How can life in America develop if properly prepared for it - ForumDaily
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How can life in America develop if properly prepared for it

A simple guy from Sterlitamak, a town in Russian Bashkortostan, in which a little more 270 000 people live, simply greets Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Dwayne Johnson, Terry Crews, Tara Reed. That's because his immigration was successful: he became a member of the actors' guild, has several agents who “beat out” invitations to casting to famous directors at the largest film studios in California.

To the editorKomsomolskaya Pravda“Alfred came with his mother Alfia. The Gabidullins' family decided to share their impressions about life and work in America and lift the curtain of Hollywood cinema secrets.


Not long ago, Alfred made his debut as a director and screenwriter. His short film “Wendigo” won first place at three film festivals - the American Los Angeles Film Awards and Motion for Pictures and the domestic Russian International Horror Film Awards.

— We shot this film in Sterlitamak. You understand, we didn’t have anything professional or expensive in terms of equipment, and the main roles were played by my former classmates. From the very beginning I prepared this short film for festivals and sent them wherever possible. Winning three competitions was a pleasant surprise,” says Alfred.

The Sterlitamak actor’s track record also includes musical experiments - he starred in the videos of real pop music icons Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj. He also worked with aspiring American singers, including playing the role of a dancer, which was not entirely familiar to him.

In a conversation with Alfred's mother, we tried to find out what it was like to raise a person of art.

-How did you take the idea of ​​a son to go to study in America for an actor?

- Perception - I don’t know such a word (smiles), but I took an active part. I myself got into this acting environment and fell in love with it. I met some interesting people—acting actors. They accepted me as one of their own. They literally took me everywhere by the hand, told me everything, explained everything. I even shot a commercial for my company in Los Angeles,” says Alfiya Gabidullina.

As the woman said, since childhood it was clear that Alfred was waiting for an unusual creative destiny - from an early age the boy diligently taught English.

Alfred's amateur film won first prizes at three film festivals. Photo: personal archive

“All this happened without coercion or my participation. The most interesting thing is that when we came to the gymnasium with in-depth study of English, we were not accepted. The teachers said that with such knowledge of the language you have nothing to do here! I was perplexed: is it really so much effort and all in vain? - recalls the actor’s mother.

As it turned out later, Alfred did not study classical English, but its American version. All the efforts paid off when he came to enroll at the University of Los Angeles - he spoke without an accent to the examiners, which influenced his admission.

— First we went to Dublin, where we signed up for conversational English courses. We lived there separately for almost a month: he was on his own, I was on my own. He was on campus and I was at the hotel. And so, when my studies came to an end, I suddenly found out that we were going to Los Angeles to study as an actor. Then we found the “Passport to Hollywood” program, contacted the curator and went to America. There Alfred was trained in acting, and after that he passed the entrance exams.

Then, when my son and I separated again, I myself met the teachers of these courses. They helped me with English and taught me not to be afraid of the camera. Later, in Hollywood, thanks to this knowledge, I shot my own commercial,” she says.

According to Alfia Gabidullina, the actor's path is difficult, but interesting.

“If I were younger and a little more talented, I would also choose this profession.” Artists are completely different. In addition, I fell madly in love with Los Angeles because I was not there as a tourist, but was able to plunge into the world of cinema,” she shares.


Alfred himself, we decided to ask why he chose Hollywood, and did not apply to our universities, where actors and screenwriters are also trained.

— Since childhood, we grew up mainly watching American films. I also watched Russian cinema, but since the early 2000s, I think it has gone in the wrong direction. And for some time now I simply stopped following what was being filmed in my homeland. Of course, we have VGIK and the Moscow Art Theater, where actors are trained. But, after listening to a friend who studies there, I firmly decided that I would not go there. I knew English almost better than Russian, so I decided to try myself in Hollywood. Besides, I wanted to test myself - I had spoken English, but had no practice in acting. Why not a challenge? - he explains.

— What did you find most surprising and unusual in California? Maybe something seemed completely shocking?

— A lot of things shocked me there. The first is the size of the city of Los Angeles. I myself am from Sterlitamak, the difference is noticeable. Secondly, there is a huge difference in mentality. As it turns out, contacting people there is much easier! Five years later, I returned here and realized that it is much more difficult for me to start a conversation here. There, in California, strangers might just start talking to you on the street. They will come up and ask: how are you? It’s like in Alexey Balabanov’s film “Brother-2”, when the main character wonders why everyone is asking him about this. It shocked me a little,” Alfred recalls.

According to him, in Los Angeles almost all life is tied to art, it is everywhere. You can get in a taxi and find out during a conversation with the driver that he is a screenwriter. And he in all seriousness will get a folder from the glove compartment and give you read.

— As I understand, people go there not for the “American dream”, but for the “California dream.” That is why there you will find topics for conversation with almost everyone. Whether it’s a noisy party or an official meeting, everyone can find a common language,” he says.

The path to the big movie for Alfred began through the program "Passport to Hollywood." Photo: personal archive

At the same time, the actor notes that our mentality is still completely different. What is considered normal in Russia is not so in America. The most striking example is tipping.

-We can also give you a tip, but there you simply have to do it, even if you don’t want to. I have had such cases. For example, at the beginning of Quentin Tarantino's film Reservoir Dogs, one of the characters with the pseudonym "Pink" explains why he does not want to tip. Well, my classmates called me “Pink” because I also constantly refused to tip! Of course, I tried to explain to them that I had to choose whether to pay or not, but it was useless. The fact is that they already have it built into their mentality - whether you like it or not, you have to pay. Even if you didn’t like the service, you still tip the waiter at least 10% of the order value.


We asked Alfred to dispel or confirm the myth that the majority of Americans are not “universals” in their work. Simply put, a specialist in a given area does not go beyond his responsibilities. Just because it can not.

“I can’t speak for all Americans. Understand that California is, so to speak, a different country. And people there, as a rule, are comprehensively developed. When I was at university, I liked the acting course more than the directing course. There they really trained us to be “universalists.” One thing I can say for sure: studying at a Russian school helped me a lot. Our education is unique,” ​​says the actor.

According to him, the American education system assumes that schoolchildren themselves choose which subjects they will study.

“Because of this, they may not have some knowledge. For example, some people don’t really know geography, others don’t know history. As for the myth about the narrow-mindedness of Americans, this is not the case in California,” Alfred concluded.

As an example, he told the story of how he met a famous director in Los Angeles. He worked in a taxi.

“It was a shock for my friend and I. After talking with him, I realized that even if someone from this community of actors and directors loses their job, they will have no problem finding themselves in something else,” says Alfred.

“An amazing story happened to us when we first arrived in Los Angeles,” Alfiya Gabidullina joins the conversation.

“My son and I were talking in Russian, and suddenly the taxi driver also joined the conversation. As it turned out, he is the former director of the Soyuzmultfilm studio! At the same time, he has his own studio there, and filming takes place regularly. And the man is a taxi driver between filming days,” the woman is surprised.


— Tell me, Alfred, who from the “dream factory” had the greatest influence on you as an actor? Whose work became your role model?

— Since childhood, I have adhered to the rule “don’t make yourself an idol.” Of course, I watched the work of famous Hollywood masters, but I had no desire to copy any of them. To tell you the truth, I was more influenced by the teachers at film school. All of them were active actors and were popular in America in the 60s and 70s. Of the master classes that were held for us at the university, the star of James Cameron's film "Avatar" Stephen Lang made a special impression on me. He showed us several of his images that he created himself. I was impressed by his dedication, how he immerses himself in his work, how he literally becomes what he portrays,” says Alfred.

Another world-famous actor who, according to a native of Bashkiria, made an indelible impression on him is Bryan Cranston. A multiple winner of the prestigious Emmy and Golden Globe awards, the star of the television series Breaking Bad also conducted a master class for students at the Los Angeles Film Academy.

-Brian is probably the nicest person I've ever seen. He gives the impression of being the calmest in the world. So he told us how he worked on his roles, how difficult it was to transform. He said that when he came home, even his wife tried not to talk to him too much,” Alfred recalls. — Having joined this world, I realized something important. All great actors are ordinary, calm people. Sometimes I am discouraged by this approach to them, like that of the yellow press. As a rule, in life they are completely different than in the camera lens,” the actor sums up.

Photo: personal archive

As for the human qualities of those whom ordinary people used to see only on the carpet or from the screens of cinemas, Alfia Gabidullina told in more detail.

“I tried to appear as often as possible at the film studios where my son was filming. Everything looks just amazing there! There are a lot of beautiful and expensive cars, and there are trailers around. In one place there is a buffet where they sell food in containers. There are no differences - everyone is in line, regardless of whether you are a star or not. So, I was once standing in line for lunch, and behind me... Julia Roberts,” says Alfred’s mother. “This once again proves that there are no arrogances there and no one suffers from star fever,” Alfred’s mother sums up.

According to her, the situation at the largest film studios is surrounded by an aura of secrecy. When a person enters the territory, he rents a mobile phone and all the equipment that can be used for photo or video shooting. All this is done to ensure that no pictures of the actors get into the network.

“They are people too, and they can walk around without makeup, make-up, or just walk around in a robe.” Therefore, they need to be protected from prying eyes,” says Alfiya Gabidullina.

“I’ll say more, the casting of actors itself is a sealed secret,” echoes Alfred. — When an agent calls you for a casting, you don’t know the name of the future film, the name of the director, or, of course, the leading actors. All this is revealed at the last moment. At the same time, using mobile phones and taking photos from the meeting with the director is strictly prohibited. According to the terms of the contract, while the film is being filmed and edited, you are not allowed to talk about it at all. “I myself am still bound by such obligations - several films with my participation have not yet been released,” he says.

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