Vasile Marin: “Go and collaborate as much as possible”

Go and collaborate as much as possible. You honestly do not know who is a good filmmaker with a great vision and who is not. You have to take your chances. Remember that at the end of the day, you need to have fun doing this. If you don’t, you are doing it wrong. As a part […]

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Go and collaborate as much as possible. You honestly do not know who is a good filmmaker with a great vision and who is not. You have to take your chances.

Remember that at the end of the day, you need to have fun doing this. If you don’t, you are doing it wrong.

As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Vasile Marin.

Vasile is an actor who was trained under various methods with heavy eastern influences(Stanislavski, Grotowski) while attending a three-year drama course in Romania. His passion for acting started when he joined the vocational high school in Iasi, studying theatre.

After university, he got the opportunity to work in film. He fell in love with the medium and decided to move to London and pursue a career in screen acting while keeping theatre close to his heart.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in a big city in Romania, right after communism fell, which proved to be a difficult time in the country’s history for most people but filled with a general sense of relief and happiness. In my neighborhood were about 30 kids more or less around my age and we were all friends with each other and played outside every single day for hours on end. Belonging to such a big social group, I always felt the need as a kid to draw attention from all of them. I was singing, telling jokes, doing pranks, being very competitive in all sports and games we played, just generally making sure that I am visible and I am at the top of the social hierarchy.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

It was mostly practical reasons, in the beginning. To advance from middle school, you had to pass an exam. Depending on the score, you could go to a more prestigious high school or a lesser one. My score would have taken me to less prestigious high schools in less safe areas of the city because it was not very good(I was never a big fan of doing well in school). The Art Highschool was in the city center, and I figured that being able to sing, I could go there and study singing. The thing is that when I went to sign up for the admission exam, I saw they had an acting class as well, and I thought to myself that sounded way cooler than singing. Plus, in my head, I was pretty sure that the girls in the acting class were going to be prettier. Please, note that I was 14 years old at the time.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

You know, in the Romanian theatre community, the adjective interesting has such a bad connotation. You usually say that something is interesting when you find it boring, of faulty quality, and don’t want to offend someone’s feelings. With that in mind, I will tell you the most shocking event I experienced in my career.

I was still studying for my bachelor’s degree, but at the same time, I was doing quite a bit of improv theatre tours around the country. On one of the shows, my acting teacher joined us on the stage. He was a big deal in our city. A 43-year-old doctor in theatre, dean of the Faculty of Theatre at the University, former actor for the National Theatre, altogether an important public figure. We were performing this exercise that had us physically manifest all sorts of abstract suggestions from the public. Someone in the audience yelled: A dark place, and my acting teacher turned his back to the public and put his hand inside his trousers, mimicking that he just stuck a finger up his bum. I remember I froze with my finger stuck in my nose, beholding the sight, thinking that acting takes a lot of courage, while the audience was bursting out laughing so hard that you could feel the vibrations under your feet.

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?

I was performing at a national level competition between Art Highschools in Romania.

My dramatic monologue was of a doctor that did some terrible things and now was about to kill himself. I also had props. I was supposed to use a tourniquet and a syringe. I started the performance, and everything was going fine. I was saying the words well while showing some decent emotion. In the final part, when I tried to use the props, I pulled the tourniquet so hard that it broke, and then I went on, and I was trying to tie it up using my teeth. It all looked so messy and unrelated to the scene. I could hear people quietly giggling in the audience. That made me try even more to show how dramatic the moment was. I took the syringe and, with a Shakespearean movement, I pretended to inject the poison into my veins, then went on to display one of those terrible deaths that you could expect to see in a “worse movie death scenes” youtube video. The audience couldn’t hold their laughter anymore now. I left the stage, got out of the building, and started crying.

From that moment on, I knew that if I wanted to pursue this career, I need to get deadly serious about the amount of work I put in. Also, I made sure that I was doing everything in my power to stay away from props in whatever projects I did subsequently.

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

Well, recently, I just finished shooting a movie directed and produced by Kaitlyn Lorraine Boxall from Ginger Paradise Productions about domestic abuse. The name of the film is Behind Closed Doors, and it’s going to premiere on the 15th of January 2021. That was a cool project. We had one superb team, and we had loads of fun shooting for it.

In Behind Closed Doors, I portray one of the leads, Aaron, a psychologist. Aaron has to counsel Lisa through her marital problems related to domestic violence. The issue is that he develops feelings for Lisa because of the similarities between her story and his mother’s. His emotions get in the way of him being able to provide her with counsel in a manner that she would be able to absorb it.

Another great project that I work on is a play called All Clear, directed and produced by Paul Slaughter of Subgrey Productions. It was supposed to be touring in Kent theatres this summer, but, unfortunately, because of the Covid situation, it got delayed to 2021.

In All Clear, I play a german architect that after years of traveling the world, working and building his fortune, returns to England to claim his child. Once in England, he gets stuck in a house with his child, the child’s mother, her husband, and the child’s sister. Out of this situation, a lot of intense moments are born, both highly comical and dramatic.

We are 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?

The first reason that comes to my mind is the power of example. Young people of all cultural and social backgrounds should find examples that they could look up to in all the media formats. The closer these examples are to a particular cultural environment, the more influential they could become in shaping future generations of that background.

Another good reason: the more the industry gets to represent cultural minorities, the more likely that the representations are going to start breaking stigmas, getting less stereotypical.

Another important reason is the power of breaking walls that the entertainment has. Correct representation on a larger scale of minority cultures will lead to an increased capacity for the cultural majority to understand them, which will, in turn, lead to more acceptance and unity between people of all backgrounds.

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

Video answer to be inserted.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Go and collaborate as much as possible. You honestly do not know who is a good filmmaker with a great vision and who is not. You have to take your chances.

Remember that at the end of the day, you need to have fun doing this. If you don’t, you are doing it wrong.

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. 🙂

A movement that inspires lawmakers to pass down economic laws that would prevent individuals from accumulating absurd amounts of wealth. This movement would reduce the pay gap between the most and the least senior positions in a company, thus bringing forth a better wealth distribution across the entire working population of countries.

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 want to thank Emil Gnatenco for the opportunity to be part of his theatre group while I was in high school. It was one of the best experiences I had as a teenager.

I want to thank Alexandru Petrescu, my singing teacher, for the insane amount of time he devoted to me, teaching me how to use my voice for both singing and speech.

I want to thank Florin Faifer, my history of theatre teacher, who sadly is not with us anymore, for the best insights into my acting technique and how to improve it.

I want to thank Ligia Grozdan for having so much faith in me and offering me so many work opportunities back in Romania while I was still a student. All that work gave me such a huge confidence boost!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I don’t have one. I don’t believe in any quotes. I appreciate the artistry and cleverness behind creating a memorable one, but I don’t find them helpful to improve on the way I live my life.

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. 🙂

Yes, please! There are three persons:

-Matthew McConaughey, because I am a big fan-boy, and I love his personality a lot.

-Ryan Reynolds, for the same reason.

-Seth Rogen, because I would love to work with him on one of the movies he writes. They seem to be so much fun to do.

How can our readers follow you online?

I would love it if they could follow me on Instagram @vasilemarin.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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