Meet Alexandra Bokova, the talented actress behind the mermaid in Mermaid Down, a fantasy thriller directed by Jeffrey Grellman about a mermaid pulled from the ocean, abused and placed into a psychiatric facility where no one understands and believes her. The independent film, released at the end of October, has reached a worldwide audience with its global distribution in select theaters and major streaming platforms, and Bokova unanimous praise for her pivotal contribution to the picture.
She successfully delivers a mute performance solely reliant on her physical expression, eyes and sign language. Not only is Alexandra Bokova a natural exotic beauty, her performance is undeniably brilliant and as Horror DNA puts it “simply hypnotic”. Film Daily describes her performance as “an exceptionally executed job of a truly gifted performer expressing pain, suffering, and longing without the help of a single word”.
The heroine isn’t a fairytale princess. She is a dangerous wild creature, unique and otherworldly. With a few dreadlocks in her hair, seaweed growing out of her scalp, and a key tied in her hair, she hangs out with pirates who teach her sign language.
“She’s my kind of girl in that aspect. She’s wild, boundless and instinctual.”- Alexandra Bokova
Born and raised in Stavropol, Russia, Alexandra is from an artistic family and spent her childhood on television hosting a show called Nezhnij Vozrast. After immigrating to USA and graduating from San Francisco State University, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actor. Film Threat describes «when Russian-born actress Bokova arrived in Hollywood, she hit the ground running.
“I love the process of filmmaking, being on set, being in character, embracing the madness, observing all the work that goes into a shoot, learning. I feel most alive and happy when I am working, it’s an incredible adrenaline for me.” – Alexandra Bokova
Watching Mermaid Down, it’s clear some of those scenes must have been very physically and emotionally demanding to film. There is a lot of violence in this movie. Between the tail chopping scenes, being dragged by her feet into the basement in a straight-jacket, or getting punched in the face by the evil doctor, it’s hard to imagine this was an easy role for an actor to play.
“I was very well taken care of onset but had an eagerness to push myself further. I insisted on doing my own stunts. Some scenes were difficult because it left me thinking of how many creatures endure similar and worse treatment and pain in the real world today. As far as what I had to go through for my character emotionally, at times it was easier because her lack of vanity freed me from feeling violated personally. When one of the girls spits in the mermaid’s face she doesn’t have a reaction because she isn’t aware of the socially constructed meaning behind that action. She doesn’t have an ego the way humans do” – Bokova
Aside from her impressive performance in Mermaid Down, its clear Alexandra Bokova takes her craft very serious with her extensive theatrical background and continuous practice in actor’s studios like Ivana Chubbuck’s and Sharon Carnicke’s. This isn’t an actress who got lucky to land a leading role. Bokova’s training, determination and sophisticated approach to her character, presents an actor determined to live a life full of memorable performances.
“I want to submerge myself in work. Hopefully, this will be a step towards more creative choices and opportunities. When you’re starting out you don’t come around unique award-winning scripts like Mermaid Down often. I’m seeking something daring and bold and demanding of me. But I have no expectations and am simply excited to see where my journey takes me. I am grateful to be in this moment for now.” – Alexandra Bokova
Currently, Mermaid Down keeps building its global audience as Alexandra Bokova continues to gain international acclaim. She has a project coming out in the spring of 2020. We are looking forward to more memorable performances and as Vents Magazine says it best “Bokova is an enigma. We are keeping our eyes glued to the actress”.
Watch Alexandra in Mermaid Down on streaming platforms including Amazon Prime.
Follow Alexandra Bokova on Instagram @alexandrabokova_