NAZENI HOVHANNISIAN ON LIVING IN THE PUBLIC EYE

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Friday August 28, 2009

Yerevan - TV Mol's Vahram Stepanyan had no special reason for talking
to actress and news anchor Nazeni Hovhannisian, featured in movies like
Ara Geghetsik yev Shamiram, Taksi, Eli lav a, and Spanvatz Aghavni.

She had participated in the French reality TV program Fort Boyard,
which will air on Armenia TV in the fall, but there were no new
rumors swirling around about her creative or personal life. It was
just that it's a pleasure to speak to her - or as an anchor might say,
"to spend time with a personable and educated person."

It happened to be on the eve of her birthday, July 18. She turned 27,
a fact she does not keep a secret.

Learning to say no

VS: What's your state of mind as you approach your birthday?

NH: Let me put it this way. Over the last year, I have reached a very
important point. I have learned not to do what I don't want to do. I
have learned to say no. These two developments are important for me
because too many yeses and needless compromises drain your life's
energy, and it's not always possible to recharge oneself. Today I
am glad that my name is not associated with any nonsense and my work
reaches its audience without a lot of show-business baloney.

VS: All the same, you have probably heard people ask why they see so
much of Nazeni Hovhannisian on the television screen.

NH: On the contrary, I don't think I have been in any show
unnecessarily; I don't think I have tried the patience of the
viewer. Of course, I'm thrilled to have such a presence that
even my occasional appearances on TV are perceived as a constant
presence. . . . There was "Two Stars," which I appeared in a second
time, and there's an explanation for that. First, my original
appearance on the show was incomplete, for various reasons. Second,
my presence was requested by Public TV, and turning them down would
not be the right thing for me to do.

VS: Did the Fort Boyard invitation surprise you?

NH: I was surprised that a team from Armenia got to compete on that
[French] show. The invitation naturally pleased me. But I tried not
to get excited until I boarded the airplane.

VS: What did you discover over the four days you spent there?

NH: At Fort Boyard I discovered some of my good and bad sides. The
good sides, of course, pleased me. As for the bad sides, I tried to
change them or vanquish them.

Conquering one's weaknesses

VS: For example?

NH: For example, I found that I have become intolerant of people,
especially crowds. It's probably a function of my closed way of life. I
overcame this intolerance there. I learned once again, also, that each
person is acceptable with his or her good and bad sides alike. And
in order to avoid likely conflicts with certain members of the team
[of 30], I sought to resolve all outstanding issues up front, on
the plane, so we could live in peace for the four days we would be
together. Luckily all of us put aside our egos and intolerance and
accepted others as they were, not as we would like them to be.

I also overcame my natural fears of extreme things. I never had
a phobia about spiders, water, or heights, I found myself scared
during the physical and endurance challenges at Fort Boyard. Today
many people ask, "Did you get the keys to the fort?" But that's not
the issue; the issue is whether you were able to conquer your own self.

VS: Watching the previews now on TV, it seems some issues remain. For
example, it seems you did not allow yourself to be taped outside the
game, say in the pool.

NH: Not at all. I had nothing to hide. I simply don't like to be taped
during my time off, since being taped means being at work again. Even
without that extra taping, I already spend most of my days under the
watchful gaze of video cameras.

VS: And you don't often attend gatherings of celebrities that are
covered in the news?

NH: Your question reminded me of something that happened three years
ago. A store was having its gala opening, and I was there for the last
ten minutes. I had gone to meet up with someone. And then I saw in
all the monthlies how I was "shining" at that event. Now on the back
pages of those magazines, where the pictures of the regulars always
appear - say Marish and Abulik, Sach and Elen - you will definitely
not see me. I have some other interests, you know, and prefer to
spend my free time in a smaller circle of friends and family.

Personal life

VS: Since you mentioned friends and family, let me ask you, as the
birthdays come and go, do you have any concerns?

NH: I guess this is your way of asking if I'm going to marry and
have kids. When the time comes and I meet the man who, I feel, is
mine and can tolerate me, I will do that. For now, I have no such
serious intentions.

VS: For years people have been talking about a beautiful pair of
television personalities, whose relations are of interest to many
people. Of course, I mean you and Felix Khachatrian.

NH: Yerevan is a very sweet city, but sometimes it pinches you like
a shoe that's too small. I am living in the present, and am fully
dedicated to the present. And living the moment to its fullest,
I seek to build a future with healthy rationality. As for what that
future will be, God is great.. . . .

VS: To what extent are you able to protect your inner world from
invasion?

NH: If you mean invasion by various rich people and officials, then you
can see I am succeeding. That doesn't require a lot. It just requires
you to have your act together. Sometimes, when you emcee corporate
or official events, some people think they can have relations with
you outside work. But they understand very quickly that the topic is
off-limits. Let me add that, as a rule, people don't approach me on
the street either.

VS: A journalist told me one day that Nazeni would be perfect with
a high-ranking rich guy who could take proper care of her. . . .

NH: I am very much in favor of men being financially stable; that
raises their self-confidence. And I suppose I can see something
positive in the phrase "take care of her." It doesn't have to mean take
care of financially; a man needs to care for a woman with his love,
his tolerance, his underdstanding, as well as his inner strength,
with which he can be immune to gossip. In that sense, yes, I would
like to see a man by my side who could take care of me. I am in favor
of long-term relationships, if not permanent.

Femme fatale?

VS: I think many people are rediscovering Nazeni. So many people see a
women of your looks and personality as a femme fatale. Among them are
film directors, in casting Ara Geghetsik yev Shamiram, Vochinch chi
mna, Taksi, Eli lav a, they saw you in the role of such a woman. But
your most recent role, Sara in Spanvatz Aghavni, is a different kind
of heroine. How much is she like you?

NH: We are very unlike each other. Although Sara too fights for
the right to love, but in contrast to me, a representative of the
21st century, she is more restrained, although she doesn't avoid
outbursts. For example, when she screams, if you can call it that,
she screams with more restraint. As for me, I can be a bitch.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress