Just being on a Jon Favreau set made quite an impression on Monzikova, who's not just interested in spending time in front of the camera. She's currently writing and producing a short film, and someday wants to direct. And in our exclusive interview, Monzikova talked about her time working on Iron Man 2 and what she learned from Jon Favreau.
How does it feel to be a part of one of 2010's most anticipated films?
I know, it's pretty awesome I got to say. But my part is small, it's not one of the leads, but I’m happy either way.
You don’t have to have a lead in Iron Man 2 because everybody in Jon Favreau's films gets a moment to shine. That’s just the way Jon Favreau works, isn’t it?
Yes, he does. He is an amazing director and very giving, so it’s cool.
And I understand that you were asked to actually help him a little bit behind the camera.
Yes, I got to do a little bit of translating for Scarlett Johansson’s character because I’m fluent in Russian. Jon was like, 'Hey, could you translate this for us?' And I helped her with the dialect and her pronunciation. That was pretty much it. Actually then after that he asked me to pick which clip sounded good with the set up and the pronunciation, which was a pretty amazing moment for Jon Favreau to ask me my opinion. Asking me which clip is the best I’m thinking, 'Are you serious? Are you really asking me this now?' For me, it was a rewarding moment.
Wasn’t that kind of stressful though thinking, "Oh I can’t mess this up because he’s depending on me”?
Kind of, a little bit. [Laughing] It’s kind of hard to screw up Scarlett Johansson.
How was Scarlett Johansson's accent?
I have to say she’s not that great in Russian. [Laughing] The Russian language is really tough. For someone that doesn’t speak it, the pronunciations can be hard. She did pretty good considering.
So tell me about life on the set of an Iron Man movie.
It’s a pretty big production, with the budget they had. I know they rented out the entire Raleigh studio just for this one film. It was pretty cool to be a part of such a big blockbuster or a huge film like this, it is quite the production.
Are you allowed to say anything about the scene that you have or do you have to keep it hush hush?
I have to keep everything hush hush. They made me sign my life away. It is a really cool climatic scene, and I can tell you my experience working with the actors was amazing. It will be a really fun scene. I am excited to see what comes out of this. Hopefully, it's good! I bet it will be.
Oh yeah, I’m such a geek. I love all Marvel comics and anything that has to due with action films. I’m totally into that genre.
You’re a geek? Did you read the comics?
I didn’t, but I love all the films. Then I read up on the characters or I’ll get a script for a certain film and I’ll do all my studying for it, and I really get into it.
You couldn’t have learned from a better source than being on a Jon Favreau set. He's done everything from act to producing, writing, directing. Did you pick up any tips?
Anya Monzikova: "Yes. I think being on set you learn so much and just the experience itself you kind of know what goes into it. It is inspiring, definitely."
Is there anything in particular that you picked up from hanging around Jon Favreau that you’ll use when you do eventually produce and direct?
I just love the way he is such an approachable guy and the way he treats people on set. I think that has a lot to do with his character and him just being so giving with actors, letting them improv. I think I learned that from him, seeing him being so successful. I think a lot of that is from being in the moment, and the spontaneity you can bring to a character really works for actors. Not just tying it down to, 'You have to get this shot,' or 'You have to say this and follow the script.' Having actors feeling comfortable in a role and letting them improv, that’s what I would take away working with him.
Iron Man 2 hits theaters on May 7, 2010