HELLO AMERICA!—It is always gratifying, even exciting when it is possible to introduce a new face to the motion picture industry. This is why the film “A Star is Born” has been replicated so many times as well as in so many exciting forms. Not long ago I was introduced to a young girl from Russia.
Her name is Katerina Khranova; she immediately had an attitude of knowing exactly who she was and what she wanted to accomplish. After all, she was a young girl with dreams, determined to prove her worth and believed that Hollywood was the only place to prove her point. I immediately saw in her the kind of determination I recognized when dealing with Bette Davis and Kate Hepburn, who knew and understood the journey of survival and was fearless in meeting whatever challenge it might take in reaching their goal.
She candidly described life in Russia as quite limiting; she rejected the social norms which denied her natural femininity. Having come to America, it has been a personal explosion of inner freedom, accepting the “self” that she is. At last, she can genuinely continue the journey she dreamed of during the frustrating years growing up in her native country. It hasn’t taken long for her dreams to take off. Resembling a typical film scenario, she was able to get a screen test for a key role in motion picture, “Devastation: End of Life.” Not only that, but our young actress recently signed to appear in a Broadway production of “Fearless.” The play embodies a much-needed center which empowers the modern women of today.
Her early years in Russia denied her the right to represent or express her true self as a mature woman with ideas and self-determination. She hungered to experience living in an atmosphere of freedom and choice without condemnation. The strong concepts of what a woman should do and how they should conduct themselves drove her to challenge these rules by shaving her head and openly denouncing her femininity at every turn. The continual effort in defining who she was as a human being became hopeless. Finally, she decided her only path of survival would take place by leaving Russia to settle in America.
When she arrived in Hollywood, Katerina went to every store she could find and asked for work. Many of the owners were so impressed, possibly amused by this young obvious girl pleading for an opportunity to survive. She eventually was hired in several of the stores. Her determination and desire to make a life for herself in this country was emotionally effective. After all, many of the store owners could easily relate to her quest, because many of their ancestors arrived in this country with a similar dream of an opportunity for a new life, as well.
What followed very quickly was to get a feeling of basic American life; to remedy this, Katerina registered for classes at Pasadena Community College, taking classes in drama, film, English language and graduated receiving her AA Degree.
She immediately prepared for the challenge and got the necessary photos for agents, producers and anyone else who might open a door of opportunity for her. There has been no doubt the camera loves her, easily reminding one of such magical stars as Vivien Leigh “Gone with the Wind” (1939), Leslie Caron “American in Paris” (1939), Louise Rainer “The Good Earth” (1937).
So America, keep your eye open for this talented little lady Katerina Khranova, will win your heart as did so many of our wonderful actors. This is another reason we have always been open to glittering new talent, like Katerina, who reminds me of the movie, “A Star is Born!”