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Annabelle Star Natalia Safran: “I wish I had realized sooner the simple, but elusive truth about failure — that it is an inherent part of life and the only real way to learn and grow stronger”

I also wish I had realized sooner the simple, but elusive truth about failure — that it is an inherent part of life and the only real way to learn and grow stronger. The more you try at something the more you will experience setbacks and make mistakes, and that is nothing to be scared of. It […]


I also wish I had realized sooner the simple, but elusive truth about failure — that it is an inherent part of life and the only real way to learn and grow stronger. The more you try at something the more you will experience setbacks and make mistakes, and that is nothing to be scared of. It is quite the contrary, it is a sign that you are making progress and putting yourself out there. The most important thing is to keep going and not give up. Sounds like a cliché, but it is both liberating and empowering.


I had the pleasure to interview Natalia Safran. From her superstar modeling roots in native Poland to her film and music charting success in the USA; Natalia is expanding her artistry as a multi-talented performer across the spectrum of the arts. Her career began as a high-fashion model strutting down runways and appearing in ad campaigns for top designers. From Calvin Klein to YSL to Dior and beyond — skyrocketing this towering supermodel from her home turf in Poland to couture shows from Paris to New York. Later, she relocated to Los Angeles to pursue music and acting. In 2001, Natalia was cast as the “Crying Bride” alongside Jennifer Lopez in the hit comedy, romance The Wedding Planner. From there, she co-starred in films, including Over Her Dead Body alongside Eva Longoria, Hours alongside the late Paul Walker, on a film that includes her haunting song, All I Feel Is You which went into the Top 20 on the Billboard Music Charts. This was followed by her appearance in the worldwide blockbuster film Aquaman, as the Queen of the Fisherman Kingdom Rina. Currently in theaters is Safran’s most recent major release, the third installment of the classic Horror film Annabelle Comes Home playing the role of “The Bride.” Safran’s acting credits prove an impressive roster of genres, showcasing her abilities beyond one cast type. Aside from acting, Natalia has also lent her voice to the big screen. Most recently, Safran’s song Daylight was featured in the Nicholas Sparks film The Choice. Her music credits also include features in other films, including Hours starring Paul Walker. Natalia writes and performs with her brother, Mikolaj Mick Jaroszyk, collectively known as “The Forevers,” with her songs having a singular style dubbed by the critics as Rocker Chill. Natalia and Mikolaj’s craving to create meaningful musical masterpieces is heard through their impassioned songs and lyrics that they continue to make. Natalia Safran’s current projects reach beyond acting and music, as she is also a producer with her husband, Peter Safran, through their production house The Safran Company. Top film releases from The Nun, The Conjuring, and Vehicle 19 have all come out of the acclaimed production company. Safran maintains an image of excellence and not only through her notable work, but also through the ways she continuously and selflessly supports the community around her. She is proudly on the board of Project Angel Food delivering life-nurturing food to the ill and struggling in Los Angeles. In addition, she is also a supporter of Kidsave, an organization that hosts neglected, foreign orphans and assists them in getting adopted.


Thank you so much for joining us Natalia. Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I fell in love with movies, a deep love that endures to this day, and that has shaped in a big way who I am and what I do today. I grew up in Poland, where back in the 80s and 90s we had these amazing film clubs that screened the best of world cinema, from old classics to new indie pictures, each preceded by an expert introduction and followed by a discussion. Magic unfolded in front of my teenage eyes and, without even realizing it, I began seeing life as if it was a movie — dramatic, surprising, colorful and romantic, where everything was possible as long as you dreamt big, worked hard and never gave up. This was where I first laid eyes on Gary Cooper (my first infatuation), Humphrey Bogart, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall and so on. I was discovering the theater at the same time (Chekhov, Ibsen, Witkacy, etc.) and going through a whole other fascination with rock ’n’ roll, and thus a future in the arts was written for me. I wanted to live a passionate life filled with these arts and I was so determined to make that a reality that it carried me through some really rough times and frequent moving. I went to Paris first where I steadily built a great modeling career, then on to London, Munich, New York and Dallas until I finally found home in Los Angeles. I am as passionate about cinema today and I never take for granted that I get to work with some of the most brilliant and talented people in Hollywood. I love acting, making movies, writing stories and songs and putting them together into music videos for our band, The Forevers, a duo with my brother.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

The Forevers, my band with my brother, is about to release a new single called “Rockets Fly” and a music video for the song. It has been getting a great response and will be featured on iTunes, some super cool Spotify playlists and radio stations, so we are pretty excited about that. Movie-wise, I am working as a producer on a film about an early American blues icon. It is a true and unbelievable story about a female artist’s quest to reclaim her music, and how it is never too late to pick up the pieces and start again. I’m a late bloomer myself so I’m a sucker for an ‘it’s never too late’ story.

I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

I believe that the only way to success in anything is working and sticking together. We are only as strong, as compelling and as effective as the sum total of our experiences, cultures and know-how. Nobody should be excluded, no heritage is more or less valuable and the only measuring stick ought to be the hard work, knowledge and kindness we bring to the table. I am a female, an immigrant and a Polish-American, so I am all for diversity and equal opportunity in the entertainment industry and everywhere else. In the arts particularly though, what could be more interesting and empowering than being introduced to diverse characters and stories? Movies and music have a deep effect on people, so I hope that as the industry continues focusing on more diversity, they help inspire us to become a more accepting, open minded and less insecure society. We need to be more inclusive and to know more about each other to defeat the racism, misogyny, hatred and fear so freely propagated by some powerful elements on the political world stage at the moment.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

I heard a question recently that I found so powerful it stopped me in my tracks: what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? I wish somebody asked me that when I was in high school, and every year after that right on January first to start the year with new fire under my feet. It helps me remember that the only thing in my way is self-doubt and fear of failure and that I am fully in control of both those.

I also wish I had realized sooner the simple, but elusive truth about failure — that it is an inherent part of life and the only real way to learn and grow stronger. The more you try at something the more you will experience setbacks and make mistakes, and that is nothing to be scared of. It is quite the contrary, it is a sign that you are making progress and putting yourself out there. The most important thing is to keep going and not give up. Sounds like a cliché, but it is both liberating and empowering.

I wish somebody told me I was nuts when I at first didn’t get the Palm Springs craze. The place is amazing, and I was bonkers not to realize it sooner.

Also, that garden burgers taste exactly damn same (well better actually!) as meat ones, except you don’t feel bloated and heavy after and no cows have to give up the ghost for you to enjoy them. I should have become vegetarian years ago.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

That is a monumental question and monumentally difficult of answer. Many things are running through my head, but the most urgent one at this point is to realize what is happening to the environment and that we have seriously pushed our planet to the point of no return. Many scientists think it’s too late to act now, some give us literally a few years to change the way this world is run in order to avoid disaster. Instead of panicking or ignoring the scary truth, we should find out everything we can about this and start making changes right away. From what we eat and how we shop to how we relate to the world and each other. We rely too much on sensational news and don’t dig deeply enough for the truth. Information is power and at this day and age it is pretty much free, so there is nothing stopping us from becoming powerful and able to help ourselves. To inspire a movement, you have to have one great idea that would help grab people’s attention and make them want to change the set way of doing things. I don’t know what that idea would be, I’ll have to circle back to you on that.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Please put me down for any meal with Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Eddie Vedder, Margaret Atwood, Jane Goodall, John Stewart, John Oliver, Tina Dico… can we have a whole dinner party??

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I’m a visual person so I like Instagram best: @nataliasafran and @wearetheforevers

Please follow my music (as Natalia Safran and The Forevers) on Spotify, Soundcloud or whatever your favorite platform is.

Find us on iTunes — fan support and song sales are essential to an artist’s survival.

Our music videos are at https://www.youtube.com/user/nataliasafran/videos

https://www.facebook.com/daNataliaSafran/
https://www.facebook.com/theforevers/

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

My pleasure, thank you!

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