«Metro» newspaper
Author: Svetlana Pertsova

Circulation: 500'000 copies

Artem Lyskov:
«The main thing is not to overdo it»

The actor who took part in the casting for «The Game of Thrones» told «Metro» about auditioning in Russia and in the West and explained what a cold reading is.

Artem Lyskov is one of the actors who has big experience both in Russia and abroad. Having graduated from the Boris Shchukin University he made his way to America where he studied in the Lee Strasberg University. After taking part in “The Threepenny Opera” at the Marilyn Monroe Theatre he came back to Russia but he never gave up trying to conquer the West. For example, he has recently auditioned for the popular show “The Game of Thrones”.

- Artem, how did you come up with the idea to take part in a foreign project?

- It just happened by itself. I was a part of the actors union collaborating with the American channel HBO that produced TV shows like “The Game of Thrones”, “Sex and The City” etc. A year ago HBO looked through the agency’s union and selected 20 actors for further partnership. A photographer came from the US to make professional shots for our portfolios – that is how I became one of HBO’s employees. The next step was making a profile. Since all of it took a whole year I forgot about the casting and that’s when they contacted me again. I received a letter where the HBO representatives asked me to film myself reading an extract for a character and send it to them. I didn’t know what the part was till the very end. Then the most exciting stage was over. Now it’s time to wait for the results.

“You need to look neat at the casting to be worthy of meeting new people”
– Artem Lyskov

- Is there a visible difference between the casting processes in Russia and in the West?

- If at the moment you are in the country where the casting is held and you can actually come to the audition or a screen test then the process is the same. It is a standard proceure when they send you a side – an extract of the role you have to prepare. You learn it at home and then go over it with the casting director in front of the camera. You must also have a high-quality profile – they’re called casting-slates. They contain the actor’s descriptions of his height, weight, eye color and a little self-summary.

- And then the casting begins?

- Yes, and there are two types of it: one of them is reading something you prepared at home, the audition, and the other one is improvisation on set – it’s called cold reading. I find the second kind more interesting. You arrive to the set, then you are given an extract and 5-10 minutes for preparation. After that you stand in front of the camera and act as closely to the text as possible. Such auditions allow the actor to show himself better because when you prepare at home you might overdo it. In the movies it is important to act as simply as possible.

- Is there a secret of successful casting?

- There is a saying among actors: “to rest on the text” – it means you don’t know the part well enough and that’s all you can think about. But you must think about your character. That’s why the most important thing is to learn your lines so you won’t have to think about them during the filming.