The movie “Thank You, Dad” by Hrach Keshishyan tells a story of an American-Armenian girl, named Virgy. Although, she had hardly ever seen her father, after his death she inherits his will of 50 million dollars. But in order to get this money, Virgy has to come to Armenia and get married with a man, named Pargevos (embodied by Michael Poghosyan). What happens next, you can find out by watching the movie. Yet, we represent you an interview with Krista Donargo, the American actress, who has embodied Virgy, a girl of Armenian origins.
– Krista, how did you get your part in “Thank you, Dad”?
– As an actress living and working in NYC you meet directors all the time. But to meet a director like Victorya Aleksanyan, who you immediately click with is a very special thing. Victorya saw my work in another director’s film and immediately wanted to work with me. Victorya and I worked together on a few projects and became friends. She would always say that I looked like an Armenian. That summer she told me about her friend Michael Pogosyan and his new upcoming project. She said they were looking to cast an American girl that had Armenian roots or looked like they could have Armenian roots and that she wanted to recommend me for the role. Two Skype auditions later and I was on a plane to Armenia! I stayed there for a little over a month filming “Thank You, Dad”
– How it was to play with Armenian actors, especially with Michael Poghosyan?
-It was really thrilling to work with actors who spoke different languages and performed in different styles. The actors were refreshing, fun and so talented-especially Misha (Michael Pogosyan). Misha always has this incredible ability to light up any space he was in with his warm energy. He taught me a lot and I hope to work with him again.
– Whom especially did you make good friends with during the shootings of “Thank you, Dad”?
– Everyone was so warm and inviting. I got very close with my director Hrach Keshishyan, of course Misha , my producer Mushegh, my fellow actors Ashot Ter-Matevosyan and Yero Murian, the talented Mko and the whole crew of the film shoot and last but not least Sina. I was lucky enough to be around so many kind and good hearted people. I’m sure there are a few I am forgetting to mention.
– What did you like most in Armenia during your shooting time here?
-The food. I never ate so much in my life! It was delicious – the fruit – wow the fruit …the land, the people. I really loved Yerevan, but also the country outside of the city was magical. There is such a good energy there – it was an incredible place to live- shat lav!
– Did you know anything about Armenia before taking part in the movie?
– I had a few friends from there living in NYC. But other than that I really didn’t know much about the country.
– Was it easy to play an Armenian girl not being an Armenian?
– I wouldn’t call it “easy” but relatable. Don’t forget, I played an American with Armenian blood. I may not be Armenian but I would probably feel the same if I were to play an American returning home to Italy (where some of my roots are from). It would be exciting and foreign and scary all at once. So for me, to understand the idea of sharing blood but not necessarily the same culture was easy to imagine.
– Do you have anything in common with Virgy, the character you embody?
– Of course. As I said, being an American whose grandparents all came from different countries there is a part of my identity that I need to really try hard to discover, like Virgy. She was American but her roots were Armenian -a country she’d never been to. Also like Virgy and most people, we all have different facets of our personalities. Some we are proud of and some-not. I think how I relate to her most is that I am growing and learning everyday- hopefully getting a bit closer to a more well rounded and complete person.
-Krista, can we expect to see you in other Armenian movies?
-I certainly hope so! I would love to come back to Armenia. Es qez karotum em, Armenia!
-What new projects do you work on in present moment?
– I just finished up a horror film that I am very excited about, called “Land of Smiles” (not released yet). I am also taking a master acting class this summer that I am very excited about at my old studio, The William Esper Studio and I am also currently working on writing some of my own scripts. Please also find me on Instagram (@kdonargo) to get a peek into my life in New York City and Twitter (@kristadonargo13)
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