International Star You Should Know: Zrinka Cvitesic

Zrinka Cvitesic International Star
Florian Seefried/Getty Images

Croatian thesp conquers London theater scene

CLAIM TO FAME
Zrinka Cvitesic burst on the Croatian film scene in 2005 at age 26 in “What Is a Man Without a Moustache,” playing a young widow who helps a priest, and falls in love with him. An accomplished dancer, she won the inaugural season of the Croatian version of “Dancing With the Stars” in 2007. And this year, taking her act to London, she stars as the Girl in the musical “Once,” for which she received the West End Frame Award for her London stage debut.

ALL-AROUND TALENT
Cvitesic, who pronounces her name ZHRIN-ka ZVEE-teh-vich, occasionally sings at jazz festivals, clubs and on television. Her aptitude for languages has served her well in her film career. “Every time I get a part, I have to learn a new language,” she says. “I love the process of creating a character like that. I’ve learned English, Serbian, Bosnian … and currently I’m learning Spanish.”

QUICK STARTER
Cvitesic began her career as a teenager in youth theater in her hometown of Karlovac. After graduating from Zagreb’s Academy of Dramatic Arts, she joined the Croatian National Theater. She made her television debut in “The Big Cleaning” as Sara the kickboxing girl. Film roles soon followed after that.

SHOOTING STAR
Her performance as an atheist Bosnian Muslim in Jasmila Zbanic’s film “On the Path” led to her being named the Croatian Shooting Star at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival. “The next year I was nominated for European Film Awards for best actress, and that’s how I found myself an agent in London,” says Cvitesic. “And then the door opened.”

FUTURE PLANS
The exuberant and quick-witted Cvitesic has the gamine elegance of Audrey Hepburn, and loves to make people laugh. But asked for her future goals, her thoughts turned to musical theater. “I only have two wishes,” she says, ticking off the roles she would like to play: “Satine in ‘Moulin Rouge’ and Evita in ‘Evita.’”

TESTIMONIAL
“Zrinka is an unexplored ocean filled with pearls,” says Bosnian director Zbanic, “(with) undiscovered wells of emotions.”

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  1. Luka says:

    Hi Alissa,
    It’s definitely not ZHRIN-ka ZVEE-teh-vich. It’s ZRIN-ka CVEE-te-shich :)

  2. Mickey says:

    And she plays piano also…

  3. Igor says:

    Tzwee-teh-shich would be more correct how her name should be pronounced. It’s wrong in the article.

  4. Zombie says:

    She’s an awesome and talented actress!

    Unfortunately what Jelena said is true though :D

  5. delmat says:

    She is a very good actress and a refreshment on croatian scene. Don’t bother on Jelena’s mean and jealous comment.

  6. Zizzx says:

    What her’s private life has with her profesional carreer, jelena ?

  7. Jelena Rainbow says:

    Yeah, the only reason she’s famous in Croatia is because she wrecked a famous croatian celebrity marriage by sleeping with the married father of two. That’s why anyone in Croatia knows her name. It’s a shame she is getting famous and representing Croatia in the world. What a shame. She doesn’t deserve any of it, in my opinion. Many croatian people agree. I think she’s a horrible, horrible human being (if you can call her that).

    • xmacak says:

      Jelena Rainbow, it’s your post that is shamefull. Malice and jealousy. That “married father of two” wrecked his marriage, he knows his reasons, that’s not our concern.

      And for Zrinka – everyone I know is proud of her.

    • Tom says:

      Jelena, in fact it was the married father of two that wrecked the marriage.

    • whatever says:

      She’s still in a love relationship with that man so it’s not like it was a hook up, they’re in love

  8. Leon Naponski says:

    Her last name is pronounced like: ZVEE-teh-shich (and not ZVEE-teh-vich or ZVEE-teh-sich)

  9. marija says:

    Bravo Zrinka :)

  10. Jelenko says:

    Her surname is pronunced “ZVEE-teh-sich” not “ZVEE-teh-vich”.

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