Snowpiercer: Aleks Paunovic on Origin of Boki's Name; Teases Season 4
Aleks Paunovic is proud of how much of himself he's able to put into Breachman Bojan "Boki" Boscovic on the TNT post-apocalyptic series Snowpiercer. A longtime employee of Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean), Boki's responsibility as the leader of the Breachmen certainly had its share of hazards, to say the least. After nearly 15 years of service, he witnesses Wilford's betrayal and defects to Andre Layton's (Daveed Diggs) side. In the season two finale, Boki is presumed dead following the destruction of the train's aquarium car. He returns in the season three finale having been nursed back to health by Mrs. Headwood (Sakina Jaffrey) and changed. While promoting his latest film Zero Contact, I had a chance to speak with Pauvonic about his larger absence in season three, the origins of his character name, and what's the future of his character.
"I was shooting the 'Hawkeye' series with Jeremy Renner during season three, and the way it worked out was that [producers behind] 'Snowpiercer' was generous enough that let me come back for the final episode, which really was very important to me," Paunovic said. He played Ivan Banionis, a member of the Tracksuit Mafia, who was in pursuit of Ronin aka Clint Barton (Renner) upon learning of him resurfacing at an auction.
When it came to creating the character of Boki for Snowpiercer, Paunovic revealed producers had a different idea, but was allowed to make it his own. "I think the character of Boki/Bojan Boscovic is something that's really dear to me, because that character started with a totally different Eastern European name. So when I went in for the audition," he said. "My heritage is Serbian, Croatian. I did an improv in Serbian, knowing that when I did the improv for the producers and the director, who I assumed didn't know the difference between Serbian and Polish. The other character was a Polish guy. When I got the role, I went, 'Just you guys know, I did the improv in Serbian. So if we can make the character of Serbian, that would be pretty cool.'"
Paunovic had the idea of naming him. "They were saying, 'The character's original name was Harold and that my whole thing was, you don't look like a Harold.' So I don't want a hard name like a hard Eastern European name, like Vlad or something. I said, 'My brother's name is Bojan. What about Bojan?' [Co-creator] Graeme Manson kind of hesitated a little bit saying, 'But his nickname is Boki because I like Boki because I actually went to college with a guy whose last name was Boscovic.' I went, 'Oh, come on, Graeme! Breachman Boki Boscovic!. That's a killer name.' So he agreed to it. For me, it was such a huge honor because I got to give tribute to my brother, who I love, and that's his name, Bojan and we call him Boki. I get to give tribute to my heritage. So that role and that character, they allowed me to be very free with the character. It allowed me to bring my heritage and my family into it. So it's a very special role to me." The actor teased that Boki will have a greater presence in season four. "You're going to see some very exciting things coming from Boki and I'm excited for the world to see it."
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