Stana Featured in Gloria Magazine
Hollywood diva from Cetina
Actress born in Canada, who became famous with her role of a detective in a TV show “Castle” in two weeks visited cousins in Sinj, Vrlika, Istra and Zagreb, in front of her grandfather’s house on Peru?ko lake she planted a rosehip tree.
Interviewer: Josip Jurcic
I always love coming to Croatia. Since I have relatives in Sinj, Vrlika, Istra and Zagreb, three weeks ago I went on a big tour and visited them all – Stana Kati? (36), Hollywood actress with Croatian roots, revealed at the beginning of our conversation in the luxury Athens hotel Astir Palace, where local cable television “FOX”, which also shows “Castle” in Croatia, in which she plays detective Kate Beckett, held a big party for the end of the sixth season.
Even though she speaks Croatian fairly well, for easier understanding we talked in English. She showed her human side and social sensitivity even at the very beginning of our conversation with a true remorse for the consequences of the floods with which inhabitants of Posavina and the entire region are facing.
More then 12 million Americans watch Stana Kati? in the role of the NYPD detective, who solves crimes with writer Rick Castle (played by Nathan Fillion), every week, she is also known for her roles as Hane Gitelman in Heroes, Colette Stenger in 24. She acted with Morgan Freeman in movie “Feast of Love”, she appeared in James Bond movie as a Canadian spy Corrine Veneau, in “Double Game” her partner was Richard Gere, and in drama “Big Sur”, she was a famous poet Lenore Kandel, she was also part of the team with Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes and Gabriel Macht in “The Spirit”. This year she won People’s Choice Award for the favorite television dramatic actress in USA, leaving behind her stars like Julianne Margulies and Mariska Hargitay. But, despite her fame, green-eyed beauty never forgets her roots.
She often mentions in interviews that her father Petar is from Koljani near Vrlika and that her mother Rada is from Sinj, her parents moved to Canada before she was born and settled in Hamilton. She’s their eldest child; she has a sister and four brothers. When she was five, her family moved to Illinois, to town Aurora close to Chicago where they owned a furniture store. That summer she went to Dalmatia with her parents for the first time. Enjoying a carefree countryside playing, as a little girl from American asphalt, remained in her memory forever, just like her mother’s cod and chard did, which she learned how to make Dalmatian style.
Invitation to Greece and filming a movie “Tourist” in Italy came in handy to travel around, so she first visited her cousins in In?ija, Serbia, and then she spent several days in Croatia and Montenegro.
Do you come often to the homeland of your parents?
-I try to come as often as possible. I came last year too and several times before that.
Do you remember your first visit to Koljani?
-Yes, I was 5 years old. I came to countryside for the first time. I felt like Heidi during that summer; I became friends with the best people in the world, I played all day long, until my grandmother called us to dinner. After that we’d go to bed and start over the next morning. When I remember those days now, I can’t stop smiling. Trips to Dalmatia are the best moments of my life. We traveled it whole; I met numerous cousins and experienced life in countryside.
What changed since then?
-Changes are mostly seen in stores. Before people used to buy in small stores and in markets, today everyone goes to large supermarkets. People remained the same.
Did fans recognize you during your last visit to Croatia?
-I didn’t expect anyone to recognize me, so it was a nice surprise, especially in Vrlika, when people stopped to ask me about the show.
Do you have a special status among your family members?
-Nothing changed since my childhood. I’m not a star for my relatives, just cousin Stana whom they know since she was little. I don’t ask for special status and they wouldn’t give it to me. Everyone acts normally and the only important thing for us all is to have fun when we’re together.
How satisfied are you with your Croatian language?
-I speak it fairly well, only cases tend to teas me. The important thing is that I understand everyone and that everyone understands me. Problems come when we talk about special themes like economic conditions or health. Then I find it hard sometimes to find the right word.
Did you six years ago, when you started filming “Castle”, ever expect for the show to become so popular?
-I never even imagined we will be so watched; especially that I could be filming season seven. The show changed my life. Thanks to it I traveled almost the whole world; I met different cultures, which changed me as a person. I now understand others much better and I sympathize with them.
How similar are you with detective Kate Beckett?
-In joke I say that our biggest similarity is that we look exactly the same. I don’t believe an actor can be successful if he doesn’t let himself go to the character, so you can see parts of me in Beckett, but I’m much more feminine and I have more sense of humor. She’s an amazing character – smart, compassionate and caring – but the thing I like about her the most is that she isn’t flawless. Even though she’s always trying to the right thing, she makes errors sometimes, which is a true relief. I love when heroes aren’t perfect. She learns and develops through those mistakes, so that’s another similarity between us.
Are you as good as she is in fighting?
-I’m not bad. Even before “Castle” I practiced karate, so I know how to kick well when needed. But I adore when I can express my character through dancing, which is no problem for me because I practiced ballet for years, or simply – by walking.
Are men scared of you because of your role of a tough police woman?
-Maybe they are, before they get to know me, because after five seconds of talking to me they realize I’m a real tease, so all restraints stop.
What kind of men are you attracted to?
-I like big, tall men, with big eyes, expressive lips, wide smile…My type is a tall, handsome gentleman with a bit of villainous side, with a big heart and is prone to classic elegance. Something between Gregory Peck and George Clooney.
How do you feel when you find yourself on lists with most sex appealing actresses in Hollywood?
-Ashamed and proud at the same time. I’m glad people like what I do and how I look. It’s all nice and I’m grateful for all the compliments, but I don’t think about those lists much.
How much time and effort do you put into your beauty?
-When I’m not filming, I don’t use makeup at all. Same goes when I’m with relatives in Croatia. I can be regular Stana with them, without any makeup on.
Why would I even put lipstick on when I’m helping my aunt in the garden?!
While I’m working, I have to watch what I eat, how much I sleep and how I look. When you spend nine months a year, fourteen hours a day filming, there is no time for goofing around.
How do you keep up with that rhythm?
-I would compare it to sport preparations. No athlete in the field can do his best without preparations, so I as an actress have to prepare myself to do my job well in front of cameras. Not only to act well, but to stay healthy. If I get sick, the filming is postponed which isn’t cheap or fair to my colleagues. So every morning I start the day with a healthy breakfast, I ride a bike on regular basis, I jog and do yoga.
Is helping in the garden one of those “acting trainings”?
-Of course. That job makes me tired, so I don’t have time to think about beauty sleep, and I’m on fresh air all the time, which is awesome for a good complexion.
Stana Kati? in Vrlika
During her stay in Croatia, Stana Kati? didn’t miss a chance to visit her grandfather’s house in village Koljani near Vrlika. Old stone house on the shores of Peru?ko lake, where her father Petar and grandfather Marko grew up, abandoned for years, brought memories of idyllic moments from her childhood and made her plant a rosehip tree.
-She came with a friend and she was delighted. She said she’d love to renovate the old house, she wouldn’t be mistaken if she did, because this is a really beautiful place – says retired postman Božo Gari?, whose house is hundred meters away, he knew Stana’s grandfather well.
Hollywood actress talked to him in Croatian, and her friend jumped in when she couldn’t remember some words.
Family Kati?’s property is hidden away in a forest about a kilometer away from Vrlika. When that area was flooded to make artificial lake for hydropower Peru?a, their house found itself at the waterfront.
Abandoned stone house created a whole bunch of emotions in her, including a great desire to renovate it someday.
Stana impressed Nikola Uzor with her simplicity. He recognized her while she was walking around Vrlika and asked her to take a picture with him in front of the City Hall.
-She was surprised when I recognized her, but glad that her show is known here too. She had no problems in posing for a picture. The only condition she had was for her to do it with sunglasses on because she didn’t have any makeup on, so I borrowed her mine. – says Nikola.