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Monday, May 12, 2014 - Theatre instructor will be on the big screen in 'The Fault in Our Stars'

Govich plays a strong and expressive role as the mother of lead character, Augustus Waters, played by Ansel Elgort.
by Kelli M. Titus

Oakland University special lecturer Milica “Mila” Govich plays a significant role in “The Fault in Our Stars," a film based on John Green’s best-selling young adult novel.

The faculty and staff of the University's theatre program provide students with real-world expectations, wisdom and inspiration.

“As much as I love teaching, I am first and foremost an actor,” Govich said.

An emotional role

“The Fault in Our Stars” explores the witty, yet tragic, story about two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group, finding adventure, comfort and love in one another. Govich plays a strong and expressive role as the mother of lead character, Augustus Waters, played by Ansel Elgort. Govich stars opposite Golden Globe-nominated Shailene Woodley and Oscar-nominated Laura Dern. Govich said her ability to access emotions and convey them sincerely is what prompted the director to choose her for the role.

“My part is small, but it’s significant,” Govich said.

The story unfolds in theaters on June 6.

An acting career

Born in Lorain, Ohio, Govich has performed on Broadway, and on stages all over the country and in the Detroit area, most recently appearing in the world premiere of “Harris Cashes Out” at Meadow Brook Theatre. She can also be seen in a variety of film and television roles including “Hung,” “Three Rivers,” “Jinn” and “Trust.”

As a young aspiring actor, Govich studied at Ohio University's Professional Actor Training Program, graduating with a Master of Fine Arts before moving to New York City. She was greatly influenced by acting teacher Fred Kareman, who taught classes at a small studio within Carnegie Hall. Kareman pushed and inspired Govich for four years, helping her find a love and respect for acting that she hadn’t fully discovered.

“(Freddie) helped me learn how to get in touch with my feelings and emotions and how to access it,” Govich said. “He was a big believer in me.”

Govich spent 14 years in New York, performing on stages throughout the city in a variety of productions. She appeared in “Hello, Dolly! on Broadway with Carol Channing and accompanied Channing on the production’s national tour.

Once married, Govich and her husband moved to Birmingham, Michigan, where she discovered her love of a new role as special lecturer at Oakland University. She utilizes her experiences in theatre and film to instruct OU students on acting, networking and the importance of being “kind and nice to everyone you meet along the way.”

A passion for teaching

For almost 10 years, Govich has captivated students in Theatre 100.  She is now teaching Acting for the Camera and works as an acting coach. She works closely with students who are aspiring actors, preparing them for auditions, callbacks and future roles.

“I knew very little about film acting,” said Jaclene Wilk, musical theatre student. “Mila made the class a well grounded atmosphere for trying new things, and does a great job at explaining techniques and helping guide students to new abilities. Her experiences as an actor are great qualities to have in a teacher.”

Govich enjoys performing an assortment of parts, from deeply emotional, to comedic, to a powerhouse character; her training provides her with the means to execute these roles. She hopes to equip her students with the tools and knowledge to appreciate the business of acting, as well as embrace their strengths and unique qualities.

“We are all one in a million,” Govich said.