Jenia Tanaeva is Russian immigrant who came to America as a single mother with her two daughters to write her own screenplay! Jenia's journey is a true life modern Cinderella story, only the single mom version. While raising her 2 daughters Anya and Alina, Jenia moved to America from Russia hoping to build a better life for her girls. While settling down in Los Angeles and without a single friend in the city, she spent a lot of time watching films with her kids. One night she came across the 1957 film An Affair To Remember, and it became the inspiration for the beautiful heartwarming love story she wrote called See You Soon.
Now she is set to star along side Academy Award winner Harvey Keiteland and Poppy Drayton ("Downton Abbey" and "Little Mermaid") in her new movie, See You Soon! See You Soon follows a U.S. soccer star who, after suffering a career-threatening injury in the run-up to the 2018 World Cup, embarks on an unexpected journey of self-discovery and gives true love a chance. Jenia talks with me about the film, her journey to America, and the message to take away from this film!
Where did the inspiration come from to write the movie SEE YOU SOON?
With what I do and create I really want to be able to warm people's hearts, to inspire them to make good changes in their life, to help them believe in good, in love, and that happy endings really exist! That's a huge motivation and inspiration for me. I put certain things in my stories that I think are important and want to be able to deliver those to others in the most beautiful way.
Were you a fan of soccer before writing this movie?
I love soccer! I find it very exciting and interesting to watch. And World Cup bringing soccer fans together from all over the world is a great thing indeed!
What has been the best part of moving to America?
It was like starting a new life. I loved every step of my journey, making plans, pursuing my dreams, meeting new people, constantly learning and enjoying California weather all the way!
How did the meeting with former Disney CEO Michael Eisner come into play and how did that help you further your work on SEE YOU SOON?
I was very lucky to meet Michael Eisner through a mutual friend and get his attention. It was very inspiring to me when he told me that he likes the story I've written and believes that it could be turned into an epic love film. I remember I was thinking to myself that if Michael said that then it's absolutely possible and now I must find a way to make it happen. He was also very helpful with his advice and notes on the script.
What is the purpose/message of SEE YOU SOON?
"See You Soon" is a Cinderella story where Cinderella is a single mom. We read fairy tales to our kids so they believe in good, in love, in stories with a happy end. I think that big girls- single moms, divorced women need that fairy tale maybe even more than little girls do. I wanted to create a heartfelt love story to give hope and motivation to those women who are out there on their own, raising their children, or maybe being stuck in a dysfunctional relationship. I hope that "See You Soon" will motivate them to take that first step towards a new life, new opportunities, to believe in themselves and be brave enough to start changing their lives for better.
What has been the best and hardest thing about living in America?
The best part is the feeling I've always had since I moved here, that everything is possible! Also for me, raising 2 kids here on my own was way more convenient and safer than in Russia. And it's important for any mom, I think, to know that your babies are fine when you go to work. When I have my peace of mind and don't worry about them I can do so much and be very productive! The most difficult part I think is the extremely high competition. Los Angeles is full of bright, beautiful and talented people who are determined to succeed.
Do you plan to continue acting and writing? If so, what is next?
Absolutely! I really love doing both! I have a few ideas cooking, but right now I'm fully focused on the last touch ups of post-production, making “See You Soon” the best movie it can be.
What message do you hope people will take away from SEE YOU SOON?
It's a story about people, true love, a man becoming a better person and doing his absolute best to be with a woman he loves. It’s a story about a single mom, taking a huge step into the unknown in order to get a better life for her son and herself. “See You Soon” is about believing, trying, loving, growing and finding happiness. I hope that every person will find something in the story that resonates with them.