We had the good fortune of connecting with Anastasia Perevozova and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anastasia, what are you inspired by?
I can talk endlessly about what brings me inspiration. Sometimes, it can be a certain smell that reminds me of my grandmother or my family’s country house. Sometimes, it’s a random stranger sitting on the bus, glancing outside the window, smiling about inner thoughts… Inspiration “comes upon me unawares, taking me all together by surprise”. When I was younger, my parents would read a lot of books to me. They would also bring me to watch ballet, opera and narrative theater. I feel like I was sourcing inspiration a lot from all these performances. The ballet made me dream and fantasize, the opera – feel the most powerful human emotions and the drama theater made me…escape. I loved (and still do) the dim lights, the smell of the wooden, freshly painted stage, the voice of an artist sounding right next to you. I love being within this incredible story revealing right in front of me and feeling so present. After I came to USA, I have started reading more american authors and poets. Some of the playwrights touched my heart so much, it stayed with me forever. A good example here can be Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (which I quoted above). This play is always on my mind, so much that I feel like one day I will stage my own version of it. It just speaks to my soul a lot, so delicate and heartfelt. Film is my huge inspiration as well. Such great masterminds as Lynch and Tarkovsky give me a stimulus to create my own work. That is how two recent films I co-wrote and starred in were born. One is called Moneta and deals with the dream versus reality theme. Another one – Outside – is a sci-fi film, talking about isolation and making bold choices even if you have to go against someone’s will. I would say that Lost and Heroes (both TV shows) has contributed a lot to my inspiration as an artist. I think those shows have a sweet balance of a humanity and heroism in them, whether with special abilities, or just being stuck on the deserted island (I refer to Jack Shepard as a hero). Inspiration, as I said, can be very sudden for me. I can be just sitting in the forest admiring the trees and that will bring incredible joy and light to my heart and soul. Or may be, I will be just looking at my beautiful sister and then I know that nothing can inspire me more than her.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
During quarantine times, me and my partner wrote and shoot a short film Outside/Breathe (we created two versions with different plot twists). We also wrote and filmed another 4 short films. But I would say Outside is the one I am most proud of. The idea was mine, I was also the main actress in it. This film is a combination of all the books and films I have always cherished, it was inspired by everything I was consuming artistically throughout my life. It is a story of a woman who lives in the futuristic world, alone in her apartment with the only friend – AI named Jay. One day, she gets tired of being locked down in four walls and decides to go against the system….Well, I am not going to spoiler the whole film 🙂 You can check it out on my website anastasiaperevozova.com, it is under the name Breathe. Creating during quarantine times made me feel very powerful and realize that a true artist can never be stopped. During the challenging times we still can create and make people happy with our work of various nature. One of my strong sides as an actor, is that I am the lover of the words. I always put a lot of work into what I am saying as a character, making the words on paper become alive, become someone’s true experience. I think that is one of my big advantages. I also work really hard on my accent. Over the past 4 years I was able to pretty much get rid of my Russian accent. I always had a huge affection towards English language and my love for it is growing with each day. I would say my role of Dr Emma Brookner in The Normal Heart theater production was one of my most proud moments. The play was written by Larry Kramer and is talking about the AIDS epidemic in 1980s in New York. The character is based on a real person Dr Linda Laubenstein, who had Polio and spent almost her whole life in a wheelchair, but never stopped her research and was always fighting for people’s lives. While preparing for the role, I had to spend a lot of time in a wheelchair, as well as during all the rehearsals and performances. When you are really putting yourself under the skin of a person with such a hard destiny, also immersing yourself into those types of real life events happening, it takes a toll on you. Dr Brookner has a lot of very powerful and emotional speeches and conversations through the course of a play, as well as all the other characters. I remember, one night during the run, I really became her on stage, I was Dr Brookner, I lived through that horrible epidemic, people were dying around me and I tried to help but was faced with situations that were out of my control. After one of the scenes, I “rolled” (in a wheelchair) backstage and had a moment…Well, not to go into so many details, but I thought that the work we did in this play was something extraordinary, especially playing characters who are twice our age and lived through this horrific moment in history. The road was very bumpy, I would say. It still is. But there is no other way to become a survivor than to go through struggles. No matter how many unpleasant challenges I had to overcome here, I would never trade those years for anything because now I feel so much stronger inside.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I would definitely bring them to the Urth Caffe! My God, this place is amazing. It has the best tea and pastries and a nice variety of healthy dishes. It also has the atmosphere of some European city, with fireplaces and beautiful music. Number one to check out! I would walk them around the La Brea district, hopping into LACMA, reaching Grove Area…Farmer’s Market is such a unique and atmospheric grocery place. Cozy too 🙂 In terms of the beach, I would bring them to Manhattan or Hermosa. They are clean, quiet, with cute ocean view houses, nice restaurants and sidewalks. We might also check out the Papa Cristo Greek Cuisine place. It’s the most authentic greek food and drink place ever, and the owner – Papa Cristo – is still working there! He is an adorable man with a big mustache and a cute smile! I would finish our vacation in the arts district. I know specifically which buildings and corners to go to, whether they want to have a good cup of coffee or take nice photos and videos next to the graffiti – we will have it all.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I absolutely want to dedicate my shout out to my family – my mother, father and my sister. Without them, I would not get to where I am right now. My parents were working hard to raise me as a polite and honest human being, as well as support me as much they could. I will be eternally grateful to them for sacrificing their own interests for their children. My sister is just…a part of me. We are so far away from each other, but I feel her blood in my blood, it’s hard to explain but she makes me want to live… I would also love to give a shout out to my teachers, mentors, professors. The amount of knowledge and wisdom they gave to me is so precious. In terms of the book…let me mention Dante’s Divine Comedy. It is an incredible journey which I hope one day I will experience myself in a dream or after death.
Cetragus, Vern Yonemura, Andres Di Bono, Sam Sherdel