She played in 3 important, extremely moving films, spread between social commentary cinema and blockbuster.
Irena Melcer – girl, who like to do everything on a Big scale.
Grzegorz Kapla: You worked a lot in recent times. You’re in three new movies right now, one is an Oscar nominee, so maybe let’s start with this one.
Irena Melcer: Yes, one is an Oscar nominee. Quo Vadis Aida directed by Jasmina Zbanic. It tells a tragic story about a massacre in Srebrnica, in Bosnia. It all happened in the 90’s. it’ an international production, we had only editing and music on polish side. It’s a great and demanding adventure to play in such a movie. Amazing director, amazing actors, form Netherlands, Austria… But most importantly – a moving gathering, because we shoot it in Bosnia, where, not so long ago, when I was alive, there was a war.
Tell me about your character.
I play a medic from ONZ. The movie is about a translator, stuck between the rock and a hard place. She knows what will happen, what can happen to her people and her family. She works for the people from ONZ, for military and medics. It’s a movie talking about what led Europe to allow this kind of tragedy. I have a small role, but I managed to meet with the main actress – Jasna Djuricic and have a scene with her.
Is it something still important for people in Bosnia?
Yes, very much. It was very moving for me, that all these people lived through this. There were many extras in this, but it’s difficult to call them that, because an “extra” term doesn’t really tell you how engaged, prepared and respectful they were. They were all extremely prepared, they had very important tasks, and most importantly they actually lived through this. Most of them lost someone in those events. It was very moving and it took a toll on me, I must say.
So when we see the crowd on the screen, it’s not computer generated?
No, it was indeed a lot of people who deeply felt it, they were doing their job with 100% engagement. Really, the acting cast was inspired by them, because they lived it and they just felt it.
You played in two important movies that will premiere at the turn of the year. One of them is “Sonata”, where you play a main character’s girlfriend. He’s a great pianist, who everyone thought was autistic for a long time and not this great musician trapped in a deaf man’s body. And it’s a real story.
Yes, that’s a real story.
How do you meet on screen?
My character is a difficult person. She is a girl suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. She takes her meds, but because of this sickness, her view on the world and this special kind of sensitivity make her an original character. She sees in this boy a soulmate, not only his talent, but a person. In a movie, we meet at my photo exhibition. My character takes pictures, self portraits created during schizophrenic attacks. Those photographs are pretty scary, intimate… That’s how we meet. It’s a special kind of relation, because people who are in it can’t really open themselves up, but they try. They discover that they can’t talk about what’s inside them, what they feel, they don’t know if it’s special or not. Not only in the movie, but in life we also can’t talk openly about our emotions, about what’s going on in our lives.
Thanks for talking to us.