Exclusive Blog Interview with Alex Ozerov of Blackbird!

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While in Toronto, I got the chance at the Blackbird after party to meet Alex Ozerov, who plays Trevor in the film. While a relative newcomer to the big stage, he put forward a commanding performance and turned Trevor into a relatable, realistic, and iconic character.

So, earlier this evening I talked with Alex about the film, his character, his background and a little about his future. This is kind of a double exclusive interview, as this was Alex’s first time giving an interview, but you wouldn’t have known it from the way he sounded!

Blog: I know I asked Connor Jessup this, but I’d also like to get your perspective, tell us a little about Blackbird?

Alex Ozerov: It’s a film about a teenager named Sean Randall [Connor Jessup], who is in these situations where he is being bullied by the popular kids. Because he’s in love with Deanna [Alexia Fast] who hangs out with the popular kids, he gets into that situation where he is being abused. So he decides to write a story, basically just venting, but on the internet. So the story gets found on the internet and it is assumed he is planning the next Columbine event or a school massacre shooting. That takes him to the youth detention facility where he encounters many different kids, and the main antagonist, Trevor.

Blog: Now you play Trevor, tell us a little about him.

Alex Ozerov: Like I said, Trevor is the main antagonist in the film against Sean. He’s been in youth detention for about five years now; he’s basically the senior in his unit, the alpha dog if you will. When Sean gets to prison, Trevor tries to take him over, to take him down. So Trevor is very strong and he’s very powerful, and he tries to act like the macho man. But, at the same time, he has his own demons and he’s fragile and vulnerable. If one brings up certain events, he reacts very differently. He is very reactive, very spontaneous.

Blog: How did you come across Blackbird? What attracted you to the project?

Alex Ozerov: Well my agent sent it to me.

Blog: Yeah that’s pretty standard.

Alex Ozerov: Yeah, so it’s not like I had to pick it; like I had the part and the choice to deny it or accept it. The process was actually quite long for me, because I auditioned in pre-casting, so the film could get funding. I auditioned for Sean before I auditioned for Trevor. So then Blackbird kind of disappeared for a year. Then my agent called me and said “Guess what? Blackbird is back.” So I was in the call-back section, and I auditioned for Sean again. Didn’t get Sean, I was kind of upset about that, but I said “You know what, its fine.” Then a few weeks later I got a call to come and audition for Trevor. And when I read the script again, from Trevor’s perspective, I really liked it, it was more appealing to me for some reason.

Blog: He is an awesome character, definitely one of my favorites in the film. There’s so much to that character, just so much stuff we learn over the course of the film.

Alex Ozerov: Yeah. When I was doing the research, preparing for the role, I was looking at the real people, the real situations of people in jails. I also looked at different films, which may be in competition with Blackbird; with the same kind of ideas about people in jail. I tried to do something different with Trevor, make him more than just this “scary bad guy.” And there is, he’s a kid too, there’s a reason why he is so angry, so moody, so reactive. Why he wants to take control, and have everyone under his palm.

Blog: Now somebody told me that Trevor is based on a true story, did you know anything about that?

Alex Ozerov: I learned that the premiere.

Blog: What a coincidence, so did I!

Alex Ozerov: As I was talking with Jason [Buxton, director] on Skype, and he was telling me Trevor’s backstory, I mean I had read the script so I had some idea. And I was creating my own, more detailed story for Trevor.

Blog: Now you’re originally from Russia, how did you end up in Canada, in Toronto?

Alex Ozerov: I came here seven years ago, I lived in Kitchener for a little while, and then I moved to Toronto. My mom would travel a lot; I mean I lived in England for three years when I was six years-old, which was my first experience with English. My parents were split up, I lived with my dad, I lived with my mom; and then my mom came to Canada and it took me about three years to get the paper work to move here.

Blog: And you have been an actor for how long?

Alex Ozerov: Well, I started acting non-professionally, I thought “Well this looks cool, these kids think look like they’re having fun on TV.” I was fifteen when I had that idea, and my mom introduced me to Walter Alza [Wildly successful Canadian actor, producer, acting coach. Cool guy, I also met him at the Blackbird after party –Greg]. I’m still in his school, I actually have class tomorrow. So my mom introduced me to that and I started taking private lessons every week, then I started meeting the class, the adult class. Then I started taking two classes per week, and sometimes three. So it’s always an ongoing process, they don’t teach you one specific method, it’s all just different tools you can use. So I’ve stuck with that studio for five years now.

Blog: I’ve heard great things about his acting studio so that doesn’t surprise me, and he seemed like a very nice guy when we met him Sunday night.

Alex Ozerov: He is. He is my mentor; he’s like a father figure to me.

Blog: Do you have any roles coming up to look out for?

Alex Ozerov: I don’t have anything lined up for the moment. I did a TV movie called Salem Falls based on the bestselling novel. I had a part in that, a few scenes. I think it has already aired on TV. Then I had a part in Molly Maxwell, starring Charlie Carrick [One of Connor Jessup’s fellow TIFF Rising Stars]. So that was interesting, I didn’t know who he was, then I saw the list for Rising Stars and I went “Whoa, I met him. I worked with him.” That was great. It was great to have worked with two of the Rising Stars.

Blog: Yeah that really is an awesome program, just a great way to showcase Canadian talent. We’re just about done, is there anything else you’d like to say about Blackbird, or your role in it, or anything really?

Alex Ozerov: This was my first feature, my first premiere, and now this is my first interview. So this is a pretty big deal for me, this film. It’s just been a big blessing and big opportunity for me. They flew me out to Halifax; I got to be there on set. And Jason [Buxton] is such a great director. I consider him the actor’s director. He’s very involved in the actor’s process, he really likes to hear what the actor has to say, what the actor’s idea of who the character is. He works with you, like Connor said [in my interview! –Greg], Jason is very collaborative. Any ideas you would throw at him, he would listen and he wouldn’t neglect them. He would say “Sure, let’s try them out,” even though we had a very small budget for the film.

——–

So there you have it folks: The second Blog interview. Keep your eyes on Alex Ozerov; we are definitely going to be seeing more from him out of Canada!

Update: A fair number of people have asked about the contact information for Alex Ozerov’s agent, so here it is:

Nancy Brown
AMI Artist Management Inc.
464 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5A 1L7
416-363-7450 Ext. 102
nancy@amiagency.ca

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~ by The Falling Skies Blog on September 13, 2012.

One Response to “Exclusive Blog Interview with Alex Ozerov of Blackbird!”

  1. […] out my previous interview with Alex, and my interview with cast mates Connor Jessup and Wayne […]

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