'Aviva': Meet the actor-dancers playing the male and female auras of two dancers struggling to see each other
The most interesting part of the film is perhaps how both Aviva and Eden have their own, individual masculine and feminine avatars, played by different actors
Writer and director Boaz Yakin's romance drama 'Aviva' is a beautiful exploration of love, being attracted to the idea of a person, and also the challenge of loving the reality of them, with all they are.
The official synopsis states: "After meeting online, transatlantic lovers Aviva and Eden embark on a tumultuous courtship, love affair and marriage. The couple struggles, separate and tries to get back together, as dual aspects of each one's personality battles forces inside and out." In other words, Aviva and Eden are two sides of a coin, always together but struggling to actually see each other. The dance drama comes armed with tumultuous and passionate steps to no music; the raunchy sex scenes have also been quite talked about since its premiere at the SXSW Film Festival before the pandemic hit.
The most interesting part of the film is perhaps how both Aviva and Eden have their own, individual masculine and feminine avatars - played by different actors of course. But before we dive headfirst into the fiery romance and brutal heartbreaks of the two star crossed lovers, let's take a look at the incredible cast playing these roles to perfection.
Zina Zinchenko plays Aviva
When exploring the feminine aspects and desires of her personality, the female Aviva is played by Zinchenko, who started her career as a contemporary dancer at the age of 12. Originally from Moscow and with an accomplished list of feathers to her bonnet of performing arts, Zinchenko was offered a role by Natalie Portman in her first film as a director - 'Story of Love and Darkness'. Portman had reportedly seen a live performance of Zinchenko before starring her in a role that personally inspired Zinchenko a lot.
Tyler Phillips plays Eden
When we see the character on screen, he is primarily a man; his masculine side portrayed by Phillips. The 2013 Julliard graduate had performed on the works of Andrea Miller, Azure Barton, Pam Tanowitz and Ohad Naharin while back in school. Since graduation, his credits include works with Punchdrunk's Sleep No More, Company XIV, Jack Ferver, Schoen Movement Company, and Zack Winokur. Ever since starring as the lead in 'Aviva', Phillips has moved to Los Angeles from Texas to further his career.
Or Schraiber plays Aviva as a man
Aviva's masculine energy is channeled through Schraiber, who is eloquent and fierce in his portrayal, as seen from the trailer. Schraiber is also an actor and dancer known for his works in 'The Last Planet' (2019), 'Bobbi Jene' (2016), 'Mr. Gaga' (2016). He has performed with the Batsheva Dance Company and was also in the cast of the first-ever national tour of 'The Band's Visit' Broadway production.
Bobbi Jene Smith plays Eden as a woman
The feminine side of Eden is vulnerable as resilient and Smith does her part well. The actress and producer has quite the assortment of sci-fi thrillers and dance dramas in her credits, including 'Annihilation' (2018), and 'Mari' (2018).
'Aviva' releases on demand this Friday, June 12.