Viennese-born Edith Bukovics is an actor, writer and producer who began her peripatetic career at Cambridge University in numerous critically acclaimed theatrical productions. Edith carved out a reputation playing Shakespearean roles and subsequently worked in rep and on the London stage, before her first feature leading film role took her to Cyprus for director Michael Papas’ “Secret Paths.” Since then Edith has worked with BAFTA and FIPRESCI award-winning film directors and continues to work on stage and screen in both the UK and US. Away from the camera, Edith is a published poet and award-winning visual artist. She co-founded the international acting support network Actors Gone Global, and consults with leading film financiers and investors on film and television projects. With a number of features and shows in development, Edith is currently co-producing Danny Ward’s first feature film “Six Dinner Parties” in Brooklyn, NY.
What do you love most about Your City?
That you never know who or what you will run into – this place is full of unexpected characters! And there is always something new happening, a new art space, great bar or restaurant around every corner. It’s a cliché but truly it’s impossible to get bored here.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
When I can do so once in a while, I’m a fan of a looong breakfast, I can easily enjoy the papers, endless cups of tea, coffee and grazing for two to three hours. Bring on the bircher musli and toasted croissants, fruit preserves, eggs, sausage and ripe salted avocado…Of course, this leverages all the smoothies I imbibe on other days!
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Sleeping until my toddler wakes me
10:00 AM – Most likely on a call or in-person meeting, or in the booth recording a VO. If it’s an audition day, this is the time I’ll be hunkering down with my character work and getting into that meditative pre-game state
12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?
I recently went to Milos in midtown for the first time. A very special fish restaurant with a stellar wine list. For something more casual perhaps The Smile in Greenwich village.
7:00 PM - If I’m out it could most likely be a pre theatre meal or drink anywhere around the city. I’m very much into classic New York vibes – so 21 club, The Campbell apartment, or Bemelmans bar are right up my alley.
11:00 PM – These days I’m mostly asleep, how boring is that? But in vacation mode I’m listening to live music and ordering another round. Quite possibly at Mona’s on Avenue B
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Besides chilled water I’m actually a kombucha nut (yes I’ve even been known to brew my own) and can power through that or coconut water quite happily during the day. If it’s cocktail hour, mine’s a glass of champagne or a Sazerac please.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Uber, NY Waterway and YouTube for those times I really need to distract my child with bilingual cartoons! And of course IG – I streamline regularly but always heart seeing posts from Michelle Obama, Laura Benanti and Alan Cumming
What should everyone try at least once?
Besides switching their smart phone off all day? Climbing a mountain.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
Pretty much any part of New Zealand (the wilderness is amazing and not quite as scary as other open terrain) Ireland and detouring off PCH1. Also, late night wanderings through the Met Museum.
What do I do best?
Somehow I stumbled through my teens and early 20s living by the code ‘Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!’ Luckily that perfectionist side of gets relegated to the bench most of the time now but there are a whole bunch of things I take pride in doing well, like curating awesome mix-tapes, exploring a new city on foot, making my way down a mountain without a map - and baking a damn fine Apfelstrudl The kind where you hand-pull gossamer dough so thin you can read the newspaper through it - light and scrummy and full of natural goodness. (DM me for the well worn recipe!)
I know I’m at my best when I stay flexible, tread lightly - not holding on to things or desires too intensely - and use my imagination to its full potential. These are things I’ve put to great use on set and now as mother to my young son. In fact filmmaking and motherhood increasingly seem to go hand in hand..
I’m also pretty good at knowing when people are full of BS. That stands me in good stead, though I still need to work at knowing when and how to elegantly call people out on it.
What makes me the best version of myself?
It’s that thing of treading lightly, coupled with sheer bloody-mindedness from time to time. A big dose of ‘I don’t know what I’m not capable of’ imagination. I’ve always been a big fan of creatively visualizing what I want to have happen in my life, and then adapting myself to that game of inches.
Vedic Meditation. Rest, baby!
And most importantly, I know I become the most creative, effective and loving ‘Edith’ when I surround myself with awesome people who know their stuff, of whom I can ask questions, who keep me on inspired toes – and keep me laughing and not taking myself so damn seriously.
Finally, I dig my indifference verging on contempt for SatNav – map-reading nourishes your head and soul, people!
What are my aspirations?
Very simply, to be content and feel like I am on the way to reaching my potential, thereby allowing others to fulfill theirs. I like to feel a deep sense of ‘it’s going to be OK’ calm and I know it makes me more beautiful inside and out, a better person to be around.
A large part of that contentment comes from enjoying a healthy harmonious family life – a travelling happy home filled with laughter, music and warmth. Watching my kids become themselves, remaining curious, intelligent and kind people who know their innate self-worth – this means the world to me.
Professionally, I aspire to enjoy the respect of my peers. (…& in the words of one of my acting coaches - Who is Piers??) and really digging in to the communities I’m part of. I intend to keep contributing to the film industry in many guises, make projects that only I could originate, whilst creating a platform for unheard voices, all the while taking pleasure in having a stake in this unpredictable and heady business which attracts so many amazing humans to it.
Being good to our planet and taking as many political (small p!) actions that I can to foster this, is also a major way in which I can plug into that contentment.
My Biggest Success?
Hmmm…aside from those Apfelstrudls?!
My friend’s sister once dropped in on a party and saw an oil painting I’d made of her brother Rufus – despite having no idea the painting existed and despite it being a pretty experimental depiction of him, she recognized him immediately. I won’t lie, that was a personal artistic highlight for me!
I’m super proud of a bunch of things in my life – figuring out what my own essence is and staying pretty true to that despite moving countries and schools 10 times in my childhood. Making for-life friends along the way in all those places...the artistic pursuits, the film and theatre work I’ve been part of, and earning my Green Card through these projects.
But frankly all this pales in comparison to my most fulfilling success - the living energy that’s gone into being a mother to my son Amory. This incarnation has made me a more engaged, productive, empathetic and all-round better wife, daughter, sister, activist, actor and creator.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Character building challenges – I’ve had a few!
Several examples come to mind, but front and centre is probably the decision to take up a Green Card, get married and move to Manhattan all at once. I relocated to one of the most intense and exciting cities on the planet with my new husband four years ago. This gentle man turned down a great promotion in London, I gave up my own securities and together we moved away from family and friends, threw our hearts across the pond and ran after to catch them. Some might call the decision to come here with just a few contacts, our savings and imagination to get the balls rolling a mite foolhardy– and we definitely experienced our fair share of challenges and relationship knocks along the way. But over this period we’ve also become more aligned and stronger as a team, we’ve learned how to better grow independently and together as a couple. Making sense of the intense hustle of New York working and living has certainly molded us – two freelancers with a young child certainly have their work cut out for themselves in this city. Time and again we’ve found ourselves asking the hard questions and finding ways in which we can dream, plan and manifest our desires as a really solid little gang.
“Never complain, never explain” took me until about 30, but here’s a couple that I come much more these days:
“That which hinders your task, is your task”
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle..”
and “It’s never crowded on the extra mile.” Love these!
My Favorite People/Role Models?
Great question! How long have we got?
Here are a few in absolutely no particular order:
Madonna, Seamus Heaney, Chelsea Clinton, Sam Rockwell, Kofi Annan, Gene Kelly, Jacinda Ardern, Eddie Vedder, Emily Fletcher, Oprah Winfrey, Katherine Hepburn and David Attenborough. And my grandmother who has journeyed an extraordinary life and is still going strong in Vienna at age 94
Characteristics I admire in these women and men: industrious, intelligent, independent, kind, humble, engaged in politics with a small p. And they listen.
Also – every nurturing caregiver and parent. Our world simply wouldn’t spin without their dedication and self-sacrifice.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Every single inch of New Zealand.
New York city on a spring day
Sicily in September.
And long ago I lost my heart in Co. Cork – the wild coastline, the peat fires and Clonakility guitar festival!
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My wedding ring – designed with Ken & Dana NYC
Japanese kitchen knives. Caran d’Ache Watercolor pencils and crayons. I do love good tools!
My Macbook travels with me everywhere
Eyelash curlers – desert island luxury.
A piece of limestone rock with red and white flecked paint – part of a route marker from my first big mountain hike as a kid. I may or may not have been a kleptomaniac six year old…
My Current Passions?
Mothering. I’ve realized that in actively mothering my child I’m in effect becoming a mother to myself as well. Funny how that works.
Aside from the current film projects I’m loving getting involved in, I’m also going back to my drawing board. Quite literally – I’ve been able to carve out more time in my mini art studio corner – complete with crank desk and a ton of art supplies. Pure zone-out me-time - Yay!
Creating my international tribe – I grew up in a lot of places and countries and half the people in my phone book live overseas. I miss our friendships like crazy and am hatching plans to somehow get people together next year for a very special summer reunion.