We are thrilled to present an interview with Lenka Volfová, a Czech model and teacher who portrayed Samus in the live action commercial for Metroid: Other M, Past is Prologue. Lenka’s name was unknown for a long time until someone asked the commercial’s director who she was, and added it to the commercial’s page on Wikitroid. We were able to get in touch with Lenka and ask her to share her memories about filming Past is Prologue, and what she’s been up to since.
Hello. First of all, let me express my admiration for being able to find me and contact me. My name was not mentioned anywhere, so I consider that a really good investigation.
My name is Lenka Volfová. I live in Prague, Czech Republic. I entered the world of commercials and modeling in 2009, but originally I am a teacher and currently I am working in the sphere of education policy.
There was a casting for the role, so I received a message [asking] if I [would] come. I needed to commute through the whole city [Prague], but I decided to attend it – and I am glad I did.
The casting consisted of multiple rounds. I remember standing in front of the elevator, thinking that the long day is over (it was around 9pm), when they called me from my agency, saying that we are two final candidates, but I need to come immediately to the studio for another round. The selection process was really long and profound.
Why was I chosen? To be honest, I don´t know. Probably I met better the client´s needs. The combination of some kind of the role requirements and adaptability of the actress are the key. In this case the mobility and endurance played an important role in the casting – and I understood why during the shooting.
Until that time, I did not know the Metroid series at all. The casting was for the role, client Nintendo. I did not have any detailed information and as I have never been a gaming fan, for me it was just another casting and then another job. Only after publishing the commercial did I understand its reach and saw the whole picture.
Not much. I knew the storyboard, that was explained to me. Thanks to that I understood better, what is the commercial about and what story it follows, but that was all. The rest was kept as a secret.
The first part of the commercial is completely real. The shooting took place in an industrial building, on a roof or in caves. All the characters are real including the flying kid. Just the characters from the game were created of course.
On the other hand, the second part, when Samus is fighting, is created by a computer, apart from the detailed scenes as the views for example, that were filmed and then mixed with a virtual reality.
I would say that the shooting is the last thing. All the preparations take the longest time. To find the best locations, design and create the costumes, try on everything… it´s not a question of a day or a week.
The shooting itself took two days, but almost 48 hours nonstop. It was very demanding, but it was worth it.
Everyone was absolutely professional, very nice and helpful. Because of my costume they even carried me to the toilet. I was taken care of like a princess.
This information is brand new for me. I did not see the commercial, so I am not able to judge. But I believe she did her best and was great.
If he wasn´t there during the shooting, then no. In that time, I did not know the game, let alone the serie´s producer. The whole team was huge and everyone was new for me.
I have never been a gamer, so frankly speaking, not at all.
It has never been broadcasted here and it was not even planned [to be]. It was not done for the Czech market. Due to the rights I knew from the beginning, where the commercial will be available. After re-purchasing the rights it got to Europe, but not to the Czech Republic.
For me personally it was a significant experience. It showed me, that anything is possible and that even a girl from a small town can film with the Hollywood production. Especially [since] it gave me courage and self-confidence for the following years. But it also gave me humility to this job. What seems to be a twinkle on the screen, takes long preparations and hard work during the filming.
The commercial is never about me, it is about the product and I am there, because I fit the concept. I am primarily the commercial actress, so I played many roles during those years. From a teacher, a rock singer to a gymnast. And sometimes you just act „yourself“ – a woman, a friend, a usual girl.
Currently I am on maternity leave, getting ready for another adventure when my son comes. We will see what follows.
I would like to greet your readers again. I hope I was able to give you a little bit better idea on how the commercial was filmed.
And especially in these days I would like to wish everyone good health and mention that also due to Covid, we are more and more turning to the virtual reality, but let´s not forget the real world around us.
© 2022 Shinesparkers and Lenka Volfová
Special thanks to Darren, RoyboyX and Vectrex28
Behind the scenes images by UNIT+SOFA
Interviewed on 27th November 2021