BRENTWOOD —There are many great things that have come from Russia over the centuries. Hollywood is a tough town, but leave it to a brilliant, beautiful Russian actress, Anya Monzikova, with great family values to arrive in this town and conquer many of the challenges set before any young starlet who tries to break into the entertainment business.
The highlight of Anya’s short but distinguished career is the upcoming May blockbuster “Iron Man 2,” which stars actors Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johansson. “Working with so many wonderful actors was a great experience. Robert is such a giving actor, who has great humor and wonderful skills to improv.”
Working for director Jon Favreau in the film was also very exciting for Monzikova. Born in Russia but raised in Florida, the beautiful young star laughs about spending two weeks on the set performing in the film’s climactic scenes. “It was a lot of work, but very gratifying. I think viewers will love the film, which has so many creative people both in front of and behind the camera,” said Anya.
TV viewers who love the show “Deal or No Deal” will remember the beautiful blond star who was the model who stood next to briefcase #10 on the popular show. Though male fans know her best from elegant and sexy layouts in magazines such as Stuff and Maxim. Another highlight for the budding star is being chosen recently along with her “Deal or No Deal” models by People magazine in their “Most Beautiful People” issue. “Tommy, I miss the other models so much. We’ve had a few reunions and get-togethers, but it was a wonderful experience to have so much in common with the other ladies. You know how many girls went to college and joined a sorority? Well, that’s what being a model on ”˜Deal’ was like. We all got along, supported each other and it has been a great part of my life, which I miss,” said the star.
Also remembered for her unforgettable pose as “The Face” of the beautiful woman in Jonathan Mostow’s thriller “Surrogates” starring Bruce Willis. She has fond memories of that role as well. She however felt her time in modeling was only a means to an end, as Anya has been passionate about acting and filmmaking since her early childhood.
Born in Volgoda, Russia, Anya lived there to the age of 8, raised by a single mother who worked three jobs to keep food on the table. When her mother remarried and was able to travel to Florida on a marriage visa, young Anya was left with the decision about where she wanted to grow up. “We left Russia where the weather was 30 below zero, and the first thing my stepfather did was take me to Disney World, where it was 90 degrees in the middle of January,” she recalls today. “Needless to say, I chose to stay in Florida, and the rest is history!”
Studying theatre in high school, Anya then took film production courses when she went to college. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, the blond stunner landed the job on “Deal or No Deal,” and she knew it was her chance to get herself recognized and a first foot in the door in the entertainment industry. She also hosted “Get out” on the HDNet’s travel show. Guest-stints on TV included role roles on “Medium,” “CSI,” “CSI: Miami” and “Knight Rider.”
Soon Anya was considered much more than just a pretty face in Tinseltown. “It’s been a growing experience these last couple of years,” the actress tells Canyon News. “With each role, I’ve learned more about how to build a character. I’ve also grown much more comfortable and confident in my auditioning because I know I have the experience and the ability to get the job done.” She’s particularly adept at using her voice: though she speaks conversationally without any trace of an accent, she’s quite handy at most dialects, including British and Southern, as well as one influenced by her native Russian.
It was, in fact, her ability to speak Russian that caused “Iron Man 2” director Jon Favreau to seek out her assistance for part of the scene in which Anya was performing. “He said to me, ”˜Anya, you speak Russian, don’t you?’ He wanted me to help translate some of the lines in Russian that were to be spoken by Scarlett Johansson.” Anya not only translated the lines and taught them to Scarlett, she also would feed her colleague lines from off-camera when necessary during shooting. “After Scarlett did her scenes, Jon called me over and asked me to look at the various takes to see which one had the best delivery,” Anya concludes. “It was a dream come true ”“ here was Jon Favreau asking me for my opinion!”
The actress is not only beautiful, but talented and able to think quickly on her feet. Anya has a lot of wonderful qualities, which will assist her in becoming one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. However, for the moment, Anya hopes to focus on developing her film and television career. “I love the challenge of doing films, of always finding new characters and keeping it fresh,” she says. “But I’d like to think that ultimately I’ll have the chance to do it all ”“ to travel and see the world, and to keep acting and creating.”
Photograph Courtesy: Charles William Bush Photography
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