As an actor, Margarita (Mars) Zhitnikova is an organic blend of passion, style and discipline. Mars is known for their body of work in the New York indie film world and from film festivals around the country. They play dynamic and believable characters, breaking societal norms and creating representation along the way.
Born in Stalingrad and fluent in Russian, Mars came to America with their family as Jewish refugees when they were six, settling in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, New York. It was hard for Mars to get used to a new country, a new language and a new culture. They found comfort and acceptance while taking an acting class. It wasn’t long before a safe place became a second home.
Mars studied with acting coaches Seth Michael May, Brad Calcaterra (known for his work in the LGBTQ acting community), and Lesly Khan and started taking roles in projects around NYC. Zhitnikova’s acting credits include leading roles in the short films Slice, Appetite, Jones, 2 Weeks, Teamwork Like Wolves, and the feature, Triple Threatf rom Besties Make Movies, Mars’ production company. Currently, Mars is working on the audio comedy The Register, and Zasha, an award-winning short horror film about veganism and cannibalism. The script is being developed into feature length format, with Mars attached as the lead.