I recently got the chance to talk to Marko Janjic about his role in ‘Lockout’. Here, Marko talks about how he got involved in the project and what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set…
Hey Marko. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Lockout’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
This is a story about a man who was wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. who is offered his freedom if he can rescue the President’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
The character I play is a pilot, young and ambitious…ready to prove himself. Often enough, this type of character rushes into things with the head against a wall…so, after the first flight to space jail station, he dies.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
After casting in Serbia, everyone went silent. The film was in progress. Any actor’s magic moment is when his phone starts ringing…and mine did ring. People from Work In Progress production asked me if I was still interested in the role I cast for. I happily accepted the offer because I think it’s a great honour to work with people, who know their job well, no matter where they are from.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
In my country and my career, I have not had opportunity to play in SF films. SF films are generally reserved for big productions, which can support genre requirements. In Serbia, it is very hard to make a film and produce it, without support…in this project it was the support of Europa Corp.
The film stars Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Vincent Regan, Joseph Gilgun, Lennie James, Peter Stormare and Jacky Ido – with James Mather and Stephen St Leger onboard as directors – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
Unfortunately, due to film script, I was not lucky enough to work with Mr. Pearce, Mr. Stormare and Miss Maggie Grace. But, I would like to underline that I was indeed lucky to work with excellent directors…I think the cooperation with them was extraordinary. Primarily, both of them are great people, as well as serious professionals, who know their job. They were very well prepared for the project and this made me feel very secure and confident, as an actor.
Let’s talk a bit about you Marko. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I have always loved arts, even as a young boy. At the time, I did not know which art I would choose, but later, when I was a teenager, my path was defined and my decision was acting. I used to win poetry recitation contests. I also got involved in drama groups and learned a lot. As an amateur actor, I won a couple of important festival awards. Then, there was a turning point – will this be my life choice? And, yes, I have chosen acting, but, in a way, acting has chosen me, too. I entered the Faculty of Drama as the first on the list and started working with great Serbian and European theatre directors. I needed to practice and did not refuse any role, so that I could have a chance to learn something new from project to project.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
One should ask several crucial questions. Why do I want to be an artist? Do I like me as an artist or art in me? Do I have a goal and what it is? There is no real advice because each artist is the universe. Maybe, I could advise them that self-confidence should be stronger than anything else…this could be a guide to anyone, no matter what their job is.
You’ve been in a number of different TV and film projects – which actors / actresses have been your favourites to work with so far and why? Any good stories?
Yes, I have worked with many of them…to name just a few – Dragan Micanovic, Branislav Lecic, Bogdan Diklic…then Ken Foree, Kristina Klebe, Ariadna Cabrol Espinal…They are all great people and excellent actors and actresses. There are anecdotes for every project. One of my favourite stories is when I was working on ‘Dictionary Of Khazars’ with Micanovic, which was directed by Tomaz Pandur. We were late for rehearsal and met at the entrance, said hello and went to the room on our own. I was 19 at the time. When we entered the room, the organizer said that “Loznicani” were late. Dragan turned to me and said he did not know we were from the same town. I told him I did not want to mention it so that he did not think I was a bootlicker since he worked with Anthony Hopkins and that was my first play.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
First of all, Marlon Brando, then one of the greatest Serbian film actors, Pavle Vujisic and, probably, Michael Jackson….unfortunately, they are not among the living. But, if one thinks there is an afterlife, we will join them and this dinner might happen, after all. I chose Brando and Pavle, because of acting, their ways of solving acting problems, their life philosophies, and joy of living…their acting is truly timeless and I believe that they were actors in their essence, their acting was not learned or crafted. Michael Jackson because of his music, which marked my youth and, besides, what kind of dinner it would be without any high-quality music…I’m joking. There are a couple of more I would like to dine with.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Greece, hospitality and beautiful seas – the Aegean and Ionian, smell and cuisine of the Mediterranean…their mentality is similar to Serbian, so I feel like at home…
What is your favourite word?
Love, it sounds divine in any language…
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I have become a father and I have been working on my life-long role, to be a model and devoted dad of small girl. Besides the premiere of ‘Lockout’, there was the premiere of ‘Redemption Street’ in March. I expect to continue working on the film I started in December 2011. I hope a new film project would be realized, but, in order not to spell bad luck, I will not say anything further. Actors are superstitious sometimes. Also, theatre is my great love. If everything goes as planned, there is a TV series, too.
Thanks for the interview!