Exclusive interview with Dimiter D. Marinov, Bulgarian Actor and Writer based in USA

By Jean-Paul Eliard
The February 13 2019


Hi Dimiter, First, I'm very happy to do this interview with you.
Thank you! It’s my pleasure.

What did you like about the storyline and your role in Green Book?
(laugh) This is a question with 10 answers. When I read the script for the first time– I cried. I have never cried reading a script before.
The very first thought was: 
Hope! Yes, this is a story of hope. And the fact that it was a true story was even 
more hopeful and should keep happening until the need to happen is no longer 
Until there is no color, no race, no ethnicity – just people as they are, 
regardless. And that very human aspect of the tale grabbed me. Two absolute 
opposites; ethnically, socially and intellectually can find a common ground and get along by not just listening  to each other but hearing  one another.
The evolvement of their relationship with such acceptance regardless of understanding and beliefs was the most astonishing for me. More so, the mutual discoveries and natural changes as a result were accomplished through defined courage. And it did happen – a true story. 

Did you know before this movie your co-stars?
No, I did not. That was my “big break” – my dream come true.
As my friends call it – my “Cinderella story”.
And I do not have to run out of the ball at Midnight. (laugh)
I knew of them in details. I have followed their work very closely especially Viggo Mortensen’s and Mahershela Ali’s.
Even in their work they are such opposites but ones I met them on set and worked with them I was surprised to discover: they are so close as people. 


There is emotion and humor in this film. How was the filming of this movie with the director Peter Farrelly and the actors Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali?
Yes, there was a lot of emotion; just the story itself. But the humor was never 
intentional – it just happened.
And that was the “magic” of Peter Farrelly.
He knows how to bring out the true people as they are; genuine and real, and let them be themselves. Then the “comedy” just happens.
Our lives are a comedy. If we can step outside of ourselves and be able to watch our own behavior and listen to our way of talking, it is funny! But we cannot, so we think we are always serious, important and somewhat dramatic. Most of the time we are not. (laugh) 
Peter craftly presented the real human in a real situation with his thoughts and 
speech, behaviors and beliefs in relation to others. And ones involved under the 
circumstances the actions are triggered accordingly.
Thus, unintentionally, the comedic moments in most natural way because of the opposites, appears. And that is the “magic”: funny for the viewer (not involved) but dramatic even tragic for the ones in it. You watch, you laugh and in the next moment you realize: why am I laughing?
Then catching yourself you feel uncomfortable because of it. That’s the 
real life. But one of the professional greatness of Peter is giving the absolute freedom to the actor. 

There is no director so far in my still young film career that 
have has giving me such freedom and treated me with much respect and 
understanding. He wanted to know to the smallest detail, what do I think, how do I feel and would let me propose anything I would like.
Then with encouraging patience will let me try and will not decide until making sure we both completely agree. Unique and amazing approach! That made me even more responsible and dedicated to the idea and vision he had. Magic!    
After over a month working with Viggo and Mahershala, I realize: the bigger the 
star, the easier is to work with. From the very first day I felt, I was among long known friends not among “mega stars”.
There was no even the slightest feel of pompous “celebrity” behavior or such. Warm, friendly and so caring, and kind. Not to mention, we would hang out after work as just buddies and chat, drink, laugh and talk about our lives like we knew each other for years. It is indescribable!
On set, watching those two so precisely involved into the smallest detail of delivering every single line as they wanted and believed to be, left me mesmerized by their complex and yet simple way of work.
True partners! Then, when partnering with others, they care even more about the co-stars and their being that they will not start filming until making sure we all are “on the same page”. Yes, they made me feel absolute equal at all times. And helped me grow so much for such short time.

I read in your biography "At the age of five, Dimiter believed that the classical violin would be his future. Since the age of 11, he became first violin in a youth symphony orchestra and traveled all over Western and Eastern Europe, the US and the Middle East.
Following the completion of an Associate Degree in Classical Music, he discovered his passion for acting. At the age of 18, Dimiter was drafted into the Bulgarian Army which was mandatory during the Communist era......"

When and why did you choose to be an actor? 
Please, don’t tell my Mom, I am an actor! She still believes that it’s just a hobby of mine.
Even today. (laugh) I was 14 years old when a local theater in Sofia invited 
me to perform a very small role in a play as a son of a young family, who plays 
violin. I had two small lines to say and two classical tunes to play.
At the opening night when I walked on that stage something happened.
The lights, the breath of the audience, the sets and the entire atmosphere stun me. Deep inside my stomach turned with tickle.
I was mesmerized! I didn’t want to walk back out.
Not because the audience and the attention but the sensation and energy I felt. And from that day on, the violin was not the first thing in my mind anymore, especially, in my heart.
I start saving from my school lunch money, which was very little in a 
communist country and stashing it away. By age of 15, I found an acting teacher and start taking lessons with her, paying with the saved money. At 16, I start taking opera singing lessons along with ballroom dance classes. But soon enough the money start running out. So, I start lying to my mom that I must go out for two hours or so because we have a civil duty activity in school to help the community. 
In fact, I was going door to door in the neighborhood asking people if they need ​
any work and I was getting payed for it: cleaning backyards, chopping wood, 
shoveling coal, organizing and cleaning cellars and basements, and so on.
At 18, I applied at the National Theater and Film Academy in Sofia (without my Mom’s permission, of course) and was accepted in the top three.
I figure, I am going into the army anyway before starting the academy; it was mandatory, so by the time I return, my mom will be fine – I hoped. She wasn’t. But my violin hands were already destroyed in the army, so there was no way to get back to my initial classical form soon.
I graduated with Masters’ degree as an honor student and thus, I was on my way to make my dream come true. 


What is your next challenge?
Personally, my two boys: 6 and 13 years old. (laugh) Professionally, the acting 
work itself is the challenge.
I do not take acting as a job – it is a way of living. 
Every single audition is a challenge for me. First, I treat it as an opportunity to 
perform and second, as a performance that could give me the opportunity to grow. Though, the truth is, I love the stage. It makes me alive and the challenge there is: you cannot repeat – one time, one chance. I love the live audience. Nevertheless, film is a different kind of challenge: a slice of life as is. The technical aspect and the acting techniques have a very different thrill.
And honestly, now with the film experience I already have, I am so much in love with both that if I have to choose, I rather die. (laugh) The true challenge now though after “Green Book” is, will I be able to improve and continue to grow? Will my next project be even more demanding, and will I be able to succeed? But not just as an actor but as a person as well. Also, as educator and fair example to the young colleagues following behind and the demanding audience.    


Do you wish to add something?
My newly discovered passion is teaching kids and young adults acting for stage 
and on screen.
To inspire them and pass on my experience not only as an actor 
but a person as well.
To be a hope and true example with a reasonable and 
accurate standing.
To give them the knowledge of what our work and way of living
truly is about without the fantasy but with imagination and believe.
To assure them that the success in acting is 25% talent, 25% chance and 50% hard work and determination. “Wanting” is not an option – commitment is.
Thus, my credo is to teach the students not “What” to think but “How” to think. 

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share! 

Thank you very much for your interview Dimiter and I wish you the best.
More information about Dimiter on IMDb

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