The daughter of a painter and kindergarten teacher, Ms. Peresild had already achieved stardom in Russia. She has performed in blockbusters, art films and television series, and has for years acted at the Malaya Bronnaya theater in Moscow.
The Russian plan to blast an actress into space follows a flurry of flights by nonprofessionals this year, including those of the owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, on a rocket built by his company Blue Origin, and four passengers in a capsule made by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX, which launched Wednesday.
For the Russian movie, Anton Shkaplerov, an experienced cosmonaut, will pilot the three-seat Soyuz spaceship. All members of the mission trained for in-flight emergencies with Russia’s accident-prone space gear, whether in the capsule or the Russian segment of the station, which has been leaking air and earlier this year did a back flip in orbit after thrusters on a new Russian module misfired.
“I am not afraid,” Ms. Peresild said of her spaceflight, though she also said that “fear is normal.”
Ms. Peresild conceded that she will face limitations filming in space. She will do her own makeup, for example, and work without lighting or sound crews.
Mr. Shipenko said his aim was to bring to life the experience of space through the eyes of an ordinary person, the doctor character played by Ms. Peresild. “We want every person to be a little like our hero,” he said, experiencing through her performance the feeling of space travel. Three cosmonauts will play bit parts.