Welcome to Ella Balinska Fan, the latest online resource dedicated to the talented actress Ella Balinska. Ella has been in films like "Junction 9", "Charlie's Angels", "Run Sweetheart Run" and the upcoming "The Occupant". She has also been in TV Shows like "Casualty", "Midsomer Murders", "The Athena" and "Resident Evil". This site is online to show our support to the actress Ella Balinska, as well as giving her fans a chance to get the latest news and images.
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admin November 13th, 2022
The Laterals

Ella Balinska on transformation, and the importance of sharing untold narratives

Ella Balinska was the perfect addition to the third generation of Angels — her breakout role you might know her from. The British actress of the most distinguished sense, graduated from the Guildford School of Acting and immersed herself effortlessly into Hollywood. For clarification, she has never been interested in playing its ingenue. Balinska is an exhilarating mix of beauty, mystery, and novel fearlessness. Her triumphant female-powered moments in television and cinema are rare — and completely owned. Her capacity as an actor champions the messy, complicated, and profoundly compelling character — and we know she can deliver important narratives to any screen.

Balinska’s accolades include Junction 9, The Athena, and the Resident Evil series — but her vitae will be expanding with her forthcoming Run Sweetheart Run. Not only is she delivering important narratives to the screen but also to social awareness in her own approach. As with all of us, she’s experienced an awakening since the days of the pandemic to experience an inner transformation. “I still feel like Ella Ballinska, but I feel like a more anchored version.” Like many of us, she believes we cannot tell diverse, universal stories that connect us without women and people of color. A mix of “British, Polish, and Caribbean,” her perspective is fascinating. As a Cartier Ambassador, she brings the classic maison a fresh outlook that’s peerless.

A notably interesting detail is that Balinska attended the Academy of Performance Combat — acquiring training in 12 weapons, including gladius, knife, sword, axel shield, and fists. Perhaps that’s why she kicks so much ass.

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admin November 13th, 2022
Schön! Magazine

Charlie’s Angels and Resident Evil star Ella Balinska is fighting a different battle in thriller Run Sweetheart Run. The actress, who struts in AGL in her Schön! 43 digital cover, hasn’t slowed down since filming her role as Jane Kano in the reboot of Charlie’s Angels, appearing across our screens in Netflix’s Resident Evil. Now she’s diving into horror in a lead role in the thriller Run Sweetheart Run. “This is probably one of the films I’ve done the most auditions for,” Balinska reveals. “They really wanted to see if I was able to stretch emotionally.”

It’s a role that zeroes in on what it means to be a woman struggling with her menstrual cycle in addition to trying to survive. “I think it’s quite refreshing. People might feel uncomfortable at first, but naturally, as a female, you are having periods. It’s just life. It’s just the truth,” Balinska points out. Filming pushed Balinska to a new level — shooting in an abandoned jail in L.A. in a very tight space with limited outdoor access, giving the performance a new definition of the word “raw.”

On the horizon, Balinska is ready to reach new heights as she works as both a producer and actor in the survival drama The Occupant, in addition to portraying the first female lead of colour to play a motion-captured character in the video game Forspoken for PlayStation 5. “I’m excited to show my range,” she explains. “I think there’s some sort of fear of stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something that other people might not think is right.”

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admin October 20th, 2022
Rose and Ivy Journal

Introducing October Starring Ella Balinska

Hi ella! it’s so lovely to meet you. I’m excited to chat with you more about your career so far and finding out what makes you tick. you’ve come out of the gate with some incredible projects like making your first film debut in Charlie’s AngelS, followed by Resident Evil, and you have a lot on the horizon. What has your experience so far taught you about being brave and courageous in the pursuit of what you want?

I’ve been really lucky, especially in the earlier part of my career, where it was about taking right-of-passage roles like Casualty and Midsomer Murders, the British classics loved by many. Then when the first big blockbuster came around, I didn’t think I was going to be anywhere near the running for it. The tape I gave in was fearless, unapologetic, and what I wanted this character to be given the chance to portray her. I think that fearlessness worked in my favor because I ended up booking the job. But with that, there was a certain sense of calm because I knew when I was on set I was there because I gave my version that people loved. I didn’t need to apologize or worry whether it’s what they wanted, which is a very easy mindset to get into earlier in your career, since I started with authenticity. Of course, you fail and make interesting choices left, right, and center, but there has been nothing in my early career that I regret. It’s been a strong foundation to keep moving forward and continue making those bold choices.

I love talking about authenticity, being yourself is the most valuable currency you can bring to anything you do.

You are your best asset, so run with it.

When you sign onto a project what typically guides or excites you— is it a gut feeling, something that could push you, and expand your horizons?

I was in a place in my early career where maybe I didn’t have quite the opportunity in drama school training to play those empowered roles, so I was almost craving that when I got into the industry. I’d read these scripts and most people would think they were terrifying and question what the filming experience would be like. I’d see it more as a, hell yeah! (laughs). It was more of an opportunity to sink my teeth into these characters, which was reflected in Charlie’s Angels, Run Sweetheart Run, and Resident Evil.

When you were in school, was your ultimate dream to pursue film, TV, or were you just open to what opportunities would come your way?

Speaking as a drama school student, I think most will say they will take any opportunities (laughs), but in that, I have always loved film. When I watched Zoe Saldaña in Avatar, it was the first time where I was like wow, I really want to be part of the process of making this film.

Speaking of drama school, you attended the Guildford School of Acting in London, where you now have a scholarship, that’s so amazing, paying it forward. Why was it so important for you to give back in this way?

When Black Lives Matter was at the forefront of everyone’s mind, I asked myself, where can I contribute? I thought about that feeling in drama school when I wanted to play those empowering roles and tell those types of stories. I thought it would be great to open that opportunity for other people to discover how their culture has an impact on the industry and also giving students the resources and the tools to fully explore that. However each person wants to expand on that after their graduation is totally up to them, I just wanted to make sure actors coming into the industry have that undercurrent of empowerment in everything they did moving forward. Everything they have put out has always been thoughtful and as you said, it’s a knock-on effect that pays it forward. The thing I could do was open up the opportunity for someone else and then for them to open up an opportunity for someone else–it’s a domino effect.

That’s so incredible. I’ve come to learn the key to evolving as a creative is staying curious. What has your experience been so far?

Whenever you have an impulse to explore something creatively or physically, just follow that because all it does is lend to your experience as a person. I think you hit the nail on the head about staying curious, everyone always asks, well, what does that mean? I think it’s about heading out of your comfort zone a little bit. All of my friends, and maybe my team as well, know I’m a spontaneous person. If someone asks me what I am doing in 20 minutes, I’ll say, I don’t know (laughs). At the moment, I am really enjoying DJing. Someone recently rang me and said, you have 20 minutes to get to the venue, go! I was in my pajamas (laughs). I am embracing life in that way because every experience feeds into your art.

So are you just booking gigs around LA? You mentioned you recently DJed at Burning Man!

Yeah, I have been booking gigs (laughs). Even my team is like, how are you doing this? And I am like, word of mouth is a powerful thing! I am just having a lot of fun–it’s an expression, it’s art–I am loving it, and there is no objective.

That’s so important, to have something you lose yourself in and not put pressure on it and feel like, I need to be the best in the world, just have fun! That’s a freeing feeling.

Oh yes, if you come to my show, you will have a great time and you’ll also remember, I am a human being (laughs)!

Much of your work you have done extensive training, but mentally and emotionally, how do you step into a new role?

I only take on roles with characters that I connect with. There are two parts to this, there is the emotional experience—it will click inside of me in that way, and it will open up the capacity for imagination. There is also a lot of research that goes into it and I want to make sure I stay authentic to the character–so there are a lot of conversations with the director–especially with Run Sweetheart Run. It’s the constant search for truth.

Does it click immediately for you or does it take a while for things to fall into place?

I am a human being and there are times where I am hyper-fixating in my girl cave, as I call it, and I’ll be completely in a study bubble. Then there are times I feel like I need to put something down for a week or two and let life happen. It’s crazy how in a role like Resident Evil, life did echo a lot of what was happening on screen. It’s powerful and you can be too cerebral with something; sometimes it’s about letting your natural instincts take over, which is important.

Your next project is Run Sweetheart Run from Blumhouse Productions. upon hearing about it, I thought it sounded like a light-hearted movie, but it’s another reason to maybe not go on a blind date (laughs). Can you talk more about your role as Cherie and about stepping into the heart-pounding horror genre?

I say, if this movie isn’t a love letter to the best and worst sides of Los Angeles, I’m not sure what film is. It’s a very visceral feeling, however at its core, there is this awesome messaging, if you want to look into the subtext of each scene and what the director, Shana Feste has done with her writing. It’s special and it’s what drew me into it when I asked her what she wanted to do with the story. My character Cherie is a single mother and she goes out on a client dinner and it turns horribly wrong. Unlike most horror movies where there is the ebb and flow of horror–suddenly you are really in it and then you are out of it and you wake up the next morning and you say, hey, did you see the ghost—there is no ebb here only flow (laughs). It’s an intense film and once you strap in you are in for a ride.

How do you unwind after an intense day like that? I’m sure your adrenaline is pounding, or maybe you don’t and that lack of sleep or wind-down can help fuel the character?

This film was shot three years ago and I am a completely different person from when we shot it. My life experience, the way I am doing press, and my experience of time on set has more than tripled since then. I can actually speak on this in a wiser way than I would have in 2019 and I think it’s an interesting thing to touch on. Ella in 2019 would have been like, we did such a cool thing, we were in LA on location, it was intense, and I got to be covered in blood all of the time. It was my birthday a few days ago and 26-year-old Ella has a slightly different answer (laughs). I will say I thought I was unwinding while filming but I didn’t. I would go to bed with all the dirt and gore in my hair for continuity and wake up the next morning and keep it going. The memory of that character definitely stayed in my body for a couple of weeks after I shot the thing. Now, I take my PlayStation around with me to take my mind off things. I think it’s really easy to stay in this dark hole of self-induced suffering, especially for a role like this in the horror genre, but now, I am there for a good time and I am going to tell the story and work with amazing people, like Pilou Asbæk and Shana Feste. I have discovered in my journey of acting that I could have removed myself a bit further at the end of the day.

It’s great to look back and realized you learned something important, that’s growth! Next year you will start production in Hugo Keijer’s, The Occupant, which you also helped produce. Talk to me about the film, it sounds super intriguing, and about deciding to expand and take on the role as a producer.

When I was in South Africa filming Resident Evil, there were so many restrictions with covid. I found the day ran faster when I was cc’d on an email and when I was told what was going on. I found a lot of creative decision-making that would spend half the day running up the chain of command, I could solve it in ten seconds and that interested me. I loved being part of the creative process and with light things like a costume for Jade, which myself and Danielle Knox worked on together. With The Occupant, I am the protagonist, it’s two-handed but it’s just me on set. Because I am so emotionally and physically there, I am involved. It’s important to have that open dialogue with the director in that expanded creative way, which comes with the producer role.

It’s so much more fulfilling, I think, when you have a say or part in how things go, plus you will learn the ropes so if one day you want to solely step into that role you will know it.

Exactly, the goal is to be able to cast my friends in things and be like I produced X, Y, and Z, I know what I am doing (laughs).

You also step into a new form of entertainment in the upcoming Forspoken by Square Enix for PlayStation 5, which is coming out on January 24th. I read you are into gaming so it must have been a trip doing this. What was that process like as compared to say your role in Resident Evil?

The process is very much akin to theater because it’s very physical. Every movement has to be slightly exaggerated so the people in the back can see. But then again there is no audience and you are standing there with all of these dots on you and all of these lights tracking your every move. Because it’s so expensive to do, render, and record, whenever you film a scene you have to do it the whole way through, and like theater, you are in it. But like film, if you mess it up you just start again.

You’ve established yourself not only in film but also in the fashion and beauty world since you are the ambassador to brands like Cartier, congratulations. I heard you might be dabbling in something of your own?

For my own thing, all I can say is February question mark (laughs). It’s a little passion project. But with the brand ambassadorships, the most exciting thing—besides traveling the world and learning the craft of modeling—is that each has cool philanthropic endeavors that I align with like Cartier who does so much with female empowerment. It feels authentic and I always try to lead with authenticity.

I always love to ask, since I am such a believer in saying out loud what you want, and dream, what are some big dreams you have down the pipeline that you would love to come to fruition?

I’ve had such an incredible journey into this industry, I’d like to preface with that. It’s been zero to hero with Charlie’s Angels. I would love to be able to look behind me in five to ten years and be proud of the body of work I have built despite being thrown into this thing head first. I recently posted a video on my Instagram that my dad sent me on my birthday, it’s of eight-year-old me. Everything I do is to be able to look at her, if she came up to me, and be like, hey you are doing good.

Source: roseandivyjournal.com

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admin September 20th, 2022
Interview Magazine

Ella Balinska Is Learning to Play the Game

Most actors work their way up to action star status, but for Ella Balinska, blockbuster success came early. After booking a string of roles in her native England, the 25-year-old actor broke out in the U.S. with a starring role in Elizabeth Banks’ revival of Charlie’s Angels. She followed that up with this year’s Netflix series Resident Evil, where she battled flesh-eating zombies in the adaptation to the popular video game. Fresh off that show’s untimely cancellation, Balinska is back with another kinetic performance in the blood-soaked thriller Run Sweetheart Run. The Blumhouse production, about a woman escaping the blind date from hell, premiered at Sundance back in 2020 and was a casualty of the pandemic, gets a second life this fall when it hits Amazon Prime. When Balinska isn’t fighting on screen, you can find her fighting in front of one, usually with fellow actor and Call of Duty fiend Nicholas Galitzine. To accompany her spread of Bond girl-meets-Bond villain looks from Saint Laurent’s Fall 2022 collection, Galitzine called up his gaming buddy for a quick check-in.

BALINSKA: Hi!

GALITZINE: Of course, you’re in your gaming room.

BALINSKA: There’s nowhere else I can take Zoom calls.

GALITZINE: So you thought this was for Interview, but it’s actually for Gamers Weekly.

BALINSKA: This is arguably a terrible idea.

GALITZINE: Listen Ella, I’m going to be on my most professional behavior. I’ve been given lots of questions to ask you.

BALINSKA: I’ll be giving you lots of answers.

GALITZINE: But this is particularly funny considering there’s a part of me that wants to just take this interview completely off the rails.

BALINSKA: I know, but they’ve actually got to make a piece.

GALITZINE: Exactly. Interview, I’m not going to let you down. Miss Balinska, very good to see you. Where are you in the world?

BALINSKA: I’m in my office in Los Angeles. Are you in NYC?

GALITZINE: No, I’m in L.A. as well.

BALINSKA: I’m coming over after this.

GALITZINE: I’m leaving tomorrow for a few days.

BALINSKA: Does that mean I can have my Xbox back?

GALITZINE: Yes, you can have your Xbox back. I wanted to talk about Run Sweetheart Run. What was it that drew you to the project initially?

BALINSKA: I got this script from my team and I read it in one sitting over a lunch break. I absolutely flew through it. And then at that point, I was like “Okay, I need to be part of this. I need to meet the creatives. I want to do it.”

GALITZINE: You filmed it a while ago, but I remember talking to you at the time and you were filming all around L.A. Is that correct?

BALINSKA: Yes.

GALITZINE: You were doing a bunch of night shoots, and it was very physical, but what would you say was the hardest part of filming that, the physical or emotional?

BALINSKA: Both, because we shot it in the beginning of January 2019.

GALITZINE: Pre-the world bursting into flames.

BALINSKA: Yeah, pre-Rona. On the first night it started raining. We were all like “Well, I guess it’s raining for the rest of the film then.” Because the entire film happens over one night. So even on nights where it wasn’t raining and it was actually quite pleasant, we’d have to get the rain machine in.

GALITZINE: Stop, you didn’t tell me that. What are the odds as English people where have been born and bred in a country of gray and constant rain, are transplanted to the sunniest city in the whole fucking world, and the one night you need fucking continuity, it’s like, nope.

BALINSKA: So that was one of the tribulations, but also if you take apart the script, there are some really important messages underneath everything. And obviously, before you do any of those scenes, I spoke a lot with Shana the director to really dissect what those moments are and go through those beats so that we don’t glorify any of those sensitive topics. So having that in the back of your mind whilst you’re shooting something like this night after night after night can get quite heavy.

GALITZINE: That’s actually a very interesting thing to touch on that people don’t understand about acting a lot of the time is because you have to emotionally put yourself in a place where—someone’s knocking on my hotel room door. I’m going to pause you for one second.

BALINSKA: Please tell me it’s room service. If it’s room service, you have to share what you’ve got.

GALITZINE: He’s asking me if I need clean cups.

BALINSKA: The room is being serviced but it’s not room service.

GALITZINE: But as I was saying, Balinska, acting is all about empathy, and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, and living it. I’m not saying you have to be method, but you take on the trauma, the person, the feelings, all of the emotional baggage of the character. Did you find that you were able to switch off when you weren’t shooting and then turn it back on?

BALINSKA: Yeah, you’re on set hyperventilating for 12 hours a day. I didn’t come out of it feeling the echoes of what I’d done on set that day, but there was no recovery period.

GALITZINE: I’d say knowing you as well as I do, the projects that you like to choose comment on society and have a sort of resonance. What do you feel like this film has to say about society as a whole?

BALINSKA: Pre-pandemic, I was definitely in a space where I was wanting to explore characters that are fighting for survival. Just the plight of the female, the Black female, the strong Black female—extend the list how you will—in these extraordinary situations. I always found it very fascinating. Then funnily enough, the last two years happened, and we all were in a constant state of needing to survive. Now that I’ve explored that both creatively and literally, I’m not really in that headspace anymore and I’m excited to explore other avenues.

GALITZINE: I want to talk about the experience of filming Resident Evil in South Africa. The filming experience itself, but also developing and evolving as an actor, and as a young black woman, and how it felt like an incredibly formative time in your life. I know that’s a really broad, vague question, but it was very beautiful to see as your friend, how the experience had this transformative effect on you.

BALINSKA: It was strange because we were in a period of quarantine regardless, and then I was whisked to a far away land and, beautiful as it was, I was very much on my own. I didn’t have anyone come and visit me. It really left me to my own devices. Unlike Run Sweetheart Run where I was on set every single second of every day, I did have a little more time off and time to reflect. The experience on set was just so different because I felt a lot less of the pressure of the production being on my shoulders and that it was more of a collaborative effort. I had been on set, and someone goes, “Hey, how’s your day going?” You might be having the worst day and it’s easy to go, “Yeah, everything’s great, everything’s amazing.”

GALITZINE: As actors, we’re tethered to people pleasing.

BALINSKA: Now I’ll go on set, and it’s like, “Hey, Ella, how is it going?” “Mate, load shedding completely ruined my game of Call of Duty this morning.”

GALITZINE: Which is unacceptable.

BALINSKA: Just unacceptable. “But I’m ready for a great day on set.” And even just that, it takes less pressure off yourself, and it takes pressure off people around you who are sensing the weird vibes.

GALITZINE: I completely agree with you. Vulnerability can be a superpower, and I think it’s something we need to embrace as actors, otherwise it just builds and builds. The resulting cancellation of the show must have been disheartening and frustrating in some ways. I’ve had a Netflix show canceled as well. I immediately empathized with you, but was obviously very adamant, knowing you and knowing your talent as I do, that there would be plenty of light at the end of the tunnel. Can you speak on that and what you feel like it’s taught you about yourself, about the industry, and about the job?

BALINSKA: Honestly, if everything went to plan, there’d be too much on TV.

GALITZINE: There’s already too much content.

BALINSKA: But in all seriousness, it was disheartening to hear. However, I immediately jumped to how happy I was that I was able to make the fans who loved the show really proud and excited about this new little story that we told in the Resident Evil universe.

GALITZINE: You’ve obviously had a lot of successes, but 90 percent of this job is about doing auditions and getting rejected.

BALINSKA: I was a massive fan of the story and the character, but also of the franchise itself. I used to play the games. Who would I have been, looking at my eight-year-old self telling her that I said no to playing the lead character in Resident Evil?

GALITZINE: I think first and foremost, like you said, it’s so difficult nowadays to have a show or film that is able to have longevity over a five, six, seven year run. But the fact that you’ve played an iconic character within an iconic intellectual property like Resident Evil, and at one point you were number one on Netflix. Still, my perception has changed about the jobs that I do, and understanding that critical acclaim, or whether a show is picked up, is not the be all, end all. Your entire career, you’ll remember the time you were in South Africa shooting a zombie apocalyptic show.

BALINSKA: What an experience.

GALITZINE: Do you feel you learnt an equally large amount on Charlie’s Angels? That was your first break in a lot of ways. You’re acting with very recognizable names, Elizabeth Banks is directing you, and once again, your name was attached to a very recognizable IP.

BALINSKA: Charlie’s Angels was a prime example of getting thrown into the deep end. One of my mottos is “Make interesting choices.” Charlie’s Angels was an exact example of that where I was just thrown straight into the center of a blockbuster film, massive budget, flying here, flying there, incredible people that I’m working with. The fact that I can say I was in the same frame as Sir Patrick Stewart is unreal.

GALITZINE: Bizarre.

BALINSKA: But that was when I learned to trust myself as a creative decision maker. I went and did the audition. They loved my exact portrayal of that character, so I went on to set every single day knowing that I didn’t need to question myself. That was very freeing.

GALITZINE: It’s a huge part of it. The imposter syndrome and trying to quell that every day of going on set, and trusting that you’re there for a reason.

BALINSKA: You have to remind yourself you’re the person who booked this job, you are the person standing here in this scene about to do this take.

GALITZINE: There’s one role in particular that you and I have talked about before, and we’re desperate to reboot Disney’s Atlantis because we think as a duo, we’d absolutely kill that.

BALINSKA: I think myself as Kida and you as Milo. We’re here.

GALITZINE: This next topic is a very interesting one as well because you and I have talked a lot about this, and obviously we live a very transient life. Where do you really consider home?

BALINSKA: I literally had this conversation last week. I think the house that I’m in right now, in whatever country it might be, would be my home. I think it’s when I’m surrounded with the things I love, with access to the people I love, being able to game, or being able to watch movies, or to go upstairs and color coordinate my wardrobe.

GALITZINE: No, I want the people to know how many white sneakers you have. It’s stupid.

BALINSKA: If you can name the shoe, I probably have it in white, but they each serve a purpose. An Adidas Superstar does a very different thing than Jordan 1 high top.

GALITZINE: I want to ask you some quick-fire questions. What’s your favorite thing about being on set?

BALINSKA: Just chatting shit with the crew. I love the friendships, bonds, and inside jokes.

GALITZINE: You’re such a liar. I know that you lock yourself in your trailer all day long and don’t talk to anyone.

BALINSKA: Listen, all I do, Nick, is just plug in the HDMI, the PS4, and run it with you in Verdansk.

GALITZINE: That’s all you do between takes. “Can we get Ms. Balinska to set?” They’re like, “No, she’s playing Call of Duty.”

BALINSKA: She’s in the gulag right now.

GALITZINE: Always in the proverbial and literal gulag. What gives you energy?

BALINSKA: Aside from Celsius?

GALITZINE: Wait, are you sponsored by Celsius? Because I don’t want you to promote them without getting the bag. You got to secure that bag.

BALINSKA: Yeah, exactly. Omit, omit! Honestly, laughing with my friends and music.

GALITZINE: What is the hardest you’ve worked?

BALINSKA: We both know the answer to this question. The hardest I’ve worked was probably the last week of shooting Resident Evil. I could count on one hand how many hours of sleep I got that week.

GALITZINE: And the adrenaline starts to run out because you see what’s on the horizon. What’s your motivation?

BALINSKA: Hopefully one day working with my friends. I haven’t, unfortunately, had the luxury of working with someone that I know yet.

GALITZINE: I just did that for the first time and it’s extra weird because It re-contextualizes your relationship in some ways, and you feel like you know everything about this person and then you get to know them in a very different way. Like you said, you’ve got the producer gene within you. When you can facilitate that, when you can be the person to create community, that’s very exciting. How do you unplug, other than the obvious?

BALINSKA: My way of unplugging, funnily, is by plugging in. I love gaming with my friends, and by friends, I mean you.

GALITZINE: Can you tell the people how much I’ve taught you as a gamer?

BALINSKA: How much you’ve taught me Call of Duty.

GALITZINE: I’ll take that. What is worth fighting for? And don’t say Verdansk.

BALINSKA: I was about to say the loadout baby, the loadout! There’s a target audience being reached for this interview.

GALITZINE: There’s definitely a target audience being reached.

BALINSKA: I think something that’s worth fighting for would be the decisions that you make and the decisions of people that you love around you. It’s really important to fight for yourself and in whatever capacity that might be, as long as you’re not hurting anyone.

GALITZINE: I think that is very much synonymous with how I know you.

BALINSKA: Yeah, and it’s funny how it echoes into a lot of the characters that I’ve played thus far. As anxiety inducing as it might be in the process, it’s so much more freeing to be able to share with other people. And I can only thank you for being one of them.

Source: Interviewmagazine.com

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admin September 4th, 2022
Flaunt Magazine

Ella Balinska | There’s No Hiding Here and That’s Cool With Us

In the many worlds of gaming, new beginnings are of endless supply. Run out of lives? Simply press play again. Make a risky move that doesn’t pan out? No matter; opt to re-enter this given world, or perhaps delve into an entirely new one.

An avid gamer herself, 25-year-old actor Ella Balinska knows this unique opportunity to restart very well, not to mention the know-how that comes with it. Balinska has parlayed her interest in the gaming sphere into a number of recent projects; her new Netflix series Resident Evil traverses the world of its namesake game, and she has a video game, Forespoken, as Frey Holland, on the way. This comes off the back of Balinska’s breakout role in 2019’s Charlie’s Angels, in which she embodied the fiercely independent former MI6 agent (the agency’s youngest recruit ever), Jane Kano.

Balinska is certainly not averse to a challenge, on or off screen—even though, unlike a game’s virtual world, we don’t have the quick-fix option to click play again. In this, she looks to the inherent potential of such new (and sometimes angst-inducing) experiences. “There is an argument that the height of freedom happens right at the precipice of fear,” shares Balinska, reflecting on her first time jumping out of an airplane a short time ago. The London born-and-raised actor checked this escapade off the bucket list while in South Africa filming Resident Evil (much to her producer’s dismay—although she did wait until wrapping to take the leap). “And that’s exactly what it is,” she continues, “you almost let everything go because you’re so out of control, that is the single most liberating experience. Because when you’ve got your legs hanging out of the side of a plane and someone else pushing you out, you’ve really just got to relinquish.

While we may lack unlimited restarts, there’s always opportunities for firsts. First times, first tries, first successes, first failures. For we all must keep on playing, seeking out the value therein. “You know what, you’ve got to try it all,” smiles Balinska. “To do what you like, do what you love. If it doesn’t work, at least you’ve learned something.” Balinska’s intent is clear: to keep trying, to keep learning, to keep living, all while relinquishing that little bit of control. It is, after all, only the beginning, and she’s open to whatever is to come. Here, she explains where the fire beneath that curiosity and openness comes from.

When did you first know you wanted to act?

I did acting as an extracurricular at school—I was always part of the drama club. Then I went to go watch Avatar at the Odeon in Leicester Square with my dad, and I remember seeing Zoe Saldaña play Neytiri on screen, and it was just one of the most phenomenal things. It was the first time I ever watched a film where instead of saying, ‘Oh, I wanna be an actor,’ I was like, ‘I want to be on set, I want to be part of the process, I want to be all up in it.’ So I’d say that’s probably when I was like, ‘Alright, let’s see how we can start taking this seriously.’

I understand you found your niche—if you will—in stage combat while you were studying? How did that come about, and how did you decide that was ‘your thing,’ at least for the time being?

I was an athlete before I was an actor, so I’ve always been very aware of how my body lies in space, as it were. So it almost came hand in hand. Like anything that you love, you kind of get a bit obsessed with it. So I did all the courses—stunt training courses, I’ve done my stunt driving accreditations, I’ve done the full nine yards! The shoe fit and I wore it, I guess. Which is cool because I’ve got that in my arsenal—there’s other things that I love doing, there’s other genres that I’m pursuing at the moment. But also for the time being, seeing as it’s working, we’ll stick with it!

In that vein, you’ve got Resident Evil coming out in July. The trailer was released a couple of days ago and has generated a fair bit of talk online; how have you found the response thus far?

I’m honestly so excited, because people talking about it is the best thing you can ask, really. It’s really great to see audiences who might not be familiar with the franchise be really excited by the property. Then there are fans who are so enamored with the lore and history of the game, no matter what emotion they have, it’s great because it’s inciting an emotion. And that’s what art is all about, so I’m excited for them to see it.

You’ve said that you were obsessed with Resident Evil (the game) growing up. What’s that like, going into a project for a franchise you’ve admired for so long?

The beauty of Resident Evil—this iteration of it—is that it follows the DNA [of the original], and the world-building has already been done for us. We know that there’s a zombie apocalypse. We know there’s an outbreak of the T-Virus, and we know you don’t wanna get the T-Virus. Because of that, it meant that a lot of season one is not exposition. It’s straight into the action, you’re just thrown straight into it—quite literally. So that was really cool, especially as a gamer coming onto set, knowing all of the who, what, when, where, why of the whole thing. And just feeling like every decision I made was really informed. Staying true to it. And I can’t take all the credit! All of the writers, and Andrew Dabb—he’s our showrunner—he knows the ins and outs beyond even my knowledge. Also all of the directors that we have on board, such as Rob Seidenglanz—he is such a Resident Evil fan. It was so cool—there were these really dark sequences, and he was so ambitious. He’d be like, ‘Right, let’s do this in one take. Or, ‘Let’s make it feel like the visuals when playing the game, looking around corridors and you’ve got a restricted view.’ He was really able to implement that knowledge into the creative decisions. It was really cool.

I saw that Dabb has said the show stays quite true to the games, even more so than the films—I look forward to seeing that play out on screen. And obviously you shot this show about an outbreak during the pandemic, so it’s all very meta.

You hit the nail on the head—you know how weird it is, running for your life, being like, ‘Ah, pandemic! Cut, and then, Ah, pandemic!’

What was that experience like, both as an actor and as a human, living through a global pandemic? Did it create a sense of catharsis, or just make that time even more taxing?

You know, it’s interesting because it made me dip into a process that I hadn’t really explored before. I like to make sure that I’m fully focused in my character during the day, but that when I get home, I’m back to being just Ella Balinska, watching Alice in Borderland on Netflix. But, the thing about this is that, like you say, it was so meta. So a lot of the feelings that I was feeling as a person—South Africa was so beautiful but I was so far from home, and I couldn’t go back. So using some of those emotions to feel the character was an interesting choice that I made, which I think really paid off. My character, Jade Wesker, she’s been separated from her family, and she’s trying to get back, which is similar to Ella Balinska, who had also been separated from her family. Definitely the emotional connection to this character, on a very visceral level, was really authentic. So drawing from that experience I think just adds to the truth of my character’s plight to survive.

As you’ve said, you’re very into gaming. How did you initially discover that hobby—and do you think that interest now influences your acting, and the types of roles that you do seek out?

My mum used to go and get her hair done, and that used to take a while—nothing better than two empowered Black women chatting whilst hair is being braided, needless to say. That hairdresser had a son, and I used to play video games with him in his room. We used to play Mario, Smash Bros, we’d play Tekken, all those kinds of games. I think that was really cool because with those games, you could always personalize your character. Especially something like Tekken, where, once you unlock them all, there are so many characters to choose from. I remember I’d always be picking characters like Raven, or in Street Fighter, Cammy, because she was British. Just because they felt like me.

I’ve got a video game coming out as well, which is very much in the gaming realm. As is Resident Evil—I think maybe it does sway my choices a bit just because I have more of an affinity towards it. But also because, just gradually, I’m in this place where I’m building a really amazing loyal fan base, and it’s great being able to make them happy too.

Resident Evil is somewhat of a spin-off, and you got your first big break in Charlie’s Angels. How does it feel to get not only to recreate, but also to change the game, from those original iterations?

I always talk about the little eight year old inside of me that wanted to go and do, you know, this. And when those opportunities present themselves, obviously you want to make choices which make sense for your career, and where you want to be in the future, what roles you want to take on. But it’s also about love of the art and love of storytelling and doing what you want to do. Resident Evil came and I was like, ‘I want to do this.’ Similarly with Charlie’s Angels, I was like, ‘What an amazing opportunity to play this awesome, empowered, near-superhero character who has such raw emotions’. And this is different to the other Resident Evil’s because you get to see so much about family, and what that toll has in the universe. And Jade is a survivalist—the difference being from when I played Jane in Charlie’s Angels to when I played Jade in Resident Evil, is that she’s not a trained professional. She’s a human being, like you and me, trying to get home without dying. And that adds an extra element of thrill and horror and challenge for me, because having been so perfected and crafted and stunt-trained to bemax for something like Charlie’s… to then strip that back and really just get down to my bare hands and surviving, was really exciting.

How did you gear up to take on your first big lead role in Charlie’s—and such an iconic one at that?

Funnily enough, for Charlie’s, I wasn’t overly stressed like you’d expect me to be. Simply because it felt like the shoe fit. When you’re auditioning, especially in the early stages, you’re always wondering about what casting wants, and what you think the director’s gonna like, instead of just giving your portrayal of the character—which is exactly what I did in my audition for Charlie’s. So it wasn’t like I was trying to remember what I did once upon a time ago when I went to go do my screen tests and meet with the producers. It was like, ‘Hey, this is what I’ve got, hope you like it!’ So when I went on set it wasn’t as stressful because I was just being truthful to the portrayal that I’d originally created. I always say that you are your strongest asset. Everything that you come up with, everything that you bring as a creator is so unique, and to always stand by it. One hundred percent.

You mention Forespoken, your video game—what was the experience of creating a game, versus that of filming a movie or TV series?

It is an amalgamation of everything I’ve ever learnt in acting, put together into one medium. It has the pace of film and TV, it has the world-building of film, and also the similar production schedule. Yet it has the imagination of theater. It is nothing else but you and your brain, covered in dots, all over your face and your body, with the headgear, with cameras recording your every movement. It’s in what is called the volume, which is nothing but space in a room. The volume is being recorded by infrared cameras picking up your movements as you go. So if there’s a giant dragon flying across the room, you’ve got to be the one imagining it and making sure that you and your peers are all on the same page. You all talk about it beforehand—it’s like make-believe when you were a kid. In the best way. You’re so connected physically with the character—it’s almost like you have to exaggerate some things so that it reads in space. But then, when you’re filming TV and film, you have a 100 MM lens looking at you giving an emotional performance. However, you don’t know how it’s going to be cut, so there are some things you can get away with, so you’d think! With Mocap [Motion Capture], there is nothing lost. It’s on your face the whole time, tracking every movement. There’s no hiding.

You’ve spoken about seeking out projects that allow you to help increase inclusivity—the gaming space is certainly one which has lacked diversity. Could you speak a bit about what it means to you to play the lead in a video game?

I mentioned before about the power of being able to pick a character that looks or sounds or even has a sensation of you. And to know that I am potentially that person for an entire generation of people is really heart-warming for me, because it’s something that I would have adored to have seen when I was younger. And even for people who aren’t gamers, it’s knowing that we’re taking up that space. Knowing that I can use my platform in an amazing way, and choose roles in my career that push the needle in the right way, in the right direction, is very fulfilling.

What would be your dream project—is there a particular type of role that you’d like to tap into in the future?

I’ve got quite a lot in the pipeline now, I’m very excited. The pandemic has been an interesting one because there has been a sort of industry bottleneck of stuff that was supposed to be made a few years now that’s being made now. But it has allowed me to really sit down and think about the choices that I’m making: read scripts, take time, speak to the creatives without the pressure of there being a production deadline. I’ve got some really great things lined up which are just different; different to the action. I’ve got a drama, I’ve got comedy, I’ve got this survival film [The Occupant], which is probably one of the most visceral performances I will potentially ever give. We’re filming in the snow—enough said.

On the topic of ‘trying it all’—what’s one thing you hope to try for the first time soon?

On the point of relinquishing control, I think over the last couple of years we’ve all had time to sit and reflect and learn more about ourselves and each other, and how we negotiate everything around us. I’m really excited about being more present. Thinking ahead is an amazing quality, to be able to sort of act preemptively, and have things all figured out. But I’m finding a lot of joy in savoring the small things—waking up every morning and having the opportunity to try something new. And making sure I mark those moments! Celebrating with friends and family. That’s very important.

Source: flaunt.com

Articles & Interviews , Gallery , Photoshoots

admin July 31st, 2022
Vingt Sept Magazine

Ella Balinska on how her life is imitating her art

Not many women can check off actress, producer, humanitarian and fashion icon from their bucket list, however, Ella Balinska appears to do this so effortlessly.

The London-born actress has quickly become a voice for her generation and continues to break down barriers across multiple genres including the fashion industry. Balinska, currently the Global Ambassador for Cartier’s iconic Panthère de Cartier collection, is also a founding patron of the BFC Foundation Charity and has been recently appointed as a new face for luxury skincare brand Clé de Peau Beauté. At just 25 years old and currently residing in LA we were able to catch a glimpse of Ella’s charismatic personality and prowess, further understanding exactly why this young woman is a force to be reckoned with.

“I really feel like I’ve found my people, my tribe. It’s really important because this place can be tricky to navigate” Ella proudly states, as she reflects on her recent move to LA.

In 2019, the British-born actress found herself catapulted into the limelight, after a standout performance in her Hollywood debut, Charlie’s Angels, starring alongside Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott. As her career began to take off, Ella took a brief trip to LA in early 2020, where she unexpectedly found herself stranded, taking her life into an unforeseen direction. “I had a flight on March 10th, just to go home and see my family and my flight was cancelled due to COVID and the rest is history. I then decided to relocate here permanently because it seems that’s what the world wanted me to do!” Fortunately for Ella, as the entire world came to a sudden standstill, filming on her newest endeavour Resident Evil got the go-ahead to start principal photography later that summer.

For the uninitiated, Resident Evil is an epic multi-media horror franchise that first entered the public consciousness in 1996, with the release of Capcom’s iconic game of the same name. Since then, the franchise has gone from strength to strength, expanding across film, literature and TV, with Netflix’s upcoming show being the latest entry into the universe. “What we’re doing, isn’t like a reboot or a continuation of a story, it’s something new that we’re bringing to the universe of Resident Evil. It gives you a lot of opportunity to play and find new narratives and characters and bring in a new chapter. I was familiar with the games which I played a long time ago and also the movies which I saw when they came out, also a long time ago. So, I had to do this big Resident Evil refresh going in, which was a lot of fun!”

Those who are familiar with the various iterations of the franchise will be aware of the incredibly eery similarities to the COVID-19 pandemic. The show is set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian nightmare, where life has completely been altered by the terrifying and destructive T-Virus. For Ella, a story that once could have been easily dismissed as a mere flight of fantasy, was now a possible glimpse at a frightening future reality. “I was on the plane to South Africa on the 22nd of January, so we filmed in the height of the pandemic and the parallels were undeniable. When we were filming, I was running for my life as my character Jade, running from the T-Virus and at the same time, we’d then call cut and we were faced with the real-world pandemic.”

Ella plays Jade Wesker, a scientist who finds herself in the midst of the global horror. “When you’re first introduced to Jade, she’s a scientist who’s out researching the infected, the zero strain carriers of the virus, and after one small mistake, she finds herself in a fight for survival. Whilst she goes on this iconic journey to get back home to her husband and her child, you discover a lot more of the echo of the past coming back to haunt her.”

The emotions that came with portraying a maternal figure were unanticipated, and Ella found the profound longing to get back to her family mirrored her real-life situation. “I’ve played a mother before and I had the amazing opportunity to work with these wonderful twins, who were really wonderful little humans. The actress who plays Jade’s daughter, it’s so funny how the parallel of you meeting this young woman, this lovely amazing little actress and you suddenly have this feeling of wanting to protect her, that she’s okay on set and wanting to be fed. The actress was also called Ella, so the protective element was crazy! Because of the pandemic, I had been away from my family for an exceptionally long time, and when you can use your emotions in your art, it’s a wonderful thing, so I really challenged the desire to get home.”

Despite the intensity of the role, Ella jokes about the similarities between her and her onscreen counterpart and her chances of surviving a real-life apocalyptic occurrence. “I will happily put my hands up on record and say my friends are coming to me [laughs] and they know it [laughs]. Everybody has their strength, and I would say at this point in my career, it’s surviving [laughs].”

On the subject of survival, Ella has another horror project out later this year called Run Sweetheart, Run which was recently picked up by Amazon Studios. “When I turned up at Resident Evil, I was like this ain’t my first rodeo! [laughs]. I’m a horror fan, but I don’t know why I put myself through both watching them and filming them [laughs], but I learnt a lot on this movie and how all of those scares happen, but the behind-the-scenes of a horror film is actually hilarious. It’s a Blumhouse movie, and we had the opportunity to do secondary photography on it, to go back and re-work a few things, because a lot has happened in the last couple of years and we sat down as creatives and decided there’s a few things we could do a lot more elegantly, using what we’ve learnt over the last couple of years.”

Speaking on the mental and physical impact of filming two very heavy projects in close succession with one another, Ella reflects on the power of immersing herself into her art. “Honestly, there’s one point in Resident Evil, where I tickled the border of reality and what we were filming a little bit. There’s a sequence I’m most proud of, that takes place in the brotherhood and the art department. The costumes, the prosthetics, the lighting, the way they created this location, this entire part of the storyline was so visceral. It was so immersive, I was convinced my body was in a constant state of fight or flight for about two weeks.”

A world away from the horrors of zombies and viruses, Ella now looks boldly towards her own future and where she’s hoping her career will take her next. “In the early stages of my career, and still even now, I’m just excited to play, explore and discover, to test my limits and take risks. In terms of looking forward to the future, I love synergy and I love when things that I do, all tie into each other in a weird and wonderful way. I had such an incredible trajectory into this industry. I think it’s easy for people to look at me and see that I’ve done the huge blockbuster and that I’ve had a Netflix show and wonder what the story is now, but to be honest with you I’m an actress who trained in the UK and I’ve done all my rites of passage shows and made some incredible friends and performers – I’d love to cast them in a project, in something we all want to make and grab a couple of my director mates and be in something we’re all excited about.”

As she briefly touched on earlier, Ella’s passions are not just restricted to film and TV. As a self-professed gamer, Ella has also recently lent her acting talents to Forspoken an upcoming action and role-playing game, due to be released later this year. “In school, all we do is fulfil a syllabus and we go into our work thinking we need to fulfil the syllabus and get to where we want to go. I don’t remember reading any actor’s handbook that you shouldn’t be a gamer and hide it from the world. My team know I love it and I play Call of Duty with my agent every now and then [laughs]. When it came to Forspoken, the industry is a wildly small place, so when we caught wind that Square Enix was making this game and looking for a protagonist, my team just jumped on it.”

Whilst Ella’s environment is a world away from what it was a few years ago, her attitudes and values remain grounded. With an impressive body of work already in her portfolio and what looks to be a promising and versatile career ahead of her, Ella commits to being honest, forthright and down-to-earth in every aspect of her work. “It’s so easy to be nice, you know? It takes a journey and it takes a lot to live in your authentic truth and your authentic self. When I’m on set and I have this amazing responsibility of being number one on the call sheet, leading this huge production, you can either go on every day, roll in and be like nothing’s wrong, or you can say today things are chaotic as fuck [laughs]. Everyone’s on the same page when there’s transparency and I’ve been practising radical transparency recently and it seems to be working for me. As long as you do everything with kindness, care and compassion.”

Source: vingtseptmagazine.com

Articles & Interviews , Gallery , Photoshoots

admin July 31st, 2022
Numéro Netherlands magazine

IN CONVERSATION WITH ELLA BALINSKA

Actress and producer Ella Balinska made her feature film debut in 2019 as Jane Kano in SONY Picture’s ‘Charlie’s Angels’. Next, she will star in Netflix’s highly anticipated live-action series ‘Resident Evil’, which premiered worldwide on July 14 and the Blumhouse-produced feature film ‘Run Swetheart Run’, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is slated for global release on Amazon Prime in 2022.

Ella, we are able to see you in Netflix’s ‘Resident Evil’ this summer, where you’re playing the leading role of Jade Wesker, who fights for survival in a world overrun by the blood-thirsty infected and insane creatures. What can you tell us about this highly anticipated series and your experience of filming such a live-action project?

It was so much fun. I’m a big fan of the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise, so to be part of this really warms my heart. We shot for a hundred days out in South Africa, and the art and props and costume and world building producers, they did such a good job of creating this post apocalyptic dystopia. My character Jade’s, the older Jade’s, timeline plays part in 2036, but then you also get a split timeline, which happens in 2022, where you essentially get to see the lead up and the build up to how the T virus outbreak happened.

You star in ‘Run Sweetheart Run’, which premiered at the Sundance Film in 2020 and will be globally release on Amazon Prime this year. In the film you play Cherie, a timid and hard-working single mother, who is set up on a blind date with Ethan. When things quickly turn sinister, Cherie must find a way to escape. What is the biggest thing you learned from this story?

The journey with my character in ‘Run Sweetheart Run’ was such an interesting one, because she was with me for a very long time. We obviously shot this at the beginning of 2019 and we had the premiere at Sundance in 2020, but then when Amazon came onto the project, they wanted us to shoot some extra scenes and change some of the narratives. So we actually managed to adapt the story even more and kind of give it more time for it to really develop. The premiere that we’re gonna have this year is sort of like a second premiere, because it’s an entirely new film. As for my character, she is tenacious, but she starts off not knowing that she is. She starts off just living in her little bubble, in her world that she knows, and kind of settling for her routine that she has. She’s not really asking any questions and keeping her head down. But along with her fight for survival she also discovers her voice, which is something that in a way is not just stereotypical and sort of cliche, but very empowering to be part of.

You trained at the Guildford School of Acting in London, where you graduated with honours. Recently you established a scholarship at your Alma Mater for students from the global majority – supporting and deepening understanding of cultural identity and authenticity whilst training their craft. Why is understanding of cultural identity and authenticity so important to you?

I think because it really lends itself to the authenticity of the stories that we see in life, on our screens. There’s always actors that plight to find truth. In my opinion that’s kind of how it begins, the truth of knowing yourself, knowing where you came from and how your culture shifts and changes and pushes the needle in the industry that you are in, and how you can in return do that and make space for people who are coming up after you. I just wanted to give sort of pathway for recipients of the scholarship to do so, but then there’s a knock on effect because if you go and see a play, you’re not gonna go see it by yourself, you’re gonna bring your friends. And suddenly there’s new writers being introduced into the curriculum and that’s really what I wanted to encourage where it might not have been done before. I’m very proud of it.

You have quickly became a voice for your generation and continue to break down barriers across multiple genres. In October 2022, you’ll become the first leading female of colour in a performance capture video game, with your role as Frey Holland in Square Enix’s new epic ‘Forspoken’ for PlayStation 5. How was it working on a project for Playstation?

I’m still waiting for someone to be like “Hey, she did it first”. So until that day I will happily take the batton. I am a massive gamer dork. I was delighted to film it because I’ve always been intrigued how those kind of projects are done. It’s such a different medium. With TV and film, everything’s trick is in the eyes, smoke and mirrors. You can make something else somewhere completely random. With video games however, it really is just you with some dots on your face, in a dotted suit, carrying a huge camera on your head and it is the peak of human imagination. It really is nothing but you in this space while building with your peers around you. So that really felt like it was taking me back to my theater roots.

‘Forspoken’ is an open world game. It’s got the fantasy and there’s an adventure story element that comes with it. It’s an Eza Kai style, so a character from our world that gets transported into another.

You continue to cement your place in fashion and philanthropy as well, notably as the Global Ambassador for the iconic Panthère de Cartier jewellery collection. What does this ambassadorship mean to you?

It is one of my biggest career highlights today. Honestly, not only to be the face of a brand that is so historic and iconic and has such unbelievable craftsmanship that goes into all of their pieces, but also the fact that Cartier uses their platform in a way that it really makes a difference. It’s not just some paid ambassadorship and then off we go, they’re actually out here trying to do good in the world.

I love the fact that I’m able to align myself with a brand like that. And also, it speaks to my personality too. I love a bit of a Panther, the strong, empowered woman making choices for herself, going out there and never being afraid to try and get what she wants. And I think the Panther is an incredible symbol of that.

In 2021, you were invited to join the British Fashion Council as a founding patron of the BFC Foundation Charity. Can you share with us more about this Foundation Charity and the projects you work on with the BFC?

It’s a kind of a similar reason why I started the scholarship, which lends itself to my industry in acting. But also, I love the idea that people’s culture and backgrounds can really shift the industry that they’re in and the British Fashion Council does just that. It empowers designers to put every single ounce of who they are into their work, without being afraid that it’s gonna be rejected simply because it’s not conforming to the norm. And I love fashion. I work very closely with my stylist, Jason Bolden, and we obsess over it. It’s another way that I feel I can help make a positive impact in things that I’m passionate about.

So when you say that you love fashion, I have to ask you how would you describe your style?

I’m very practical. I used to answer it like this maybe four years ago, and I’m actually standing by the same word. I’m always dressed for whatever I’m doing for the day. But also, in terms of when I’m actually being styled, I love clean, color coordinated looks. I love beautiful silhouettes that are quite strong, cause I’m quite a tall person. And I just really enjoy adding the finite details that sort of pull a piece together. That’s the part that gets me really excited.

Additionally, you also recently joined Clé de Peau Beauté as one of their newest faces. In your role, you will champion the brand’s high-quality products and support their global philanthropic mission that empowers girls to find their voice through education. Why do you personally believe education is so important for all the young girls?

Honestly, I think knowledge is power. Knowledge is putting yourself in a position where you are able to make informed choices that are great for yourself and the people around you. This is something that is so important. And I think every young woman should have the opportunity to be in that position. That’s why Clé de Peau Beauté’s philanthropic endeavors are so close to my heart. Women have such incredible minds. Some of the greatest inventions have come from these incredible female historic figures, and we should hope and strive to continue that pattern. This is an amazing way to help make that happen.

If you had to choose one woman in the world as the most powerful one in your eyes, would you be able to choose one?

I think the answer to this is actually symbolically answered in ‘Charlie’s Angels’. But when we women work together and come together and use all our incredible brains as one, we’re unstoppable. And I think that is something that is super powerful and I definitely have as something that inspires me.

What do you love to do in your spare time? Do you have any unique hobbies?

I’m literally in my little gaming cave. I love PC gaming. Because I live in the States and I have all my friends and family back home in the UK, it’s a great way to stay connected, but still having fun. I can log on during the day and the day’s just finishing off over in Europe and I can chat with them. I also love working out. I love fitness. And I love driving my car. I love stunt driving. I’ve got my two certificates of completion. I did motion picture driving and safety clinic, of which I have passed both levels. All of those stunts that you see in ‘Resident Evil’ with the car, a lot of them were done by me.

When you mention that you have all your friends and family in the UK, what do you miss the most about home now that you’re living in LA?

I’m so lucky that here in the States, I have found my tribe and I love them to pieces. I call them my chosen family. The thing that I would love is for one day to have both my family and my chosen family come together. It’s so frustrating that because of the distance I can’t make that happen right now. But soon hopefully it will and that will be something that’ll be very soul filling for me.

To have such people around, it’s very grounding. It’s important to have people who remind you of who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place, in any industry. To have people who can support you through when things get tough, but who can also celebrate you and be your biggest fans whenever you succeed, is invaluable.

Where would you like to see your career in the next 10 years?

I am in a very exciting place right now, where I’m sort of finding my stride in things. The roles that I’ve taken to date, I’ve done quite a lot of action projects, a lot of thriller action style projects. However, I’ve got things in the pipeline, which completely take a different turn from that. I’d love to be able to look back on a body of work and be really proud of everything that I’ve done. I always talk about the little eight year old that was inspired to be able to do something like this and hopefully there’s someone out there who looks at my work and looks at what I do and thinks “I wanna do something like that too”.

It’s important that you’re doing what you love, because then it never feels like work. At the end of the day, when I go to bed and I’m proud of the work that I’ve done, that’s when I know that I’m doing the right thing.

In your next big-screen endeavour, you’ll star in Hugo Keijer’s ‘The Occupant’, which is due to commence filming in 2023. This is also a project, where you will step behind the camera for the first time as a producer.

This is a new one for me. I think this is a great script to try and do that with. I’m very good at running for my life, so thankfully I won’t have to think too much on that side. That’s why I think I have a little bit more bandwidth to be able to contribute to a lot of the creative decisions, which I’m looking forward to doing. This story in particular, I think we can do it in a way that is so visually striking and so engaging, it’s got some great plot twists in it. So I think combining all of those visual aspects, alongside the performance and the writing altogether, it will be something that I’ll be really proud of.

What are you most excited about stepping behind the camera as a producer?

Just being part of the creative decisions. Obviously you work with the director and you find your character, but also I’d love to be part of the process more when it comes to cinematography and what can we portray about the character in this certain moment. It’s almost like less of a job and more sort of adding a person into the presentation at work, having another creative mind kind of make this project better than you ever imagined it to be.

What do you think is one thing that is missing in Hollywood at the moment and that Hollywood should portray more both in film and TV?

After the success of ‘Coda’ and how incredible that film was, I am so here for representation around disability in film. There was this amazing TV show ‘Love, Death & Robots’ that I watched. In season 3 in the episode called ‘Jibaro’ the story follows a deaf knight on a medieval night. It is one of the most phenomenal pieces of animated storytelling I have ever seen. I would love to see more of that.

With all the things happening in the world and particularly in the US currently, do you have a specific cause that is the closest to you and you would maybe like to raise more awareness on?

The philanthropic projects I’ve aligned myself with thus far really speak for themselves. I will take any opportunity I can to speak about girls’ education, to talk about inclusivity for the global majority within the industry. During the pandemic, especially in the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, it was a huge educational shift for all of us and myself included, because I’m half black and also half white. It was learning about my historic and cultural background, the significance of what BLM is for me, but also learning and understanding my half white privilege and how that ties into everything. It’s an ongoing thing, so I can only encourage people to keep that going and to keep learning.

You asked me earlier why is women’s education so important. Well, it also goes for human beings. Knowledge is so important, because it’s so powerful and we could be so much more empathetic and caring and compassionate with each other when we come from a place of understanding.

Source: numeromag.nl

Articles & Interviews , Gallery , Photoshoots

admin July 26th, 2022
i-D Magazine

Ella Balinska is an action hero for a new generation
After starring alongside Kristen Stewart in the ‘Charlie’s Angels’ reboot, the British actor slays in Netflix’s new ‘Resident Evil’ series.

On the Charlie’s Angels press tour, Jimmy Kimmel asked the reboot’s three stars which actress was the best fighter. “Ballistic Balinska,” Kristen Stewart said, as the co-leads unanimously agreed on British actress Ella Balinska. “I went a bit nuts and trained in 13 weapons,” she explained.

While most actresses intersperse interviews with skincare or makeup tutorials, Ella has a Vogue training video. Unlike many other workout videos you might find on YouTube, none of Ella’s kicks, squats or Russian twists are propelled by aesthetics. There’s no mention of calories burned, sculpted limbs or shredded six packs. Rather, the actress’ main motivation is much closer that of an athlete: to remain in “fighting fit” condition for the next race, game or in her case, role. In that case, move over Tom Cruise — Ella Balinska is the next great action star.

“I’m lucky that I’ve been able to make really interesting choices that make me excited, that are moving the needle,” the 25-year-old Resident Evil star says. “I’m always talking about the eight-year-old I’m trying to inspire in the way that I would watch things and think, ‘Wow, I want to do that.’”

For eight-year-old Ella, that was the likes of Catwoman-era Halle Berry or the Zoe Saldana-helmed Avatar. Action films led by women were few and far between during Ella’s most formative years, and even rarer on screen were women of colour in positions of power. For a soon-to-be 5’11 netball prodigy (basketball’s cool little sister, for the American reader), Hollywood felt very far away. Then it came calling.

“It’s exciting to see aspiring actors who never thought they’d be able to permeate this industry realise they have a shot, but also back-of-house decisions — decisions are now being made ‘upstairs’ that are making a positive ripple effect in the industry,” Ella says.

“Sorry for swearing,” she laughs, while musing on “fucking cool female creators”. As if her athleticism and acting chops weren’t enough, the star’s undeniable charisma is packaged in an endearing British politeness. Every sentence is punctuated with a self-effacing giggle, each revealed accomplishment accompanied by some anecdotal rejection. Still, few young actors can relate to Ella’s early career success. Cast as the lead in two consecutive movies and one TV show over a three-year span — all before graduating from The Guilford School of Acting (where, by the way, she now has a scholarship in her honour) — the actress experienced unprecedented momentum. Then, seemingly overnight, it came to a screeching halt.

As of March 2020, the Londoner was permanently marooned in Los Angeles. Due to return to England a few days before the pandemic hit, Ella’s outgoing flight was unexpectedly cancelled. Uprooted and unemployed, the actress doubled down on her hobbies. Via a series of Instagram lives, she offered fans fitness classes and a glimpse into her gaming prowess (yes, she’s a gamer). More than anything, she took the time to “internally reflect”, forcing herself to derive self-worth beyond booking the next job.

“But there is nothing more static, no bigger build of unleashed energy than a non-working actor,” she says. “I was trying to find ways to offset my creative urges — doing things that I’m not very good at, but we’re going to have to become comfortable with failure.”

On October 3, 2020, the night before Ella’s 24th birthday, she received a note from her team: “Hi, is there any update on Resident Evil?” Two weeks earlier, Netflix had reached out with a role in a new series based on the popular franchise, out now on the streaming platform. From its video game origins to the demanding action sequences, the part checked all of Ella’s boxes — but this was the first she’d heard about it.

“A lot of people had sent me messages and I just hadn’t seen it,” she remembers. “I’d essentially been ignoring them. I immediately met with the producers on Zoom, sent a tape and then I got a phone call that I got the role.”

While Ella had secured a slew of powerhouse roles pre-pandemic, she credits COVID-19 with allowing writers the chance to “tell these kinds of stories”. Now more than ever, she’s seeing women at the helm — both in front of and behind the camera. There’s still a “long way to go” when it comes to visibility, Ella reveals, but an insurgence of inclusivity in the film industry now feels inevitable.

“What was interesting was that because it was a complete stop, there was nothing else to do but look inward and see the choices that we’re making,” she says. “We became hyper aware of other people and other people’s stories because we literally had nothing left to do, but also because, hopefully, we wanted to. Everything was a lot louder because we could focus and pay attention.”

Ella’s mother, a life coach and mental wellness expert working in the midlife sector, often tells the actress it took her until age 40 to “figure out” much of what Ella has at 25. The newly instated Angeleno keeps her circle close, and still manages to squeeze in games of netball between set days down in Santa Monica (which, naturally, she is quick to invite me to). Her commitment to fitness, specifically, has allowed the star to avoid much of the societally-conditioned self-image issues that plague young women — especially those in Hollywood. She even advises fans to take her own imagery with “a pinch of salt”.

“Everybody is a human being with different genetics, or different budgets,” Ella adds. “What you see on social media can be really overwhelming these days: you ‘like’ one post and you’re going to see 100 more. If you’re in a place where you’ve got a healthy foundation to start or maintain this journey, that’s the most important thing.”

If this is Ella Balinska’s journey, there’s no telling what might be in store for her final destination. This October, Ella will debut as Frey Holland — the protagonist of the action role-playing video game, Forspoken. It’s one of many projects on the horizon that bridges all of Ella’s interests — the others (both film and fitness-related) are yet to be announced. And while there will likely be many more weapons, workouts and eye-watering combat scenes on Ella’s horizon, her most impressive feat will remain widening the door for the eight-year-old girl in her wake.

“For me it’s always a pleasure,” Ella says of her work. “I do have to adapt and deal with people literally throwing themselves at me, but for as long as I can do it, I’m going to keep on doing it because I love it.”

On screen and off, you can bet they’ll keep coming.

Source: i-d.vice.com

Articles & Interviews , Gallery , Photoshoots , Resident Evil

admin July 21st, 2022
Women’s Health Australia

Ella is on the cover of Women’s Health Australia. Click HERE to be redirected to the full article.

Articles & Interviews , Gallery , Magazine Scans , Photoshoots , Resident Evil

admin April 27th, 2022
Hunger Magazine article

Ella Balinska on her love of gaming, ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and representation

“I’m not saying Chekhov didn’t do it for me, but I would have loved to have experienced a curriculum where you see your culture,” says HUNGER’s cover star.

Ella Balinska can’t fly without her PlayStation 4 console, a controller and an adapter suitable for the destination. “I just built a PC from scratch so I could play with better visuals,” she tells me over Zoom, scrolling through her phone for a photo of it. “I had been playing on TVs in hotel rooms.” It’s an elegant piece of hardware with a transparent case that will inspire some nostalgia in those who were privy to the cult of the iMac G3 in 1998 (when Balinska was just two). “It’s very dorky but I love it,” the 25-year-old actor, an ambassador for Cartier and Clé de Peau Beauté, says.

“My mum used to get her hair done by this amazing woman who had a son of a similar age. He had all the consoles,” she recalls of her introduction to gaming proper – playing Snake on her parents’ Nokias doesn’t count, she says. “I got more and more invested [in playing games] and then I was going over [to see him] without my mum. I was a huge gamer and a lot of the characters really inspired me, especially for Charlie’s Angels.” A personal game-changer, Elizabeth Banks’s 2019 vehicle – a feminist-leaning revision of the iconic franchise – placed Balinska firmly in the public eye. Playing Jane Kano, the pragmatic former MI6 agent to Kristen Stewart’s party girl Sabina Wilson and Naomi Scott’s engineer-turned-Angel Elena Houghlin, Balinska had landed the part with just a few TV roles to her name.

Currently based in Los Angeles, Balinska grew up in southwest London and was initially drawn to theatre, an arena she remains fond of. “I’ve always been a performer – I did performance sports at school – and I guess I really enjoyed that sort of pressure, with a deadline,” she says. Later attending Guildford School of Acting (she got a first), Balinska found her niche in stage combat. “You had people who wanted to do period dramas or who were dead set on doing Shakespeare at the RSC. The stage combat unit came along and I did quite well. It has that performance aspect and physical element, and I could draw from that athleticism.”

She trained in 12 types of combat, so it’s not a stretch to say the practice is shaping her career: Jane was the most physically demanding role of the Angels – she takes two guys out in her first few seconds on screen. “It’s one of those things I’ve always wanted to do, like when you close your eyes and visualise something… kicking ass in really dope movies,” Balinska says. “Now I’m just running with it. I’ve got other exciting things in the pipeline – more emotionally based, character-driven stories – but it’s exciting to know that’s how I’m perceived. There are some amazing action women and it’s an honour to be part of that legacy.”

Later this year she will join another famous franchise, when a Resident Evil live-action series drops on Netflix. Announced in 2020 and shot in South Africa last summer, it also stars Lance Reddick and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina actor Adeline Rudolph. “I’ve seen, like, two scenes,” she teases (when we speak the only promo available is a pair of press shots). “It was one of the wildest filming experiences ever,” she continues, alluding to the strange nature of shooting a story about a pandemic during a pandemic. Then there’s also the release of her first Blumhouse picture, Run Sweetheart Run, which had its premiere at Sundance in January 2020 (before Covid disrupted everything) and she’s soon to begin filming The Occupant, a sci-fi thriller written and directed by Hugo Keijzer.

Perhaps most pressing however – for both the eight-year-old gamer Balinska was and the 25-year-old actor now on my screen – is Forspoken, her project with Square Enix for PlayStation. “It’s stunning, it’s art in gameplay,” she enthuses. Voicing the protagonist Frey Holland, a young New Yorker who’s transported to the fantasy land of Athia, Balinska has been vocal about her elation since the news came out, taking to Instagram last summer to share a BTS picture of herself in full motion-capture garb. As the face of a prominent new video game, is she feeling any version of pressure? “I’m just excited, to be honest. The gaming community obviously has lots of expectations of Square Enix because of their incredible legacy, but no one really knows what to expect. Whereas Resident Evil has such a huge fan base, this is a very different beast.”

The game, which drops in May and featured in Time’s 40 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2022, puts Balinska in a unique space: ever since Frey’s image was released, the project has been subject to close examination by fans online. For context, a report put out by the gaming website DiamondLobby last year found that, after analysing more than 100 mainstream games released between 2017 and 2021, only 8.3% of them had a non-white female main character. Balinska is proud to be part of this transformative period: “It’s a really exciting space and I’ve learnt so much about the community. It’s incredibly creative and it’s growing. I’m seeing more and more inclusivity – me being cast, for example – and I’ve also just partnered with a couple of charities to incorporate women in coding in the gaming industry.”

Aligning herself with charitable causes feels obvious for Balinska, who speaks openly about carving her own path. Having been warmly embraced by the fashion industry (she has already attended the Met Gala), she is a founding patron of the BFC Foundation charity, while in 2020 she collaborated with her old drama school to establish the Ella Balinska Scholarship 2021, supporting a first-year student from the global majority. “It was one way [I thought] would be helpful to steer the industry in a direction so that you can see people who look like me cast in video games,” she says. Balinska was also adamant that, in addition to offering financial support, the scholarship should provide a broader idea of relevant resources. “I’m not saying Chekhov didn’t do it for me, but I would have loved to have experienced a curriculum where you see your culture. There’s a big shift in the industry now – the world, culturally – and I’m excited, personally, to be doing something new and different. I hope the choices I’m making are in the right direction.”

Source: hungertv.com

Articles & Interviews


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Official Ella Balinska Links

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Current Projects
Forspoken (Video Game)
2022
A young woman named Frey Holland awakens in the land of Athia and must embark on an adventure and endure treacherous trials to uncover the mystery the land hides.

Resident Evil (TV Series)
2022
Nearly three decades after the discovery of the T-virus, an outbreak reveals the Umbrella Corporation's dark secrets. Based on the horror franchise.

The Occupant
2022
When Abby, a guilt-ridden engineering geologist in transit to her remote Russian assignment survives a mysterious helicopter crash, she must try to escape the harsh environment. But she is not alone.