Elena Beuca [Interview]

Avid readers of Trainwreck’d Society (as I’m sure you all are!) will remember a brilliant indie film entitled D-Love that we covered back in December. The film would then go on to be our favorite film of the year. I simply can not say enough great things about this incredible powerful film. I was beyond impressed with everything about it. Especially the film’s director and lead actor, you guessed it, the wonderful Elena Beuca!

In what has become a routine in my personal life as well as on this site, I tell EVERYONE about how great this film, so that is what I wanted to do again today with Elena! She was so kind to share a few words with us here today. And now I am not only a huge fan of her directorial debut of a film, but I will be following her career as it continues to flourish, which I am absolutely certain it will. The sky is the limit with this amazing artist, as she has already proven time and again the past. I am so excited to watch her grow right in front of us all!

So ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant and one of my favorite guests we have ever had the fortune to showcase here at TWS, Elena Beuca!

I read in a previous interview that you didn’t actually begin acting until you were in your late 20’s, and that you were in real estate prior? So when did acting and filmmaking become your full time passion? And what led you into this world?

The desire to start acting started really late in life when I was 26 years old. I had my own real estate company in Bucharest, Romania and I just got my law degree and out of a sudden something new awoke in me – a passion about acting. It was bizarre cause although I dreamed of being an actress, but it always seemed like a far away dream, unrealistic, and I never actually thought to give it a try- always finding different excuses- nobody in my family has ever done acting, and it just seemed so far out of reach for a country girl who at the most needed a real job not a dreamy one… But that thought and feeling that I should follow it this time, didn’t leave me so I finally had to listen to it and started doing research and looked into best acting schools in the world and I came across the American Academy of dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. 

I submitted the application and very soon they invited me to come and audition to Los Angeles… I had a real short time to prepare the two monologues that they required and flew to Hollywood, filled with nerves, passion and hope for new future. Thank God I was excepted right away – the director of admission said that I have a natural talent and a passion that few of her students have and was one of the few students who got excepted immediately. And that’s how I was to embark on a new journey in a different country where I didn’t know one single soul before moving to Los Angels . I was so passionate and fascinated with my new world of acting and I excited about learning everything about it. I started taking classes as much as I could outside of the American Academy and I started taking classes with Ivanna Chubuck who is an excellent acting coach who coached Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt, Halle Berry just to name a few.

Your directorial debut D-Love is not only the best film we saw in 2017, it is also surely to go down as one of my personal favorite films of the last decade at least. I understand it was a very personal journey based on a true story. With that, I am always curious to know what sort of emotional ride it must have been to recreate an obviously very vivid memory. What was it like? Was there a struggle to meld accuracy with a visual medium?

I met Ditlev in 2012 at the airport when he asked me for a ride to the freeway – We took him home with us and he stayed at our house for 5 days and he made a huge impact on me and my husband – It was as if our souls were already connected long before – we establish a immediate friendship as if we’ve always known each other. We knew that we are connected by a invisible thread and he will always be a part of each others life- in one way of another . When he left I just wrote a short script that I had no intention to make into a film at that time- I just wrote about 20 pages or so because I just wanted to remember the feelings that we had when we met him and the friendship that came to life because of it.

So in in real life Ditlev myself and my husband- I think we were connected by an invisible thread that brought us together and that made us trust and develop a friendship right away. When later on, a couple of years later, I decided to make my first feature. I chose the D-love script and I knew I had to take the ral event and make it into something that people could relate to… We knew that if we were to tell the story the way it happened – that we instantly liked the kid and we recognized his soul- it would be hard for the audience to believe it and plus there wouln’t be any conflict for the film and who wants to watch a film where nothing happens and its all good and dandy ☺ ? So we decided to shape a different kind of story and to show a different perspective from the woman’s point of view and to show her growth and change. The biggest struggle that I had with playing the Stefania character was actually before we start shooting because initially didn’t intend to act in the film, we always thought we going to have a name actor playing myself and Dave’s character. When that didn’t happen and we chose for Ditlev to play himself as D-love- That’s when Dave and I knew we had to act in the film to make it easier for Ditlev who has never acted before. But he knows us and he can trust us to just play and be himself.

My character Stefania is so different than I am- and I was so afraid that I would not give it justice- I was terrified that I would come across as a unlikable character- that people will not relate to her- because on the paper she comes across as a bitch at times and would be very hard to understand where she’s coming from -unless you are able to bring different layers to the character to understand that she’s not a bad person, she’s just been scarred and guarded and that’s her way of dealing with it. So for a few nights before we started shooting I think I was crying every night and I was so terrified of playing her, terrified of failing, not knowing if I’m the best choice for it or not but unfortunately it was too late in the process because we didn’t have the finances to hire some well known actress. And I’d gotten so far that it was too late to back up because now I had a whole team relying on me and there was no way I can turn around – that was not a option! But it wasn’t easy and as I said throughout the pre-production, during the production even the postproduction sometimes I had my own doubt whether I am good at it, whether people will feel something or not .

Once I committed to playing her- I treated it as if this was a regular script because the reality and the truth is all though I was playing a fictionalized version of myself acting in a imaginary circumstances – and did my homework to understand where with this woman come from, to understand her hurt, her struggle, her frustration, her loss and once I was able to identify it was much easier to bring truthful elements of my life and substitution and slowly Stefania the character started taking over. And throughout the course of our filming I had moments when I felt our characters so alive in the way we talked, acted that it was almost like an out of body experience and that helped me give a more truthful performance , that hopefully people can identify with.

On an acting level, how does one truly portray themselves? Is it pretty easy, or extremely difficult?

I think to really show yourself and to be as natural as possible as an actor is pretty hard – it requires a certain kind of vulnerability, you have to be very open to allow yourself to just Be. In my case I had to allow certain parts of me to be exposed and that’s a very vulnerable thing to do, and it makes you feel like you’re naked in front of people so they can judge you or criticize or hopefully relate to you .

What has your experience been like with the fans who shown their support for the film in theatres and festivals? Have audiences been pretty excited about the film once they have seen it?

Our experience with the fans around the country has been incredible. When we first open the film n in Los Angeles -most of the people who came to to see it at the opening night were our friends or acquaintances or people that we love and love us and they were very excited and showed us a lot of love but a part of us didn’t know whether the film it’s really good because we thought these are our friends and they will support us no matter what. Until we actually started going to festivals around the country and showed it to people who I’ve never seen before who don’t know me or us and to see their excitement and their enthusiasm about the film and to see how effected they were by the film, the way they told us that it touched their hearts- that has been incredible and very humbling and very rewarding because it made me realize I guess in the end I did my job as an actor and as a director: to make a film that is relatable to people, that feels authentic, raw and real where they can find themselves in each of the main character’s struggles, desires or insecurities or in who they are as people. We are beyond grateful for all the love that people have shown us – we have won 10 best feature film awards either by the audience or Jury vote out of the 12 festivals that we have been a part of.

If you were given the chance to give a performance of any historical figure in world history, who would it be?

If I were to play one character in the history I would choose Aimee Semple McPherson for her courage for her God-given abilities and for being such a pioneer ….I am fascinated with women or people in general who overcome their obstacles and their challenges but instead they rise up to become something that they never even dreamed of because there is a power that is being activated when you are pursuing your purpose- and Aimee is one of them .

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I have a couple of projects in mind that I would like to work on and they were very different from romantic comedy to a drama TV series about orphanages in Romania during the communism or another dark comedy that my husband is wring at the moment….. I am very much into telling stories about real people who overcome their challenges and they rise up above their situations or above their obstacles and they are able to be a solution instead of a problem – that’s what I am fascinated with.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I was on FaceTime with my sister Lidia who lives in Romania who just had a baby who is 10 months old- her name is Miriam. My sister was telling me a story while holding Miriam in her arms – who was smiling and talking in her own language that we don’t understand yet. Miriam was trying to get my sisters attention and then out of a sudden she just wraps her arms around my sisters neck and kiss her on the cheek and than she smiles with such love that it just warmed my heart…….That gesture put a humongous smile on my face because I could could watch them and I could see that there was so much adoration in their eyes for each other- the way she was looking at my sister with such love – and the way my sister was looking at her- Their love was tangible and that made me realize what a beautiful gift Love is.

Check out this trailer for D-Love, and learn more at dlovethemovie.com


About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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