Create your own Roles

We spoke with Zana Marjanović, a successful BiH film, theatre and TV actress, for long enough to be able to “feel” the abundance of energy this young woman radiates through each word she says and each smile she makes, but not long enough – Zana has a lot to say when it comes to women, when it comes to 8 March.

“I have B.A.  degree in acting, I am an actor, that is written on my diploma.  Interestingly, it says “an actor”, not “an actress”.

Zana was born in May 1983, and has a lot of roles behind her.  And that is actually the reason why we ask Zana what is the key to her success?

“Well, I do not consider myself particularly successful; I believe that I am just doing my job the best I can, honorably, loyally, and with passion, and that is certainly what has brought me to this position where I am now, a very nice position.”

“There are always obstacles on the road to success”, adds Zana.  And those are: “First obstacle is the international drama literature where major characters are male. There are very few powerful female roles, and they are often “in the service” of the male role.  Second obstacle is a limited number of films made in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a year, which brings us back to the problem of not so many female roles.  But the thing that makes me happy, a bright light in this situation is that there are individuals like Jasmila Žbanić and Aida Begić who make films with many female characters – one good example being the “Snow” made by Directress Aida Begić, in which I had a role.”

Some of Zana’s advice on how to avoid the obstacles the actresses, but actors too, are faced with include:

“Very importantly, and I learned this from my own experience, is to remember that working on yourself does not stop when you graduate.  In fact, that is when the real work begins!   It is very important to read, to watch films, to go to museums, get educated in different ways and work as much as possible.  In the situation in which all of us are, as actresses and actors, it is important that we create opportunities for ourselves, because actors and actresses are often in situation that they have to wait for the opportunities – and that is very unfavorable situation.  Create your own roles, opportunities, art, performances, ways to express yourself.  That is one of the ways to train and exercise, because anything can become “rusty”, including our skill.”

We continue our talk to Zana mentioning the International Women’s Day.

“I believe that 8 March should not be seen as just one day, a holyday, but as an end of a year during which women have achieved what they achieved, and as a beginning of a new year in which the women would achieve even more.

8 March is important because it provides an opportunity to remember all the women who made great and important things throughout our history; and while remembering them, we need to look at the girls who will soon become women, so that they could achieve even more important and greater things.”

Zana believes that special efforts should be done to empower women who had been victims of violence, victims of war.  “For me, those women are the greatest heroes.  Their strength and courage, their testimonies and their facing with the past, their fight for justice are what all the women should look up to for guidance.”

And we wish Zana a lot more strength for many more good roles.  Roles that describe great, courageous and successful women – because the curtain in that case must never come down.

Mensi Jazavčević