of view and Romanians were not very welcome in Italy at that time. North Italy has a lot of racist people and I really had to struggle and prove that I was a good-willing and hard-working person. That time East Europe was seen like Mexico for the Americans. But there are also valuable Mexicans in the U.S.A, right? (Yes,there are. -Editor)
What is the Stanislawskij Acting Technique?
It’s me getting emotional and surprised, it s me letting another character flow into my soul. Stanislawskij wanted more from actors, he was not satisfied by only a physical and a voice performance, he wanted actors make live the character they play. This is the only real way you can get to really send emotions to the public and create feelings and impressions to them. There is so much to talk about this acting technique, I can only say that for me it was a psychological therapy, maybe that’s why I had all that energy … You get to know yourself in a very deep way, you ‘ ll know your qualities and flaws, your joys and your suffering, your weakness and your strength.
It can also be dangerous if you take it too serious or you don’t know how to manage your inner voice. I have also seen some classmates quit.
You are co-starring in a film called “The Slider”. How did this film come about and how was it as a artist to share scenes with Bruce Davison and Tom Sizemore? Were you nervous at first?
Honestly, when Carlo Fusco, the director, contacted me on my email address I thought my ex-boyfriend made me a bad joke and I didn’t answer immediately, I waited two days to investigate.
But when I saw that Carlo Fusco also directed in the past many other Hollywood actors, I started to want to believe and sent him the requested material. That time, it made sense that he wanted me,I thought, the movie was to be shoot in Romania, my native country, but when he sent me the script, I’ve noticed that I wasn’t supposed to be Romanian. So he didn’t get me for that!
Anyway, the day I signed the contract, I thought like all that thing was unreal. I had difficult years in the past living all by my own, I have lost almost all my family those years including my beloved sister, I have raised a daughter by my own, I didn’t think good things could happen to me, anymore.
My character, Esther, was the female leading role and but I had to act Bruce’s and Tom’s level. It was a must. For me was overwhelming and I started preparing myself day by day, I was so afraid the director would’t like my performance. I couldn’t disappoint people that gave me a chance without even knowing me.
The days that Tom and Bruce were shooting I had my own scenes, too and we had a lot of interaction, especially during the breaks. The same with Daryl Hannah, Hal Yamanouchi and Maia Morgenstern.
I have to admit that Bruce was my favorite, he has such a sweet personality and he is so simple and humble, he gets happy singing a song, storytelling something from his past. Bruce is the actor with whom I ve spent most of my time during those days because I felt I could learn a lot from him and I did. It’s unbelievable to see an Academy Awards nominated behaving like he does.
All of them had beautiful spirits and we had a lot of great time on the set.
I believed in my capacity, I always keep myself well trained, I have been assigned a difficult part, very dramatic so I decided to share all my sufferance and frustration. The secret of this art is to let flow and offer to the audience emotions, so that they can live through you and comprehend your position. First day I shot was a relief because the director was very satisfied, I got in the character from the very beginning.
What are the three things you like most about the Italian film industry and what are three things you feel could be improved?
It’ s difficult for me to talk positively about the Italian film industry because there’s no real industry anymore. The real great Italian movies were made in the past, they were a great example even for the Americans. Nowadays most of producers get money from the national or European funds, they only shoot in Italian language and that is why is difficult to see an Italian movie all world distributed. The indies almost don’t exist in Italy, and if they do, they usually are low quality.
As I consider myself Italian too, I am proud of directors as Roberto Begnini and my favourite,Giuseppe Tornatore.
Directors as Carlo Fusco and Gabriele Muccino escape from Italy and go to live and work in the U.S.A. There’s much more chance to do real cinema there and I am really sorry to think it this way.
As for the actors , there are twenty recommended known names that always work. It’s so unfair for the rest of the actors. I’ll move to L.A. as soon as it’s possible.
What do you like to do on your down time? Do you have any hobbies or causes you champion?
Let’s say that my hobby got turned into work. I really enjoy writing and I already have two scripts that turned into films: one documentary “The Bandit Giuliano” which I also directed and the feature”Paradise Valley”, that I co-wrote with Dena McKinnon, the movie is now in post production.
It’s a great accomplishment for a screenwriter to see their own stories turned into movies especially when they are all-world distributed . This makes me very proud. It’s very difficult to sell a script.
The cheetah and I are flying in to Milan to watch your latest project but we’re a day early. You are now our tour guide,what are doing?
I now live in Anzio, Rome’s seaside so I would be very happy to take you for a ride through the Roman’s ruins. There is nothing I don’t like in Rome and that’s because with all the preserved history, you feel like you re going back in time. At times it can seem like there’s an ancient wonder around every corner.
The Colosseum, which lies beside the ruined Roman Forum, is the social and
political hub of the empire. Nearby are the splendid Capitoline Museums, packed with classical and Renaissance art, and the Palatine, which was ancient Rome’s home to the rich and powerful,overlooking the ancient chariot-racing track Circo Massimo.
Italian food is the best in the world and I can assure you that here,you will eat better than in any Italian restaurant from the USA. So, just to have fun, too, I would take you to the “La Parolaccia”that means ” The Swear word” . In this place you’ll eat divinely, while waiters offend all of us. They also speak English. It s so much fun and waiters need some actor skills to work there. Of course, you and the cheetah don’t have to be touchy ‘cause then, they become worse. *LOL*
I like to thank Ieva for taking the time to have a chat with me. I have a lot of respect for her desire to do the very best in whatever she sets her mind to. The cheetah and I happen to have a copy of “The Slider” that we’ll be reviewing very soon and I am looking forward to it.
We also look forward to your comments so please don’t be shy,drop a question for Ieva and we’ll make sure she sees it. Thank you for all of your support!
Below are some links that highlight Ieva’s work.
A indepth interview on Nocturno
You can watch Ieva’s documentary “The Bandit Giuliano” on Amazon
You can follow Iva on her IG Page
Keep track on Ieva’s career by going to her IMDb page