The fact that Izabela Vidovic is only 12 years old is sort of mindboggling. This already accomplished actress has now added writer and producer to her repertoire, not to mention a starring role in Homefront, the new Jason Statham thriller out this week.Following in the footsteps of her mother, filmmaker and actress Elizabeta Vidovic, Izabela got her start early. “[My mother] put me in one of her films, because I wanted to try it out,” Izabela remembers – and this was at 6 years old. Her mother continues to inspire her and help shepherd her career. “She’s sort of like a mentor. If I need help, she can be there to coach me!”
Now, this mother-daughter team has proven quite successful, with two shorts under their belt. And Izabela wore several hats in these productions: “I just finished my own short [Because These Kids Are…] – I wrote the script, it took me a few drafts.” And her mother, of course, was there every step of the way. “It’s helpful to have someone there to read it for you.”
Unbelievably, Izabela also produced the short, which deals with the issue of bullying. About producing at such a young age, she says, “I was pretty nervous at first, I wanted to take it seriously. It was a trial run.” But judging from the results, it is a pursuit she plans to continue. “I definitely want to write and produce more!”
Because These Kids Are… actually was spurred on by Izabela’s involvement in Homefront. “My friends in elementary were bullied quite a bit, and I knew I wanted to put that message out there – I hate bullying with a passion,” she tells us. And then, on the Homefront set, she was reminded of her desire to do something. “There’s that bullying aspect in the beginning of the film, which made me think about it again,” she says.
Homefront deals with a lot more than just bullying. This hard-boiled action film follows Phil Broker (Jason Statham), who is just trying to lead a normal life with daughter Maddy (Izabela), in spite of his involvement in the takedown of a huge drug kingpin some years earlier. Of course, the peace isn’t kept for long, and all manner of baddies (from James Franco to Winona Ryder, in fact) descend upon the two with a desire for vengeance.
But Izabela’s character isn’t totally defenseless. “I loved the physicality of [the role] – I got to do some beating up,” she says, smiling. “I got to throw a few punches and kicks, and got to run in the woods.”
The other great thing about the Homefront experience was, of course, working with such a cast of talented actors. When thinking of the best advice she received, Izabela remembers, “It was just about watching them work…how professional they are, how down to earth they are. Watching that was definitely a learning experience in itself.”
The articulate and well-spoken young actress cites Pan’s Labyrinth as one of her favorite movies, and Catching Fire as her favorite YA novel. She is excited to watch the film!