Nina Senicar has traveled the globe in pursuit of her dream to become an actress. Born in Serbia to a family of doctors and professors, Nina won the title of Miss Yugoslavia in 2001 at age 16. She soon went on to study at the University of Bocconi in Milan, Italy, receiving a scholarship at the age of 18. After graduating with a Masters of Science, Nina began her television career in the Italian-produced Distraction, starring alongside Teo Mammucari.

In 2011, Nina moved to Los Angeles, and she is now set to star in the highly-anticipated Papillon, a remake of the 1973 prison-break drama featuring Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen. She is also in filming with James Franco, Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, and Heidi Klum in the animation movie Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad, voicing the character of Countdown Inka.

“I love the adrenalin of being on set,” Nina says of her work as an actress, “the exploration of different characters, the silence in the audience before stepping on stage. I love everything about acting.”

IVY Magazine caught up with Nina to discuss her work in the new Papillon, her journey to become an actress, and what she does to stay busy off the set.

Photo Cred: Warwick Saint

How was your experience filming the big remake of Papillon?

It was unforgettable and so rewarding. I had the pleasure of working with the most amazing actors and crew. I am beyond grateful to be a part of such a big project.

Is it difficult acting in a language that is not your native tongue?

Yes. It takes much more work to act in another language. I act mostly in English and Italian but I did a movie last year in Serbian and I was shocked how much easier it was to be spontaneous and in the moment in my native tongue.

Do you have a creative inspiration or role model?

Susan Sarandon.

Why Susan?

I just love everything about her. Her movies, her aura, her beauty… She makes everything she does seem so effortless and I find that very inspiring.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

If you want to succeed you have to outwork your competition.

How do you outwork your competition?

By constantly working on your craft and thinking outside of the box. Reading, writing, producing, performing, creating your own opportunities, I still believe in meritocracy.

Do you have a project you’re especially proud of?

I am proud of every indie movie I’ve ever done. I have such a huge admiration for people who work together for very little or no money to create something that they believe in.

What do you love doing outside of work?

I love riding horses; show jumping is my biggest passion besides acting.

In addition to acting and show jumping, you’re also quite involved in work with various humanitarian organizations. Can you tell us about that?

Yes, in particular, I work with Pangea Onlus, an organization that helps women who have suffered from violence. For example, in third world countries, Pangea uses micro-credits to help women open their own little businesses, become independent, and create a life for themselves and their children. I’ve spent some time at their center in Kabul, Afghanistan, where I spoke to women who, simply by attending the lecture, were risking their lives. If their husbands, fathers, or brothers found out that they were there, they would feel entitled to beat and rape them. The most shocking thing to me is that for those women, violence was a normal thing; they got used to it. Soon I realized that even if we can’t change all of their lives, we can educate them to raise their sons in a different way, and make a better life for new generations of women in their country.

That’s an inspiring story, thank you for sharing. To finish off — any upcoming projects you’re particularly excited about?

I am currently developing a TV show that I am very excited about; seeing it on the TV would be my biggest dream come true.

Nina Senicar is an IVY Member (LA). Connect and collaborate with her here!

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