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Vladimir Angelove: ” Every role comes with its own challenges”

We talked with Vladimir regarding his acting career and benefits why it is great to be a member at The Actors Home platform.

FM42: So you always knew that acting is what you wanted to do?

Although my love for acting ignited nearly 40 years ago, my relationship with this craft has suffered many ups and downs. Since I was 9, one of my favorite activities was attending the children’s theater troupe led by Nikolay Aprilov at the Palace of Pioneers.

Unfortunately, in Bulgaria, there is a commonly spread saying that “an actor’s house remains unfed,” and over the years, my parents and relatives did everything possible to instill this idea in my head. I graduated from a technical high school as a programmer and decided to pursue a career in that field, while acting naturally took the place of a non-profitable hobby in my life.

Vladimir Angelove – Photo: Miheala Ivanova 2023

However, I applied to our technical university for two consecutive years and wasn’t accepted for the discipline I wanted. At that time in Bulgaria, there was mandatory military service, which you could avoid only if you were a student. So, I applied somewhat reluctantly to the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts and was surprisingly accepted into the class of one of the most prominent names in Bulgarian art and one of the most beloved actors in my homeland – the late Prof. Stefan Danailov. I graduated with honors and could have had a great start to a professional career if by that time Bulgaria wasn’t going through one of its biggest economic crises during its transition from communism to democracy, where survival took precedence over art.

Like everyone else, I had to make a living through other activities, which once again distanced me from my passion. Acting gave way to various professions over the past 20 years – from music producer and orchestra manager to film producer, assistant director, casting director, event organizer, cameraman, editor, animator, web developer, etc. I have no regrets; on the contrary, I am glad I was able to master so many different trades. This taught me to respect the work of others because I know from experience what everyone else around me is going through.

I managed to earn a decent living, but unfortunately, I neglected and suppressed my creative impulse for a long time until a major life crisis came along. It burned away everything unnecessary and somehow rearranged the layers within me, putting everything in its rightful place. I can say that for the past 6 years, acting and I have been walking hand in hand again, and I believe we are just entering the prime of our relationship.

Vladimir Angelove on set as Talab in The Salacity – Photo: Niklas Iwannek 2023

FM42: What kind of challenges are you facing these days as an actor?

To get a role, you need to meet a certain number of criteria, which are sometimes so subjective and abstract that there’s nothing you can do about them. But for the things I am responsible for, I make sure to meet them. I try to stay in shape, and when I’m not filming, I make sure to be involved in various training sessions.

I work on my American accent because I know that, unfortunately, there is still a lot of bias against accents in international productions. I train to maintain my physical form and activity, and last but not least, I also pay attention to my spiritual needs. Actually, the biggest challenge is to balance these three things: mind, body, and spirit, in times when we are deeply immersed in the material world.

Vladimir-Angelove_Headshot-Mihaela-Ivanova

FM42: Which of your roles has pushed your limits the most, or given you the most challenge in that way?

Every role comes with its own challenges. I don’t think there’s a role where I feel completely at ease, and that’s a good thing because it keeps me alert, makes me strive, and helps me develop new qualities or skills to bring the role to life. Last year, I filmed my first lead role, which taught me how to “run long distances.” At one point, I had eight consecutive shooting days, each 12 hours long, which showed me how important it is to manage and distribute my energy.

Additionally, I had to act and communicate in English, which is not my native language, and to my surprise, this exhausted me even more than the filming process itself.
I want to believe, or at least hope, that every future project will be just as good and valuable, pushing the boundaries within me so that I can expand not only my acting skills but also my personal horizons.

Vladimir Angelove as Doctor Livesey in Treasure Island – Photo: Balkan Theatre Factory 2023

FM42: So does an emotionally demanding role pose more of a challenge to you than a physically demanding one?

I think physical roles are more challenging for me, and I can explain why. I am quite a sensitive person, and I believe that life has done a good job of toughening me up emotionally. That’s why I am much more trained and resilient when it comes to emotional experiences and roles. On the other hand, my physical endurance is much weaker – I have never been a sporty person, and only a few years ago did I realize the importance of taking care of my physical condition and started training in calisthenics.

I am making small but steady progress and am not afraid of advancing slowly because I want this to become a permanent habit rather than achieving quick but fleeting results. Recently, I portrayed Beethoven in a German series for Disney+, and the role turned out to be quite physically demanding. I’m certain that if I hadn’t already built up my physical conditioning, I wouldn’t have been able to perform at the level I desired. In another film, I had several stunt scenes, and the preparation for them turned out to be an extremely useful and enjoyable experience for me.

Vladimir Angelove by Dobrin Kashevelov

FM42: What was the last performance you saw that got under your skin?

As strange as it may sound, I don’t watch many movies or plays. I love going to the cinema and the theater, but I rarely have free time for them, and I haven’t watched television in over 20 years. I believe this keeps my mind and senses free from external influences and helps me be more selective about the productions I choose to watch. Because of this, I can confidently say that the things I usually watch are always strong and memorable. I don’t typically separate a performance from the overall work. Just as I can say a dish is unique only when all the ingredients are original and well-balanced, for a story to captivate me, everything must be on point – the script or play and its message, the direction, the acting, the music… everything.

The most recent things that have impressed or touched me (in one way or another) are two Bulgarian movies, “Petya of My Petya” and “Lyuben,” a British play “The House We Inherited,” the French film “Anatomy of a Fall,” and the Korean film “Parasite” (which I watched recently). Actually, it might sound a bit pretentious to say that I want everything in a production to be top-notch, but in reality, I am easily impressed by things that contain a great deal of truth, even if it’s a fictional one.

Vladimir Angelove as Vokil in “War of Letters” – Photo: Boris Slavkov

FM42: Why is it good to be part of the Actors Home Platform?

First and foremost, the platform gives me a sense of belonging to a global, international community of colleagues who support each other. It’s great for an actor to have a distinct individuality, but even the freest and most rebellious electron gravitates towards something that it recognizes as home.

For a long time, I refused to believe that cinema and theater are not just pure art but also a business. Thanks to Lucy Lenox and the activities and seminars at The Actor’s Home, I was able to delve deeper and gain a greater understanding of the film industry as such. It’s helpful to have someone explain how things work, though it’s clear that you only truly understand once you experience it firsthand.

And the best part is that whenever you have a question, there’s a place where you can ask it. We have so many actors at The Actor’s Home from so many different parts of the world that there’s always someone who can share their experience, give an original answer, or look at your question from a completely surprising perspective, helping you solve your problem in an interesting or practical way.

FM42: Any plans for the future projects?

In the past, I used to plan, dream, and hope… I was passionate about every audition and, in my fantasies, I would win awards and recognition, spent the unearned money from roles I ultimately did not get. It turned out that for me, things don’t work that way – with planning and chasing dreams.

I wanted to become a programmer, but I ended up in the Acting Academy. When I was ready to give up acting, I got my first lead role in a feature film. When I was disheartened by my attempts to be noticed in Bulgaria, I started getting roles there. And I realized one thing – there is One who plans. My job is simply not to get in His way. I strive to be a good actor, I make efforts to be a good person, and the rest, I believe, is in God’s hands.

Cover photo: Vladimir Angelove as Sheytanov-young in “The Lies Within Us” – Photo: Ivan Vatsov

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