The Heroine’s Journey of Natasha Mashkevich

What is the best thing that I love about my work? The best thing I love about my work is that I love my work! Since I’m 10 years old, I wanted to become an actress and I did. It was my real dream. Then directing and writing came naturally into my work. And it all resumes with passion. I’m passionate about my work. Theater and Cinema can change lifes, they have a great impact. Through the artistic we touch the universal, the personal, the political and the social!

What is my idea of happiness? The obvious answer will be that my idea of happiness is my family’s well being, health and joy. But I realized that the real idea of happiness for is inner harmony. If I’m in peace inside of me, if my inner world is in peace it makes the others happy. It helps to have better relationships. Inner harmony makes the outside harmony and makes everything lighter and brighter.For me, without the inner peace, we can’t really enjoy the outer joys…Happiness for me is the communicon with the divine. And the divine in my heart. To get closer to God.

What is my greatest fear? If something happens to my family. 

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? the anger 

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?Kate Winslet, Jessica  Chestain, David Lynch, Terrence Mallick, The Dardenne brothers, Martin Scorsese , Pedro Almodovar, Andreï Zviaguintsev , Alexandre Sokourov, Jacques Audiard…Any many others…

What is my greatest extravagance? dancing barefoot on the streets

On what occasion would I lie? I try not to lie.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?I love my work so there’s nothing I dislike, I dislike the disrespect but it’s not only in my work it’s in every area…every day.

Photo credit: Tsil Rah

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?-In the movie Sarah’s Key (with Kristin Scott-Thomas), directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, where I’m doing the role of Mme Starzynski.  It was a wonderful experience, great team, great acting partners and a very important subject. (It’s an adaptation of a very strong novel by Tatiana de Rosnay) In the theater production with Jordan Beswick , a one woman piece “Our Lady of Perpetual Donuts”, a real story about resilience, women’s strength, and most important: love!

-in the feature Olma Djon, directed by Victoria Yakubov, a beautiful movie about love and family… The shooting was very strong for me because Victoria has a similar background to mine, almost the same immigration scheme as mine. There are no chances. We did the shooting in Kazakhstan, next to my birth land, I was born in Kyrgyzstan, (Central Asia). This movie was for me, the back to basics.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I’m working on myself, to be a better person every day. To be calmer, to be myself.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Every work for me is a path, there’s a connection between all the works, all the projects, one project leads to another. I started with theater, as an actress, then it led me to cinema, then I worked on a project about childhood and it led me to the writing and stage directing of my play for children “I want to be great”, then it became a necessity, to write and direct, and I started to direct films. And now I’m working on my first feature film and two documentaries, very important for me…So it’s work in progress and achievement in progress…

Where would I most like to live? I immigrated from my birth country at the age of 9, and as for today I lived in 4 counties and 4 cities, I used to travel and to work in different cities, now I live in Paris, and I love it.  So I can adapt to any city, but I need to be with my family…I’d like to live and work a little while in cities such as London, NYC, Sydney…

What is my most treasured possession? my children 

What is my most marked characteristic? multilingualism, multiculturality, my determination, sincerity…   

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The île saint Louis where you can see the Notre Dame de Paris, and feel all the energy of the old Paris. 

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? Restaurants on the rue des rosiers 75004 Paris. Where you can have great falafel, cheesecake etc.And for drinks, a terrasse of a cafe on the île de Louis.  

What books influenced my life and how? A hundred years of loneliness by Gabriel García Márquez It touched me a lot, some connection with my family story, but then it helped me to realize that there’s no suffering that lasts 100 years…And there can be a rebirth! Then there were so many theater plays that influenced me, touched me and helped me to survive… (A. Tchekhov, Racine, S. Becket, Shakespeare, Th. Williams, H. Pinter…) Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre. When I read it I was really touched by this woman, her destiny, her life…It inspired me in my work, let me discover other women artists and not only artists, who were forgotten or rejected…for the benefit of men…

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? something between Portishead, Bach, and some Russian rock

Photo credit: Tsil Rah

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Jeanne D’Arc (she’s a hero in real life but I mention her here, she became a hero in fiction too), Jean Valjean and Cosette in the Misérables (V. Hugo), Anna Karenine (in L. Tolstoy novel) , Tatiana in Puchkine’s “Evgueny Oneguine”…

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My daughter Viktoria and my son Ruslan, are my heroes in real life. Over the years, and where I am today, I realized that being a child demands a lot. It’s a heroic act. Children are heroes, they have to adapt to the adults to the world around them, many times, they are not asked anything, they undergo the facts. And this is being a hero. Not so far ago, children were considered as the property of their parents, and this is not acceptable…Children are individuals, with their emotions, characters etc, and they have to be accepted like they are! Kids do their best, they save the world because they are the future. I believe that children are adapted to the time they are living in but it demands a lot! It demands  something heroic. I’m very touched by the children, and the childhood, everything comes from the childhood and the adult has his inner child with him (her) forever…We don’t have to forget our inner child…And I think art helps to get this communication with our little inner child…

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? The fountain (Darren Arronovsky ), Citizen Kane (Orson Welles) Mallholand Drive (David Lynch), 

Come and see by Elem Klimov. Apocalypse now, by Francis Ford Copolla.The notebook, Nick Cassavetes.Brief encounters , Kira MuratovaThe tree of life ,Terrence Mallick Walk on water , Eytan Foxto take a wife , Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz

What role play stories in my life and work? Both are connected, the stories I write are inspired from my life, somehow. They are inspired by my life story, by me…If a musician has an instrument to support him, the actor’s instrument is himself and nothing else. Then come the words, to help him to express something, or note…but still, the actor’s instrument is himself… the inner work is inside, his body, his mind etc.So yes, stories in life and work are connected…
I’ve written a theater play and two movie scripts and two documentary features, so these projects are very important and personal for me .

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? I would say that an artist is the storyteller of life not specifically of his own life but of life in general. Because an artist is very sensitive and feels life, is touched by people, by people’s stories, by what’s going on around him in the world, questioning things…an artist observes a lot, and gets inspired, then it becomes a mix of his own life and the Life. I think a piece of art (any art, theater, movie, music, poetry…) has to carry universality. To be able to touch different people, independently of the country, the culture, the history…And that’s what I’m trying to do in my work. Specifically in my documentaries, because they have to express universal feelings where each and everyone can recognize him(her)self. 

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband,Roberto de Matos, who is also my producer for some projects. My supporter, my friend, my partner…

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2022? Joël Pommerat, (compagnie Louis Brouillard), Peter Brook, (Les bouffes du nord), Emmanuel Demarcy Mota (théâtre de la ville), Andrey Zvyagintsev, Kantemir Balagov, Eran Riklis, Shira Geffen, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Lana Wachowski, Céline Sciamma  

What project, in 2022, am I looking forward to work on? My feature film, ” no Wifi” I have to shoot some more sequences and then keep going with the post production. I’m very excited by this project, It’s my first feature as a director, before that I did 2 shorts, “Letter to Noemie” (with Marina Vlady) and “Iktam” (a movie I wrote, directed and acted in), and now I’m looking forward to work and find a production for my documentary films, “Rhapsody in major wandering ” and “Ruslan” (I’ve co written to co direct with Emily Aujé) And some more projects as an actress! I can’t stop acting, it’s a real need for me…Can’t live without acting.

Where can you see me or my work in 2022?\

www.natashamashkevich.comhttps:// mashkevich.html

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? That means something logical to me, if you really have a passion for your work, it never lasts…An artist remains an artist until the end of his life. It’s in his blood and in his guts. An artist knows why he does his job. Why did he choose it. Or why the job did choose him… It’s different from the concept of “career ” because the career can have some standbys, the career can retire but passion never retires !Like my father for example, who is a symphonic conductor, and composer, he had some “standbys ” in his career because of life circonstances, but he keeps living with music and is ready to stand at any moment, on the stage to direct a symphony…this is passion.  And in composing music too, we are used to working together for years, he composes music for my movies, theater productions etc. And despite the “problems” , the life circumstances, or the lack of motivation, he does it with passion and lot’s of feelings.And I can say that passion is contagious too, for example my mother, who is more scientific in her way of thinking rather than artistic, she has been always supporting and inspiring my father in his work. And she’s always very touched by my father’s work and mine. Over the years (my parents celebrated their 41st anniversary of marriage), she understands more and more about music, and she is very committed in my father’s career and mine.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story? Marina Glorian, Gigi Ledron, Micheline Abergel, Irina Kopylova, Mélina Tatopoulos, Sébastien Drouet, Olivier Tresson, Emilie Aujé, Liza Shmakova, Victoria Yakubov 

How can you contact me?

Here is the link to the photographer Tsil Rah who has taken my pictures shown here:

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