"Don’t wait for the right time, make it the right time yourself!"
Yulia Romanova is a UK based film producer and actress of Russian origin. She started her acting career at Pinewood Studios, UK, after which she became determined to start producing her own films.
She is now known for her award winning short film 'Gender' for which she won the Inspiring Woman in a Film award at the Los Angeles Film Awards, as well as Best Drama and Best Duo (Honorable Mention, with Gisele Mauvecin) at the New York Film Awards.
Yulia never slows down, always working in full speed and energy. She is currently working on a co-production of a horror feature with her UK colleagues. Her next film which she will produce and star in 'Safe Again' - is a sci-fi thriller about global terrorism. And last year she founded her own Production company Romanoff Pictures.
Meet a passionate artist who makes the right time instead of waiting for it.
Yulia, we're delighted to have you with us! Can you tell us a little bit about your background, and what sparked your interest in the cinematic arts, and when did you decide to become an actor?
Thank you! Oh I come from the far East of Russia, beautiful city named Vladivostok. Now I am based in London, UK. Not a lot of people know but before I started working in a film industry I gained two different degrees: World Economics, Culture and Media and another one and more unusual Professional translator of Japanese and English languages. But as many actors I gained an interest of becoming an actor when I was a little girl. Watching all those movies I realized that I’d love to be a part of a story creating a character and so that character would stay in people’s minds or influence them in some way. As a craft itself acting has been always something that attracts me in many ways. From learning the story or reading the script to seeing yourself on the screen or reading a reviews and giving interviews. So when I arrived in the UK I focused mainly on acting and then took up producing.
What were some of the first steps you took in the industry?
My first acting experience in the UK was a shooting of a short film Corporate Fellowship which took place somewhere in a countryside of Kent. The production rented a beautiful little house to shoot a story about corporate retreat weekend with all the gossips and mishaps. I was playing spiteful but sexy accountant Oksana. It was a great experience to see how everything worked there in terms of filmmaking.
What are some of your memorable experiences working for the BBC and Warner Brother projects?
It was a great experience to work on such amazing productions. And they were shooting in a lovely London, UK. It was a lot of fun to be on the set of British crime drama television series ‘McMafia’. Everything was very well organized, and being a producer myself I like when every little detail is being looked after. The show is directed by James Watkins. It was a pleasure to see him at work as he directed an episode of one of my favorite tv series of all time ‘Black Mirror’. It was inspiring for me because my next film project story is similar to the series concept. It was also a very interesting experience working on set of ‘Tomb Raider’ directed by Roar Uthaug. It always amazes me how much patience directors have working out stuff with the cast and crew. And I’ve never had an experience of them being rude. You learn a lot working on such a huge projects and it definitely helps you with your career.
What do you love the most about being on set?
When I’m producing my own project, the thing on set I love the most is the ability to combine two of my passions: producing and acting. Some people say it is hard as you have to stay in character all the time to give your best performance. But I’ve never had any problems with that as I love to micromanage and watch over all the details. And when it comes to the character I’m playing it is easy for me to switch back in. Everyone has their own ways on set and as long as it works, that’s amazing. Now, when I am on set as an actress on someone else’s project my favorite thing is to be in that atmosphere, bring the character to life so it’d stuck in people minds after watching a movie, but also I like seeing how all the cast and crew are helping each other. That’s where you know the project is going to be successful.
What are your considerations when you're offered a certain role? In other words, what makes you agree to take on a role, and/or did you ever refuse a role? Why?
Usually when I read the script I just know which role would be perfect for me. When I’m offered a particular role, the character has to move me or inspire, or at least bring some strong emotions in me either bad or good. I wouldn’t take up a part of a character that doesn’t really have much impact in the movie. Sometimes I do turn down roles that I feel not the best for my career or not the way I want to be seen in the film industry. Sometimes as actors we have to take what we’re offered but we always have a choice. So if you want to be seen in a particular way or in a particular character type, just go mostly for these parts as it will affect amazingly your career in the future.
Who are your favorite actors, and what do you find intriguing about their work? Is there any figure you look up to?
I admire a lot of actors but I think my favorite one is Gary Oldman. There is no role this man cannot play! And his acting and characters are so different every time. He portrays them amazingly without repeating his own work, he just creates something new entirely. My favorite actress at the moment - Rachel Weisz. Her heroines are always so natural, you never notice she is acting. I would also love to mention Salma Hayek, she is definitely my inspiration being talented, creative and a brave woman in film industry. Now I’m working with so many industry professionals (not only actors) and I have to say it is a pleasure to watch them at work and learn from each and every one of them. I think this is the best way!
When did you decide to form your own production company, Romanoff Pictures, and how did you go about that? What do you focus on?
I decided to form Romanoff Pictures last year as I was taking up producing my own projects and it was time to grow professionally. I wanted to set up film production company which would develop cultural bridges between film industries of countries from all over the world and help film professionals to collaborate with each other on projects in order to create amazing films. Thus, people can learn from each other experiences and start creating their own success. Now we have both overseas and UK partners.