He was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, but at the age of four he moved to Alentejo with his family and has lived in Portugal ever since. Acclaimed for her film debut with the film O Fim da Innocência, by Joaquim Leitão, at the 2018 Nico Awards (received the Actress award) Oksana started out as a model at Central Models.
Before debuting in seventh art with a bold role, that of an irreverent teenager, she had already made an approach to acting with the series of RTP Filha da Lei and with a special participation in Hannu Salonen’s Shades of Guilt, in 2016. In Sombra, Bruno Gascón’s film based on real facts will be Sara, alongside names like Ana Moreira, Joana Ribeiro, Lúcia Moniz, Ana Burstoff, Ana Cristina Oliveira, Sara Norte and Sara Sampaio. The film is scheduled to open on October 22.
The movie The End of Innocence was your big movie debut in 2017. Did you notice the impact that cinema had on you?
An actor’s life is made of challenges and the first project is always the most challenging, I believe. I can say that it marked me precisely because I was the first. The difficulty ended up enhancing the experience and triggering a huge learning process, not only as an actress, but as an individual person, since I started to know how to position myself in the middle and, above all, I learned to have a firm pulse. In society and, especially in the artistic world, we have to have well-defined ideas, feet on the ground and cunning to get away with dignity, so as not to fall into the mistake of being mere puppets of the system.
Was being an ambition or was it not in the plans?
What I love most is the dynamism inherent in the area, the diversity and multiplicity of personalities / characters that I can interpret. It means being able to be a thousand and one things in one life. As for ambition, as a child I thought about it, but I also dreamed of becoming a dancer, Formula 1 driver, doctor, among other things.
Then he fell in love, without meaning to.
With the maturity that age has brought me, and after my first experiences in front of the cameras, I confess that I started to gain an increasing taste for the area. However, after the first major film project, I had many mixed feelings. At one point I wondered if this was really for me. I ended up realizing that I did, and today I look back and thank you for the fact that my life has taken the course it took, for having been lucky enough to get away a little so I could look outside and reflect on what was deep inside me makes you happy. Now it has become Plan A and, without a doubt, an ambition.
The film earned him one of the 2018 NICO Awards from the Portuguese Film Academy. Was it a motivation to continue acting?
Yes, at the time I don’t think I could digest what I had in my hands. Today, yes, it gives me motivation, it makes me think that maybe I even have a future in this and that it is worth investing (ahaha). Outside of games, I feel extremely grateful for such recognition.
Oksana was distinguished at the 2018 Nico Awards for her performance in the film O Fim da Innocência, by Joaquim Leitão. Photo: Pedro Gabriel
It is now followed by Sombra, by Bruno Gascon. How do you prepare for a character and, in this case, how did you prepare for Sara?
Facing a young girl who witnesses a fall into the abyss and the continuous suffering of other characters and still being able to be stronger and support them, was achieved with a lot of research, some self-knowledge and many conversations with Bruno Gascón – who dedicated himself much in investigating to write the spectacular argument he wrote.
The cast is mostly composed of women. Was it inspiring to work in a predominantly female cast?
Having worked mostly with women did not have much impact, what was truly inspiring was working with great national actors.
Which scenes were the most challenging and why? Is it difficult for you to say goodbye to the characters at the end of a project?
I believe that all the scenes are challenging, as they all demand that we are 100% dedicated to that moment, so I can’t list them. As for saying goodbye to my papers, I say goodbye as lightly as possible and look forward to the next challenges!
He started by working more in the Fashion area and studies Political Science and International Relations. What are the plans for the future? Is it true that you would like to follow Diplomacy?
In a parallel universe I would love to reconcile fashion, representation and politics. However, I feel that for now, and finally with the course finished, I will follow the more artistic streak (and I don’t mean politics). Although now it is more directed towards representation, it does not mean in any way to discard the other areas, since in the future I aim to be able to invest and have some important role in the world of international relations. The goal of life is to leave a mark that will go down in history.
Oksana Tkach is one of the actresses in the cast of the film Shadow.
Who are your references in the representation, nationally or internationally?
I have many, I think we all have in this area. I like the work of names like Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightley, Julia Roberts, Ana de Armas, Eddie Redmayne, Christian Bale, among others.
Are there any specific characters that you would like to represent? And a director with whom you had the dream of working?
Yes, one day I would love to be able to play the role of spy, like Angelina Jolie in the movie SALT, I think I got along very well. Directors, many, but to say one, Christopher Nolan would say.
She has lived in Portugal since she was very young. Do you have memories of Ukraine? Have you ever considered returning to your home country?
I have very few memories and, although I barely associate myself with Eastern culture, I feel that, at certain times, I think and face things from a less Western perspective, something that, like it or not, is rooted in me, mainly due to education that I had. However, Portugal is my country and this is my home.
He grew up in the Alentejo. Did living away from the capital give you a different view of the “fast-paced” life of the city?
Growing up in the countryside gave me a complete childhood. I keep the best memories of that time, both from the sites and the people – who are the most genuine I have ever known. I think I lived far from the “fast-paced” life of the city until the ideal age. Unfortunately, opportunities are scarce in the countryside, which makes a cosmopolitan life more desirable as it grows.
The young actress started out as a model at Central Models. Photo: Pedro Gabriel
Although with a short experience in this area, can you already see what are the biggest challenges of representation in Portugal?
With democracy, and the values of freedom being threatened again by the world, Portugal is still relatively stable, however, the fight for its preservation must continue taking into account that these values are not acquired goods and can disappear overnight , and there, we, artists who most enjoy this freedom of expression and action, can be deprived of our art.
Are we at a critical time for artists?
I believe that the representation suffers from a great lack of consumption on the part of the public, our country is among the five EU countries that least invest in this sector, in ex-aequo with Italy and Greece. It should be noted that democracy is the will of the people, and if they had more desire, perhaps the political leaders would look at the Arts and Culture with different eyes. The budgetary issue to do more and better comes into play and, unfortunately, culture does not have the deserved prominence on the political agenda. Especially nowadays, with the pandemic crisis and a financial crisis that may be greater than that of 2008, the challenges for cultural professionals will become even worse and I fear that it is not yet that a policy will be guaranteed now. of democratic culture.
It is part of a generation that does not label itself with a single profession, nor is it defined by one thing. Do you agree? Do you see this as an advantage?
I agree, and I see this as an advantage, despite its nuances. It all comes down to: Freedom. As Stuart Mill said, freedom promotes the well-being of society and the silence of ideas and opinions is to rob the human race. I think I am part of a versatile generation that has enjoyed their freedom to make their life choices and is not defined by a single objective.
Is the possibility of change attractive?
The possibility of changing jobs and areas, throughout our life, gives us a freedom that allows us a unique self-knowledge, we learn to know our weaknesses, but also our limits, we have the opportunity to improve and develop our skills to leave the various marks in the places where we pass. Sharing the experience of several places, living with different personalities, enriches us not only professionally but emotionally. This experience is more difficult to achieve by being in the same place for a long time and with the same people.