Before this shoot I had never met Margarita but in November fate suddenly went Kevin Bacon on us, and all roads converged to have us be introduced via a “please meet email..”( if that sentence confuses you Google Kevin Bacon, 6 degrees of separation). Turns out we share many of the same friends all of whom, when I inquired about the “Revenge” star, were quick to tell me how amazing, lovely and cool Miss Levieve was. New York’s funny like that, you can circle some one for years never quite meeting up, until one day you do and because of all the connections, there is an undercurrent of familiarity that, in our case, bred a sort of sixth sense and our emails were peppered with “oh my god I was just thinking about you, that’s so weird!!” So by the time I went to Margaritas apartment I felt like I was going over to hang out with a long lost buddy! I am happy to say I was not disappointed, right from the ding dong of her front door bell she was as awesome as everyone said she would be !! Conversation flowed easily as we talked about our childhoods, our roots ( the family type not the sorry state of my hair), music, the past, the future and right there ‘n then the present (cute boys!). Margarita grew up in St Petersburgh, Russia moving to Brooklyn when she was 11 with her Mum and twin Brother. Whilst there wasn’t any trace of a Russian accent, there was an underlying beautiful romantic Russian melancholy that floated out from behind her bol’shiye proniknovennyye glaze, unable to mask the Cherry Orchards running thru her veins. In the years that she has been working, Margarita has pretty much covered the acting gamut. Turn on the TV and you would have seen her in “Revenge”, “The Black List” and “How to make it in America”. Go eat some over priced popcorn at the cinema and you could have watched her in such movies as “Adventureland”, “The invisible” and “Lincoln Lawyer” to name a few. Or perhaps if you fancied a high brow evening at the theatre
you would have found her along side Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen in the Broadway play “Impressionism”. Just as happy slouching around in an old beat up t-shirt as she is giving Jessica Rabbit a run for her money in a slinky number, Margarita is the perfect combo of tomboy meets sexy. Shooting her was an absolute dream, I had so much fun as she danced, uninhibited, around her apartment to her favorite tunes, played with props and, most impressively, drew upon her childhood gymnastic skill when she did the splits on the sofa in one of her long beautiful dresses! By the end of our shoot, I was in awe and exhausted !!
2014 will see Margarita back on the big screen in the thriller “The Loft ” which comes out later this year. No doubt this will require her to loop the world a few times on some huge press junket but for the next couple of weeks, while this vortex of cold turns us all shades of blue, she is happy to curl up under her blanket with her dog Betty and dream of the motherland.
Who is Margarita Levieve?
Dog and horse owner
What did you want to be when you grew up?
So many things! Mainly I wanted to work at the zoo, due to my obsession with monkeys. Just wanted a chance to hang with them ALL the time. There was also the flower shop dream. I love flowers. Picked them everywhere I went as a kid. Just wanted to surround myself with them. And then, I saw Maya Plisetskaya transform into a black swan at the Kirov ballet. That set a whole new dream in motion.
How did you get to be where you are?
Most importantly hard work. And just as importantly, believing I could get there. Also, always knowing that there’s something more powerful than me out there at work.
If you could go back in time and give your 16 year old self some advice what would it be ?
If the wardrobe in your bedroom would lead you to another world what would your Narnia look like?
A glitzy Russian circus set in a world of burning man… A separate camp for nudists, for jersey-shore sweat-pant/boy boxer wearing guidets, for flannel pj/eye glass wearing clowns, 50’s pin-ups, and S&M workers.
By day you are a ….? By night you are……?
By day I am a doer. By night I’m a dreamer.
What was one of your favorite past projects?
This film I just finished In Russia. Aside from working with a slew of wild animals, and some of the funniest Russian comedians, I got to speak in my native tongue. Also, got a chance to really envelop myself in the world and a culture that I left long ago. Was definitely one of the most special, fruitful, and heart-full periods of my life.
What are you working on now.and what do you dream of happening in the future?
I’m getting ready to shoot a film in San Francisco with a friend and a first time film-maker in whom I believe very much. It’s a great script and I’m thrilled about the role I get to play. Considering my past, the future is completely unpredictable and extremely exciting.. As far as things I would love and dream of….Opportunities to inhabit characters that thrill me, move me, and allow me to grow as an artist and a human, to tell stories that matter…. to learn constantly, and to have fun. Hopefully doing it all through theatre, films, and tv and through many countries. I love European films and would love a chance to work there.
What song do you love that you keep secret cause its too embarrassing to say publicly you like it?
A castle on a cloud (though I would most likely be honest about that everywhere)
Which version of “One” do you prefer ” Mary J Blige or “U2”?
Ha! Totally surprised myself. Without a listen, was going to say Mary J. Because I love her so much… But once I actually listened to both, I realized that in this case, id go with the original…
Are you a morning person or night person?
Definitely night…. Though I love the idea of being a morning person and sometimes, on a tail of coming back from a different time zone, succeed at being one for a few weeks.
Any advice for peeps just starting out?
None of it makes sense. There is no clear path, no right way, no upward ladder.
Just do the work with all you’ve got and trust.
Never get jaded.
Go deeper. With everything.
Stamp your work. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Don’t do it for anyone else.
And always remember, “it’s a marathon and not a race”.
Is there a quote or mantra you live by?
What you’re doing is so loud, I cannot hear what you’re saying.
How you do anything is how you do everything.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
To add this to the list…