KULTURA / CULTURE 28 | Holivud » Hollywood A L E KSANDAR F I L I MONOV I Ć, ACTOR Dad, I’macting with Julia! I’ll never forget when they called to tell me that I’d landed the role in the series with Julia Roberts and Sean Penn. I called my parents immediately and said: Dad, I'm going to shoot with your favourite actress! We all wept with happiness BelgradenativeAleksandarFilimonović (39) has spent the last six years successfully building his acting career in Los Angeles. This artist, who’s known to local audiences for his roles in Montevideo, God Bless You!, My Father's Killers, Ravna gora, The Village is Burning While Grandmother Combs Her Hair, White Lions, DreamTeametc., gained the opportunity just a fewmonths ago to appear in the series Gaslit alongside Julia Roberts and Sean Penn. This major eight-episode project centred aroundRichardNixonand the famous Watergate scandal. “I portray the character of Zolton, the driver ofMartha Mitchell, who’s played by Julia Roberts. I recall the day I was told by casting that I’d got the role. My head exploded. I called my parents immediately to tell them that I would be acting with my dad's favourite actress, Julia Roberts. I remember that we all wept with happiness,” says Aleksandar Filimonović, beginning his story. He recalls the first day of filming with these great artists. He arrived on set wearing a face mask featuring the Serbian flag. “Julia was a guest of Belgrade a few years ago and really liked our city, especially the trumpeters. So, on the last day of shooting together, I gave her chocolates that had on them pictures of Belgrade, Pirot rugs, rakija brandy and a CD of trumpeters from Serbia. She was thrilled with the gifts. Both her and Sean Penn are great professionals.” Aleksandar received help from his parents while he was studying acting in New York, but he also worked as a waiter. After moving to Los Angeles, he also worked in security and as an Uber driver... “I once drove a lady who’d broken her arm. I drove her to the EmergencyMedical Centre, but it was closed. As I’d spent time working in the rescue service, I asked to look at her arm. As I fixed her arm in place, I remembered that firefighters always have a doctor present, who could help. She was constantly thanking me for helping her. She called a month later and askedme to come visit her and her husband in Malibu. When I rang the doorbell, the person who emerged was Tom Petty, the singer-songwriter, guitarist, music producer and legendary rocker whose music I adored. I then realised that he was the husband of the woman I’d helped. He offered me the opportunity to be his assistant. I worked with him for several months, but he unexpectedly passed away all of a sudden. We hung out and he was a wonderful man,” reveals this actor, before adding that Petty was also a great friend of Sean Penn. “He’d wanted to introduce us back then, but he unfortunately died suddenly, so I only met Sean on set. We joked, he was very kind and said that it was a pleasure toworkwith me. I toldhim“I have to share somethingwithyou, I’macting with Sean Penn”! And that’s where we burst out laughing.” Aleksandar had his American premiere two years ago with the Netflix filmDolemite IsMy Name, in which he acted alongside Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes. “In that film, which is based on a true story, I portrayed the character of JosephBihari, a legendary producer and the youngest brother of the Bihari family, whowas full of enthusiasm in finding new talents. Joseph also discovered B.B. King andmet Rudy RayMoore. I’mglad that I shared scenes withEddieMurphy and Imust admit that I didn’t have stage fright at all because I spent years waiting for this chance. He is an extremely normal and kindman, who does not act like a star in the slightest.We immediately understood each other professionally and also conversed nicely away from filming. I also introduced Eddie to my mother Ljiljana, because my parents were invited to be guests on the set. He told me that hismother was also called Lillian. We socialised together nicely, and I'm grateful to him (because he was also one of the producers) for giving me a chance to act with important names. My words really touched him and he wished me a lot of success and happiness in life and work,” recalls this Serbian actor.