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Episode 216: Interview with Working Actor Lev Gorn (The Americans, For All Man Kind)

business tips Feb 01, 2023

Katie Flahive On Camera Class

Time Management Replay

About Lev:

Lev is a celebrated actor, photographer, fine artist, and award-winning filmmaker.

He is currently recurring on Apple TV's FOR ALL MANKIND, and Starz' RAISING KANAN. Lev's acting career covers over 50 films and TV series.

He is widely recognized for his role as Arkady Ivonovich on FX's EMMY WINNING THE AMERICANS, and as the character of Eton on the HBO series THE WIRE.

In film, he has worked with WOODY ALLEN, SUSAN SARANDON, ROBERT DENIRO, and many others. He is set to direct his first feature film in the Fall of 2023.

What really influenced my acting as I got older is when I began to realize that good acting is really bad acting.

So for me, what became really important is behavior. Truthful behavior in imaginary circumstances.

If you approach roles, if you approach parts, if you approach scenes as behavior. Then you're not taking a page and trying to justify what the writer wrote.

I'm not going to pretend to do something if it's not me.

What I started to think of when I look at scripts now is commitment.

Just bringing the skill of utter 1,000% commitment because that's what I practice every day at my work. All of a sudden and you have an imagination of what's happened to this character, all of a sudden you have this life.

If you want to get stronger as a human being and get to know yourself better, let's just talk about AB exercises, okay? So I hate this exercise called mountain climbers. It's fucking painful. I fucking hate it. But you know, what is the number one exercise I always go to when I'm working on abs? Mountain climbers.

Why? Because that is the area of my body that is weak, that I want to strengthen. I get stronger and I build the one thing you cannot buy no matter if you are a billionaire or not. And that is self-esteem.

And the other thing that happens is, is that you gain knowledge of yourself. And the more I understand how Peter Pamela Rose ticks, the more I will be able to incorporate that into her character.

You need to face yourself on the top of the mountain every day.

Letting yourself be present in the work.

And I think that that takes a tremendous amount of self-trust and self-esteem. Because it's an incredibly brave thing to do.

Being entitled and having confidence is slightly different. I think being entitled is a positive thing. You should expect only the best. You should be entitled.

I don't mean be an asshole, be arrogant, be rude, be mean. Those things are not being entitled. Those things are just being insecure and rude and mean. Being entitled means. Yes, this. I deserve this. This is coming to me.

Be entitled. Be confident. Have humility.

But be confident enough to say, I deserve this. So feel entitled. It's okay.


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