WORLD WAR Z

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ELENA WAS FILMED FOR BRAD PITT MOVIE, WORLD WAR Z

The movie is about zombies :-) but Elena, who was chosen for the role by World War Z director Marc Forster, played herself: Russian opera singer, singing a beautiful aria during a battle scene.

In October 2011 Elena was flown to Budapest, Hungary for the filming, and, even though eventually a different movie ending was filmed, and all Budapest-filmed scenes were cut from the final version of the World War Z movie, Elena VERY MUCH enjoyed her first Hollywood acting experience.

World War Z was produced by Paramount Pictures and released in June 2013.

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ON WORKING WITH DIRECTOR MARK FORSTER

EZ: Marc Forster is a genius whose artistic imagination can inspire a stone!! Marc explained to me that zombies are the personification of darkness and evil that we all have within us; that once that darkness and evil is too much to keep within, it comes out and attacks us...

Picture: Elena with WWZ director

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ON WORKING ALONGSIDE BRAD PITT AND MEETING ANGELINA

Is Angelina really that beautiful??

EZ: Well, I am not that into girls’ looks, you know :-). She is very calm, has a beautiful smile, and it was great fun chatting with her. She was telling me how she keeps counting their six kids, and always panicking about missing one or two.

OK, what about Brad?? Is he really that good looking??

EZ: Ha! He simply looks just like Brad Pitt. What I really loved was how sweet, gentle, and nice he seemed with their kids, who I think are lucky to have such a wonderful father! He is also a very, very, VERY hard-working person!

Picture: Elena on the World War Z movie production set, Budapest, Hungary. Make up trailer.

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ON THE SCARIEST MOMENT ON SET

EZ: Seeing actors who played zombies in their full make up for the first time was the scariest moment!!! It was actually my first day on the set, and it was Halloween, so Brad and Angelina brought their kids to trick-or-treat on the set which was adorable. And then all of a sudden, two dozen monstrous looking creatures (our actor-zombies) appeared in front of us, and started to dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller ! Everybody seemed to be so thrilled about this Thriller dance except exactly seven people: Brad’s six kids and me! I was as scared as the kids. The girls immediately hid behind their Dad, and I hid in my trailer (yes, I had my own trailer :-)

Picture: World War Z movie set, Budapest, Hungary. Sign on Elena's trailer.

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ON THE ORIGINAL END OF THE MOVIE

EZ: To me, the original ending of the movie – truly epic, apocalyptic, mind-blowing, dark and scary, so scary that you would probably have fainted watching it in the movie theater—was the epitome of the movie!

Picture: World War Z movie set, Budapest, Hungary. Elena and her make up artist, Jan Sewell (Les Mis, X-Men, Jane Eyre)

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ON THE LAST BATTLE

EZ: You should have seen the set of the original ending. Our scenes were filmed at night, it was poignantly dark, there were piles of bloody corpses, mud, crazy dead trees, eroded tanks, and all of it is was covered with fire and in the middle of the most frightening snow storm! I’d say that our last epic battle would have been better than even The Lord of the Rings!

Picture: World War Z movie set, Budapest, Hungary. That is how the small part of the set looks from the window where Elena sings. 300 crew members are working on the set for her scene.

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ON SINGING DURING THE LAST BATTLE

EZ: My voice was used as a bait to lure in the zombies to a battle. Then, my aria, simultaneously an inspiration and lament, was to accompany the battle. “While you are singing," second-unit director and stunt coordinator Simon Crane, explained to me during filming, “thousands of people have been slaughtered right under your eyes."

Picture: World War Z movie set, Budapest, Hungary. The sign shows where Elena is to go for her scene.

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World War Z movie set, Budapest, Hungary. Elena with director Simon Crane (Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, Titanic) and the crew members after her last take. The time is 4.30 AM. No wonder everyone's eyes are so red:-)

Elena Zoubareva - All About Voice | ezoubareva@gmail.com

© 2020 by Sophie Gilbert