At the age of 22, having experience in the puppet theater, filming in commercials and on Ukrainian television, she was cast and became Elena in the Georgian multi-part TV movie «Time of Blooming». The fate of its characters has long been followed by the viewers of Rustavi-2 channel, who habitually turn on their screens on weekdays at 7 o’clock in the evening to find out what events are happening in their lives. Today we have a guest of the rising star of Ukrainian cinema Tatiana Kazantseva.
— Have you been interested in theater since your school years?
— Acting talent was already at school, and it was noticed by teachers: I passed the exams in literature in a very original way — teachers asked me to read something from Ukrainian and Russian poetry or prose, which I did with great pleasure and for which I received high marks. At the same time, I attended a dance class, studied at a music school, and also learned English, so I was known to teachers as a «girl looking out the window» (laughs). But then the main thing for me were classes in the theater studio at the Mariupol theater, where I was brought by my girlfriend. Then she left the studio, and I stayed and did not imagine myself outside the theater. A year and a half of study in the studio were not just a child’s fun — the classes followed the institute program: we put sketches, performing tasks «I am an animal», «I am an object», not to mention the preparation of performances, participation in productions at Christmas trees, dancing, plasticity, speech. We had excellent teachers, from whom we went through a strong stage school, especially I will note theater directors, husband and wife Konstantin Vladimirovich and Angelika Oganovna Dobrunov, who, we can say, determined my fate. Having finished school, I decided to enter the Kiev University of Theater, Film and Television named after I.K.Karpenko-Karpenko-Karogo. And I want to note that in the first semester I was even a little bit bored, because I already knew all this from the classes in the Mariupol studio.
— At the age of 16 you came to Kiev — how did you settle in the new environment?
— At first it was very difficult. My parents, of course, helped me, but it was impossible to provide financially. That’s why I had to work part-time from the very beginning — «my universities» began. Like many of our students, I took part in extras, New Year’s parties, children’s birthday parties, and various corporate events. It was not only an income, but also some acting training.
— During your years of study, did you develop any preferences, any inclination towards a certain role?
— Nothing like that could not be, because I am a puppet theater actress by university specialization. And this implies the creation of a wide range of diverse images: in Kiev Puppet Theater I played a ballerina in Andersen’s «The Tin Soldier», and in Yershov’s «The Humpbacked Horse» I played all the roles.
— And how did you get into the Georgian series and became a favorite foreign actress for our viewers?
I was lucky: one of the casting agencies, where I was registered, received a request from Georgian television. Irakli Apakidze — the author of the idea of the series «Time of Blooming» and one of the actors came to Kiev, and I passed the casting.
— And here you are in Tbilisi. What are your first impressions?
— I arrived in Tbilisi on September 8, 2009. I liked it here at once, although at first it was not easy without knowing the language in an unfamiliar country. But gradually I got used to everything, even to the fact that your people are a bit unorganized.
— How did you overcome the language barrier?
— The Georgian language, which has so many consonants next to each other, was difficult for me. And it was necessary to master it, because my Elena speaks Georgian. Of course, my role was voiced by another actress, but still I had to pronounce Georgian words so that the articulation coincided with the text, which is pronounced understudy. I had to learn the text and try to make sure that unfamiliar words did not constrain the game, did not interfere with the freedom of expression of emotions. Now the first difficulties are behind me, I can easily understand what they are talking about when they speak Georgian, I can freely respond to the lines of my partners.
— What kind of relations were formed on the set?
— The management of the series — general producer Levan Abramishvili, director Lasha Tseriashvili — were sympathetic to my difficulties and tried to save me from unnecessary worries. I also quickly found a common language with my partners, although they are all very different, just like their characters.
— How do you feel in the space of the series, because it is a new genre for you?
— In general, a TV series is a different dimension than a film or even a theater, where there is live communication with the audience. But when the actors are on the screen every night, they become almost family members, they are expected to meet them, their fates are taken to heart. And if there are some extreme situations in the life of the hero (and this series is not lacking), then worry for him as a close friend. And I feel this sympathy — mainly, of course, on the part of the female half of the audience, but men do not ignore the attention.
— Tell us a little about your family (although maybe this is where we should have started our conversation).
— My parents are hereditary doctors, they live in Mariupol. My father Anatoly Kazantsev and my mother Olga Smirnova are doctors. But my brother Zhenya and I did not follow in their footsteps: I am an actress, he is a musician, he plays balalaika in the ensemble «Bryats-band», he tours a lot.
— And how are you on the personal front?
— I don’t think about marriage yet, I still want to do a lot to become a real professional in my field. And in general, there are so many interesting things in life — I like to travel, watch good movies and plays (I have seen productions in many Tbilisi theaters), communicate with friends, go to the swimming pool, read, try not to miss anything interesting. When I came to Georgia, I learned a lot of new things, I like your country very much, hospitable people, friendly atmosphere, interesting work, and I am grateful to fate that I had such an opportunity.
— Thank you very much for taking time to communicate with our readers.
— I am also happy to welcome them and wish them a new year of wish fulfillment, as well as new successful projects — interesting and unexpected, as it happened to me.