Tag Archives: Polish Actors

Poland’s Maja Lakomy shines light on mental illness in acclaimed film

Growing up in Kielce, Poland, Maja Lakomy was always fascinated by performing. Whether it be in a film or on a stage, she found herself constantly impressed by what actors were capable of and the effects they could have on the audience. She began to realize even at a young age that she wanted to become like one of those incredible actors and do the same thing to the audience. She was encouraged to choose a career that could make her happy, and acting was therefore the only option for her.

Throughout her career, Lakomy has worked on a number of successful projects. Recently, her award-winning film Diminuendo saw critical acclaim at many prestigious international film festivals and is expected to continue to do so throughout the year. She also shot a music video for Andrea Bocelli, the Grammy nominated and Golden Globe winning Italian musician who has collaborated with greats such as Celine Dion, Ed Sheeran, and more. Lakomy is doing what she wished for as a child and loves every day she steps onto a set.

“I imagine that it hardly ever happens that people are so lucky to do what they love as a career. Nevertheless, I went that direction and knew I would never give up and would always keep working towards my dream. Now, I am one of those lucky people who have their passion as their job,” said Lakomy.

One of Lakomy’s first tastes of international success came from her work on the film Star House. The film was uploaded on Vimeo, the online platform for video-sharing in December 2017 and is available worldwide. The project also received attention from the prestigious Berlin Fashion Film Festival. The representatives of the festival wrote a comment, that’s visible under the video on Vimeo, leaving a compliment about the project and offering participation in the festival under the category “Fashion, Lifestyle and Beauty Film – Emerging Talent”.

Star House follows two girls who break into an intriguing home they come across in the woods and decide to stay until the owner returns. The story is very unpredictable with a fun twist, something for the audience to look forward to. The drama also showcases two distinctive characters, with a disturbing and surprising realness to their psychological construction.

“I think that a lot of women could identify with the story and the message of it. Nearly everybody has some part of themselves that they don’t accept and makes them feel weak. Everybody has somebody like my character in their lives, who let their insecurities drive their mental health to the line where sane meets insane. This story shows how obsessive one can become while pursuing perfection. It’s also a sort of commentary on body dysmorphia and the dynamic among females who have the tendency to constantly compare themselves to one another. I think all of these aspects are very important,” said Lakomy.

Lakomy’s character, Cleo, is very interesting and complex. She lacks everything that the other charactor, Rose, possesses: confidence, beauty, spontaneity. Rose also has a certain type of control over Cleo. Cleo was mesmerized and infatuated by Rose. The irony, however, in this story was that the girls look very alike, but Cleo is only able to notice her own flaws and insecurities that she believes Rose does not possess, which is why she was so compelling and perfect in Cleo’s eyes. The idea of perfection that Rose represented was only in Cleo’s head, and that is what makes this story touching.

Lakomy excelled when presenting Cleo’s feelings and what she goes through, knowing the importance of her character and story for females in the audience who may feel similarly.

“I hope women that watched it or any other film with a similar message realize that being a perfectionist is not healthy and we need to accept ourselves as we are and not let other people criticize us, bring us down and objectify us,” she said.

After being hand selected for the role by the Director, Allison Bunce, Lakomy was eager to begin playing such an insecure and controlled character, offering a challenge she had not encountered yet in her esteemed career. She had previously played a similar character in the play Angels in America, and therefore applied the same principles when it came to portraying Cleo; this time, however, in front of a camera.

“Acting with the other lead actress opposite of me was very interesting when you’re aware her character doesn’t really exist. At the same time, she was one hundred percent real to my character, so I had to focus on remembering that,” Lakomy described.

Star House was also shot on 16mm film and a Super8 camera, so it had a very unique visual style to it. Lakomy had previously never worked with this type of camera equipment and she now says she is a fan of the style. The best part of the experience for the actress, however, was those she worked with.

“Working on this project was truly a magical experience. I loved working with such a professional crew. Every single person on the set has been committed, successful, and excels at what they do. It was a great pleasure to be around them and learn from them. I think we made up a great team,” Lakomy concluded.

Check out Star House on Vimeo to see Lakomy’s outstanding performance.

 

Written by Annabelle Lee

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Actor Profile: Poland’s Diana Matlak

Diana Matlak
Polish Actress Diana Matlak shot by Luis Ruiz

In the world of show business, success in one discipline is never easy to accomplish. Yet for Diana Matlak, success has come her way in two very demanding performance arts: dancing and acting.

Early on in her life Diana made her mark on the performing world as an international competitor in Latin dancing, before going on to be recognized as a versatile actress in both Europe and the United States thanks to the multitude of leading roles she has landed in high-profile films, television shows and commercials.

Diana resembles the classic beauty of yesteryear. Her natural looks are reminiscent of the classic cabaret era where a woman’s beauty could shine through from her talent and stage presence, not needing flashy costume or hair to make a scene.  Whether fully dolled up in makeup and a dress or made to look like a poor villager, she emanates a look that gives the viewer an ability to relate and empathize with her characters.

As a dancer in Poland, her native country, Diana excelled to the top ranks of competitive Latin dancing, an area of performance that she competed in for over 15 years. Her remarkable reputation in the industry established her as a highly sought-after performer where she was respected for her precision and determination to be one of the best.

After stepping away from the world of competitive dance, Diana’s love for performing remained strong; and, after landing a few standout television roles in Poland including the country’s longest-running primetime drama Na dobre i na złe (For better and for worse), Diana decided to take her acting career to the next level.

She moved to Los Angeles shortly after where she has not wasted any time making a name for herself. Over a relatively short period of time she has landed spots on network TV shows such as Bones, Scandal and American Crime Story. She has also starred in several American films playing everything from a flirtatious girl to a depressed woman and a challenging role in the film Red House by the Crossroads where she played Deena Kravitz, a young woman struggling to keep her family together.

Diana is also continually seeking better knowledge, and has sought the best mentors in LA to help her succeed. She has studied the Meisner technique extensively, a style of acting that many of the greats from Anthony Hopkins to Robert Duvall, as well as more contemporary veteran actresses such as Helen Hunt and Hilary Swank rely on in their craft. She is also currently studying at Ivana Chubbuck Studio in Los Angeles.

Matlak says, “Ivana Chubbuck is a great teacher who has been in the business for years. She used to coach stars like Charlize Theron who won the Oscar Award for Monster, Brad Pitt and Halle Berry who won an Oscar for the Monster’s Ball.”

The intense physical training necessary to be an accomplished dancer helps set Diana apart from other actresses. Aside from the obvious physical benefits of being in shape, mastering her dance skills was no easy feat. Rising to the top of any field takes hard work, discipline, and relentless passion. For Diana, these qualities are long instilled and have carried over to her acting career where she has excelled in roles that are diverse and impactful. In addition to her accomplished dance background, Diana has a multidisciplinary athletic background, having earned certifications in snowboarding, skiing, and even combat training – allowing her to train and perform for many demanding roles. She can also speak Polish, German, and Russian in addition to English.

Recently Diana has been working with director Aditya J. Patwardhan on several projects, the most notable being Red House By The Crossroads, a drama that premiered at the world-famous Cannes Film Festival. She also starred in the music video “Katra, Katra” directed by Patwardhan, which allowed her acting and dancing talents to seamlessly collaborate.

Diana continues to stay busy. Coming up next for her is the the lead role of Lotta Ditsy-Flirt in the film Maneater, directed by Stephanie Moningka, set to release in January 2016. She is always seeking new challenging roles that can push her craft further, inspiring audiences around the world.