Julia Tulupova was born in Smolensk, Russia, grew up in Kharkiv, Ukraine and studied in Kiev, where she earned her B.A. at the Kiev National University of Theater and Cinematography. She speaks three languages, English, Russian, Ukrainian and is proficient in French. Her dialects include American Standard, American General, Russian, Eastern European and British. She is also a musician and has studied the piano and guitar. She has acted in numerous roles in theater, television and film and is also known for her fencing and horseback riding skills. She currently works out of Los Angeles.
NP: You have a fascinating background. Do you find that you occasionally think in one language more than another? And when your thoughts are clothed in words what do you feel most comfortable in terms of that clothing or language? Does the process of translating words into feelings affect your acting in a given role in any way?
Tulupova: I think the language environment usually defines the language most of us think in. And since I’m spending most of the time in the US I think in English. Whenever I go home I automatically switch, although it might take a few days to adjust. I have to say that it certainly does feel like English is slowly ousting every other language in my head, I can feel it skyping with my friends and having troubles explaining myself from time to time, but once again it’s just a matter of time and environment. In terms of acting I prefer thinking that the spoken word is the last stage of expression, it comes as a result of reacting and emoting. There’s no space in between these stages to think or translate, that’s why it’s crucial to be able to embrace the language you’re acting in as naturally as you possibly can.
NP: You have accomplished much in theater, film and television. Is there subject matter you wish to tackle or explore?
Tulupova: Honestly, I think there’s so much in theatre, film and TV to explore that I doubt that one life is enough. One of the most exciting things about the actor’s profession is that you always get to explore something new, every character gives you an opportunity to dive into a whole new world. You have to learn to tap dance for one part and to be fluent in sign language for another one. So the answer would be yes, I’m always interested in exploring within the profession. Speaking about switching from acting to something else – I’ve been thinking/exploring writing and producing a bit, hopefully it’ll come together one day.
NP: Do you have any thoughts about the artistic landscape (theater & film) in Ukraine? Has politics influenced the arts and if so how?
Tulupova: Absolutely. The Ukrainian revolution (February 2014) made everyone very conscious about the uniqueness of Ukrainian culture. The government started financing more projects to be shot in Ukrainian language. Russian projects that used to be made in the Ukraine were terminated. Ukrainian actors got the opportunity to be cast for leading parts in local projects (before that they were Russian actors), small theatres and experimental companies started getting more financial support from Europe. A tremendous amount of new music bands appeared on the marked, those incorporating ethnic and modern motives started getting more and more attention among the youth. Despite the overall downsides of the political situation in Ukraine the cultural life is growing and, as it usually happens in history, emotionally reflecting on current events.
NP: You come across as a very positive individual. What do you envision as to your future and some of the challenges you face as an actress?
Tulupova: Well positivism itself is a result of many challenges. As an actor you have to get used to judgment and rejection, enormous emotional and physical demands, lack of time and supportive people around and still be grateful because it all pays off. And, I look forward to challenges, as they make us grow. I can only hope that the future will bring much work, more fields to explore and maybe some new languages to learn. 🙂