While other celebrities have relied on podcasting to get them through COVID-19 or to avoiding annoying jobs in Hollywood that require a commute, a call time, and a commitment to character, Dasha Nekrasova is one of the few podcasters to emerge from the medium as a star in her own right. Nekrasova is known for being one of the co-hosts on the podcast Red Scare, which Jezebel has categorized as part of the “Dirtbag Left.” The show also features Anna Khachiyan where the two “bohemian layabouts” discuss a variety of political topics, life events, and recent news stories. The two gained recognition through their interviews with Slovenian philosopher and slovenly professor Slavoj Zizek. The duo has turned Noam Chomsky into Jimi Hendrix and in the process, Nekrasova has herself earned a GWFF Best First Feature Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

Originally an actress starring in short films, Dasha Nekrasova gained attention by appearing in Wobble Palace and Softness of Bodies. But it wasn’t until she teamed up with Anna Khachiyan that she started to gain international attention. Priding herself on an understanding of incel culture combined with politics, once the Jeffrey Epstein controversy unfolded, Kershova found her spotlight and quickly became one of the main sources of opinion and information as the situation unfolded.

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The circumstances became so prominent that the story served as the main plot point behind her debut film The Scary of Sixty-First. Utilizing her knowledge of film and her passion for social justice, Nekrasova launched herself further into the mainstream spotlight. With additional films already underway and a growing presence on her podcast, it won’t be long before Nekrasova becomes a household name for theatergoers, podcast listeners, and anyone else who finds an interest in the hypocritical nature of culture.

Red Scare, a Provocative Podcast

Dasha Nekrasova first started recording the Red Scare podcast after moving to New York to be closer to her co-host Anna Khachiyan. The duo released their first episode in March of 2018 and quickly became one of the most recognizable shows from the alternative libertarian left. Often paired with Chapo Trap House and CumTown, the duo gained attention by having a variety of intellectual guests on the program but also through subversive ideas that challenged the mainstream notions of woke culture. Guests ranged from Slavoj Zizek to Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard. Willing to disclose the at-time embarrassing details of their personal lives, fans began to relate to the dynamic duo and tuned in regularly. This eventually led to unique merchandise that featured their well-branded image. They gained further attention with provocative guests like rebel journalists Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi. But the duo truly earned recognition for their ability to call out societal figures like Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Jeffrey Epstein and The Scary of Sixty-First

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Dasha Nekrasova shared her interest in the Jeffrey Epstein case in the podcast titled Manhattan Murder Mystery. Quickly, the episode became a crowd favorite as Nekrasova wasn’t afraid to deep dive into the conspiracy which ranged from his plans to seed the world to his connections with the Israeli CIA Mossad. Enthralled by the topic and by the quasi-related films of Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby and Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, Nekrasova took the inspiration on with full momentum and decided to make it the focus of her feature film debut.

With previous experience as a writer on the short films Wobble Palace and Spectacular Reality, she teamed up with Mark Rapaport and Alex Hughes who helped her produce the feature. Shot mainly in New York and focusing on the lives of three women who interweave and find themselves living in the haunted apartment of Epstein himself, the movie takes dark turns that reflect the giallo cinema of the 80s. In a Suspiria meets Eyes Wide Shut production, the film debuted at the Berlin Film festival where it won the GWFF First Feature award for Best Directorial Debut. The film has been released in both Russia and Germany, but is still pending a US distribution date. The film has been picked up by the horror streaming service Shudder & Utopia.

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While certain critics have not adjusted to the darker themes of the film as well as Dasha’s artistic direction, other press outlets have heralded the film as the introduction of an auteur, earning her a spot on the cover of MovieMaker Magazine. Her film also received positive reviews from the press outlets the Hollywood Reporter and IndieWire.

Dasha truly earned her Girl Boss title when it came to the funding of her feature film. With the help of several producers and a fund partially provided by her podcast, she was able to produce the film herself. As a director, writer, and star in the film, her feats match other masters like Orson Welles and Quentin Tarantino.

Future Films and a Controversial Career

Dasha announced on her podcast that she is shooting her next film in Italy as of 2021. With a plot still undisclosed, it is anyone’s guess whether the film will be a follow up to The Scary of Sixty First, or an original storyline she plans to pursue.

Dasha also plans to keep the podcast alive. While her co-host Anna Khachiyan just had her first child, the dynamic duo is ready to get back out to live shows and new episodes with distinguished guests from their studio in New York. Dasha has also continued to increase her social media following through her devoted fan base, earning over 80 thousand followers on Instagram. The group has also expanded into having a separate Patreon channel where they share additional episodes with fans willing to support their endeavors.

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Through careful provocation and a penchant for politics, Nekrasova has been on the minds of several press outlets that Chomsky would call ‘the propaganda arm of the political world’. While at first strategically avoided, the press could no longer keep the lid on the Red Scare power and she was eventually featured in profiles within the New York Times, and Variety. After a successful premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, her feature debut will certainly feature media attention from both sides of the spectrum. One review has already called the film “the worst film I’ve ever seen” while IndieWire has referred to it as “one of the few genuine attempts at understanding this dislocating moment and the many people who have lost themselves within it.” Her knack for polarization has made her both loved and feared within the entertainment world but regardless of the critics opinions, they can’t seem to stop talking about her. With a recent appearance on the popular HBO series Succession and a consistent commitment to podcasting, it won’t be long before she draws the attention of a wider audience, or, until they eventually open their eyes and ears long enough to just catch up. In Dasha’s case, we love to see a girl boss winning. 

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Sources: HollywoodReporter, IndieWire, MovieMaker, NYTimes, BrownDailyHearld, Vice, IMDb, Jezebel, Britannica, Berlinale, TheEditorial, TheSun, WeLoveCinema, Deadline, Backstage

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