Russian film stars are going international. The leading Irish talent agent Richard Cook known as the Irish casting pioneer, the founder of the Subtitle Film Festival in Kilkenny, and co-founder of The Lisa Richards Agency, informed ROSKINO of the career achievements of several Russian actors.

In 1989 Richard Cook and his actress sister established The Lisa Richards Agency that specializes in casting actors, authors, directors and producers around the globe. The company represents Pierce Brosnan, Cillian Murphy, Amy Ryan, Aidan Turner, and many other stars.

Richard Cook is also the founder of the Subtitle Film Festival – a top international yearly event that takes place in the heart of Ireland, in the town of Kilkenny. The line-up features European titles, master classes, and talent networking events.

In a follow-up of the festival several leading Russian actors have been tapped for international films and series. It was the lucky touch of the agent that got Yuri Kolokolnikov his guest star appearance in the legendary Game of Thrones, and later in The Transporter Refueled by Camille Delamarre and The Hitman’s Bodyguard by Patrick Hughes. Daniil Vorobyev was tapped for the British drama Riviera directed by Hans Herbots, Philipp Kadelbach, and Adrian Lester, Nadja Bobyleva was cast in Ashes in the Snow by Marius A. Markevicius, and Diana Pozharskaya appeared in The Unknown Soldier by Aku Louhimies. Richard is representing many more Russian talents: the actors Danila Kozlovsky, Maria Andreeva, Evgenia Brik, Lyubov Aksenova, the director Anna Melikyan, the cinematographer Mikhail Krichman, and a number of others.

Most recently Richard Cook has shared with Roskino the exclusive news: the popular Russian actor Yuri Kolokolnikov has just been cast in the new Michael Bay thriller 6 Underground for Netflix and Skydance.

Richard Cook, The Lisa Richards Agency co-founder

‘I am so happy for Yuri, I think he is one of the most promising talents in Russian cinema today. It is a big break for him, and the biggest budget for an original Netflix project to date. 6 Underground starring Ryan Reynolds will start shooting at the end of September in Italy. And working with Michael Bay is a dream opportunity when it comes to professional fulfilment.’

According to Variety, 6 Underground is a spec created by Deadpool and Deadpool 2 writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick who will also executive produce. Skydance Media’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger will produce the project along with Bay. The plot revolves around six billionaires who fake their own deaths and form an elite team to fight the bad guys. The release is scheduled for 2019.

The actress Diana Pozharskaya who shot to fame after the Hotel Eleon series is about to start filming her first English-language lead in Firebird helmed by the Estonian Peeter Rebane. It is a great achievement for Diana. Based on a true story, Firebird is a cold war thriller set in the 1970’s Soviet air force. A dangerous love triangle forms when both Luisa, a charming and ambitious secretary to the base Commander, and her best friend Sergey, a troubled conscript, unexpectedly fall for Roman, a daring young fighter pilot. Driven by curiosity, they embark on a fatal affair of forbidden love and deception, navigating the precarious line between love and friendship. Sergey has to face his past, Roman’s career is endangered and Luisa struggles to keep her family together. As the walls close in they risk their freedom and their very lives in the face of an escalating KGB investigation and the multiple perils of an all seeing Soviet regime. The project is produced in the UK by Brigita Rozenbrika and executive produced by Mauro Durant and Neil Tennant. Release is scheduled for 2019.

Maryana Spivak, internationally recognized for her role in Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless (2017), has completed filming in Danny Boyle’s new film for Working Title set in an imaginary world where The Beatles never existed.

Danila Kozlovsky and Sofya Lebedeva have been confirmed for a new season of McMafia. The Russian organized crime drama debuted in February, 2018 as an eight-part series created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins. Inspired by Misha Glenny’s best-selling book of the same name, the series follows Alex Goldman (James Norton) as he is drawn deeper and deeper into the world of organized crime. McMafia is co-produced by the BBC, AMC, in association with Twickenham Studios, and distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide.

Danila Kozlovsky also continues his work in Season 6 of Vikings which is currently being filmed in Ireland for the History Channel. He is starring in the leading role of Oleg the Prophet.

Vikings is a project created and entirely written by the Michael Hirst, a family saga that tells of the lives and epic adventures of the raiders and explorers of the Dark Ages. The character of Kozlovsky was a Varangian prince of Novgorod who ruled the Rus people in the 10th century. Coincidentally, Kozlovsky headlined the 2016 big-budget Russian feature by the same title where he played one of Oleg’s successors, Vladimir the Great, Prince of Novgorod. Kozlovsky is repped by Richard Cook/Lisa Richards Agency and Larry Taube at Principal Entertainment, LA.

Katya Mtsitouridze, Roskino CEO:

‘We have been working with Richard Cook for 6 years. Roskino supports the participation of Russian actors in the Kilkenny festival. It is one of the best networking events of the world where actors are treated with love and respect and a great atmosphere is produced to bring out the best sides of their creative nature and to show the sides of their skills and talent that can hardly come out at a normal casting interview. Richard arranges meetings with top casting directors and influential agents that can be life changing.

I believe that supporting the international expansion of the Russian artists must become one of the industry priorities. Only by getting out of the comfortable local community can they unlock their true potential. Danila Kozlovsky and Yuri Kolokolnikov whose every appearance is a real thrill, Evgenia Brik who has just been screen tested for Bond girl, Maria Andreeva who is bound to get great international proposals, Darya Ekamasova who has managed to charm even the smuggest members of the New York-based industry, and many other talents are worthy of a great acting career and a worldwide recognition. This is the very soft power out President Putin has been talking about. Hopefully with time Roskino supported by the Ministry of Culture will be able to implement the program of national cinema promotion where actors are supposed to play a key role. The French have realized it a long time ago and they act with panache. In Russia our possibilities are still limited but the results are already impressive. The newest international achievements of our talents are the best national cinema day gift for those who truly care about Russian actors.’