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.
admin October 26th, 2022
Veuve Clicquot Celebrates 250th Anniversary With Solaire Exhibition

Ella attended Veuve Clicquot Celebrates 250th Anniversary With Solaire Exhibition yesterday. Click on the gallery links to see all new photos.

Events & Premieres , Gallery

admin October 21st, 2022
Screamfest 2022 – Run Sweetheart Run Screening

Ella attended the Screamfest 2022 – Run Sweetheart Run Screening yesterday. Click on the gallery links to see all new photos.

Events & Premieres , Gallery

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

Articles & Interviews , Gallery , Photoshoots

admin October 18th, 2022
Ella Balinska is seen in Midtown in New York City

Ella was seen in Midtown in New York City yesterday. Click on the gallery links to see all new photos.

Candids , Gallery

admin October 17th, 2022
Ella Balinska is seen in Brooklyn

Ella was seen in Brooklyn yesterday. Click on the gallery links to see all new photos.

Candids , Gallery

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.


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?


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.


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

Articles & Interviews , Gallery , Photoshoots

admin September 17th, 2022
Pair of Thieves Hosts a Private Event at the Kendrick Lamar Concert in Hyde Lounge at Crypto.com Center

Ella attended the Pair of Thieves Hosts a Private Event at the Kendrick Lamar Concert in Hyde Lounge at Cryptocom Center two day ago. Click on the gallery links to see all new photos.

Events & Premieres , Gallery

admin September 15th, 2022
Edward Enninful OBE A Visible Man Book Launch presented by Citi

Ella attended the Edward Enninful OBE A Visible Man Book Launch presented by Citi two day ago. Click on the gallery links to see all new photos.

Events & Premieres , Gallery

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.

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Current Projects
Forspoken (Video Game)
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.

The Occupant
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.