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Elma Begovic captivates audiences in new thriller 'Tear Us Apart'
Born in Bosnia, Elma Begovic was just a child when she and her family had to flee to Germany because of the war in her home country. She spent her childhood in a refugee camp in Berlin, and is now a celebrated actress. Her road to success was not easy, and she has overcome an insurmountable amount of adversity and worked tirelessly to get to where she is today, and she is grateful every time she steps onto a film set.

As a child in the camp, Begovic would pass the time by putting on plays for her parents and their friends. It became an outlet for her. She loved imitating people and doing voices, and she was good at it. She found she could instantly connect with her audience when she was performing, a gift not many possess. When she was a teenager and she and her family moved to Canada, she began to really explore her passion for acting.

Now, recognized in Canada and abroad for her talent, Begovic has starred in countless acclaimed productions. Her versatility is evident in all she does, knowing how to capture comedy, like in the television series You Got Trumped: The First 100 Days and the humorous horror flick The Hoard, to drama, shown in her award-winning performance in the film Undone.

Begovic loves a challenge and experimenting with roles unlike any she has done before. One of her most recent projects, Tear Us Apart, gave her such an opportunity. The film tells the story of a young couple who are taken to a cottage in the woods for counseling following the disappearance of their daughter, and they struggle to identify what's real and what is a figment of their mental recovery.

The script is what drew Begovic to the project, who loves psychological thrillers. She found the writing to be very honest and intense, and knew she could push herself and get into the headspace of a young, grieving parent.

"The mantra of this story was that 'through pain we grow', and I believe that this applies not only to my character's journey in the film, but also to real life. This story unveils a woman's never-ending search for answers and the truth, and I feel extremely proud to have been involved in a project like this. It's always fun to play the underestimated character, the one that others believe to be weak, and gradually being able to add layers and psychological strength to this role was the acting challenge I was looking for. I think strong female characters, with dimensions, are what make movies shine these days and I'm happy to have been involved in a film that celebrated and pushed for that," said Begovic.

Begovic plays Helen in the film, the grieving mother. She is in a painful place as soon as the audience meets her. Although she has the support of her husband, she still feels alone and isolated, and unable to communicate with him about her heartache. Begovic also describes her as the underestimated character, and when adversities are faced, life or death situations, Helen is actually the one who fights to survive. The actress thoroughly enjoyed playing such a multi-layered character.

"Helen is the character that surprises audiences. Though she appears to be fragile and broken down, she is actually the one person who doesn't give up hope of finding her daughter. She's underestimated by her husband and by their therapist, and every time she gets closer to the answers, she has to face yet another challenge. I think a lot of women can relate to her, which is why I loved playing this character so much," she said.

Begovic spent a lot of time working with the director, Devin Clarke, to develop her character. By the time it came to production, Begovic felt like she knew her character inside and out. She chose to wear little make-up and have messy hair to externally depict the character's internal breakdown. On her downtime, she watched reference movies like The Vanishing and Changeling, to further understand her character's struggle. When watching the film, it is easy to become taken away with Begovic's performance, as her hard work clearly paid off.

"I loved this script and the layers of love, hope, betrayal, and evil that were all intertwined in the story. When I choose a project, being able to see a story when you read a script is half the battle, and this story was one I wanted to bring to life. It was an acting challenge for me, and I knew that I wanted to play a complex woman like Helen, so when the opportunity came to make this role mine, I was very excited to make that happen," said Begovic.

Tear Us Apart premiered at the SENE Film Music Arts Festival on May 17th, 2019 and will continue to play at various festivals across Canada and the United States for the rest of the year. It is clear that Begovic has yet another hit on her hands, and has come quite a long way from that little girl in a refugee camp, putting on plays for her parents.

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