What can you tell us about your character?
Alexi has a very strong spine, and very particular goals. It seems he is all about money, and is willing to do whatever it takes to make an extra buck. However, in his world of double-crossing and watching his back constantly, there is room for comradely and pride, brotherly love and strong principles. Alexi is a dark sheep, but you might just be surprised at some of his decisions.
How did you prepare for the role?
Every part is different, and preparing for a part can take different types of efforts. In the case of Alexi, I had to look back at several people I actually know, who are from that world, and find the according parts of myself which I could enhance for this. With what I had prepared, I was able to tweak it with Robert Munic (writer, creator) and onset of the pilot episode – with the amazing Antoine Fuqua. The final shaping of the character has a lot to do with the team effort – director, writer, and scene partners.
What was working with your cast like and any special moments from filming you can share?
I am really lucky to have this amazing cast around me. I am not just enjoying it, I am also learning a great deal from all of them. Just watching Jeremy Sisto or Donald Sutherland prepare and work, it’s like a master class, you know? Having scenes with the Legendary Ray Winstone where our characters have a stand-off, would be the most special moments. Ray Winstone is an amazing, generous partner. I really enjoyed working with Rey Gallegos and Ella Thompson as well
How did you get into acting and what was your big break?
When I was a child, I was fascinated with my ability to influence the mood of others around me. I was born and raised in a family of professors, there always was a plentiful audience of students (cheering them on after a less successful exam was one thing I enjoyed in particular – little scenes and poems). Overall, I am fascinated with this world and the people in it, and since the craft allows me to create worlds, live out different lives and travel, going into film was a no-brainer :). I find, understanding a human conscience and therefore my own, is a major reason, too. Finding myself and realizing we are all very similar; a tiniest choice may change a life so drastically.- I find, understanding a human conscience and therefore my own, is a major reason, too.
I was blessed with a few big breaks. The size of a break depends on the stage you are at, mind you. So my first was my first US TV audition – and booking “My Own Worst Enemy” with Christian Slater. I was invited into the office of one of the most amazing casting directors, Mr. John Papsidera, and read for him, and that same day read for the producers at Paramount, and got booked. I was literally jumping for joy! Granted, the part was a co-starring part, but it was my first real part, it was for a wonderful project playing opposite one of favourite actors, and… it was MINE!
Later, I had a romantic leading part in a major feature film comedy in Russia (Happy 8th of March, Gentlemen) – two summer months in Russia, as a lead of a picture, rock climbing, riding motorcycles, saving people from fires and winning a Nobel prize for scientific achievement (as well as a heart of a very hard-to-get lady). A bliss.
Just recently, getting to play Alexi in ICE, with the amazing cast and team of storytellers – well, that’s a huge one! I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach J
What do you look for when you consider a part?
When reading a new script, I hope to get excited on a deeper level. It can be a comic book series or a deep dramatic part, the genre is really irrelevant. It’s like a bolt of lightning; I read it and feel the urge to be a part of it. That feeling can arrive from an exciting story, of an interesting character twist. Overall I believe strongly that there are no small parts – and serving a story that excites me is a delight, even if it is just a day or two of work.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I am a Nature lover and a reader. I like to just get in my car and drive. Find a neat spot in the desert or by the ocean, or in a coffee shop of a new town, and catch up on some reading or dreaming. Sometimes simply playing a game on my phone (guilty of a few addictions there). My wife is an equestrian professional, and I love horses, so sometimes we would go to a barn and just spend a day there with the majestic animals.
What other projects do you have coming up?
In today’s competitive world of plentiful quality projects, there is a lot of secrecy around the TV and Film new releases. Respecting the wishes of the producers, I have to say I was blessed with a few very cool parts in project which will be very exciting. I look forward to being able to talk about those very soon!