by Edwin L. Carpenter, Editor (film reviews)
The Dove Foundation had the pleasure of interviewing Romanian actress Georgiana Jianu, who plays a major role in the film Believe: The Misfit Pawn. Georgiana believes she is still developing her craft but gives an impressive performance in the movie. The synopsis of the movie states: “A middle-aged factory worker takes a leap of faith and follows his dream of being a recording artist. Along the way he discovers that miracles really do come true…if you believe!” Georgiana plays Jezel, who longs to marry a rock star and thinks she’s found the right man in the character of Julian (Jon Pupillo). The film reveals a strong plot in which Julian finds redemption.
Dove: How did you get started making films and acting?
Georgiana: “I originally started in Chicago, one of my first jobs in the United States. Someone stopped me and said that I have a classical face and I didn’t really know what that meant. I was thinking it was something bad, that I don’t belong here!” Then she mentioned this place called Act One Studios near downtown Chicago in Morton Grove. She said “they had free classes for actors. I never intended to be an actor of any sort. I didn’t go right away. It took me about six months until one day I was really bored and I told myself, ‘You know, why not? Maybe I can learn something to improve my language or improve my confidence level.’” (She speaks English very well). “So I went to this free class and I noticed that there’s a lot of work that goes behind everything!” she chuckled.
“I took one or two classes and I loved it. I became more goal-oriented. My language improved–I had to read plays–I met interesting people and that’s how I got hooked. It wasn’t about being a star or anything like that.”
Georgiana is originally from Bucharest, Romania.
“I grew up in Communism,” she said, “until I was thirteen years old. I know a little bit about Communism and really poor people. When I got to the United States I realized there was no such thing as poor (compared to Romania).”
Dove: How did you become involved in Believe: The Misfit Pawn?
Georgiana: “I played a part in The Vision. It was about a woman getting married for money and for wealth with this older gentleman. One of the producers from Believe noticed me in this movie. Joel Bunkowske, contacted me directly over e-mail and asked me if I would be interested in auditioning for a lead character, a spirited Los Angeles groupie type that wanted to get married to a rock star (she laughs heartedly). I said, ‘Yeah, why not!’ I read with Jon Pupillo. The chemistry was obvious. We got along so well, like we were married or something! I loved the part of Jezel because she will never stop at anything in life. She wants to get married to this rock star. She had tactics in leading him toward marrying her.”
Dove: What were some of the challenges in making the movie?
Georgiana: “The number one challenge was, I told the producers, ‘how would you feel about this character having an accent?’ It’s easier for me to just get along with a slight accent [rather] than trying to learn the American dialect. That would not be impossible but try to get along with less I guess! They said that was perfect and even more interesting because she’s from somewhere else. She’s not from here. She’s a newcomer. She wants to achieve a lot [quickly] and that fit the script perfectly. The other challenge was that I was playing a lead in a feature film which I never did. That was my first one. That lead was actually a villain, a bad character.”
“I had to sit down and think about this character arc, from the beginning to the end, her mind set. I didn’t want to make this character a bad character. The main perception is that the villain is a bad person, bad intensions, screaming all the time.”
Georgiana said she wanted the character to be “a little bit layered. I didn’t want the viewer to anticipate next moves, next tactics in getting what she wanted. I think being unpredictable in a movie, whether its the actor or the story, it gives the audience that excitement to watch the movie to the end.”
Georgiana felt the director gave her some control and believed in her and she appreciated that. She laughed in saying her character was like, “I want this right now!” She added it was exciting for her that her character’s plans didn’t go the way Jezel had plotted. “Her plan didn’t match the reality of Julian getting sidetracked and converting to God.”
Dove: What has been some of the rewards of having been in the movie?
Georgiana: “Well, first of all I felt really lucky that I was the one chosen for Jezel’s part. I felt like I accomplished something I am proud of. Mainly I have a character that is a lead role. I had to give her a beginning and an end. And the character changes and takes a different path. I was proud that I met Joel Bunkowske and Jon Pupillo. I am grateful we met. Jon is an amazing actor and Joel is an amazing editor and director and businessman. The greatest reward is that Belief is now syndicated by Parables TV. Everyone was wonderful on the set. I had a great time. I met their girlfriends and wives. I felt I was part of a family.”
Dove: What are your future plans?
Georgiana: “Right now I’m working on a character and she is addicted to drugs and I am researching everything I can find on addiction and its psychological effects. But another film I wrapped that doesn’t have anything to do with the addictive person I was talking about is called Blood Moon.”
Georgiana said she plays a character called Sarah in the short film about serial killers “she’s a sweet girl who falls in love with the wrong guy.”
She is appreciative of the opportunity to play something different from her previous role. Georgiana does a terrific job in Believe: The Misfit Pawn below is a link to our review which, by the way, earned our highest rating, five Doves.
(Georgiana Jianu photo courtesy of Florin Galliano)