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Zack Zublena ... Got the Part

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Zack Zublena ... Got the Part
Actors using Back Stage will spend countless hours looking at casting notices, finding the roles that fit them, submitting headshots, and going to auditions. Sometimes, though, all the actor has to do is upload a strong résumé, and the director will find him. Such was the case for Zack Zublena, who got cast as Pierre in "The Recipient." After producer-director Javier Bermudez placed the notice in the Aug. 26 issue of Back Stage, he went to the Talent Database feature and started looking for his leading man. "What I love about Back Stage," Bermudez says, "is that it's like a shopping mall. I can just put in that I want a Caucasian actor between this and that, and then I can look at a hundred guys and read their résumés, and before I even waste my time opening a hundred submissions, I can select 10 or 15 that I really like." Zublena's information leapt out at him, and Bermudez called him in to audition.

Zublena knew that this didn't mean he could rest on his laurels, however. He walked into the audition ready to sell himself. After telling Bermudez that he had read and loved the script, he pointed out that the character, a kidnapper, had to be believable as someone who could actually put a person in the trunk of a car. "I saw the guys in the waiting room," Zublena remembers, "and I told him I could totally grab somebody physically. You need the strength, and in the script, the guy does it by himself. And those other guys were, like, shrimps." He made such an impression that Bermudez was willing to work with the one thing that could be a real problem—Zublena's French accent. "They tried to have me speak as close as I could to a standard American accent, and I did my very best," the actor says. "I worked with a coach, but I told them, 'I'm not going to lie to you and tell you, "Don't worry, I'll pop up with an American accent," because I won't, and you'll be mad at me, and I don't want that. I can work on it, I can make sure everybody who will be watching the movie in the United States will understand what I'm actually saying, but I'm not going to pretend I'm American.' So they said, 'Well, okay, we've changed the guy. It's not Clive anymore, it's Pierre.'"

Zublena has more than just his acting skills and physical prowess to offer: He also has a great deal of experience. Before he left his native France, he was in more than 100 TV shows and movies and hosted a popular reality show. Since coming to Hollywood in 2008, he has found more than enough to keep him busy. A member of AFTRA and of SAG, he not only does TV and movies but also frequently works as a voice artist, dubbing English movies to French; his most recent project was "The King's Speech." He has put work into his craft, as well. He started studying with Larry Moss as soon as he could. "Every chance I have I work with him, because he's incredible," Zublena says. "My coach in Paris told me about him, and he blows me away."

"The Recipient" is being sent to festivals and has already been selected to play at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. "I'm sure he's going to have a lot of success all over the world with that movie," Zublena says of Bermudez. The actor says one of the best parts of being in the movie was getting flown to Puerto Rico: "The whole experience was incredible, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for a European like me to fly to the Caribbean and work there. It was magical. Don't tell the director, but I would have done it for free!" Bermudez, meanwhile, says, "Zack is an actor who you know is going to make it. We're so lucky we got him before he's expensive, because I'm sure in a couple of years there's no way we're going to be able to afford him."

Has Back Stage helped you get cast in the past year? We'd love to tell your story. Be in the weekly column by emailing casting@backstage.com for New York or bswcasting@backstage.com for Los Angeles with "I Got the Part" in the subject line.

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