Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, today you are in for a literary treat. The mufti-talented Petra Silander takes time out of her busy schedule, and sits down to chat exclusively about her various projects and to shed some light on the fantastic near future sci-fi film 'Virtual Revolution'. Petra is a very interesting lady, and has a distinct take on her work ranging from the modeling world to the film world, with DJ and music work also in the mix. Grab a cup of coffee, relax and get ready to grab some life knowledge from Petra. Enough of my babbling on, time to go to the exclusive interview!
DMR: Chat about your upbringing and how you first became interested in your various avenues of work, acting, DJ, and modeling?
PS: I come from a small, beautiful island called Åland. The island is situated between Sweden and Finland and is autonomous and demilitarized. I lived there until I was 18. I have always loved to create new characters and as a young girl I was involved in the local theater but it was not until years later when I was modeling in Paris that I realized I wanted to learn more about acting.
I started taking acting lessons and I completely fell in love. For me acting is therapy and something that makes me feel alive.
I started playing the piano at the age of 8 and that’s where my passion for music started. My brother sings and plays the guitar and at home we where often writing songs and singing together.
PS: The modeling part kind of just happened. When I was 15 I worked for a magazine in Stockholm and their photographer thought I had modeling potential and took some photos of me that he sent to a modeling competition. I won the competition and signed with a model agency in Stockholm. When I had finished high school I started to work as a full time model around the world.
DMR: I noticed you have a rather extensive modeling background, what are some of the exciting jobs you have had?
PS: I was really excited when my first campaign came out. It was for an underwear brand called Chantelle and they had put up big billboards around Paris. It felt unreal! Another job I remember really well is my first booking in New York when I was 19. I was so impressed by the city and the energy in New York and thought it was incredible that a client had paid me to come over for a shooting.
Another memory, maybe a bit less exciting is when I did a job for L’oréal. On the casting they asked if they could cut my hair and I was so tired of my long hair so I said yes, without talking to my agency. I got the job, they cut off my long hair to a quite short look and they colored it in three different orange/blond tones. When I got back to the agency the day after they asked me if I wore a wig. When they realized it was not a wig they became hysteric and a big drama occurred at the agency. I recently met my booker at the time and she said that she still has nightmares from that day.
DMR: Wow, some wild stories, dovetailing on the answer, what are some of the pitfalls of modeling?
PS: For me it was the feeling of just being a product that was the biggest downfall. You’re not being part of any decision making as a model and the only creative part is your work in front of the camera. It was a good experience for some years but I have to admit that when I was a model it always felt like something was missing. I didn’t get enough outlet for my own creativity.
I also found it problematic to be so focused on my appearance. To constantly see yourself from all kinds of angles, to have a responsibility to always have a good skin and the required body measurements. Life is short and those are not the things I want to be focused on today.
DMR: Let us switch gears to your DJ work and working in that realm, how did you get started?
PS: In 2009 I went to Ibiza for the first time and that trip enlightened a wish to one day become a DJ. In 2012 I felt I was done with modeling so I bought myself a DJ-equipment, enclosed myself for 5 months in my apartment and practiced beat-matching everyday for that time. After that I convinced smaller bars on my street to hire me and after some months I got my first residency at Plaza Athenée in Paris. From there it just continued but I wouldn’t say that this was an easy step. It’s a male dominated world and without a reputation it’s really hard to even get the chance to play.
Above Picture: Petra as a DJ! Exclusive!
Above Picture: Petra as a DJ! Exclusive!
DMR: I am sure you have played a wide variety of musical styles, what are some of the artists you listen to? Did you ever aspire to, or did you release your own CDs?
PS: I listen to a lot of different artists even though my sets as a DJ are focused on house music. I listen to everything from Beyonce, Flume to more underground artists as Joris Voorn and Dennis Cruz. Is there someone still using CD’s out there? I’m just kidding! When I started DJing in 2012 I also started studying music production at Point blank in London and at Berkeley in California in order to be able to produce my own music. During these years I’ve been building up a library with so many unfinished songs and a few months ago I finally decided to put one of my productions online as a free download. I have quite a few releases coming up at the moment so that’s very exciting and a bit scary at the same time.
Link to my Soundcloud where you can find my mix tapes and my releases: https://soundcloud.com/petrasilander
DMR: Next level with Petra, chat about acting, how did you first come to want to be on camera?
PS: When I was younger it was something I did because I thought it was very fun. When I started taking courses in 2011 I realized how much it gave me on a personal level but back then I never thought that I was going to get work as an actress. I was even too shy to look for an agent. I actually crossed my current agent Denis Planat in the metro in Paris in 2012 when I was modeling. He asked me if I ever had considered to work as an actress. I took his business card and ran away and two years later I gave him a call and asked him if I could meet him. We met up, started to work together and two weeks later I booked my first role.
DMR: Who are some of your acting influences and what training have you completed?
PS: I’ve never been to drama school but I’ve been taking acting classes in Paris for several years and tried quite a few different coaches along the way. I try to take courses as often as I can in order to constantly improve my skills and before auditions I take private classes with my coach. My acting influences are Robert De Niro Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Spacey, and Julianne Moore.
Above Picture: Petra in White
Above Picture: Petra in White
DMR: That is quite an impressive list of acting talent you are influenced by, do you have a preference in film genres or acting styles? Do you like to be the protagonist or antagonist in films?
PS: I love drama, action and thrillers. When it comes to acting styles I would say that each individual has to find out what works best for him/her. The training I had is more focused on the Stanislavski method but I’m not not following any method wholeheartedly. If you’re stuck with your character it can be good to have a certain method as a help to guide you but in general I don’t follow any special method. I don’t have a preference between playing the protagonist or antagonist as long as the character is interesting.
DMR: Getting into your latest action film, describe the audition process for 'Virtual Revolution', if there was one, how did you get into character?
PS: I did the first audition for Virtual revolution in November 2015 and found out that I had got the part in February 2016. In between I had a few call backs and the director Guy-Roger Duvert obviously wanted to make sure that I was the right match for the character so I was asked to send him some self-tape videos during the audition process. We were in contact through e-mail and Guy-Roger gave me indications on what I had to work on and improve. I worked with a stunt-trainer and learned some basic stunts and how to move with guns and how to handle them in action. I also worked out a lot to be in good shape. I watched videos of SWATCH training, bought myself a huge Soft Air gun and trained at home.
DMR: Speaking of character, describe your powerful character to my audience, she is kind of a mix of Ripley from Aliens and Sarah Conner I feel? How about any cool set stories from Virtual Revolution?
PS: I would say that my character Kate is a mix between Sarah Connor and Kara Thrace (Battlestar Galactica). Kate is an avatar inside a post apocalyptic world called Olmetta. She’s a strong, focused person on a mission. She’s always in control, well aware of her dangerous surroundings. Because of the real person behind her avatar she keeps a low profile in order to not get revealed.
DMR: I am looking forward to the full release of 'Virtual Revolution', what is in the future for your acting and or DJ career, new films and projects?
PS: I just finished filming a TV-series called ”Virgin” directed by Nath Dumont in Paris and waiting for a road movie called ”I’ll crush you & go to hell” by Fabio Soares to come out. On the music side my focus is on music production and releasing more music. I continue DJing as well and have many cool gigs coming up.
DMR: Wrapping up, you have had a very diverse career, please give advice to young aspiring models and actresses you have learned along the way, anything you know now you wish you knew when you started out?
PS: ”All the hard work, all the sacrifices, all the sleepless nights, struggles, downfalls, it all pays off." If you want something, go and get it. Set up goals but be realistic about them. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from reaching your goals!
Work on becoming a better self and surround yourself with good people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel.
Thank you Petra for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to conduct this interview, watch for more exclusives on Petra when Virtual Revolution comes out for official worldwide release!
Follow Petra on these sites:
Follow Petra on these sites: