Being in the world of cinema from a very young age has shaped me in the best way possible. I got to see how everything works, and I really fell in love. I’m from a non-acting family, so being chosen at ten years old for my first feature was a real blessing, and once I was in it, I never wanted to leave. I knew from that young age I was going to be involved in cinema.
It’s not a question of whether it was difficult or easy. It was necessary. Fortunately, I am a big fan of transitions. I believe that if we want, we can change anything in our lives. I also believe in sacrifice. Meaning, if you really want something to happen and you work hard with passion for it, truly yearning it, you can always achieve it. I sacrificed modelling days, travelling, making money for staying in one place in Los Angeles and working hard on my dreams as a filmmaker until they became the reality.
How do you feel your modelling career has helped in your career as a filmmaker?
I believe that being a model before has shaped my eyes and aesthetic vision. Everything in the modelling world is always somewhat “perfect” — so aesthetically ideal but artificial or created. And that has shaped my vision and goals. For example, Wong Kar-wai strives for a “perfect” aesthetic, and I am a bit like that as well. Of course, the storyline is the most important, but when you combine the two, that’s my kind of cinema — like Kubrick or Lynch.
I love languages so much. I feel like every language sort of adds an identity or a way of thinking. For me, in every language, I am expressing myself differently without being able to help it. I have a way in each language, and even in my film, SOUND OF SUN, I spoke in Czech and English to add to the mystery of my character. Languages make you dream.
SOUND OF SUN is your first short film and talks about the ‘discovery of self-awareness’–was this inspired by your own life journey?
It absolutely is. I craved self-awareness, like every one of us, I believe. In anything we do. You know, sometimes you find yourself in a place in your life where you don’t really know who you are and what’s going on, and you want to change it. SOUND OF SUN is portrait of that. I had this recurring dream of myself being unchained and allowed the freedom of true art. And that’s exactly what has happened. Suki Waterhouse embodies myself in my dreams, and I portray this mystery woman who helps her to discover the beauty of the other side and the known that’s coming for her. Sean Penn was my other half (man and woman, yin and yang…) who helps to liberate Suki’s character and set her free to her new life.
Yes, I consider myself an internationalist. We are one world, and we are its human beings. If everyone keeps it cool, there would be no trouble. That is very simply said, but I really believe in it. Nothing has shaped and influenced me more than travelling and getting to know new cultures and its people. Everyone should be able to do so. And cinema to me is like that — getting to know new cultures and feelings. We watch films to seek and discover the unknown.
A common phrase in the creative industries is: ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. How do you feel about this notion? Do you think it’s an essential part of being successful in today’s creative industries?
This is tricky, because of course it’s about who you surround yourself with. But that doesn’t affect talent. You can know the best people in the industry, but if your talent and dedication aren’t there, it means nothing.
Well, I am someone who would love to influence people in the best way possible. We see things around us every day that have a huge impact on us and in our subconscious. I tell people what I would have loved to hear growing up— just “ go for it,” no fear just work, passion, and persistence. I like to speak at public events because if the new generation sees someone passionate about what they do, they will pursue their dreams as well, and the world will be full of art. I hope I can encourage people at any age and let them know it’s never too late— just do it. Whatever it is you want to achieve. Of course, only the good things…
What can you tell us about the feature films you’re working on?
I have two original feature films in development. One of them is a beautiful period piece love story, and the other one is about a female revolution. One of them is being made in Los Angeles in the fall of this year. But that’s really all I can say for now.
Who in the film industry do you admire the most? Why?
I admire Stanley Kubrick for his rare talent and passion, David Lynch for his surrealness and vision, David Fincher for his perfectionism, and Xavier Dolan for his boldness. Of course I adore anyone who is out there making cinema happen, but these are my top few.
When making films, what do you hope your viewers to take away from them?
When I direct and produce, I go with my intuition. I make films that speak to me, and I can only hope that they will speak to the others as well. I don’t calculate. I just go with my raw feelings, and what I want to give to the audience is a discovery of new emotions, hopes, feelings, and sensations. Cinema is that for me, just pure feelings that I want share with others.