Sunday, December 20, 2009

Andreea Perminov, my second story

I met Andreea in 2003 during the casting for the The Fall. I didn’t pay much attention to her because she was an extremely shy kid, and had little in common with the character I was casting for. But her beauty did strike me, and I decided to keep her in mind for other projects. Meanwhile, she was selected to do a few commercials, and TV shows, but nothing special.

In fact, the persons who “discovered’ her were Laura, my colleague and Oltin, the photographer who captured her essence in the snapshots. In the beginning of 2006, after her photo shoot, Oltin requested another session with Andreea, ASAP. The result – general shock. I don’t think I had ever seen such a unique, such a sophisticated look. Pictures say a lot about the potential of a future character, but, surely enough, Andreea’s pictures were a character in themselves.

A friend of mine contemplated her picture and resolved that her eyes come from somewhere. He was right…. Andreea’s family history is quite peculiar. Her grandfather on her father’s side, Victor Perminov, a reputable physician and scholar, comes from an ancient military, and aristocratic, Russian family, reputed to have been among the founders of the city Perm during the reign of Peter the Great. Victor’s wife – a scientist and mathematician – has German origins, and comes from a well-known intellectual family. She is the granddaughter of Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the former German foreign affairs minister, one of the architects of the German reunification. On her mother’s side, Andreea completes her genetic bloodline with the legacy of a typical Romanian family, natives for generations of the village Rasusceni, in Giurgiu County.

In the beginning, Andreea was almost alarmingly shy and detached. The only thing she liked to converse about was shopping, whereby some people’s conclusion that her “simplicity” alluded more to a modeling career, rather than acting. And yet, Andreea finished 6th grade as the top student in her school. That she is extremely intelligent, you can tell by just looking into her eyes.

Aware of her refined beauty and intelligence, she can become very manipulative in close circles; she is one who always gets her way. But her attributes do more than make her conspicuous; she has that je ne sais quoi that makes her extremely intriguing.

She is highly sensitive, but she has developed numerous ways of hiding it. Thus, she can manufacture quite a devious persona, acting downright impervious, cold, distant, and even arrogant, but that is just a form of camouflaging her emotions, to protect her delicate nature.

She has a fantastic potential, and can can seduce anyone on the spot. Joel Schumacher, who discovered giants like Collin Farewell, Julia Roberts, Kiefer Shuterland, gave her first role in a Hollywood movie. Schumacher is one man who thinks Hollywood spells a great future for Andreea. When Schumacher first saw her picture, he stared at it for a full half hour. The video session that Andreea had recorded set her aside as completely unique and unexampled, and granted her the part in Town Creek on the spot. In fact, Schumacher didn’t ask for anybody else to come in to audition. She makes a very good role in Town Creek as a girl who rescues her family, metamorphosing from the victim that she was at the beginning of the movie.

In 2007, she was distributed in the Clown by Marco Valerio Pugini, producer of The Sopranos, Angels in America, Rome. She did a very complicated role as a homeless girl who dies at the end of the movie. Her interpretation was so amazing that she was compared to Charlize Theron in Monster. One thing that moved even the director was that she wanted to immerse herself into the life of the homeless child she was portraying on film. She often went into the dark alleys, and smelly sewers, squatting down on her feet, and talking to these unfortunate children, touching their pain and anguish. She was never satisfied with what she imagined a homeless one would feel, think, and bear, but she wanted to know the reality of their lives. She endured the cold, the stench, and dreadful privations of these children as she got deeper into their underground world. One would almost never suspect this strong human dimension in such an exquisitely beautiful girl.

Andreea is not a conscious actor, she is a believer. She not “schooled” in acting; all that she has to give in front of the camera comes naturally from the inside, from a deep understanding of hers of the character she interprets. She is genuine, and real. I have a strong conviction that she is a special talent able to take on the most difficult roles. There is an aura about her, and she explodes in light. Andreea Perminov is a natural born star.

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