Romantic sports drama Ice, the debut film by the young and talented director Oleg Trofim was a huge hit in Russia, but also in Serbia. This film, which stars Aglaya Tarasova and Miloš Biković, was seen by over 125,000 moviegoers in Serbia, making it one of the biggest hits of the year, more popular than Hollywood blockbusters such as Avengers: Infinity War or Deadpool 2. The Star of Ice, the striking Russian actress Aglaya Tarasova, visited Belgrade at the end of June, so we had a unique opportunity to talk to her about the movie that made her famous, her love of Serbia and her acting plans.

Did you expect Ice to be so successful?

To be honest… I did. While we were working on the film, the whole team was smiling, and the mood was great. That was a good sign, and I already knew that we were creating something really special. From the first day of shooting, it was clear to me that we all love the film on which we work and that we will do our best to make it as good as possible. The viewers could sense our love for the film and I believe that is the reason why they, too, love this film so much. It is interesting that our producers in Russia did not expect such success. I was kind of angry at them for this mistrust, and luckily it turned out that I was right. The film has earned ten times more than its budget from distribution in Russia alone, which is a really great success.

Considering the great commercial success of the film, is a sequel planned?

The producers want a sequel. I do not think that’s a good idea. Ice is a story that has a beginning, development and an end; the story is well rounded-out and adding anything to it would be too much and at this moment I cannot see my character in a sequel. On the other hand, the role of Nadezhda was the realization of my dream – I love this character very much and I would love to play it all my life. Again, I am aware that it is time to move on … to new projects. Production of Ice was an unforgettable and valuable experience and I would like to work with the same team again. But on a completely new film, with a whole new story.

Ice is your first major film role. How did you get it?

One day, my agent called me and told me that Fyodor Bondarchuk, one of the most important producers and directors in Russia, is looking for a young actress for the lead role in the film about skating. At first, I was skeptical, because I’m not really an athletic sort of person. The first thing I said was that I should not even try. I’m not a sportsman, I do not know how to skate, there is no way I can get that role. That’s what I thought … My agent convinced me to try, for the hell of it. I went to the audition. Later, they called me several times for tryout shootings – I rehearsed scenes with different partners, and eventually got the part, still not really aware what is really happening. Then I met Miloš and we began to rehearse together. At first, we were like two penguins on ice, both of us had no skating experience. For three months we trained three times a week. We practiced, practiced and mastered what was needed to do the film as planned – I’m not really an Olympic skater now, but I’m no longer scared when I go out on ice.

Aglaya Tarasova and Miloš Biković in Ice

Lately you have been come to Serbia frequently, right?

Yes. I’ve been here five times already. I was at Exit music festival in Novi Sad for two summers in a row, and I survived (laughter). I have dear friends in Belgrade and I like to come whenever an opportunity arises. I love Serbia very much, I like everything here – its people, its streets and architecture, to the weather here. Serbian people are very cordial, and I have noticed a lot of similarities between our two peoples. I was not even aware of how much we are historically and culturally connected, but now I know and I’m very glad about that.

Have you seen many Serbian films?

I am not acquainted with Serbian cinematography as well as I would like, and for now I have only met with creations of Emir Kusturica. His early works are my favorite, but I would single out Black Cat, a White Cat. I think I watched that film eighteen times. I like the mix of comedy and tragedy in that film, this combination gives it a special emotion, something rarely encountered on the big screen.

Finally, can you tell our readers something about your future plans…

I want to perfect my acting skills in America and become a better actress. I will spend this summer in New York to gain some experience and learn, because in the fall I there are new acting challenges awaiting, for which I want to prepare myself better. In the fall I will return to Serbia where I have to participate in a splendid film project. But I would not disclose more than that for now.

By: Đorđe Bajić