I had the chance to speak with the lovely Nadja Bobyleva about her upcoming film Camera Obscura. (It’s in select theaters now) In the film she plays one of lead characters Claire, the fiance of a veteran war photographer with PTSD who sees peoples deaths in his photos.
Nadja Bobyleva has also starred and guest starred on many other shows and movies. Like almost 30…mostly in Germany. She also had a part in the Tom Hank’s fueled Bridge of Spies.
In 2004 she was honored with the Günter Strack Award for her performances in the TV movies Getting a Life and Tatort. She is also a tea-sommelier. Girl is doing it. Enjoy the interview.
Nadja Bobyleva: Well, thank you.
Ronnie: And I’m supposed to let you know that before I start the interview that we have a review up right now on our site. The gentleman who wrote it, Chuck Anderson. He wanted me to tell you that you did really well in it and you were perfectly balanced for your co-star.
Nadja Bobyleva: Oh my god! Thank you so much. That’s super sweet! Tell him thank you for me.
Ronnie: You’re welcome.
Nadja Bobyleva: That was really sweet.
Ronnie: So tell me, how did you end up working on this movie?
Nadja Bobyleva: I went in for an audition for a completely different movie with the casting director, Matthew Lessall, in Los Angeles and I didn’t get that part, but he looked at me and asked how long I was going to be in L.A. and I got to tell him I lived in L.A., actually, and a week later I got the script for Camera Obscura. And actually the funny thing with that was I had the conference call with Aaron and he was already in Baton Rouge, so we met over Skype and two days later I was on the plane to Baton Rouge to actually star in this movie right away, so we basically we—both Chris and I—had just two days of preparation before starting the shoot, and the first week of shooting was actually all the scenes in the house where we had to play a two-year-old relationship, which was crazy! But it was amazing because I woke up at four in the morning and prepared all the scenes for the day because we didn’t have that much time for preparation. Luckily, it all worked out! So, that’s how I got to do it.
Ronnie: Right on, so did you enjoy making the film? It seems very intense.
Nadja Bobyleva: Yeah, it was amazing. It was my first horror film; I’ve never done a horror film before, and what I thought, what I really loved about it was that it was not one of those horror movies where you clearly know that it’s something paranormal, like the camera is haunted but you are always on the edge of thinking “Is this the camera, or is this his pysche, or…” You know, you never know what the truth is. I was really intrigued by that. And for me it was super interesting because I’d never done a horror movie before and especially doing all the bloody scenes, and preparing pictures of being dead seven times—it was super fun. I loved it.
Ronnie: So do you plan on doing more horror?
Nadja Bobyleva: I’d love to! I haven’t got the chance yet, but I’d really love to. I thought it was fun.
Ronnie: I have to ask, because your character’s very—well there’s a lot going on with your character. How did you prepare for the role?
Nadja Bobyleva: Well, as I said we didn’t have that much time so for me it was really important to bring out her… the loving part and the caring part of her, so basically the most important thing for me for this character was that she tries to support her husband as much as she can, so everything was about taking care of him, and I think that was the most important thing that I could cling on to bring her to life. That was actually because I have a big heart in me, towards my personal relationships and my closest people that I could totally relate to, so that’s how I could connect myself with Claire, and go from there.
Ronnie: So, you’re from Russia, but then you moved to Germany at a young age, correct and then you’ve just been acting mostly there. Is it different filming over there compared to filming an American film?
Nadja Bobyleva: Well, a set is a set, normally, but I have the feeling that in America somehow you can feel that there’s more at stake than in European films, especially filming in Germany. There’s more money involved in America and, somehow, it feels more professional? Like a big school against a smaller school, which is as good, but it’s like there’s—in Germany there’s almost this fear of trying new things because they are afraid to lose a lot of audience because German audiences normally people just watch American movies, so it’s really hard to bring people into the movie theaters. And so what was really especially great in that film was that all the people from Louisiana—I don’t know if it’s like special to Louisiana, but everybody was so extremely nice. It was just amazing. It was like the nicest set I’ve ever been on, but that’s what I’ve heard, like it’s special to Louisiana that people are super nice there.
Ronnie: It’s the South, I guess.
Nadja Bobyleva: Maybe, yeah!
Ronnie: I’m from the South, and they always say we’re the sweetest people in the South. It’s that ‘southern hospitality’.
Nadja Bobyleva: Oh! What part of the South are you from?
Ronnie: I am from Texas and I grew up in Arkansas, so that’s about as South as you can get, I guess.
Nadja Bobyleva: Okay, great. All right. *laughs*
Ronnie: So you have Camera Obscura coming out now, and then I believe it’s Ashes in the Snow you have in post-production right. Is there anything else you’re going to be coming out with soon?
Nadja Bobyleva: Well, I think Ashes in the Snow is my last international project. It should be coming out soon. I just finished a comedy show in Germany, which is called The Institute. I’m not sure if it’s going to be on Netflix or somewhere; it’s going to be shown in Germany first, and I’m starting to do a show called The Show for a French network called Black Pill. But I think it might be coming out internationally as well, since it was shot in English, so that’s going to be the next one.
Ronnie: I really want to thank you again for speaking with me and again, I really, really did like Camera Obscura. It’s a mind-bender, I guess you could say.
Nadja Bobyleva: Thank you! That’s great, I really appreciate that.
Ronnie: You’re welcome.
Nadja Bobyleva: Thank you for your time!
Camera Obscura was written by Aaron B. Koontz and Cameron Burns. It is also the theatrical directing debut of Koontz. The movie is in select theaters now and on VOD/Digital HD services June 13th, 2017.