By Roy Whyte
Soon enough she’s not going to need an introduction; she is Vancouver-based actress, writer and model, Andrea Stefancikova.
Andrea Stefancikova comes to us by way of Bratislava, Slovakia, when she immigrated to Canada with her parents, brother and a dog. Since coming to Canada in 1998 she has been working as a model, and in 2011 she fully dedicated herself to acting. Quickly she has accumulated a large volume of work. Her credits include Real Fiction, The Right Kind of Wrong, Souls That Balance, A Night for Dying Tigers, and even voice work on the popular Dead Rising 3 video game.
An upcoming title to watch for with Stefancikova is The Arrangement, a new E! Network scripted drama series, where she features as a recurring guest star. Television is a new adventure for the busy Stefancikova, who has roles in five feature films to come out this year.
Wrestling fans will also want to catch WWE Studio’s action thriller COUNTDOWN. Here she is cast as the alluring young wife of the main villain who is played by Alexander Kalugin. Showcasing her Russian language skills and with gun in hand she comes up against the hero, the WWE fighter Dolph Ziggler (Nick Nemeth) – all while sporting a tiny Brazilian bikini.
Stefancikova is fluent in English, Slovak, Czech, Italian, and is familiar with Russian thanks to her Dad. She is currently branching out and working on her Spanish, French and German language skills.
Maintaining her figure comes by way of being a certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher (KRI). Stefancikova has danced since a young age (contemporary, jazz, ballet) and leisurely practices Argentine Tango, Salsa and even some Bachata.
Recognized in the industry for her relentless work ethic, she is also known for being a good soul and a pleasure to be with on set. Actor and director Thomas Newman who has worked with Stefancikova both in front of and behind the camera says, “She’s really cool. You get a fantastic vibe from her which makes working with her such a pleasure.”
I sat with Andrea Stefancikova over coffee and here is part one of our interview:
What can you tell us about your latest projects?
First of all, they weren’t so far apart haha, one of the things an actor wishes for is having steady work – acting and I feel very grateful for the amount of work I have booked in the last 2-3 years given my circumstances – being a foreigner in a way, with an accent and an essence, which is not entirely North American.
Back to your question, Countdown, a WWE film, I had a small but exciting part in where I, for the first time in my acting history, speak only in Russian, was just released, and I already watched it. I have to say from being so sexy in it, I am badass… I don’t want to spoil it for you. The director John Stockwell, did a tremendous job and raised the feel, quality and look of the film a serious notch. I am biased towards it, because I was in it, so I will let you form your own opinion.
The star of the film is the WWE’s Dolph Ziggler. He is a fighter, not an actor, and he did a fantastic job.
Another film, Kidnapped in Romania, gets released this month. The title sort of gives away the story. I was a little surprised about that. We originally had a different title, but the distributor changed it. We filmed for a month in Romania, which was really cool. I love the travel for work combo. Of course I didn’t get to see very much, because I had limited free time – almost none, but it was a unique experience to spend time and work alongside Michael Madsen, the Romanian Maia Morgenstern, most famous for Passion of the Christ, and many other talented individuals. The director, Carlo Fusco, only spoke Italian, so that was challenging for the ones who didn’t speak it. Thankfully, I am fluent in Italian, and while I was there, I really brushed it up. Paul Sorvino has a special appearance in the film. But the interesting fact is that I was cast off Twitter. Not cast, but one of the producers, who was also my co-star, the Italian actor Abraam Fontana, came across one of my film reviews. I think it was an Italian film and I wrote it in Italian. He looked me up and contacted me directly asking if I would be interested in doing the film and the rest is history. I wish I could tell you more about the film, but not before it’s out, which is very soon.
The power of social media at the moment is insane. I agree, that we are now officially in an extreme era, because it has come to a point, where being social is almost a malicious trend. There is all this false popularity created through social outlets like Twitter, Instagram, and what not. Even at my recent meeting with my agent, she asked me to be on top of my Twitter and Instagram, and just be social, because of the series I am starting in June.
The producers care so much about social media following. The more followers, the more eyes on their project, the more popularity and so on. Anyway, this brings me to my next project, The Arrangement created by Mad Men’s Jonathan Abrahams. I was cast in the pilot as the therapist/cleaning woman… I know very mysterious. It was shot in September, directed by Ken Olin, and the pilot got picked up by E! Network as their second show joining The Royals. We go to camera in June and I have a recurring role…omg! The drama series airs in January 2017. I am beyond excited and grateful. According to the rumours, the series is inspired by the life of Tom Cruise, the behind the scenes of Scientology and his relationship with Katie Holmes. I don’t know if this is true or not.
Dark Harvest is another thriller directed by James Hutson, to be released this year. I play a gritty character called Regina Vesela, who also goes by Candy. The audience will have to take a shower after one of my scenes.
You can see me in an upcoming comedy called The Perfect Pick Up. I had so much fun working on this. It was directed by my friend and fellow actor Chad Rook, and it was special and fun to work with a lot of my actor friends.
I have a special appearance in Serendipity Point Film’s – Below Her Mouth directed by April Mullen, which will do the festival circuit this year. It’s inspired by a true love story between two women with few details released thus far. The reason why this film is special is firstly: the way it was filmed is controversial, and raw. The style will set this film apart from many others. I am very curious to see the reaction of the critics and the audience. Another unique factor about the film is that it was all female crew, which will make Canadian film history for sure.
And then, last but definitely not least is Real Fiction. A noir-esque dramatic thriller filmed here in Vancouver, which is still in post-production. I wish it wasn’t taking so long, but this is the world of micro-budget films. It will also do the festival circuit, and I am genuinely excited to share this film with the world. I am the star of the film and I would say it is the most complex role I have worked on so far and it was a real journey. The director, the writer and my co-star is Kirk Caouette. Wonderful human being and artist. We have gone through a lot of intense moments not only as characters and artists, but also as people in our personal lives during the time we filmed. I cried like a baby when we wrapped. I just wanted it to go one forever. This is how happy I am when I work. My experience is truly unforgettable. There were a few local Vancouver actors, whom I love, like Michael Kopsa, Adrian Hough, Sage Brocklebank, John Cassini, Jenn Maclean-Angus and more and a unique fact about the film is that I got to work with my brother Milan.
Of the parts you have done so far, do you have a favourite, and why?
Every character is memorable, because it’s part of my journey as an actor and a person. It happened at a specific time in my life and career, so it holds particular memories, But one that I really enjoyed and went into great depths with, which resulted in a long character hangover, was the role of Velvet in Real Fiction. It will hopefully premiere at one of the bigger film festivals later this year, or 2017 the way it’s going, which is slowly.
Velvet is a street worker, who comes from a complicated background, a lost soul with not much to look forward to, engaged to a club owner. She is a drug addict, but deep inside she has a dream and she shares this dream with someone who she encounters, falls in love with and whom she creates another reality with. It’s a modern Bonnie and Clyde/Femme Nikita, noir thriller, art-house, action film. I got to shoot guns and do all sorts of fun stuff along with all the dramatic work. Velvet carries the emotional arc of the film. The role demanded a lot and I went far with it. Everyone involved on this production was passionate and the film would never be finished without the efforts of all these amazing people that have a special place in my heart. The music composer is a European maestro, Christian Steinhäuser.
And what was also really memorable is that I got to play with my brother Milan Stefancik, who plays my on-screen brother. We had one particularly challenging scene with Milan and it was interesting to shoot, because we are family in real life. The lengths we go as actors…I tell you. All the actors were fantastic. I really cannot wait for the film to be released into the real world and shared with everyone.
Have you passed over a project that you now wish you had not?
Haha, I wish I would be in this position more often. I think this comes with a certain popularity as an actor. But I did once almost refuse a project, and am really glad I did not. I prefer not to say which one it is.
But there are projects, that I didn’t get to read for and I think would have been perfect for, and it’s killing me that it’s so difficult to get to a place as an actor, where I am given all the opportunities I should be given. I think casting directors are, sorry for the lack of a better expression, like producers’ “cock-block” sometimes. Maybe that’s why Vancouver actors don’t work as much as American actors do on all the local shows, because casting directors bring in their favourites over and over, so after seeing the same faces all the time, producers complain that we don’t have enough actors and end up casting out of LA.
Do you have any advice for all those wishing to follow in your footsteps?
Yes, I do. Acting is not a joke. It’s a real profession and an unpredictable one. Live a life, travel, do stupid shit, experiment and what not. Get to know yourself and who you are. Train and then commit, be persistent and reliable. Don’t give up. Show up. Be present and be ready. Keep training, keep healthy and fit, be patient and try to let go when you need to. Be prepared for the rejection. Grow thick skin yet stay vulnerable and sensitive as you need that as a performer. Often times, no matter how good you are, you won’t book the part, maybe won’t even get to read for it.
Some things are totally out of your control. Be the best you can, that’s all you can do. You will be categorized, and you have to be at peace with it no matter if you agree or not. If you are smart, you will work that angle. Figure out what your market is, so you don’t get your heart-broken more than necessary, because trust me, it will get broken over and over. Oh, and don’t forget to have fun. Enjoy the ride with its ups and downs. It sure gets crazy at times, but it’s 200% worth it. After all it is a path you have chosen to walk on and live so embrace it!
Do you have a routine or method of preparing for your different roles?
With experience, I wouldn’t say I am married to a technique. Each role is specific thus entails a specific preparation. I love to warm up with Meisner, when another actor is present obviously. It gets me out of my head and really makes me present and connected with the other actor. But before that, I always warm up my voice and body. Don’t underestimate the voice – train it as it’s all you got! When an actor speaks from his belly or a vagina I should say, the voice is full, it resonates and has a real impact. On the other hand, breathy and throat voices…not so much…they come across as phony, afraid, or nervous.
I do use method, sense memory and all the techniques, especially when it comes to more complex roles, dramatic roles, etc. I can’t tell you how I use it exactly. I lived my life and tap into it all the time once I have stripped the character down and understood it. I usually do a lot of research. I create a life for the character, which isn’t on the pages of the script. Every little detail. Foods they like, smells, flowers, songs,…etc. I write a biography for the character sometimes. I live it, I walk it, I talk it and sleep with it. What works for me might not work or be possible to do for someone else, who’s life would have been entirely different from mine. Method acting requires a long preparation, and it can be difficult to snap out of the life created for the specific character immediately.
I went kinda far when I was filming Real Fiction. It affected me in my private life and in between takes as well. I saw a counsellor for a while once we had wrapped. I think everyone needs to talk to someone… that’s just how I feel. Especially if you are an artist.
I have gotten into trouble with my ex-boyfriend a couple of times too, because I started having uncomfortable conversations with him, bringing up things I chose not to share before, so that I could bring that new tension and pain I created to the life of the character I was working on. I hate to say these words, because it pains me to admit it. But I think any true artist takes risks and experiments one way or another. There is not a perfect way or recipe to doing it right or nailing it. It’s always work in progress and there is always more that can be done.
Is there a type of role you prefer, or would still like to do?
Umm, I like complex challenging roles, that I can really dig my teeth and nails into. They don’t necessarily have to be dramatic. I love comedy as well, and I believe I can be funny.
I would love to play a hero of some sort, with magic powers, an action figure. I think I would be good at that with my dance background, weapons training and ability to ride horses. I also speak different languages and do different European accents that I would love to use more and they are a real asset.
Then I would like to do an intelligent role and I think I will with The Arrangement which might perhaps be the first one. A doctor, or a scientist, maybe an undercover intelligence person or a poet, who is psychologically or physically challenged somehow. That would be interesting.
And then, I would love to be one of the James Bond mysterious villainess/love interests. Imagine that.
Yes, imagine that. And we will in part two with Exposing Andrea Stefancikova. Look for it soon and it will include an all-new video format which you will want to see! Subscribe to media! News Magazine via the ‘subscribe’ widget.
To learn more about Andrea Stefancikova or to connect with her you can find her online at: