Name: Marinela Zubovic
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Current Location: Los Angeles, CA
TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Zubovic: I think I always knew ever since I was a kid that I enjoyed entertaining and making people laugh. It just grew into a real option in high school because I was spending all my time in the theater. From then it was about convincing my parents to let me pursue it as a career, and luckily, they did.
TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Zubovic: When I was 10 years old, I watched “Resident Evil” on VHS, and I saw Michelle Rodriguez playing Rain. Up to that point, I had only seen Disney princesses or damsels in distress on TV and in film. That was the first time I had seen a woman holding her own around men. I didn’t know roles like that were possible. I think my eyes popped out of my head I was so excited.
TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career as an actor? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Zubovic: I knew I had to go to a real conservatory style program and learn how to be a stage actress. I wanted to have a degree and real training behind me so I could have the confidence to walk into a room and know I was qualified to be there. USC SDA really prepared me for that. As for the industry, well I think that takes years to figure out, and I’ve only really started to understand what it means to be a young actress in 2017.
TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Zubovic: I was 18 and I was moving into my dorms at USC to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. It was exciting and terrifying.
TrunkSpace: Was that move an easy transition for you initially? How long did it take you to feel at home and find a good support group of friends and peers?
Zubovic: Going to college in LA is a lot different that actually living in the city. When I graduated, I felt really lost, like everything was new. I lived in a different part of the city, and I was struggling to even get an audition. It’s only been a year since then, and while I feel like I’m understanding LA more, it can still be a challenge. But the people I went to school with are some of my best friends and it’s so reassuring to have them around.
TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Zubovic: I think I’m so new at this that even getting a manager or an agent can be a big break. It feels like you’re climbing a ladder, only every time you make it up a couple of rungs, you go backwards. I’ve learned to appreciate every little thing that comes my way.
TrunkSpace: Is there a specific type of role you’d like to take on or a specific genre that you feel more at home in?
Zubovic: I would love a really gritty, real tortured role. I think too often they put us 20-year-olds in these cushiony roles because they don’t think we’ve experienced life yet. I’d love to get my hands dirty with something really challenging.
TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Zubovic: Know who you are, and don’t let anyone tell you different.
TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Zubovic: As a child I think I definitely wanted the fame because I didn’t know any better, but a real actor knows that the joy is in the craft, so even something as simple as being able to make a living off of acting alone is my dream, even if I never sign a single autograph. It’s the same goal of making people laugh or cry or making them feel anything that breaks up the monotony of daily life.
TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Zubovic: Go to school and get a degree. Plenty of people think that Instagram or YouTube fame is an option, but everyone has to be trained in order to exceed in their particular trade and this industry is no different. Having that solid foundation is what allows you to build an amazing career.
TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Zubovic: You can check out my website ( www.marinelazubovic.com ) or my IMDB page. And of course, Facebook and Instagram by the same name!