It’s one of the most highly anticipated flicks of the year — and Ksenia Solo is in it. You may recognize Ksenia from her stint on shows like Life Unexpected and The Cleaner, but the girl is big time now — like, how many people actually get to work with Natalie Portman?
Ksenia plays a super ambitious ballet dancer in Black Swan, and the role she plays isn’t too far from her real life! In our exclusive Q&A with the up and comer, Ksenia told us about growing up a dancer, why she’d wear Chanel to the grocery store (!), and what other A-listers she’s dying to work with.
Teen.com: So, no offense, but your character, Veronica, is kind of a biotch...
Ksenia Solo: [Laughs]. She is very much a heartless biotch, cruel in some ways because she won’t stop at anything to get what she wants. And she wants to be the best and she wants to be the star. And she’s got enough confidence and guts to just take what she wants. But she is an extremely talented, wildly ambitious ballet dancer.
Teen.com: Do you ever meet real-life Veronicas out in the world? How do you deal with them?
Ksenia Solo: Oh god, it’s like every other person [laughs]! You smile and you nod, and that I think is the best way. Smile and not let people like that affect you.
Teen.com: The ballet in this flick is pretty hardcore. Did you have any dancing experience going in?
Ksenia Solo: My mom is actually a former prima ballerina and all the women in my family are associated either with dance or choreography or acting, so I’m very lucky in a way because I grew up in a family of artists. I’ve been dancing since I was a little kid.
Teen.com: Cool! Did your famous fam pressure you to go into acting?
Ksenia Solo: The really funny thing is that my mom and my dad never, ever, ever wanted me to be in this business, because they were both artists and knew what kind of hardships come along with being in this business. But it just kind of happened. I blame it all on my mom who was still dancing on stage with me when she was however many months pregnant. I always say that I was dancing and acting in the belly. I feel like it’s something I was born with and inspired by my family since I grew up backstage, watching them perform. I guess it was just a natural path for me.
Teen.com: Was the training for Black Swan as intense as it seems?
Ksenia Solo: When I found out I got the role I wasn’t really in shape; I hadn’t been dancing for a while. The second I heard about it I was so scared about how intense the dancing would be that I started training literally all day long, every single day, as much as I could before my feet would completely buckle under me. I would be in pointe and in those ballet shoes. I trained for about three months before the film. When we all wrapped we were like, “Can we not move for five years? That’d be fantastic.” I didn’t have a stunt double, which some of the girls got, so for me it was intimidating. So I definitely sat on my ass for a long time after!
Teen.com: We bet! So, your co-star is Natalie Portman. How crazy was that for you?
Ksenia Solo: I have always dreamed of working specifically with the women of this cast. These women are people who I’ve had photos of in my bedroom, like collages of people that I admire. Specifically Natalie. I read a quote somewhere that someone said she’s like the Meryl Streep of our generation and I could not agree more. It was really cool, at this point in my life, to work with these people.
Teen.com: Are there any other Hollywood big names you want to work with?
Ksenia Solo: Oh my god, so many. Are you sure you have time? This could be like, two hours. Marion Cotilliard, Robert Downey Jr, Susan Sarandon, and Charlize Theron. And I’ll stick with that, because I could give you a thousand more names.
Teen.com: Ha! The costumes in this flick were designed by Rodarte and they’re amazing. How cool was it to wear those tutus?
Ksenia Solo: For me, putting on a tutu wasn’t too new of an experience. But it was the fact that it was this designer and they were so beautiful. I remember at our costume fitting we put on our tutus and we were all in awe, staring at ourselves in the mirror because they were so incredibly beautiful.
Teen.com: Are you really into fashion?
Ksenia Solo: I am totally, completely, 100% in love with fashion. I would wear Chanel gowns to the grocery store if I could. I’m a huge fan of Chanel and Versace and I actually have always dreamed of designing my own line one day. That’s something that I would love to do in the future. I love fashion.
Teen.com: What other things do you want to do in the future?
Ksenia Solo: One of my dreams has always been to get behind the camera. It’s always been something I’ve always been passionate about. At home I make my own little movies at home, and editing, and writing and directing. So I tried to learn as much as I possibly could from Darren on set. I couldn’t ask for a better teacher. That’s something that I would love to do in the near future.
Teen.com: What advice do you give to aspiring singers, actors and/or dancers?
Ksenia Solo: I’d say you have to really know that you love it with every inch of your body and soul because it is such a difficult business to be in because of all the rejection and all the hardships and sacrifices you have to make in order to reach where you want to be. So I’d say first of all make sure you completely and utterly love it, and second to not let anybody get you down. You really have to believe in yourself and be your number one fan, because in this business every other person is trying to get you down. You really have to stay true to yourself, as cheesy as that sounds. And you cannot take no for an answer, and you have to dream big. I think that’s the greatest thing my family ever taught me: if you’re going to dream, you have to dream SO big.