Ana Golja stars and produces the heartfelt movie ‘The Cuban.’ She spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HL about how she got here up with the idea for the movie, bonding with Louis Gossett Jr., and extra.
The Cuban is in choose theaters and is now out there on VOD. The movie follows a nurse named Mina, who befriends a affected person who has Alzheimer’s illness. As they develop nearer, he tells her about his incedible previous as a well-known Cuban musician.
Ana Golja stars as Mina in The Cuban, however she additionally serves as a producer. Each Ana and her producing companion, Taras Koltun, had been impressed to inform the story due to their very own relationships with their aged relations. Ana spoke with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY in regards to the journey to get this film made, why working with Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr. was like a “masterclass” in performing, and wanting to inform extra of her personal tales sooner or later.
What was the inspiration behind this movie? I do know it’s one thing that’s very near you.
Ana Golja: It’s very private. So just about I used to be between seasons on Degrassi, and I used to be itching to do one thing that was artistic however increasing my horizons throughout the trade. I used to be form of in search of tales to inform, and perhaps do a brief movie or one thing. Throughout this time, I used to be going via loads with my great-grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s and different types of dementia. I seen what an unbelievable affect that music had on her each time we performed it in the home. Particularly, after we performed music from her previous, it actually introduced her to life. On the similar time, my companion Taras Koltun had a dream about his grandfather. He additionally handed of Alzheimer’s, and Taras was in a state the place he simply actually wished that he spent extra time with him and listened to his tales and maybe used music as remedy simply to know extra about him. We just about simply got here collectively and determined that we wished to make a brief movie and inform this story and create a optimistic affect of some type. I took it to Sergio Navarretta, who’s our director, and he immediately related with it. From there, we pitched it to the author, Alessandra Piccione, who additionally had private experiences with Alzheimer’s. So at that time, the 4 of us got here collectively and simply determined to make this movie come to life.
Is the character of Mina modeled loads such as you or if she very totally different from you?
Ana Golja: That’s a query that our author Alessandra would positively have the ability to reply higher than I can, however there are positively a whole lot of points of myself in Mina, simply when it comes to that coming of age story and discovering your voice and determining what you stand for and what you need your function to be on this planet. There are a whole lot of similarities, even when it comes to tradition. I’m Albanian, however there are a whole lot of similarities to the Afghan tradition. There are a whole lot of similarities for positive, however I wouldn’t say it’s 100% primarily based on me and my character,
What was it like working with Louis Gossett Jr. and actually establishing Mina and Luis’s bond?
Ana Golja: I had the privilege of attending to know Lou very well earlier than we began taking pictures. We actually hit it off instantly, and we bought to essentially construct a phenomenal bond earlier than we even began taking pictures. As soon as we stepped on the set, it actually was simply being within the second and telling this stunning story as authentically as doable. Lou has this unbelievable reward of actually with the ability to deliver you into that current second, no matter what’s happening. As each a producer and actress within the movie, it was actually powerful to form of juggle the 2 roles. However Lou has that gravitas and that skill to only deliver you proper there to him and nothing else exists. It actually was like a masterclass in performing each time I used to be alongside him.
Music performs an enormous position on this movie. Is music one thing that’s very private to you, or is it one thing that you simply bought to study all through filming?
Ana Golja: Music is a big a part of my life and all the time has been, together with my upbringing. My grandfather was an opera singer again in Albania. My complete household, regardless that it’s not what they do for a dwelling, they’re all very inventive. So I’ve all the time been an enormous fan of jazz music, particularly Afro Cuban jazz. I listened to a whole lot of it rising up. Music actually is the core of what began this complete course of. I noticed firsthand my nice grandmother come to life and grow to be much more social and virtually grow to be a special individual proper in entrance of my eyes each time we performed music for her, so it was essential to have that showcased within the movie.
What was it like so that you can steadiness producing and performing? Is that one thing you need to do extra of sooner or later?
Ana Golja: It was much more tough than I ever had anticipated. There’s nothing that may put together you for one thing like that. I used to be simply very lucky to have such an unbelievable staff round me. My director, Sergio, and author/producer Alessandra and producer Taras actually carried a whole lot of manufacturing weight in order that Sergio and I might actually give attention to the storytelling. It was very powerful to detach in that sense and never hearken to all of the noise taking place within the background and simply specializing in the duty at hand and being as genuine as doable with the movie whereas we had been taking pictures. However it’s positively one thing that I’d do once more, fingers down. I need to proceed being answerable for the tales that I get to inform and the roles that I create for myself. I positively see myself doing this long run.
What do you hope viewers take away from this movie?
Ana Golja: I actually hope that they do not forget that their grandparents and nice grandparents, their neighbors, our ageing inhabitants. They had been younger as soon as. We actually must refer again to them and cherish them as a result of, particularly now throughout COVID and conditions like this, they’re leaving us at the next price than ever earlier than. We actually don’t know once they’ll be taken away from our lives, so we actually want to understand them and profit from our time with them.