Tuesday, March 26, 2013

‘Banshee’ star likes playing thief-turned-mom

(Published March 22 PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

“Banshee” actress Ivana Milicevic feels “maternal to everyone,” which makes playing a mother and working with actors playing her children on the new show comfortable.
In a phone interview with Asian periodicals, Milicevic emphasized that her role Carrie is attractive, not only because of her motherly traits, but also because she’s hiding her past as a jewel thief from her loved ones.

She expounded: “I felt that this character has so many layers to her. She’s playing a mother, a villain, a fighter, somebody who’s very much in love, who’s torn between two men. She has to play this whole range of emotions… You’ll see as the season progresses why it’s such an interesting part. [She’s] really emotional and very torn.”

Now living in Banshee, Pennsylvania, Carrie unexpectedly meets her former flame and thieving partner Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-con posing as the town’s new sheriff. The actress offered an analogy that best describes their relationship.

“Lucas coming back into her life, it’s as if she was an alcoholic when she was with him, then for 15 years, she was sober,” she said. “And now, when he’s back in town it’s like the first drop of alcohol to the alcoholic! She’s trying to do the right thing, but it’s pretty difficult… it’s really a lucky part to play!”

Born in Sarajevo, Milicevic and her family moved to the United States when she was a child, and eventually had a modeling career prior to acting. She previously played Russian spies and models, as well as “light and funny” younger women. She appeared on TV shows “Felicity,” “Seinfeld,” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” as well as in films “Vanilla Sky” and “Casino Royale.”

Now 38, Milicevic is thankful for the “Banshee” role, despite the inevitable bumps and bruises that come with the action-heavy part. “I love Kali so much; it’s a Philippine martial art. I was also trained in Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee’s method. The physical part is very hard… I got a lot of bruises. I even had a black eye that was real in an episode that’s coming up. [But] the hardest part was the emotional cycle that the character had to go through, and trying to walk the balance, playing these two parts, walking the line between a dutiful mother, and the past.”

North Carolina nicely doubles for Banshee, she revealed: “North Carolina gets very hot in the summer, but I kind of enjoy that. It’s a very beautiful state. It has fireflies at night; the nights are as warm as the days. Those little towns are really fun to work in. We have three towns that make up Banshee—Morrisville, Gastonia and Monroe. It’s great because they felt like old American towns.”

A fan of Meryl Streep, Frances McDormand, Jack Nicholson, and Daniel Day-Lewis, among others, Milicevic feels drawn to “pulp, noir, dark and funny stuff.”

“There’s really nothing like this on television. There’s so much action and drama. It’s sexy; it’s fast-paced… There’s a lot of violence in ‘Banshee,’ for sure. For me, the only place for violence is entertainment, when you’re telling a story. It’s all pretend and make-believe. I think it’s no different when I was little; I would play cops and robbers!”

“Banshee” airs Fridays, 10 p.m. on Cinemax.  

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