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Read Bjork's2001 interview with Juergen Teller from the index archives.

Kathleen Hanna discusses writing and making music in this interview from 2000 with Laurie Weeks.

Isabella Rossellini spoke with Peter Halley in this 1999 interview.

Check out our interview with Crispin Glover by Richard Kern from 2000.
Alexander McQueen's 2003 interview with Bjork.

Oksana Akinshina, 2004


At seventeen, she is already a big movie star in Russia. Last year, in Lilya 4-Ever, she brought tragic depth to her role as a teen-turned-prostitute. Oksana has just appeared in her first American film, The Bourne Supremacy. [Poet, photographer (and index cover boy) Slava Mogutin spoke with the acting prodigy in her hometown, St. Petersburg.]

SLAVA: Setting up this interview wasn't easy. You really hate doing publicity, don't you?
OKSANA: It's just something I have to do. I don't have an agenda, I don't care about my image. I've been told many times, "It's part of your job." But the way I see it, my job is to be on the set and to play my role. Everything else is nonsense.

SLAVA: How do you feel when someone asks for your autograph?
OKSANA: I'm happy to do it. People see me for one minute, but their memories will last for a long time.

SLAVA: After your brief — but memorable — appearance in The Bourne Supremacy, would you consider moving to the U.S.?
OKSANA: I might go there for work, but I wouldn't want to live there. I was born in St. Petersburg, and my parents were born in St. Petersburg. I love this city and I'll stay here unless they kick me out for some reason.

SLAVA: Have you ever been to New York?
OKSANA: No. The flight's too long. I hate long flights — there's nothing to do.

SLAVA: You can listen to music.
OKSANA: Not for twelve hours straight.

SLAVA: How about moving to Moscow?
OKSANA: No, never! I don't like the energy there. That city takes more than it gives.

SLAVA: You're quite composed for someone so young. How old were you when you started acting?
OKSANA: Eleven or twelve. My girlfriends found out about the casting call for Sergei Bodrov's film Sisters and invited me along. I was cast for one of the main roles.

SLAVA: That movie caused quite a stir when it came out in 2001 because it presented a modern Russia, with gangsters and Chechnyan rebels. I can't believe that was your first film. You're so comfortable in front of the camera.
OKSANA: I never studied acting, never took any classes. It comes to me naturally.

SLAVA: American audiences caught on to you when you starred in Lilya 4-Ever, a bleak film by Swedish director Lukas Moodysson. It's about a young Russian girl who turns to prostitution to support herself after her family abandons her. What was your first impression after you read the script?
OKSANA: I wasn't shocked by the story, if that's what you mean. I liked Lukas's previous movie, Show Me Love, so I wanted to be in this one.

SLAVA: I know Moodysson doesn't speak Russian. What was it like working with him?
OKSANA: He's very calm and reserved. In some ways, that made it easier for me because I didn't feel any pressure. But there were times when I wasn't sure whether or not he was happy with my work. We were communicating through an interpreter, so it was often hard to understand what he wanted from me.

SLAVA: That film also comments on modern-day Russia. The grim economy here has forced so many young Russian girls into the world of prostitution and porn.
OKSANA: But prostitution is everywhere. It's legal in Holland — if you go to the Red Light District, you'll find plenty of it. It's a global problem.

SLAVA: I think that the most disturbing scene in Lilya 4-Ever is the one in which Lilya and her friend Volodya get high sniffing glue on the roof of a squat. What's your take on drugs?
OKSANA: Most teenagers have tried pot. So what? How many drugged-out kids have you seen on the streets of St. Petersburg?

SLAVA: Not many, but I've seen a few. I've seen plenty of used hypodermic needles on the streets, especially in the suburbs of Moscow...
OKSANA: I haven't seen any. I'm sure these kids exist, and they have their scene, but I don't know much about it.

SLAVA: Tell me about your family.
OKSANA: My mother's an accountant and my father's in the car business.

SLAVA: Did they see Lilya 4-Ever?
OKSANA: They did. They cried.

SLAVA: I know you hate to talk about your private life, but I have to ask one more question about it, because it's big news here. Are you still involved with Sergei Shnurov, the lead singer of the Russian rock band, Leningrad?
OKSANA: Yes, we live together. We've been together for a year and a half.

SLAVA: Were you a fan before you met him?
OKSANA: I had no idea who he was when I first met him, even though he's a major rock star. We met while we were both working on Andrei Proshkin's movie, Games of the Butterflies. Sergei wrote the music, and I played one of the lead characters.

SLAVA: Do you think it's your destiny to be an actress?
OKSANA: I don't know for sure if I'll still be acting in five or ten years. I might give it up completely and try something else.  

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Oksana Akinshina by Nick Haymes, 2004
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