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Categories: Interviews

There is a Bit of Klara in Us All…

Marija Makeska Interviews  Pauline Ann Johnson, actress / producer

Life is a “Castle of Memories”. The older we grow, the more experiences we have, the more people we meet. We choose subconsciously those who want to stay inside us, buried either temporarily, or forever, as a blood stain, or in Dear Alexandr’s case, as a frame on the wall inside the lonely and dark rooms, where we never go in, unless we choose to remind ourselves of our past.

Klara 2Dear Alexandr is a short film that is to be released soon by Fusion Video Pictures and Royal Fantasy Art Productions. The film follows the story of a woman in her mid thirties, Lady Klara, who falls in love with her male friend Alexandr. She plays gentle and passionate music for him, but she doesn’t know how to express her love.

Soon, she learns that Alexandr is in love with a much younger girl, and her dreams are crushed. She decides to fight for his heart, and her choices are to either win him, or bury him as a memory inside her.

The character of Lady Klara appears very dark and physically beautiful; dressed well with carefully chosen gothic pieces, and adorned with a crown braid. Pauline Ann Johnson, who had the perfect voice for the role and the generic English accent, played her perfectly.

 

Pauline Ann Johnson

Pauline was born in England, in 1973, to Irish parents.  Growing up, she wanted to become a film special effects make up artist. She volunteered to work on set design and lighting in a local theater and was a part time cinema projectionist for 5 years. In 2007, she immigrated to the United States with her family. Though she studied acting as a teenager, she took the producing track instead over two decades later in America, and won an award at a film festival.

Pauline says that writing has always been her primary interest, and after writing a feature length screenplay, her career gradually progressed into acting.

Pauline’s acting/producing credits include Martin Lee’s Midnight Hour TV series (2012-2013), The Wars of Other Men (2013), The Art and Wine Walk (2012) and many others.

 

 

Pauline, how did you get picked for the role of Klara and why you over many other actresses?

I auditioned via submitting a video recording, after my name was put forward by a mutual friend/colleague in the business. I feel I understood the director’s vision of the character and story and how Klara was to be portrayed.

Can you tell us what did you feel when you played the character of Klara? What is she like?

Klara is mysterious, jealous and eternally private. Keeps all her feelings locked in. Has an idealized view of her own world and closely guards those she chooses to let in. She does not trust people easily.

How much do you find yourself similar to the characters you play? Why do filmmakers pick you for certain roles?

I am only like Klara in the sense that I am fiercely protective of those close to me and choosy who I let in. I feel that people have to earn my trust. Otherwise, I am quite an easy going and approachable person. I often get chosen for roles, due to my English accent and the demeanor it suggests. I’m most often cast as Doctors, Lawyers, people in authority etc in dramas. I would have liked to have the opportunity to be in a comedy and portray something lighter, something a little bit different.

Is there anything that you can compare the story of Dear Alexandr with?

Aspects of Klara’s character are recognizable. I think that most people have had Klara’s feelings of despair, (unrequited) love, fears, desire and hope at some point in their lives.

Dear Alexandr had some very elaborate sets portraying Klara’s “Castle of Memories”, is there a particular set design that stood out to you?

I really loved Klara’s living room set built on the sound stage. It was very dark, Gothic and elaborate, very descriptive of Klara’s personality.

What was your favorite part of the production and why?

The scenes shot on this set were my favorite overall.

Klara in Dear Alexandr

Was it difficult for you to understand the character?

It wasn’t difficult to understand the character, though on paper she reads as complex. . I feel there is a bit of Klara in us all.

What were the crew members and the other cast like to work with?

Everyone on the project was great to work with. It was an ambitious and logistically challenging film to undertake, but everyone knuckled down together and created something intriguing and unusual.

Back in England, have you ever tried acting or producing and if you didn’t, why not?

I never acted or produced in England…due to lack of opportunity (i.e. NOT living in London) or having the time to pursue anything, due to having a young family and busy work commitments.

What is your personal favorite role you played and why?

I don’t particularly have a favorite role per say, though playing Klara allowed me to portray someone a little bit different, someone complex, so it made a welcome change.

What professional plans do you have for the future?

I plan to retire from film in the near future and go back to College (to study for a non film related career). I may go back to writing screenplays sometime in the future. Klara will most likely be my last acting role.

What are your personal messages for the filmmakers that want to produce something as ambitious as Dear Alexandr?

My advice to filmmakers? Make sure they can stay within a reasonable timeframe and budget, and be realistic about what they can achieve with their resources.

Is there anyone that you would like to specially thank?

I’d like to extend a thank you to everyone involved, the Director, DP and the entire cast and crew for welcoming me into this film and making it such a memorable experience.

Find more on Pauline Ann Johnson

 

Dear Alexandr movie poster

 

 

 

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Marija Makeska is a writer, poet, filmmaker and a visual artist living in Detroit, USA. She enjoys spending her time with people from different cultures while working on various projects with pagan, or gothic themes.

Posted on Oct 26, 2013

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