At the age of six Matlak, who is originally from Poland, began training as a dancer, an area of performance that she devoted herself to for more than a decade going on to compete at the professional level in the highest international class S in Latin dance. A tough competitor whose been judged by the best in the industry, Matlak found her self at home on the stage.
Endowed with a magnetic presence that was too strong for anyone to deny, Matlak's electric stage presence has carried over to her acting career and has helped make her a sought after talent for high-profile film and theatrical productions. To put it simply, she is the kind of actress that is hard to turn away from whenever she's on screen.
Matlak recently finished filming Coincidental Romance from director Joseph Brandon where she starred alongside Eva Garcia Luna (Ni aquí, ni allá, Solidarity), Fiammetta Cavatorta (Blood Bath, Neshima) and Owen Martin (Star Trek, Leverage, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, Nobodies).
In the film, which is currently in post-production and is slated to hit the festival circuit next year, Matlak took on the starring role of Hanna, a heartbroken ballroom dancer who struggles to push past the pain of a recent breakup.
"This role was very challenging, because the character was very similar to me," recalls Matlak. "Even though the character and myself had a lot of in common, Hannah is a different person, she's not me, so I remember when I was preparing for the role, I had to find Hanna's motivation and objective in life."
Matlak's propensity for drama compounded by her ability to immerse herself in dynamic and challenging roles has been a huge draw factor for directors like Yining Yan who cast her in the role of Lady in Red in his film Stay earlier this year.
Starring alongside Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Award winning actress Liang Zhao (Dancing for You), Matlak's character finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and is forced to deal with the consequences. After leaving her apartment for an unplanned outing she is faced with the overwhelming experience of witnessing her neighbor get shot by a ruthless drug dealer.
"She tries to help him as much as she can, but it's too late. Even though it isn’t her fault she feels guilty that she can't save him," explains Matlak. "I think this character is an example of the fact that sometimes, as humans, we are powerless and it really doesn’t matter how much we try, some things just can’t be fixed."
Stay received the award for Best Micro Film at the 2015 Indie Gathering International Film Festival, in addition to being chosen as an Official Selection of the Pittsburg Independent Film Festival where it screened in June, and the 2015 Columbia Gorge International Film Festival.
A true polyglot, Matlak speaks English, Polish, German and basic Russian, an impressive range of linguistic abilities that have allowed her to take on leading roles in projects from filmmakers from around the world.
While Matlak definitely has a look casting directors are after for a variety of roles, the multifarious nature of her abilities, which include being a professional fitness, aqua aerobics and snowboard instructor, a competitive downhill skier and of course, a professional dancer, have all combined to set her apart from other actors in the industry. Beyond this, she is also trained in stage combat.
As Diana Matlak continues to land leading roles in a plethora of productions, having shot more than eight films this year alone, audiences around the world will definitely want to keep their eyes out for this multitalented actress.