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.
STERLITAMAC - LOS ANGELES
Not so 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 Russian International Horror Film Awards.
- We filmed this film in Sterlitamak. You understand that we didn't have anything professional and expensive from the equipment, and my former classmates played the main roles there. From the very beginning I prepared this short film for festivals and sent them wherever possible. The victory in three competitions was a pleasant surprise, - says Alfred.
The Sterlitamak actor's track record also includes musical experiments - he starred in videos of real pop music icons Katy Perry and Nikki Minaj. He also worked with aspiring American singers, including performing the not quite familiar role of a dancer.
In a conversation with Alfred's mother, we tried to find out what it is like to bring up 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 the most interesting people - acting actors. They accepted me as their own. They literally took me by the hand everywhere, they told me everything, explained. 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.
- All this happened without coercion and 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, they say, with such knowledge of the language, you have nothing to do here! I was at a loss: is it really so much effort, and all in vain? - recalls the mother of the actor.
As it turned out later, Alfred did not learn classical English, but its American version. All his efforts paid off when he came to enter the University of Los Angeles - he spoke to examiners without an accent, which influenced his enrollment.
- First, we went to Dublin, where we enrolled in spoken English courses. They lived there for almost a month: he was on his own, I was on my own. He was on campus and I was in the hotel. And so, when the training came to an end, I suddenly find out that we are going to enroll in 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 instructors 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. Art people 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 on American films. I also watched Russian cinema, but since the beginning of the 2000s, I believe that it went wrong. And for some time now I simply stopped following what is 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 is studying 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. In addition, I wanted to test myself - I had spoken English, but there was no practice in acting. Isn't it a challenge? - he explains.
- What seemed to you the most amazing and unusual in California? Maybe something seemed completely shocking?
- There were many things that shocked me. First is the size of the city of Los Angeles. I myself am from Sterlitamak, the difference is palpable. Secondly, there is a huge difference in mentality. As it turned out, it is much easier to contact people there! Five years later, I came back here and realized that here it is much more difficult for me to start a conversation. There, in California, on the street, strangers can just talk to you. They will come up and ask: how are you? It's like in the film by Alexei Balabanov "Brother-2", when the main character wonders why everyone asks him about it. It shocked me a little, - recalls Alfred.
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 it, they go there not for the "American dream", but for the "California" one. That is why there you will find topics for conversation with almost everyone. Whether it's a noisy party or an official meeting, there is a common language with everyone, ”he says.
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 tips.
- We can also give a tip, but there you simply have to do it, even if you don't want to. I've 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 doesn't want to tip. So, my classmates called me "Pink" because I also constantly refused to tip! Of course, I tried to explain to them that I myself have to choose whether to pay or not, but this is useless. The fact is that they already have it in their mentality - like it or not, but they have to pay. Even if you didn’t like the service, it’s all the same - you give the waiter at least 10% of the order value.
THIS IS NOT AMERICA FOR YOU
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, California is, so to speak, a different country. And people there, as a rule, are comprehensively developed. When I was in university, I liked the acting course more than the directing course. There they really trained "generalists" among us. One thing I can say for sure: education in 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 limitations of the Americans, then in California it is not, - concluded Alfred.
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 me. After talking with him, I realized that even if someone from this community of actors and directors loses their jobs, they will easily find themselves in something else, says Alfred.
- An amazing story happened to us when we just arrived in Los Angeles, - Alfiya Gabidullina joins the conversation.
- My son and I spoke 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 also has his own studio there, and filming takes place regularly. And the man is taxing in between shooting days, - the woman is surprised.
ALL THE GREAT ACTORS ARE ORDINARY PEOPLE
- Tell me, Alfred, who from the "dream factory" had the greatest influence on you as an actor? Whose creativity has become your role model?
- From the very childhood I adhered to the rule “do not make yourself an idol”. Of course, I watched the work of the famous masters of Hollywood, but I had no desire to copy any of them. In truth, I was more influenced by the teachers from the film school. All of them were acting actors and were popular in America in the 60s and 70s. From the master classes that were held for us at the university, I was particularly impressed by the star of James Cameron's film "Avatar" Stephen Lang. He showed us several of his images, which he created himself. I was impressed by his dedication, how he immerses himself in 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 Brian Cranston. A multiple winner of the prestigious Emmy and Golden Globe awards, the star of the television series Breaking Bad also gave a master class for students of the Los Angeles Film Academy.
- Brian is probably the nicest person I've ever seen. He gives the impression of being the quietest in the world. So he told us how he worked on his roles, how difficult it was to reincarnate. He said that when he came home, even his wife tried not to talk to him too much, - recalls Alfred. - Having joined this world, I realized something important. All great actors are ordinary, calm people. Sometimes I am discouraged by such an approach to them, like the yellow press. As a rule, in life they are completely different than in the camera lens, the actor sums up.
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 studios where my son was filmed. Everything looks amazing there! There are many beautiful and expensive cars, trailers-trailers around. In one place, there is a buffet that sells food in containers. There is no difference - everyone is in the queue, regardless of whether you are a star or not. So, I somehow stand in line for lunch, and behind me ... Julia Roberts, - says Alfred's mother. - This once again proves that there is no conceit there and no one suffers from "star fever", - sums up Alfred's mother.
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 can walk around without makeup, makeup, or just walk in a dressing gown. Therefore, they must be protected from prying eyes, - says Alfiya Gabidullina.
- I will say more, the casting of actors is a secret sealed with seven seals, - echoes Alfred. - When an agent calls you for a casting, you do not know the name of the future film, or 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 a meeting with the director is strictly prohibited. According to the terms of the contract, while the shooting and editing of the film is in progress, you cannot talk about it at all. I myself am still bound by such obligations - several films with my participation have not yet appeared on the screens, - he says.
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