Goran Višnjić Archive

Horvát Hamlet Hollywoodban // Croatian Hamlet in Hollywood
By: Tarka Világ
14-20 September 2007

Translated by: Agi

Croatian Hamlet in Hollywood

An American journalist once asked Goran Visnjic if a Croatian actor could be a Hollywood star. He just answered smiling: „You just need a good agent”.

Of course, a bit more is needed than that, as you cannot expect an average American TV viewer to be a fan of an actor from the end of the world south-eastern European actor who has an unpronounceable name. But exactly that happened. Everybody was sure that George Clooney’s departure, who played the heartthrob, dr Ross, will be a huge blow for ER. But the new internist with Croatian heritage filled the void Clooney left behind. The handsome, olive-skinned doc with the adorable English accent became a fan favourite within seconds, especially by the ladies.

Goran – who was called by Vouge the „Croatian Tom Cruise”, was chosen by People magazine among the 50 sexiest men in 2000, and was named by TV Guide one of the sexiest men on the TV screen in 2005 – is not just an expert of breaking hearts. His performance as Hamlet while the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is still legendary.

Nowadays, the papers speculate that after spending eight years in ER, Goran plans to leave the show. He feels everything possible happened with the character, and he longs for new roles. And he had no time to shoot movies while being the series; he made one movie a year. One highlight of these movies is The Deep, where he plays the villain and still charms the heroine and the audience. „What could be a bigger challenge for an actor than playing someone who stands on the wrong side, but in the end, he learns to help and love”, he says.

Although he has lived and worked in the US for years, he never forgets where he came from. „Croatia always remains my homeland. No matter where fate throws me, its sure that at old age, I will live at home”, he explains, and indeed, he travels home every year. His wife, Ivana Vrdoljak, who is a sculptor, also comes from Croatia. Their wedding was in Santa Barbara 8 years ago, and this Spring, they adopted a little boy, whom they call Tin. However, after Goran cheated on her – his vacation last year resulted in a little girl, who is now four months old – their marriage is in severe crisis. In a recent article of the National Enquirer, multiply opinions state that the marriage might not survive the infidelity.

Goran was born in Sibenik on 9th of September 1972. He was nine years old when one of his teachers encouraged him to join a local theatre group. He fought in the Croatian-Serbian war; then he studied acting at the Zagreb Academy. His career started on the theatre stage. In the middle of 90’s he landed a role in an English speaking movie shot in Bosnia, and his performance was an excellent recommendation to Hollywood. This was Welcome to Sarajevo, which brought him his first successes in the US.  Then he starred in Practical Magic alongside Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Madonna also discovered his sensual charm and chose that time unknown European for her music video to Power of Goodbye. He got the role of Dr Luka Kovac in 1999. He played the title role in Spartacus, and his other movies include The Peacemaker, Doctor Sleep, Duga mracna noc and Electra. He gave his voice to Soto in Ice Age.

Goran Višnjić Archive is a fansite for Croatian-American actor Goran Višnjić. He is best known for his role as Dr. Luka Kovač on ER, and he has also appeared in films such as Practical Magic, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Fátima. Most recently he has starred as Garcia Flynn on NBC's Timeless, and as famed inventor Nikola Tesla in the BBC’s Doctor Who.

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