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Zsolt Nagy

Shooting Star 2008 - Hungary


Zsolt Nagy (31), who first gained attention in a supporting role in Nimród Antal’s Control, recently starred in Erik Novák’s Nosedive [+see also:
film profile
and plays a central role in Kaméleon, the latest film by Krisztina Goda. He also appeared in A New Life by French director Philippe Grandrieux, Roland Vranik’s Black Brush, as well as Ferenc Török’s Szezon and Overnight [+see also:
film profile

What made you embark on a career as an actor?
Zsolt Nagy: At 17, I was doing some stage acting and my friends encouraged me to pursue this path further. I attended the Hungarian Academy of Drama and Film before joining the Chalk Circle Theatre company led by Árpád Schilling. And I had very little film experience when Philippe Grandrieux spotted me onstage in Paris. I suddenly found myself trying on clothes at Chanel without really understanding what was happening to me.

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How do you choose and prepare your roles?
Courage, reflection and the desire for a challenge are deciding factors when choosing roles. I don’t attempt to transform myself. I try to focus as mush as possible on the character’s movements and gestures. I imagine him in his daily life accompanied by all his usual thoughts. In fact, my preparation involves immersing myself fully in the role.

Are there any actors whom you particularly admire?
My favourite actors include Isabelle Huppert and the actors in Tarkovsky’s films, but I am also influenced by musicians such as Glenn Gould for example.

You have worked on films with several directors of the Hungarian New Wave. Do you see any similarities between them?
I can’t make any judgements about my own generation because we are continuously changing. But, thank heavens, these directors don’t have anything in common. They are unique and independent artists.

What do you think about your Shooting Star nomination?
It’s just a bit of fun, but I am happy that the jury selected me, particularly for Nosedive, a film for which I had to forego the role of Hamlet in a theatre production.

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