On the 17th of January, the action-packed series «Provincial» will air on the TV channel «Inter». The complete cycle of production of the 24-episode ironic detective was carried out by Kyivtelefilm Film Company.
Sergei Shcherbin was the director.
One of the key roles in the series was played by actress Vlada Verevko.
Our journalists were able to meet her during filming and talk about work on the new picture.
All the details are further in the article.
– Vlada, tell a bit about the character you play in the series «Provincial».
– In this picture I play the role of Senior Lieutenant Alena Starobelskaya. According to the script, my character handles forensics and databases. She is intelligent and has a quite attractive appearance (which really appeals to me), has a good sense of humor, sometimes can be sarcastic and even cynical, but still remains very humane. At the very least, I wish for her to turn out exactly like this.
I think Alena fits in well with this jolly male company of operatives she has to work with. Their group even develops a love triangle because she is in love with the protagonist, but is being hit on by a completely different character, Captain Elistratov.
To be honest, I’ve always dreamed of playing a police officer or a detective, so I’m really glad that my first film job back home was like this.
– You mentioned that your character has a good sense of humor. Do I understand correctly that irony is a cross-cutting theme which runs through the whole story?
– Yes. We have a great script and I became really happy after reading it. Because, despite the fact that both in Russia and Ukraine such detective stories are loved, writers do not always manage to dilute such complicated criminal stories with such a large portion of good humor. And I think the audience will appreciate that.
– What was your first emotion when you learned that you were approved for this role, given that you had long dreamed of playing such a character?
– To be honest, I didn’t believe it at first. It all happened very fast and besides, I was supposed to fly to Los Angeles back then. When I got the confirmation, I already had a plane ticket. Moreover, I was initially very doubtful that my candidacy would be appropriate (since I was a repatriate and had just recently returned to the country) and was sure that the role would go to a more well-known actress. So when I heard the news, I was in a pleasant shock and very glad that I was trusted in. To get directly into such a grop, at such a production and in a picture with such a script is an amazing opportunity for me as an actress, and certainly a fantastic experience.
– How did you prepare for filming in this picture?
– Since my character is practically not involved in action episodes, my training has mainly consisted in studying the script and viewing a large number of domestic and foreign series of this genre. I needed it to understand the lexicon, the specifics of the behavior, and what personalities the characters might have.
– As I understand, you did not know the director, Sergey Scherbin, prior to working on this project?
– Yes, that’s right. But on the eve of filming, when I learned that he was the one who was going to direct the film, I looked at the projects that he had previously worked on, and when I got to the set, I was more or less aware of who I had the opportunity to work with. And I just want to say how excited I am to have a line with his name in my filmography.
By the way, I was also lucky with the director of photography, Anton Verbin. I even remember how when we went to the makeup test, our girls at the makeup department told me that they wanted to work with him for long time, because he shoots very beautiful female portraits.
– Did you get along with your colleagues? How was it like to work in the male group?
– Great! Making an analogy with «D’Artagnan and the three musketeers», the guys said that I was their D’Artagnaness (Laughs, – Ed.). We have a good friendship. I am very grateful to all of them for receiving me very well and for understanding that I am new to our film market. I’m no stranger to working abroad, but here at home, this is my first experience of such work, and I think I could only dream of such partners. The guys turned out to be really fun, sincere. I was happy to work with them.
– How was it like to work with the film crew in general?
– To be honest, I didn’t even want to leave after the filming ended. There was a desire to work with these people some more. It’s a very well-organized group, all are very kind, easy to communicate with, have a good sense of humor, people who are always ready to help.
I was so comfortable working with them that I never felt tired or «squeezed out» even on stressful filming days. On the contrary, I got the impression I was recharging on the set.
– At this stage of your creative path, what is the acting profession for you?
– This profession is my lifelong passion (not only at this stage) that intersects with my destiny in some places. I’ve been on the stage since I was three, and even while getting a psychological sports education, I’ve continued to participate in KVN, theater groups, plays, etc. And later, when I went abroad, I knew exactly that the next stage would be studying purely in the acting direction. And that’s what I’ve been doing for many years now in Canada and America. And, having returned home (with my resume already developed), was ready to go straight for action (Laughs, – Ed.).
– During our conversation, you have repeatedly referred to luck. In your opinion, do major significant projects in an acting career emerge thanks to luck, among other things, and the fact that you were in the right place at the right time, or is it always some kind of reward for your former work?
– I think it’s a mix of things. It is true that luck in our profession plays a big role and it is totally important to be in the right place at the right time, but you still have to be ready to take the chance at any moment. There are many talented actors with good training and an established portfolio, and if for some reason you are not ready to take advantage of a given opportunity, someone else will take your place. Therefore, everything has to coincide: your professional training, your internal readiness, your level of talent, and people’s (who decide whether or not to approve you for this role) will to invite you to participate in the creation of a new picture.
– There is an opinion that if you fail the casting, it’s probably just not your role, or you’re not ready for it yet, but one which is really yours will certainly await you. Do you agree with that statement?
– Honestly, I don’t know. I need to think about it… If we are talking about some theatrical plays that are being staged in many parts of the world, then perhaps yes, it is a role for many actors, not one, and sooner or later you can come to that which you desire. But the situation is slightly different with cinema. You can’t make one film with different actors. And if you’ve missed your chance, there’s no going back.
When I read our script, I immediately got the impression that Alena was me. Even now I get goosebumps of this thought… She makes jokes and generally behaves like I do in real life. And realizing that it would be easy for me to embody that image, to give the character some of my qualities and to put her story through me, I even thought that it would be a shame not to get that part…
– Does this real «self» always has to connect with one or another character while working on them?
– I believe that any character can and should be endowed with some personal «thingies», qualities, thoughts. Because that way it grows in you, becomes whole, and gets a lot deeper than when you completely abstract and play him like you have nothing in common.
We will remind you that the production of the series «Provincial» took place during spring and summer of 2021 in Kyiv and Kyiv region. Key roles in the film are played by: Alexey Morozov, Alexander Pashkov, Oscar Kuchera, Dmitry Shevchenko, Alexander Naumov, Julia Yurchenko, Vlada Verevko, Anatole Fon-Filandra, Nikolay Boklan and others.
More details about the cast and the filming process can also be found in the following articles:
Screenwriter: George Konn
Director: Sergey Shcherbin
Director of photography: Anton Verbin
Production designer: Alexander Ukolov
Costume designer: Tatyana Zubareva
Make-up artist: Irina Boytsova
Director of the film crew: Artem Suliga
Executive Producer: Pavel Karvan
General producer: Valentin Opalev