Isidora Goreshter: Balanced and Gifted

Elaine Madsen: The Gallagher family is kind of the poster child for dysfunction isn’t it?
Isidora Goreshter: I would agree! One hundred percent. There is a Frank Gallagher that exists in so many families.


Credits: Photographed by Alissa Pagels. Retouched by Brianna Kish. Styling: Rachel Jimenez. Hair & Makeup: Jean Ramos. Assistant Makeup & Hair: Paula Heckenast, City Lights Makeup. Clothing: Blazer by James Jeans and Jumpsuit by Hommage both available at Veruca Salt Boutique.

Even if you are not a Frank Gallagher or a Fiona – you KNOW one;. you know these people exist. It’s almost cathartic in a way to watch the show to see how we navigate through all these problems.

EM: That could just be the explanation for the shows popularity.
IG: As outlandish as our family is, the problems with which we are confronted are so real; everything from poverty, to addiction, to mental health homosexuality, coping with things of the modern day draws people to the show.
EM: The look of the show is so authentically Chicago. How much time are you there shooting?
IG: We shoot six episodes in Burbank and then we go to Chicago for about a week. 95 percent of what you see as exteriors is really Chicago…Chicago, the city is a character in the show and so much a part of who these characters are. I was there for my first time in December. I had dreamed of going to Chicago since I was a little girl and it did not disappoint.

EM: Originally Svetlana, came from outside the Gallagher family. From the prostitute we met in the beginning, which was two pregnancies ago, one failed arranged marriage ago, and a “breast milk sweatshop”, she’s arrived, wholly one of the family.
IG: All of us are the sum parts of our journey, of we are who we are today; both positive or negative. She’s believable, honest, and human… Her harshness, her brutal honesty comes from a very honest place within her. She’s unapologetic about who she is.

EM: Where did you go in yourself to find Svetlana?
IG: To play a character like this you have to find the darkness in yourself and turn it up. In order to be Svetlana I have to find the dark place in Isidora, does that make sense?

EM: Indeed, yes. Playing a complex character like Svetlana and not have her darkness creep into one’s own family life can be a juggling act for an actor.

IG: Trying to balance being a working actor, a mom and a wife, it’s all very new to me. I’m working at keeping that balance, by keeping fresh, and by going to acting classes. I teach some as well, though I feel odd even calling myself a teacher because I’m learning so much from my fellow actors all the time.

EM: Sounds like a very satisfying personal life you’ve established. Tell me, if you had a dinner party, who would you invite, Living or dead?
IG: Definitely Oscar Wilde, also Marlon Brando, that would make for fascinating conversation. I would just listen, I’d serve the tea and watch them go at it. Also maybe Elon Musk. Such a modernization figure vs such old school individuals; would be fascinating to see them come together.

EM: Think how amazed they would all be by where we are technologically, or maybe jealous?…
IG: Or frightened? Sometimes I’m frightened at the speed -of social media and where children are getting their information. I’m so old school I think I was born in the wrong era, I feel like such an old soul. I tend to stall myself with social media, I still like writing letters and I still pick up the phone to call somebody.

About author

This article was written by Elaine Madsen

Documentarian, Playwright, Author and Poet. An Emmy® award winning documentary maker, Madsen has completed directing "I Know a Woman Like That" which was produced by her Academy® Award nominated daughter Virginia Madsen's Title IX Productions. The film screened in the 2009 Chicago International Film Festival where Roger Ebert cited it as "transformative and extraordinary". Madsen's book of poetry "Crayola Can't Make These Colors" is now available in book stores and on Amazon. Emmy® winning documentary "Better Than It Has to Be", about film making in Chicago, aired on both NBC and PBS. Madsen is also the the co-author of "The Texan and Dutch Gas, Kicking Off Europe's Energy Revolution", published in the USA and abroad in the Netherlands. She is the mother of actors Virginia and Michael Madsen and their writer/restauranteur sister Cheri.

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