Katarina Čas’ first acting role was at the age of thirteen in the Slovenian TV movie Hell’s Plan (“Peklenski načrt”). After appearing in several TV series she landed her first significant role in the black comedy The Guard — an international, multi-award-winning feature by Irish director John M. McDonagh. This led Katarina to new opportunities including a role in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio, a role in Danny Collins with Al Pacino, a lead role in a sci-fi thriller “The Rift” (by Dejan Zečević), one of the leads in the Slovenian film “Awakenings” (by Peter Bratuša) and in a new Metod Pevec film “Jaz sem Frenk” (Being Frenk) which is still in post-production. You might have seen her on British tv in the series A Touch of Cloth, New Tricks, Death in Paradise, Silent Witness and Love lies and records. She is currently filming an American series in Budapest and Berlin.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE HIDDEN OR OFF-THE BEATEN-PATH DESTINATIONS IN SLOVENIA?
Oh, this one is hard. Slovenia is full of hidden gems. Slovenia borders Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary, so you can find influences from all of the countries. Slovenia has diverse nature, cuisine, even the accents are diverse and everything is within an hour’s drive, since our country is very petite. You definitely have to explore the Soča river valley and while you are there make time to visit Hiša Franko, where Ana Roš makes delicious food. Slovenia is also known for great wine, so you have to explore Goriška brda (west side of Slovenia) where you will find many vineyards and great food and great hospitality. Goriška brda are like the Tuscany of Slovenia. For solitary zen explore the hidden spots of river Kolpa (outside of high summer season) in Bela Krajina. And Prekmurje if you go east. The scenery is magical, and the people there are sweethearts.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE SLOVENIAN SOUVENIRS TO GIVE FOREIGNERS?
We have some great fashion designers, so maybe explore their shops. Pumpkin seed oil is so good. And also pear schnapps – called Viljamovka or blueberry schnapps.
IF A VISITOR ONLY HAD ONE MEAL IN SLOVENIA, WHAT AND WHERE SHOULD IT BE? If you want to experience a typical Slovenian meal in Ljubljana, go to Striček restaurant. If you have more time and you are in for the experience and adventure, you have to go to Skaručna, 15 min outside the capitol. But take your time. Your stomach will be full and you will most likely end up tipsy before leaving the place, so take a taxi. Otherwise, we have many great restaurants in Slovenia. If you want to experience all of them in one day, visit ODPRTA KUHNA (Open Kitchen), every Friday throughout the summer in the centre of Ljubljana. It is like a food festival every Friday – best food from restaurants from all over Slovenia.
WHAT ANNUAL EVENT IN SLOVENIA SHOULD EVERYONE TRY TO VISIT AT LEAST ONCE?
If you don’t mind very large crowds, Ski jumping in Planica is definitely an experience not to miss.
WHAT MAKES SLOVENIA A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?
The gorgeous landscape and the food.
HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR FREE TIME?
With my family and friends, and of course with my golden retriever. I spend a lot of time in nature because of him.
WHAT FIVE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE SLOVENIA?
Green, lush, diverse, picturesque, small.
YOU LANDED YOUR FIRST ACTING ROLE AT THE AGE OF THIRTEEN, DID YOU EVER WANT TO DO ANYTHING ELSE?
I am interested in a number of things and still always consider other activities and professions. I have a degree in marketing and I always thought it possible to work in the field. Or in design. But for now, acting gives me the diversity I crave, I can be this and that, I explore my soul while searching for the different characters within me, and I get to travel a lot and meet new people, which I love.
WHAT’S THE MOST FREQUENT QUESTION YOU GET ASKED ABOUT SLOVENIA?
What was it living behind the Iron Curtain? hahaha. We didn’t, Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia, not the Soviet bloc. We traveled freely and often. Another one is explaining to everyone that Slovenia is not Slovakia. Slovakia is another country (northeast from Slovenia).
YOU GREW UP IN LJUBLJANA, WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE ACTIVITIES TO DO AS A FAMILY?
We did ski and ice skate but since my family is crazy about the summer, we spent a lot of time at the seaside. I also loved camping at the Kolpa river with my father in the summertime.