Dimiter Marinov: Success is part of my development
If I start behaving like a star, it would be very sadIrina Gigova , Sofia
Each of my colleagues is golden per se. No matter if he was a success or not, if he was promoted or not, it does not matter. In their early age, many actors cannot distinguish themselves, but later they work miracles, and vice versa - some work miracles when young and then go into oblivion or get lost forever, says actor Dimiter Marinov in an interview to Europost.
Mr Marinov, was it easy to adapt to your everyday life in America after the intense ten or so days in Bulgaria? What was the first thing you did on your return to the US?
It is never so hard to adapt, although the flight was rather unpleasant - two stopovers and missing one flight because of the previous flight's delay. So instead of the usual 14 hours, I had to spend 26 hours aboard a plane to get to Los Angeles. It was really unpleasant, but I finally came back, and of course, everyday life grabbed me with a vengeance. My family was waiting for me, they missed me, my younger son was a little ill and I had to take care of him. Later, I informed my professional partners, agents and managers that I was ready to be in the game again and at full steam. They insisted that I should tell them everything that happened in Bulgaria, but I haven't fully managed yet. Because they had me play hard right away - on the next day after my arrival, I had to learn seven pages of text by heart for a serious audition due in three days. But such is life and such it has to be. You have to be organised, flexible and not pay attention to fatigue, but find the way to adapt. There were many things I wanted to share at home, the children would ask me questions and it was very exciting. Because coming to Bulgaria touched a chord of nostalgia, and I felt it more acutely than I needed.
What of your experiences in Bulgaria will leave the deepest imprint on your memory?
The brightest experience were the live meetings with the young students and with the audience and media in Plovdiv at the presentation of Green Book. The hugs, the handshakes, taking pictures, the questions after each screening, being stopped in the streets, the exchange of thoughts and ideas - this is something invaluable and to me it is more important than anything else. This feeling of love and gratitude, which is immeasurable. Many of my friends would advise me to behave like a star, turn down certain events, not to be overly open and friendly, to “carry weight” because I was a “big shot”. But I am simply not that kind of a person and I will never change. I want people to take me as one of them. Yes, for sure I've achieved success, but this success is part of my development. If I start behaving like a star, it would be very sad.
And have you made friends with some of the big names in the guild, at the place where you live now?
No, I don't have friends here beyond the shooting locations or rehearsals halls. Here the relationships are different. I do keep in touch with some of the colleagues from Green Book, and we have friendly talks - something like 'how are you, are you OK' - but this is not the kind of friendships I had in Bulgaria where we would meet to have a drink, share ideas over dinner, seek new projects together and make plans. Here they have another kind of order, the order of the industry, which is quite different. The feelings and relations are warm when we meet at a party or audition, but on the whole, in America I still don't have a professional friendship with any of the big actors.
You are an alumnus of the legendary “Golden Class” of Prof. Krikor Azaryan in the Theatrical Academy. Was this schooling helpful to you in America, did it open doors to you, what advantages did it give you?
I must say that the designation “Golden Class” is a metaphor to me, in a sense that many of its graduates are now household names in Bulgarian culture. But I personally think that every class is golden in itself. Each of my colleagues is golden per se. No matter if he was a success or not, if he was promoted or not, it does not matter. In their early age, many actors cannot distinguish themselves, but later they work miracles, and vice versa - some work miracles when young and then go into oblivion or get lost forever. Speaking of the schooling that I got in the class of Prof. Azaryan, it was certainly of great use to me in the US and helped me up. To this day I have not taken a single acting class here. I visited several classes, saw how they work, but in the long run, what I learned in the Bulgarian school is what makes me the person who is what he is in the US cinema industry.
Do your sons have a flair for acting, do they realise how famous their father is in his native country? What language do you speak at home?
My older son is a mathematician and goes in for sports, but he loves acting and arts in general. He nurtures sincere feelings to what I am doing. When he was a third-grader his teacher asked him: “What is your father doing?” and he answered: “He wanders about the house with sheets of paper in hand and talks to himself.” My younger son who is five and a half does have a flair for acting and music. He loves having fun and being the centre of attention. He is a very artistic person and is also very funny. And as for how famous I am in Bulgaria, they do not know much about stardom. To them, dad is just a father who is simply doing his job. The language in which we communicate is English. My wife is American. I am the only one in the family who speaks Bulgarian. When I get mad, I do utter certain things in Bulgarian. And they do know these particular expressions.
When do you start filming the high-budget TV sequel that you mentioned at the meeting in the Theatrical Academy, and who will be your character in it? Would you like to take part in a TV or cinema project in Bulgaria?
The sequel was postponed till the end of March as it turned out that there was a serious proposal from Netflix for it. Currently it is property of Direct TV, a big organisation here. The idea is to start shooting in the last week of April in Toronto. My character is a Russian counterintelligence agent working in the US, something like in The Americans, another TV sequel which has been a smash hit in the US for seven years running. Three years ago I also took part in it. There will be conspiracy, double agents, economic and political espionage. I will be that creepy guy who plays with both sides - unscrupulous, arrogant but really good at what he is doing. Hopefully we will start working soon. I would be delighted to take part in a TV series or film in Bulgaria, but the project has to be secured in terms of time and availability, because after all I am living in the US, here is my family, my home, profession and career. However, if I get an offer from Bulgaria, I will readily make it my top priority and will rearrange my schedule as needed. It would be a great joy to me, really.
Dimiter Marinov was born on 6 October 1964 in Sofia. At the age of 11 he became first violin in the Pioneer symphony orchestra. He graduated from the Higher Institute of Theatrical Art in the so-called “Golden Class” of Prof. Krikor Azaryan. In 1990 he went on a tour around the US and Canada and decided to stay overseas. In the beginning he settled in Knoxville, Tennessee, performed in the streets for his daily bread, worked as dishwasher and in a pizza house, and later opened his own restaurant. Before he starred in the movie Green Book, which won an Oscar, he played supporting roles in many films and TV productions in the US (Law and Order, Agent Carter, Scorpion, Ray Donovan, Shooter, The Americans, etc.). He took part in the debut film of Luchezar Avramov, A Picture with Yuki, which was premiered at the Sofia Film Fest. Currently, he is a teacher at the prestigious Actors' Studio in Los Angelis, a branch of Universal Pictures.