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Interview with Shooting Star Cosmina Stratan
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Let΄s introduce Cosmina Stratan! Could you please tell us a little bit about your background and education. You studied journalism. What was that that drew you into acting? 

I studied a lot of things: economics, journalism, public relations and not because I wanted to finish three universities and have four different jobs, but because I was looking for this thing that I could do for the rest of my life. And it also was this time pressure, when you somehow feel that you’re eighteen and you know you should have decided by then which way to go. I couldn’t do it on time. I was 24 when I start attending drama university. 

Tell us about your first feature film, Beyond The Hills.

Beyond the Hills is my declaration of independence as an artist. It’s my first project I did outside school. It transformed my evolution, gave me some lessons, made me read a mind blowing script, gave me the chance to work with one of the best directors, made me ask for more.  

Cosmina Stratan in Beyond The Hills

How was working with Cristian Mungiu? Women chosen for his films are known for their excellent performances. Did you ever feel that you had to cope with extremely high expectation?

Cristian Mungiu is an artist. Like every genius, he doesn’t act like an artist, he continuously knows what he wants, he continuously knows what you want and he respects it. Has incredible strength and intuition, so there’s no logical reason to fight this, as an actor you just have to enjoy it. He wouldn’t let me, not for a second to think about expectation. We had the same obsession with this movie, we didn’t have time to think about memories and past glory. We started this from zero.
Beyond The Hills brought you in 2012 the Best Actress Award at Cannes film Festival. How different is your life after the film΄s great success? 

It changed in some way the attitude towards my profession. Cannes brought me a lot of joy and peace at first. But because I’m an organizer, I see the road in front of me as complicated as it was before. 

Cosmina Stratan in Beyond The Hills

Romanian films have been very successful in the last ten years. What΄s the secret?

I suppose freedom.

Could you talk about the Romanian New Wave?

Romanian movies don’t make lots of money, they don’t have a large public, because Romania has a low education when it comes to cinema. The big success is always outside the country and it comes from the fact that most directors write, direct and sometime co-produce their films. They don’t have to give high explanations to huge budgets. This gives them freedom to make movies in their own way.

In your opinion, is there a Balkan Cinema? Do films produced in the Balkan counties have some common elements? 

I don’t know. When I watch a movie, my only expectation is to be touched or not to be touched. I’m not even interested by the reason why I’m touched. I can get seduced by different “landscapes”, characters, images or stories but I stopped wondering why.

Do you believe that there is a language barrier for an actor of Balkan countries to work in an international production? 

It shouldn’t be. I don’t know if it is. International production are still human stories. 

Tell us a few things about Stay With Me, the HBO series you΄re currently playing in and your future plans.

It’s called “Shall we kiss” and it’s my first project after Beyond the hills. I liked the character from the beginning. I liked the director from the beginning, felt I have many things to learn from him. And it happened this way. Dorina is so different from Voichita and from me, that kept my interest awake for the whole way. This year, I’m starting some theatre rehearsals and planning my first foreign movie.   

What are your expectations after being selected as a Shooting Star? 

I usually don’t build expectations, but try to take things as they come. Being part of the Shooting Stars program was on my wish list, so I’m very happy it happened. Berlinale is one lucky jack pot for every actor who aspires more and more from this job. I can’t wait.

Thank you Cosmina!
  Beyond the Hills
  Cosmina Stratan
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