Fifty-four-year-old Irina Margareta Nistor has the most recognizable voice in Romania. From 1986 until the Communist regime collapsed, she dubbed more than 5,000 movies, mainly Hollywood films, which at the time were banned and had to be smuggled into the country. She’s voiced everyone from Jesus to Bruce Lee to Baloo from The Jungle Book. In the 90s, she became a well-known film critic, and she recently teamed up with director Ilinca Călugăreanu to make a documentary about the bootleg films she voiced. We called her to ask about her career in voice-over, hoping she would sound like Major Scott McCoy.
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Ionut Cercel is the Justin Bieber of manele, a genre of Romanian music that can best be described as a questionable combination of Gypsy folk and modern dance pop. He is 14 years old, has five solo albums under his belt, and is the subject of dozens of fan-created Facebook pages. All of this while dressing like a 45-year-old Vegas lounge singer (which, unsurprisingly, is a popular style in Romania). Recently, his brother started a clothing label under Ionut ’s name. Its target demographic? “Posh people.” I met Ionut for a coffee at a gas station—a place he “felt comfortable”—where he told me more about his style and I had a hard time resisting making jokes about coffee and Ionuts.
Read the rest: Romania’s Poshest Tween Pop Sensation