Bulgaria to Hollywood: The Marvelous Complexity of Actress Vanessa Dimitroff

Source: imdb.com

 Actress Vanessa Dimitroff is something of a dichotomy; in the most benevolent of ways. Her complexity allows her to convey many types of characters with a singular sincerity that makes her exceptional at what she does. Hollywood is a long way from her native Bulgaria but when opportunity presents itself, the wise follow.

While her first professional work as a series regular on the hit Bulgarian TV series Glass Home presented her among national stars like Luiza Grigorova, Kalin Vrachanski, and Stefan Danailov, Dimitroff has gone on to appear with Oscar winners like Morgan Freeman in Angel Has Fallen and Gerard Butler in London Has Fallen.

The choices she has made as an actor illustrate her commitment to avoiding any imposing of a type when it comes to her work. Action to comedy to drama, it’s difficult to presume where Vanessa Dimitroff will appear next and what presence she will offer, though it will most certainly be powerful.

Vanessa Dimitroff attending an Amazon Prime event

Vanessa Dimitroff attending an Amazon Prime event                                                                            Source: imdb.com

  The film and television industry is undoubtedly one which subsists on an international audience, far more than ever before in its history. Actors like Vanessa Dimitroff possess all the talent required of accomplished professionals but also are imbued with a relatability for audiences outside the US. As streaming services expand in popularity and reach, this factor is attractive to both productions and viewers.

In 2017 Vanessa appeared in The Truth, an action TV series about a Saudi Arabian doctor who is forced into a seemingly winless scenario by terrorists but whom uses intelligence and bravery to end up being a hero. As Amal, the daughter who is kidnapped by these terrorists, Vanessa communicated the courage and commitment to family that is so central to women in the Arab world.

This performance conveyed a strong and positive persona to global audiences. Director Fahad Olayan was personally presented with the award for Best TV Series (for The Truth) by the King of Saudi Arabia’s Son, Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud.

Vanessa at a film premier with Canadian star Anthony Konechny

Vanessa at a film premiere with Canadian star Anthony Konechny  Source:imdb.com

  A strong counterbalance to Amal in The Truth is Dimitroff’s appearance in the film Honest Lies. Vanessa describes her character Lexi as, “Energetic and funny. Lexi could be described as a tease.” Provocative and comedic, Lexi is an overly dramatic and exaggerated character by design. A married woman who picks up a gigolo on Hollywood Boulevard, Lexi is every bit a modern Western woman who feels empowered to make her own rules.

The film leans into the diversity of its cast and boasts some major talent behind the scenes such as actor/writer/director Tommy Wiseau (known for the iconic film The Room). Honest Lies was acclaimed throughout the industry with awards from the Eurasian International Film Festival, Festigious International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Awards, and many others. Vanessa’s performance as the lead character Lexi played an integral part in setting the tone of the story and these resulting accolades.

2024 continues Vanessa’s arc of national and international appeal as an actress. In the Los Angeles-based Millennium Films and Nu Boyana Film Studios co-production about a family of elite artists titled The Violin, Dimitroff appears as Amber, the news reporter who pivotally coerces a Russian prima ballerina (Sarah – played by Megan Puvis) to open up publically during a comeback interview. In this role, Vanessa channels qualities similar to that of Reese Witherspoon’s Bradley Jackson in Apple TV’s The Morning Show.

Source: youtube.com

Vanessa is set for another major role, appearing in The Lion’s Shadow which is scheduled to start soon. The inspiring drama follows an Iranian diplomat stationed in Paris during the Second World War who takes it upon himself to ignore orders from his superiors and save as many lives around him as possible. Vanessa was cast as Leila, the wife of this Iranian diplomat, by Nancy Foy (Jurassic Park III, Paper Towns). Leila becomes a central character to the story as she aids her husband in the challenges that their family endures while undertaking this heroic effort. 

When questioned about the trials and challenges of being an actress in present day, Ms. Dimitroff provides insight to the community experiences which steadies her resolve. She explains, “You can feel the commitment and passion that we all share in this industry when you work with the right people, it doesn’t matter how famous someone is. When I was on the television series Glass Home, I was thrilled to work with actors who were so well known. That first experience taught me a lot.

When I worked with Morgan Freeman and Gerard Butler, it was also very exciting and their commitment to making sure everyone enjoyed the experience of making those films was evident to everyone on set. Working on The Truth with director Fahad Olayan was a rare experience, in the best possible way.

Source: youtube.com

Him being from Saudi Arabia brought a very interesting and exotic approach to the script. His innate passion for filmmaking was apparent early on, during the audition process itself. The most exciting part of all was seeing Fahad in the role of Khalid which he played himself. It’s fascinating to see him embody his character so organically. He was very humble and asked for my opinion later.

My most recent experience with director Vanina Gerova on The Violin was an interesting and different as I haven’t worked with many female directors before. We had many discussions around why my character Amber comes across as aggressive in her interviews and how to masterfully play with her backstory without making her look tempered. We really dug deep into her psyche and motives to create that character.

I’m incredibly grateful I had the chance to work with someone so talented like Ms. Gerova! In my experiences with all of these talented professionals, I feel that they share my belief that telling stories is the most fascinating and honorable thing to do. Being able to give voice to a character and make the audience cry a little, laugh a little, or think a little is a privilege beyond anything else I can think of.”

The stories that we see in film and television move and inform us. It’s not only the story that matters, it’s just as important who we see in these stories because it give us license to understand the spectrum of humanity. Heroes, self-centered, altruistic, persevering; all of these qualities can exist in different vessels. Vanessa Dimtroff pursues acting because of her passion and in the process allows audiences all over the world to see “others” more clearly through her. She considers that her purpose in life.