We interviewed Mira Furlan about her acting career and her return to the islands since Lost! Mira3

How did you get into acting?

I fell in love with acting on first sight, so to say. I did an English play, John Arden’s “Live Like Pigs”, in my last year of high school. Until then I had never thought about acting as a career. I was set to study languages, English and French, which I later proceeded to do. But, after being struck by lightning on the stage of our high school auditorium, I secretly applied to the Academy of Dramatic Arts, thinking that I should give it a try and that, if nothing happens, I’d go back to my plans. But it happened and it changed my life forever. Weirdly enough, that first play was performed in English and the director was a young and talented Englishman who was teaching at our school, the “English High School” in Zagreb, a language oriented school.

If you could be in any role of your choosing, who would you play?

I would play Hamlet, Macbeth, Vanya AND Astrov in Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya”, Estragon AND Vladimir in “Waiting for Godot”… Male characters “carry” the drama, they represent all humanity and thus are far more interesting than the female roles that are most often just a function in the story. We live in a male world. I hope that’s changing and today’s TV reflects that (“Orange is the New Black” etc.). I raise a glass (of Mai Tai) to that!

Was filming in Yugoslavia different from America? In what ways?

On American television time is money, so everything is done very fast. In the socialist Yugoslavia nobody had much money but we all had a lot of time. Not bad for the arts. We had time to rehearse and try out different things. Also, the times were different: there are many more people in the world today and the competition is much fiercer. But in the end, a good scene is a good scene and a truthful, honest piece of acting is just that, no matter where and when it happens.

Was filming in Yugoslavia different from America? In what ways?

Yes, this will be my first time in Hawai’i since Lost and I can’t wait. My first Hawai’i experience was with my husband in Kauai, in 1993, where we fell in love with the islands, the culture and the people. I can’t wait to visit it again. Although my homeland of Croatia has one of the most spectacular coastlines in Europe, Kauai remains the most beautiful place I’ve seen in my life. There is something absolutely magical, mystical and soul fulfilling in those strange flowers, in that magnificent ocean, in those spectacular volcanic mountains and, above all, in the gentle, sweet Hawaiian people.

What was your favorite role to play?

It’s a very hard question because one not only remembers the role one played, but also the circumstances of a specific shoot or rehearsal process. So sometimes one loves the role but doesn’t like the people, or vice versa. Actors are complicated. I loved the role of Delenn and I loved the people I worked with. I also loved the mysterious Danielle Rousseau but was mourning her untimely death and the lack of opportunity to develop the character. I loved working on some Yugoslav and ex-Yugoslav movies that nobody here would know (“The Tour”, directed by Goran Markovic, “Dear Video”, directed by my husband Goran Gajic etc.). Among my theater roles I loved playing Euripides’ Medea, Turgenev’s Natalya in “A Month in the Country” and Ophelia in “Hamlet”, directed by the Check Oscar winner Jiri Menzel).

Meet Mira at her panel on Sunday 2pm – 3pm in Main Events.

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