YEREVAN/BERLIN — Actor and writer Vic (Vahag) Bagratuni was born in 1990, in Yerevan and raised in Germany. He studied at the Lee Strasberg Film and Theater Institute in New York, attending master classes with Anna and David Strasberg and Vincent D’Onofrio. At Strasberg, he was the lead actor in “Carnal Knowledge” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”
In 2011 he became a professional observer at the legendary Actors’ Studio and appeared in off-off Broadway plays such as “A Hatful of Rain” and “Killers and Other Family.” He is an Alumni of the Baron/Brown Acting Studio in Santa Monica, CA.
Vic Bagratuni has appeared in 14 films and TV series, including Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” and the series “Boardwalk Empire,” and the documentary series “Inside the American Mob.” His most recent credits are “Men of Granite,” “Scorpion,” “Brothers in Arms,” and the Sundance hit “After Her.” He is also author of two plays, “The Strasberg Legacy” (performed at The Lee Strasberg Theater in New York) and “Sunrise Surprises” (performed at New York’s Monroe Theater in 2016).
Vahag, I think we, all movie lovers from around the world, for some time dream to appear in the main film dream factory, Hollywood, but most of us even do not reach a remote corner of it. You also had that dream as child and made your best to make it happens. In what part of that road you are now?
It’s been a fun and a life altering journey, I have to admit. However, I left that life behind me. You have to grow up and realize that at the end of day the “romantic idea” of Hollywood is bogus and is to be experienced and navigated with caution. At least in my opinion. It’s natural to be young, wild, careless and free to choose this privileged profession, move to Hollywood to “make it,” hustle jobs, auditions, managers or agents, whether or not to join the actors’ union Screen Actors Guild and if yes, how, get the “attention” of casting and many, many other catch-22 like issues young artists are faced with in a relentless and cruel town such as Los Angeles with no real and well-intentioned guidance. The nature of artists is a soft one, a vulnerable one, a somewhat naive and hopeful one, which shouldn’t be exposed to the “business” side of acting.
Everybody is hustling and grinding to make meets end and for that, you need a thick skin and a huge portion of endurance to overcome the literal bullshit people in the acting world are trying to sell you, whether it’s a useless workshop of some kind, where “desperation” is imprinted on each actor going by the motto of “I’m gonna fake it until I make it,” or fake parties with fake people, pretending to be a big time producer or whatnot, or even one’s own talent manager or/and agent not fully believing in you, but trying hard to just get you a job no matter what it is, which is noble, but totally without strategic intentions toward a long-lasting career. It gradually took me away from my art, my self-value as a human and artiste, but that is not an excuse. Nobody is going to give you a manual. Want less, live more. Maybe that was my mistake. I should’ve, could’ve, must’ve… but at the end, who cares?