Popular actress Olga Fedori makes a welcome return to Holby City this week and talks to holby.tv about what’s in store…
Fans are delighted that you are making a return, what brings Frieda back to Holby?
Well, a very exciting yet dangerous turn of events:)
When we last saw Frieda back in 2012, she quit Holby to work for a charity treating patients on the outside of the system, what has she been up to over the last few years?
My character has clearly got up to quite a bit, including some work in her native Ukraine with the conflict raging, and The Ukrainian government bombing the east. She apparently has always traveled to far and exotic yet troubled places to continue saving lives.
Coming back as a patient, how does Elliot and the team react to her admission?
I think it is a combination of shock and surprise, but always so much love, of course.
How does Frieda deal with her diagnosis?
In a very Frieda sort of a way, you know.
What was it like being on the other side as a patient rather than a medic this time round?
Very strange at first. Obviously a 180 degree flip. Was a very different side of our Goth that I got to play. Really missed her to be honest
Have you enjoyed working with the Holby cast again?
It was the very best of reunions, and it really did feel like coming home. The number of hugs given and received was ridiculous!!
Do you still keep in touch with many of the cast you worked with first time round?
Absolutely, a lot of them are rather close friends.
Frieda was always an extremely popular character and fans were surprised at her abrupt exit, what were your decisions for leaving previously and how were you approached into making a return?
Yes, thank you. those are kind and true words. I had to leave abruptly because my mom was diagnosed with a terminal illness and I needed to take care of her treatment. Holby has made it as easy as possible on me and I will always be grateful for accommodating my family and really doing everything they could to help. Since then, I traveled and lived in various places around the world, went back to school, but eventually knew I was ready to get back to acting. When Holby approached me about the return I was living in Costa Rica. It was a perfect, and somewhat divine timing:) So there we go.
How long are you in the show for and would you consider a long term return (dependant ofcourse on Frieda’s recovery)?
Let us leave it a secret for now!
How easy was it for you to step into the character of Frieda again after a three year break?
I have to say, I was surprised how easy it was to slip back, but then again, it was a very different context and a very different side to her, so I hope it added dimensions to our dark lady.
What have you been up to during your break from the show?
As I mentioned before, I was trying to help my mom recover, and after her passing I spent some time supporting my family in Ukraine. Then, to be honest, I just needed time to grieve and put my world back together:I traveled, lived in Thailand, taught yoga, studied various things, almost got married:) One of the highlights was going back to school and studying transpersonal Psychology and integrative coaching with the Ford Institute. And, of course, once the war started in Ukraine and there was so much suffering and misinformation going on everywhere,I became involved with trying to alleviate the situation back home and shed some light on what was actually happening,as I was getting very different reports from my family and friends than what mass media was reporting on. I did an IndieGOGo campaign to create a service to support the victims of the conflict psychologically. Unfortunately, I didn’t raise enough funds, but I am looking at various other avenues to get that done. It has been a hell of a journey.
One of the most memorable Frieda episodes was the special filmed in the Ukraine. Did you enjoy this? What was it like to film?
Clearly a loaded question at the moment with everything that is still going on. At the time of filming it was beyond wonderful. Truly. was such a treat. we kind of got a feel for what it would be like to do a film on location with all Holby cast. It was great to work with the Ukrainian side, as I have never worked there before.
Do you have any other memorable storylines from your time playing Frieda?
So many! I apologize as I dont remember that many names of episodes at this point, but Frieda’s handling of bigotry with sunflower incertion, for example, the ep when she had to take her make up off, the Lulu storyline, going through becoming a doctor, and so much more. My heart feels so big when I think of all the fanstatic people I got to work with, both regular and visiting artists, the crew, the make up artists, the writers, the execs, everyone who supports this wonderful production, well, the list goes on. Being on Holby and returning to it has been so utterly fulfilling.
Do you have any future work ambitions?
Yes, quite a few. I am now returning to acting fully and completely. And I am really excited to take on new projects. I am writing to you from LA now where I just finished working on a very unusual and innovative VR (virtual reality) cinematic experience “The Surrogate” for Sundance New Frontiers section directed by Peter Flaherty. So look out for it, as it promises to be a beautiful piece.