Massimo on the Importance of Ironing

Who knew a well-ironed jacket was the key to attracting lovers? What did you think of Fawni's artwork?
Massimo Dobrovic: I love Fawni's artwork. I think she is an extremely talented painter. I am a huge fan of modern art in general, and she comes from Vienna where you breathe modern and contemporary art wherever you go. I consider her art a true masterpiece of contemporary art. I've been studying contemporary art for many years now, and I had the honor to participate in many different contemporary art exhibitions, installations, video installations, performances, and so on. I appreciate the fact that she divides her art by different phases of her life, commenting on various social events, travels, and experiences. I understand her opinions, her beliefs, and her comments through her paintings. These paintings go from a bar-code technique all the way to a sequence of paintings that symbolize her statements on today's society. I feel very close to Fawni's artwork, because I am a pretty significant expert in modern and contemporary art in general; I've organized many modern art exhibitions throughout the world, and I do video and human modern art post-minimal avant-garde installations myself. How do you handle all the rejection involved with being an actor? How do you stay positive?
MD: As an actor there are many obstacles you need to overcome in order to be able to get into showbiz fully and entirely. When you graduate from an acting school, academy, or conservatory most of the time you get taught how to be a better actor; you learn different kinds of techniques and methods, but it is very rare that you're able to build or to learn about the enormous amount of strength, perseverance, persistency, focus, self-discipline, motivation, ambition, full dedication, mental force, and infinite amount of belief in yourself needed to overcome constant, everyday rejection. In my opinion there is no school in the world that can teach you this. You have to learn it by going through it and by experiencing it day by day. Being able to deal with rejection is a huge part of becoming a successful actor, and I find that older I get, the better I become at dealing with rejection. I was not as good as I am now dealing with rejection, and most likely I will become even better when I am 50. It is a continuous work in progress. It's true that it would be very hard for me to stay positive all the time and to keep going (as years go by and you don't get anything) without all the support and love from the people around me, like partners, family, and honest friends. As actors we need people that truly support and believe in us at all times and understand completely that for us nothing is more important in our lives than being a working actor. They get why we're so obsessed with it and why we're super hungry to get the next job. These people always help me to stay positive and never give How excited were you to get the role? Why did it bring you to tears?
MD: When I got cast to do the role of "Handler" in Absolution I was extremely excited, because it was my very first role in a major motion picture with major movie superstars. At the beginning I couldn't believe they cast me in the role, because I am used to dealing with so much rejection, mostly because of my accent, but also for many factors that are totally out of my control. Sometimes they look for actors that are shorter than you, taller, younger, prettier, uglier, older etc. This role required me to speak Russian, because I played a Russian Mafia character. In my everyday life I don't speak Russian, but Russian as a language is very easy for me because I speak Croatian and Serbian which are very similar. I thought they were going to cast a Russian actor, and I was blown away when the producer called me and told me that they wanted to offer me the role because I gave a better performance than anybody else, especially for something that is very hard to sell on camera. When you go to 300 auditions and you don't book a single job, the day that a call like this one comes you think you're dreaming and it can't be true because you're so used to the complete opposite. It truly shocked me. I started crying from joy, because in that moment I saw all the hard work, all the obstacles that I have to overcome every day, all the struggles, all the problems, all the frustrations, all the dedication, and all the love from the people that surround me suddenly paying off right there, and the result of all this was crying. How did you prepare for the role of “Handler”?
MD: For the role of Handler, I worked constantly with a dialect coach for my Russian. I would wake up every morning and the first thing I would do for breakfast was listening to the tapes of my Russian dialect coach, practicing and repeating the lines all day long -- in my car, in my shower, while walking -- non-stop so when I went on set I knew my Russian was authentic and the dialogue would not create any problems. I'm also a method actor, but I use different methods depending on the characters that I have to create for that particular project, so I usually love to write a bio for my character and do a lot of research on different people, places, and events that can be drawn upon when building my character. Then I personalize it and I make everything very specific so that during my performance I always come from a place of truth deeply connected to my emotions and feelings. But of course for each character the process is Do you iron your clothes every day?
MD: I grew up in a family where ironing was a chore for 2 hours every day. It is like going to the gym or making lunch. As a general rule, not only in my family but in Italy, we tend to iron everything and we strongly believe that everything looks better ironed. It is not just a question of making some bed sheets or curtains look better but also making them look more sophisticated, classier, prettier, comfier, shinier, etc. By simply dedicating 10 minutes of your time ironing a wrinkled shirt, pants, bed linens, or even curtains, you improve your quality-life by a 1000%, you give yourself permission to live a better and higher quality lifestyle. Sleeping in ironed linens is much comfier and cozier than in wrinkled ones. Dining on a ironed table cloth it is much prettier and nicer. Going out with a perfectly ironed jacket makes you feel better about yourself and you get noticed faster by your future lovers.

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