Marco: I had the pleasure of interviewing Monika Ekiert.
Monika is an amazing actress. She was born in Poland, grew up in France, and then moved to LA last year. Passionate about life, energy, and cinema, with her head full of ideas and a heart full of motivation, she arrived in Los Angeles with her Extraordinary Talent Acting Visa.
Being Polish — French, she mastered these two languages fluently, as well as English and Russian. She also has acting skills in German and Hebrew.
Monika has been a lead actress for many Polish and French TV shows and films and the face of international fashion campaigns, working with well-known brands such as Giorgio Armani, L’Oréal Paris, Schwarzkopf, Redken, and many others. She is really someone worthy of being discovered. So hurry up not to miss this opportunity.
Marco: Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Monika: Challenge has always been showing people that anything is possible in life. Even the wildest dreams are achievable if you really believe them.
I was born and spent my childhood in a communist country. We had little to eat, like bread with salt as a main dish and bread with sugar as a dessert. I wore my brother’s old clothes. One day, I followed this inside voice in me, and without knowing what it was, I decided to go to France. My first goal was to prove to myself what I was capable of.
With my 2 suitcases, a one-way bus ticket to Paris, 50 Euro in my pocket, and an address to one organization that helped a young Polish girl in their life in France, I landed in a completely new world. Working hard to survive motivated me to achieve my goal and become an independent, strong woman. So, basically, just a few years later, I achieved my 1st Master in Economics at the Sorbonne University and also my 2nd Master in Human Resources. I found myself among 25 students that went for the 2nd Master’s degree in Human Resources. Sorbonne University is one of the best universities in the World.
I think my decision to leave Poland at a young age, searching for a “better life,” ultimately made me love my parents more. Back then, I was ashamed not to be like the others, and to never go on holidays, etc. But nowadays, it all changed for the best, and I became a warrior with the mission and vision that I had.
My dream of becoming an actress has always been inside me and kind of hidden deep down. I come from a humble and modest family. I spent my childhood dreaming, thinking that my life was meant for me to accomplish great things.
I have a lot of strength. I’m not afraid of people, only of God.
I know that cinema is a way to express myself. And to change people’s lives and their way of thinking.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Many things have changed in my life since I have met a homeless person in Paris. It was my first year in acting school, Cours Florent, and at the same time, I was volunteering in a Polish organization that typically helps Polish homeless people on the streets of Paris, France.
The homeless person wanted to thank me for taking care of him, but truly he had nothing to give me in return. He then suggested I contact someone that took good care of him via Marie de Paris, and that person was also connected to the film industry. I went ahead and made the call. Long story short, a few days later, she invited me to my “first” visit ever to the Cannes Film Festival. I have to say, during the Cannes Film Festival, I met incredible people that made me feel the confidence that my whole life was about to change. While at the Film Festival, the fabulous people I met quickly learned that I was there truly thanks to a nice homeless man, and from that moment, additional doors kept opening for me to explore and that indeed changed my life.
I always say, let’s keep up and do good without waiting and expecting any return. The “return” always comes back to us in some way, shape, or form. We don’t know when and where.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
During the time I arrived in France to actually act in a scene, I saw on the set this guy who (silly me) I thought was the actual chef for the whole crew and, without hesitation, I looked at him and asked, “What is the special dish you prepared for us to eat ?” He got a little offended at the start while everybody on the set started to laugh and quickly I learned that he actually was a known star…I was so embarrassed, yet, it’s all good because we become good friends and all went perfectly fine on the set. Life has strange ways of connecting us with others. It’s also all about energy and timing.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am still working on our feature film where I play Marilyn Monroe — it will be the third time since being in LA where I play MM and different projects.
The film, theater, and documentary truly makes me feel so honored.
I’m writing and will also direct a documentary about the Polish Jews who created Hollywood. Did you know that Warner Brothers were born Wonsal Samuel Goldwin, Szmuel Gelbfisz, Billy Wilder, and Lee Strasberg and were born in Poland or Polish towns part of Austria-Hungary due to one of the partitions of Poland? So with the few Polish immigrants like me and with the additional help from great historians, the work has started on this fantastic project as we speak. We will discuss the entire story, and I can’t wait to share it with you soon.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
When I appeared in the play The Seven Year Itch — in part first played by Marilyn Monroe — I acted alongside Sandro Monetti, an award-winning British journalist.
One day before the show, someone whispered to me, letting me know that in our theater, many actresses wanted to have my role and, funny enough, as soon as I was on stage, I just realized there was a whole row of blondies. That moment made me kind of nervous at the start, but I quickly gained my confidence and said to myself that I must win this acting part regardless of whether I came to Hollywood without any connections and wasn’t perfect. Just a normal girl who has more natural sensuality than all the beautiful, talented blonds that so badly wanted my acting role 🙂
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Listen to your intuition and your heart. We are all connected to the universe, and when God speaks, He speaks to you and not to people who ask for other’s opinions. As Steven Spielberg says, the little voice inside of you is the one you have to listen to, no one else’s.
Never hesitate when the right opportunity presents itself. Sometimes you don’t have time to think. You have to act.
You have to be positive. Speak well, think well, and for the rest, there is Karma. Do not think of seeking revenge on the people who have harmed you. They will pay for their wrongdoings sooner or later.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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. 🙂
I would change the prejudices about Jews and minorities in Poland and elsewhere. The new generation is fighting for it, but their collective voice is small, and even if they do great things, they expose themselves to risks and therefore need outside help.
You can be very wealthy, but you couldn’t do as many things as when you are famous, especially if celebrities come from the United States.
This gives me the strength to fight at the castings, to give the best of myself to become this celebrity and that voice as soon as possible.
What are your “3 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
Love yourself as you are. We are all different, and we need to embrace these differences to make the world a humane place. Do not compare yourself to others. You are unique and beautiful.
Dream Big. Everything is possible. Please send it to the universe. He knows how to make it work. You cannot control it. It would help if you were ready. So keep working and dreaming.
Surround yourself with positive people. When you speak badly of others, delete them from your contacts; they will one day speak badly of you too, and indeed that hurts. They will get their karma, but you will waste your time and energy. So at the end of the day, it’s simply not worth it.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
It’s a Polish quote. “Jak spasc to z wysokiego konia” means that if you have to take risks, take real risks. And if you do not fight for what you want, do not cry for your loss.
When I went to France alone on a one-way ticket, without knowing the language and having only 50 euros in my pocket, I took a major risk and never said that I regret my actions in the matter. I also took another risk coming to the U.S by myself with two suitcases, and without knowing anyone, nor how I would survive again in another country. So, yes, once again, I took a risk while I was far away from my comfort zone.
We cannot control everything in life. We should also believe in our luck and take a few risks and let the universe do the rest.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am grateful for my fiancé Jacques Samuel Cohen-Bacry. He saved my soul. He is very spiritual and confident in God. I learned quite a lot from him — all positive topics and to mention a few: Try not to live in the past. Live your life without any regrets. Instead, move forward. Regardless of all of our obstacles, we must carry on and move forward. Everything in our life is for our own good.
Jacques Samuel Cohen-Bacry wrote amazing scripts that will change many human lives if one day they can be produced. Upon request, I can send you a few to read 🙂 Who knows …
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. 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 see this. 🙂
Because of his vision of the world, his films, his modesty and his love of family. He is an example for me.
And Keanu Reeves.
Because of his humanity, talent and something else that I can’t at the moment explain …
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/monikaekiert/
My Short Acting reel;
Marco: Thank you so much for joining us. This was inspirational!
— Published on April 7th,2020
Marco Derhy, Founder @ Derhy Enterprises | Author | Positive Influencer