Born in the heart of the Ukraine, in a city called Kharkov, Andrey Ivchenko was always a dreamer and very passionate about television and film. As his desire to be an actor grew, Andrey enrolled in his high school theater programs and realized he was a natural at memorizing lines quickly and learned how to own the stage.
After having some great success in Canada, Andrey decided to make the move to Los Angeles. Since moving to LA a little over three years ago, Andrey has landed almost a dozen additional recognizable credits in television and film. His most recent credits include a guest star on the CW hit show “Jane The Virgin” as well as a supporting role, opposite Vin Diesel, in the very anticipated next installment of the successful “xXx” franchise, “xXx3: The Return Of Xander Cage” which he is set to start shooting at the beginning of February as well as a supporting role in 20th Century Fox’s newest upcoming feature “Why Him” being produced by Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill.
We sat down with Andrey to talk about xXx3 and more.
When did you know acting in such extreme films like xXx: Return of Xander Cage was your calling?
As a kid, I always liked that genre. Growing up as a kid and teenager, I watched a lot of war movies with a lot of action and I started to gravitate to that kind of film. Later on, when we started to get American movies, I fell in love with westerns, so since then, I saw myself doing those kind of movies. I’ve always been very physical, so it was also a very natural fit.
Where were you when you got the call that you were cast?
I was home, and my manager called me and told me I had been cast for the role of Red Erik in xXx. I was shocked when she called because at the end of December, I had a call back and had to go to Toronto to meet with the director DJ Caruso in person, and I thought it went really well. I figured since the holidays had come and gone and I didn’t hear anything further, that they made another choice, but when my manager called it was a pleasant surprise.
How did you prepare physically for the film?
I didn’t really need to prepare physically for the role. I’m always working out and ready to go in that regard, but I had a segment in the movie where I had to ride a motorcycle, and I hadn’t ridden since I was a teenager, so I had to take a bunch of courses to refresh my knowledge on it. After all that, they ended up using a stunt double because the caliber of the stunts they were going to have this character do were definitely beyond what my skill level is, but it was a cool experience nonetheless.
Did you have a favorite action hero growing up, if so who?
When I was growing up, we didn’t have any American movies back then, so my action heroes were the Soviet actors who played cops or soldiers. If I mentioned those names, they wouldn’t really mean anything, but when I got older, and we started to get some American movies here and there, obviously guys like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Lundgren set the path for me.
If you weren’t acting what would you be doing with yourself?
I started in art school and since I was very young I was drawing and painting. My Dad was an artist as well and entered me in a lot of different exhibitions. People would always tell me I was a really talented artist. I also have a Kinesiology degree and I have been doing all types of sports since I was a kid, so I could do that direction as well.