When Angelina Jolie steps behind the camera for the first time this fall, the person on the end of the lens will be as much of an unknown as Jolie’s movie-helming skills. An unknown actress has been cast for the lead role in Jolie’s directorial debut.
Zana Marjanovic, a doe-eyed 27-year old brunette with curly brown hair, confirmed the news to reporters before she boarded a flight to Budapest to begin production on the film. She has had parts in a handful of European films and TV series.
"I can confirm my new exciting engagement in the first film directed by Angelina Jolie in which I will have the lead role," Marjanovic said according to Reuters.
The untitled film focuses on how the romance between a Serbian man and a Bosnian woman is affected by the Bosnian War. They meet on the eve of the three-and-a-half year struggle.
"The story is very complex but is primarily a love story," Marjanovich said. Born in Sarajevo, Marjanovich escaped the conflict and lives in New York with her family.
Jolie announced the film, which is based on her own screenplay, while visiting Sarajevo during a U.N. trip in August. At the time, the movie’s production company GK Films emphasized wanting to employ regional actors.
"Angelina is a wonderful person and it is a great honor for me to work with such a superb actress and humanist," Marjanovic said. "At the moment I am so excited because of this opportunity that I have no time to think about what comes next."
Production is slated to run through November and is expected to cost around $15 million.