Russian actress Irina Starshenbaum plays the titular character in the movie that recently premiered at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF23). You can also catch her in the upcoming sci-fi movie ‘The Primary Talent’. We take a closer look at Irina and her life leading up to international stardom.
Global Look Press via ZUMA Press
Irina Starshenbaum was born in Moscow on March 30, 1992, into a family that was far removed from the world of acting. Her mother hails from a family of barbers – which is probably why Starshenbaum was always fond of experimenting with her look as a child.
Irina Starshenbaum in Moscow, 2017
Making it into movies was only a distant dream for the little girl. However, when her aunt Anna Starshenbaum attained considerable fame as an actress, Irina’s faith got a much needed boost – albeit with a certain degree of skepticism, typical for her personality: “I’m not exactly the envy of the nation. A life of acting is only meant for those that the people can truly fall in love with,” she later admitted to thinking.
Irina Starshenbaum at the Sochi Open Russian Film Festival (a.k.a. Kinotavr), 2018
Having still not decided what she wanted to do with her life, Irina enrolled in the Moscow State University of Printing Arts to study media business and public relations. She attended numerous courses and training in theater and the psycho-physical arts, in order to better understand the world of cinema.
A still from ‘Black Water’ (2017) horror film
Roman Karimov/ART LIGHT
TV work marked her first step on the way to the big screen. Irina got a job as an anchor, while also taking part in small stage productions. She made her debut in ‘The Crossing’ in 2015, with ‘Black Water’ – an atmospheric rural horror – following soon after that in 2017. Irina reportedly didn’t have fond memories of the production: The very first day of shooting revealed her fear of the camera. On top of that, the majority of the movie was shot in freezing water outside St. Petersburg.
Starshenbaum as Desdemona in Moscow’s Taganka Theater
Irina even considered abandoning her acting dreams, but those doubts are now long gone, as, today, she talks of that shoot as a “battle-hardening” experience, making every subsequent filming experience seem like child’s play by comparison.
A still from ‘Attraction 2’ movie
Fyodor Bondarchuk/Vodorod, 2019
Soon after that, Irina scored the main role in director Fedor Boncarchuk’s sci-fi drama ‘Attraction’ (2017), about an alien spaceship crash-landing in Moscow. The movie received mixed reviews, but was quite popular at the box office, earning 1 billion rubles (approx. $17 million) and an international release, catapulting the cast to stardom.
Irina Starshenbaum pictured with actor Alexander Petrov at the premier of ‘Three Seconds’ (a.k.a. ‘Going Vertical’) movie in Moscow, 2017
During the filming, Irina and co-star Alexander Petrov started dating, which thensaw the pair working together in ‘Ice’ (2018), ‘T-34’ (2018) and other projects. The actors announced their engagement, but broke up in 2019. Starshenbaum has since stopped commenting on her personal life.
Irina enjoys working on projects of all scales, from blockbusters and high-profile TV productions (such as ‘Soderzhanki’, the rights to which were recently purchased by Amazon Prime), as well as less major ones and screen adaptations – such as ‘Obshyaga’ (‘The Dorm’, 2021), where she stars as a Soviet feminist trying to build a life in the 1980s. She was invited to play the part by Roman Vasyanov, who had previously done some work in Hollywood.
Irina Starshenbaum at the Cannes Film Festival, 2018
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Michael Winterbottom’s ‘Shoshana’ (2023) marks Starshenbaum’s first main role in a Western project (the movie hits theaters soon, having just premiered at TIFF23), co-starring with Douglas Booth and Harry Melling. Irina also had to learn Hebrew to more convincingly portray her Jewish character.
A still from ‘Shoshana’
Michael Winterbottom/Bartlebyfilm, 2023
Winterbottom first noticed Irina in Kirill Serebryanikov’s ‘Leto’ (‘Summer’, 2018), which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. “His producer wrote to me, asking for a link to one of my more recent roles. We later talked on Zoom and Michael [offered me the part]. I read the script and was very taken by it. It’s the most interesting script I’ve ever read in my life!” she confessed.
Irina Starshenbaum (center) attending the screening of Kirill Serebrennikov’s ‘Leto’ movie during the 71st Cannes Film Festival, 2018
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
While ‘Shoshana’ marks Starshenbaum’s first role as a main character in Western cinema – it’s not her first Western project: she’s already starred alongside Nastasya Kinski in ‘Dark Satellites’ (2022), adapted from German author Clemens Meyer’s collection of short stories of the same name.
Irina Starshenbaum and Douglas Booth attend the ‘Shoshana’ premiere during the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival
Jemal Countess/Getty Images
Irina’s latest project, the upcoming sci-fi movie ‘The Primary Talent’ – about an actor and a detective trying to solve a mysterious murder – is currently in post-production.
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Tom Hanks recalls working for Cher when he was bellman at hotel
Washington [US], December 4 (ANI): American actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks recalled working for singer and actor Cher and recalled delivering a bag to Cher’s room while she was with one of her rock-and-roll husbands.
He recently appeared on The Graham Norton Show with Cher, Julia Roberts, and Timothee Chalamet, and regaled the audience with a story about his days working at a hotel in the 1970s, reported People.
“I have worked for Cher. I was a bellman at the Oakland Hilton Hotel,” he began, prompting a surprised “No!” from the “If I Could Turn Back Time” singer, 77.
“You were with one of your rock-and-roll husbands, and we had your bag. And then word came down, ‘Hey, run this up to Cher’s room,’ so I did,” Hanks continued. “I knocked on the door and I put it down and you came out and said, ‘Yeah, that’s it. Thanks, kid.’ And that was it.””So I have worked for Cher,” he added, surmising that their brief interaction occurred sometime in 1975 or 1976.
According to People, at that time, Cher was in a much-publicized relationship with Allman Brothers Band frontman Gregg Allman, whom she married in June 1975.
During the stars’ talk show appearance, Hanks had high praise for Cher, who admitted during the conversation that she isn’t “a big Cher fan” herself and doesn’t like to watch her own films or listen to her own music. “You’re missing out,” the Elvis star told her.
“Motion picture perfection — Mamma Mia! 2,” he raved of the 2018 film in which Cher played the role of Ruby Sheridan. “When she busts out ‘Fernando,’ the world stops. Suns clash with the stars. It’s perfection!”Chalamet, 27, and Roberts, 56, then joined in with their favourite Cher flicks — Moonstruck and Silkwood — prompting Hanks to offer a group movie session. “I think we should all go to the theater and watch Cher’s movies right now,” he said.
“Let’s have a Cher-a-thon!” Roberts enthusiastically declared.
According to a video posted on Roberts’ stylist Elizabeth Stewart’s Instagram page, Hanks, Cher, and Roberts posed for a series of hilarious shots backstage at the concert. In one photo, the trio stood with their arms around each other, smiling for the camera.
Hanks’ recollection of his time as a porter comes after he recently stated that he would take on food service duties in exchange for a spot on a future moon mission.
“I would like to be the guy in charge of serving food and making jokes to and from the moon,” Hanks told The Telegraph in September while promoting his new immersive exhibition, The Moonwalkers, in London.
“If there was room, I would be the guy that cleans up, makes jokes, tells stories and keeps everybody entertained.””I’m your man. I would probably sign up right now!” Hanks continued. “That might be a good idea, I’ll do all the work. I’ll clean the toilet. I’ll serve the food. I’ll fold clothes. I’ll stow the gear. That way the others could be free to do other stuff,” reported People. (ANI)
Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi surprise fans at NH7 Weekender
Pune (Maharashtra) [India], December 4 (ANI): Actors Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Adarsh Gourav recently attended the NH7 Weekender 2023 music festival in Pune, where they performed their song ‘Do Jo Hota Hai’ from their upcoming film ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ live in front of audiences.
Pictures and videos from the gala have been doing the rounds on the internet. Take a lookAn ode to the carefree essence of youth, ‘Hone Do Jo Hota Hai’, in its melodic concoction brews a cup of warm feelings for the listeners. OAFF and Savera’s music is blended perfectly with Lothika’s vocals and compliments Savera’s breezy voice. The lyrics, which weave the music together, have been penned to action by veteran Javed Akhtar.
Speaking of ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’, ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ is a ‘coming-of-digital-age’ story about three friends in their mid-20s navigating life in the world of social media.
Set in Mumbai, this refreshing narrative of three friends is brought to life by the debutant director Arjun Varain Singh and the creative forces, known for exploring different facets of friendship, Excel Entertainment’s Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar in collaboration with Tiger Baby’s Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar.
‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ chronicles the lives of Imaad (Siddhant Chaturvedi), Ahana (Ananya Panday) and Neil (Adarsh Gourav), through the very relatable journey of three best friends together navigating aspirations, relationships and emotions.
Bringing their infectious energy from reel to real, the young and dynamic cast helped turn a wall on the bustling street in Mumbai into a vibrant mural, capturing their friendship and inviting the crowds to join their journey as they kicked off the promotions for the film.
‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ is set to arrive on December 26 on Netflix. (ANI)
Emily Blunt shares how ‘The Office’ fans react when they spot her with John Krasinski
Washington [US], December 4 (ANI): The popular sitcom ‘The Office’ may have ended more than a decade ago but that doesn’t mean fans of the NBC comedy are over the relationship between Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer).
On the latest episode of Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, Krasinski’s wife, Emily Blunt, admitted fans aren’t always happy to see her out with her 13-year-old husband and they yell at her, reported People.
‘The Office’ is an American sitcom television series that follows the daily lives of office workers at the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company’s Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch. It ran on NBC for nine seasons, from March 24, 2005, until May 16, 2013.
‘The Office’s original cast included Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and BJ Novak; however, the ensemble cast changed frequently throughout the series’ existence. Outside of the core cast, notable actors include Ed Helms, Rashida Jones, Amy Ryan, Mindy Kaling, Craig Robinson, James Spader, Ellie Kemper, and Catherine Tate.
“Do you know how many people still yell out, ‘I wish you were with Pam!’ like when I’m walking next to him?” Blunt, 40, shared. “‘Where’s Pam?’ I’m like, ‘She’s not here!'”When asked if she had met Fischer, she replied, “She’s the best. She’s one of our dearest friends. We love Jenna.”Fischer, 49, acknowledged in 2020 that she finds it difficult to explain to fans that she and Krasinski, 44, are only former on-screen lovers on ‘An Oral History of The Office’.
“People don’t know how John and I are not a couple in real life,” Fischer told host Brian Baumgartner, who played Kevin Malone on the series at the time. “They don’t understand it.”During the nine seasons of ‘The Office,’ Jim and Pam flirted, dated, broke up, reconciled, married, had two children, and eventually relocated from Scranton to Austin, Texas.
“I don’t know how to explain it, because it’s a little bit like telling kids there’s no Santa,” she added.
Fischer explained that she feels like she has to “justify” why she and Krasinski aren’t “actually in love.” Krasinski has been married to Blunt since 2010, while Fischer tied the knot to writer and director Lee Kirk the same year. She was previously married to James Gunn from 2000 to 2008.
On ‘Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen’, the actress previously acknowledged her on-screen connection with Krasinski.
“Oh, John and I have real chemistry,” she shared. “There’s like a real part of me that is Pam and a real part of him that’s Jim, and those parts of us were genuinely in love with one another.”However, Krasinski clarified that his former costar’s words were misconstrued. “I think that was wildly misquoted or taken out of context,” Krasinski told The Daily Beast at the time.
“I’m sure she was trying to say something nice about how genuine the acting relationship was–of bringing a relationship that became that popular onscreen – and I think we both feel it’s such an honour to be a part of that relationship,” reported People. (ANI)