Interviews and Articles

Chatting about Danya

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Unread post by zoubou »

Poisy girlfriend where are you??????
We haven't heard from you for a long time....... :cry: :cry:
I hope everything is ok :wink:

Anyway we came accross this


and we could use a little bit of help....... :?

Spasiba (oh! yes I've started lessons of Russian and I'm among 9 French and you can't imagine how funny it is to hear russian with french accent :lol: :lol: :lol: )
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.
--Louis L'Amour

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Unread post by Poisy »

Right, that's the most recent interview in In Style magazine (nice one, in fact, I looked it through and I liked the issue;))

Since I'm running out of free time, I'll ask a girl from KPDS to have it translated for you;)

zoubou, I'm thrilled with you achievements in Russian :D :D

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Unread post by zoubou »

I'll ask a girl from KPDS to have it translated for you;)
That would be great thank you! :wink:
zoubou, I'm thrilled with you achievements in Russian
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
I'm a total begginer of course (we're still learning "Good morning", "my name is", "nice to meet you" etc) but the teacher told me "Oh you've good a pretty good russian accent" see I didn't tell her that at home I have private russian lessons with Danya (I'm watching his videos in russian and try to imitate the accent he heh heh LOL LOL )
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.
--Louis L'Amour

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Unread post by claudia2005 »

anavlad wrote:
He could easily be a poet don't you think ?
No dear...he is a poet...even if he doesn't know it...
I must admit that everything he says is about his....wife but think about it...Who else could be so straight,real and stable as this extraordinary creature to say such words...Ohhhhhhhhhhh Danya honey sugar...You are the absolute male fastasy of every woman...and...only one can have you totally and fully... :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Well artistically belong to us... that is better than mothing... :roll: :roll: :roll:
I am totaly agree... even if only one woman could have you, you belong to fans!

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Unread post by zoubou »

Hello there girls..... :D
We were all wondering if there's anything new about Danya and his plans........ maybe a new interview somewhere or a teaser on TV......
What about his films, "Peregon" and ....huh what was the other one? Oh yes I think it's called "Fools don't need money" (not sure though :?)
And of course what about BN 2 ......will he participate in that project ?

Haven't I told you before ? We're Danya junkies and we need our drug :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Please don't forget us poor things that don't understand russian......

kisses :wink:
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.
--Louis L'Amour

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Daniil Strakhov at the on-line conference, November 10, 2007

Unread post by Poisy »

Question (by Natasha Suvorina): Good Evening, Daniil!
I’m looking forward for you upcoming project: "Soudebnaya Kolonka" (The Court Reports). You happened to work with not one, but numerous directors on this project, didn’t you? Did they differ in the way they worked and in their demands?

Daniil Strakhov: The power of this project is that every single director was contributing to, well, the trivial plots his own style, vision, his soul, if you wish (pardon me being too pathetic). I still didn’t have a chance to look at the complete and dubbed version, and can only evaluate the overall result judging from my feelings when at the shooting spot. However, I’m quite sure that the part directed by, say, Andrei Proshkin, will drastically differ from that mastered by Lesha Popogrebskiy.

Q (by Natasha Suvorina): Are you still taking those master classes of film directing? How do you envision yourself as a director? How do you feel about the study process now that you’re not a freshman?

Daniil: I’d like to state that the story of me-soon-to-be-the-director turned out to be a sort of unintentional provocation. I’ve dropped A. Akopov classes long ago. Last year I indeed used to take his classes as a free student and with great pleasure. Well, it’s not that I was enjoying such subjects as economics and management, but trying to skip them frequently. I realized that that was not my cup of tea, while simply stealing my time. However, when it came to basics of the film-making and editing or dramaturgy, I found those classes to be extremely useful. Two weeks ago I ran into Anton Makarsky at the shooting spot of Mika and Alfred movie. He surprised me with the “funny” fact that I was rumored to turn into the movie producing at the expense of acting. I’d like to make a statement that these are nothing but rumors. And I’m not out of my mind. The last remark was much due to not only Mosfilm, but AMEDIA spreading out such bullshit. The funniest part is that it was AMEDIA whose project (Soubnaya Kolonka) I’ve been working for during the year.

Q (by Natasha Suvorina): What’s going on with the theater project “Lubov’ pod Viazamie” (The Love under the Elms)? Are you up to go further into the TV and movies or are there still plans to return to the theater? Frankly, we badly miss you on the stage.

Daniil: I did get an offer from Valeriy Barinov, who was supposed not only star, but produce the movie. And I was happy to accept such an offer. However, because of lack of time (speaking of Valeriy Barinov in the first place) the hearings haven’t started yet. I do hope we’ll be able to match our schedules in the coming year and finish the project, I’m really interested in and, to certain extent, I feel a need for it.

Q (by Natasha Suvorina): How do you feel about dubbing Andrei Bolkonskyi in the international project “Voina I Mir” (The War and Peace)?

Daniil: It’s been the first time I was dubbing another actor and, whatsomore, the foreign one. It’s been a really interesting and exciting experience for me. During three shifts of the dubbing process I’ve been trying to live the whole role of Andrei Bolkonskiy. And, to be honest, I didn’t quite, I mean, almost never, like what I saw on the screen.

Q. (by Rinata) Dear Daniil, I am looking forward for your upcoming movie, Mika and Alfred. Speaking of which, can you describe how it was working on the same shooting spot with Michael York? Did you notice any difference between the Russian and foreign movie-making art?

Daniil: On my way to Munich, the thought of sharing the shooting spot with Michael York did bother me. However, the actors tend to get along quite well when it comes to the professional issues, and the difference in the language they speak does not matter. I found working with Michael York to be easy and funny. He’s a really intelligent, clever, and delicate person.

Q (by Rinata): What decides you on any particular role: the director, interesting plot, your partners, or else?

Daniil: I guess all the variables mentioned above contribute to the deciding factor. The movie in fact depends on a bunch of people, I mean, the final result of the movie-making process. Honestly, apart from the right director, good screenplay, and interesting partners, what may help me decide include even the make-up tests. You may intuitively feel that this particular make-up master will be able to genially create the right image, and you’d better not miss such a chance. Well, on the other hand, if the screenplay is bullshit, you’d better tell this before showing up on the shooting spot. When a good director challenges a bad screenplay, there’s a reason behind that. And if he keeps hiding such reason, there’s something wrong in here.

Q (by Sveta K): Daniil, where do you feel you belong: a theater stage or a movie shooting spot? And which process are you mostly interested in?

Daniil: I will be relentlessly repeating myself: being on stage or under the shooting spotlights is two radically different types of work, two different ways of life, after all. I’ve been working in the theater long enough to finally come to understand that I don’t belong to the Russian theater as it is. I simply can’t, when there’re too many interested parties, too many envious persons, if you want, around. And it doesn’t matter if you’re achieved a lot or not. In the theater, you may face the envy in any case, even if you’re in deep sh*t.
On the other hand, running short of good actors, the theater may eventually lose its inner self, so speaking. That’s why I feel the need for occasional come-backs. After all, all that matters is not to stuck in the swamp, exactly where the Russian professional theater is these days.

Q (by Izolenta): Daniil, here’s the question for you as the TV veteran. Why even talented and popular actors sometimes fail to save boring and foolish TV series? What’s missing in making good authentic drama series?

Daniil: The old good TV has ceased to exist once the term “a multi-episode movie” disappeared not only from use by the audience, but the movie industry itself. Imagine that, all the good multi-episode movies we love so much are now called simply the TV series! If you ask me, this is terribly wrong. While letting in the term “TV series”, the TV industry is gradually losing all sense of shame. That’s why the following statements: “Who are we to educate people, to teach them how to live their lives, to call them for something better?” along with the thesis “Let him eat and die” contributed so much to the gradual corruption of the Russian TV audience. The 90’s witnessed many talented screenwriters and directors coming undone. Today many claim to be able to make movies by merely shouting out: “Shot!” or typing “The Finale” at the end of some bullshit. Moreover, many claim to be able to make this “bullshit” as far as good money comes in. Today’s demand for actors is overwhelming and attracts thousands. The funny thing is that this bunch of fresh-coming actors manages to make it not to one, but two, three, or even four movies.

You may ask me: How can you be a part of this? And my answer is: With any role I take, I try to contribute the maximum of what I’m capable of. To jump into any coming money project will lead you nowhere but to destitution of the actor’s soul, pardon me being pathetic. As far as I remember, Bednaya Nastya (talking of which I’m honestly sick of) came up five years ago. Watching any episode of it makes you be amazed at how naïve and romantic it was. The movie-making technology, first tested on BN, was completely new back then, whereas today a lot of movie companies (including AMEDIA, LEAN-M and Sony) widely use it. Since we’re talking of my projects now, let’s look at Talisman Lubvie as the pioneer in the computer graphics technologies massively used on TV. Unfortunately, due to a lack of computer capacities, my hero could no more run on the top of the computer-generated train, but ended up in the romantic affairs with my beloved Lubov Tolkalina. However, the initial idea was rather intriguing.

Q (by Teuta): Dear Daniil, ever since watching Bednaya Nastya, I’ve been admiring you: That’s the man for the role of Stavrogin! Imagine my amusement at the fact that you’re much fond of Besy (The Devils by Dostoyevsky). That’s why it hurts so much that you didn’t get this role. You were equally hurt, I reckon? Is there any hope out there for you to finally get it, at least on the theater stage?
Please pardon my Russian. A few words I know are much due to Fyodor Dostoyevsky and yourself.

Daniil: Teuta, your Russian is amazing! Speaking to Stavrogin. I was hurt indeed to lose the role. However, all the things coming are for the best, sorry for the cliché. I take it, the roles I’ve lost were simply not meant for me. At that given moment of time, at least. Stavrogin is in no way a simple character, but dangerous, I dare add. You see, there’s a couple of roles in the worldwide theater society that actors should be aware of. Stavrogin’s is one of them. Sometimes I think heavens didn’t want me to take it. There’s this actor I know who played Stavrogin on the stage and, unfortunately, couldn’t get out.

Q (by Anita): Daniil, I’ve got three questions inspired by the show “Nochnoi Polet” starring Albert Philozov. During the show, Albert Philozov expressed his worries that the Russian psychological theater is dead. Instead, the show theater is taking over. What is your opinion? Do you really think the psychological theater has passed away, for real and for good?

Daniil: It’s really hard to answer the questions that are coming not from you, but Albert Philozov (whom I admire a lot, by the way). Amazing, but he managed to keep the purity, decency, even some kind of naivety in the profession that’s famous for producing a lot of cynics. Speaking of the so-called death of the psychological, while the reign of the show theater, I consider these issues to be rather theoretical, therefore senseless. I believe that neither exists in its pure state and never has.

Honestly, the theatrical theories are not my strongest point, and I fear to sound stupid. I’m perfectly aware that at today’s on-line conference there are a lot of well-educated persons, and I simply can’t take this subject lightly. What I really fear is the rise of the “technological” theater or the wide use of modern techniques and entourage that risk the play to turn into some spectacular show. The show full of many different accents the audience can hardly pay its attention to or think over, because more spectacular moments are pouring through. This is to blame on a new generation of young director who are capable to direct anything. Each has his/her own “style”, once found and never dared step away from. However, these fake shows bear a little sense. Well, no one searches for it, anyway. That’s what I think of the modern theater.

Q (by Anita): Addressing the question regarding the meaning of the actor profession for himself, Albert Philozov said that the actor profession was “the escape from the reality”. What about you? Well, I guess, you’re still far away from the point when your profession could help escaping the reality, but still: What does your profession mean to you right now?

Daniil: I wouldn’t say the profession of acting is my escape from anything. It’s rather a spiritual path, if you want. I view the profession of acting, more than any other, to be much like clusters of challenges and temptations the life bears. Well, it’s a hard question, and I fear to sound false.

Q (by Anita): And one more question: According to Philozov, as strange as it seems, many could master the art of the psychological theater through simple studying. A person may play his role if not genius, but at least fairly well. However, only a few are blessed with the gift of the real ACTING. Philozov said he never considered himself a real actor, but he was only studying to become. What do you think? Can a person learn to become an actor?

Daniil: I agree, even a monkey may play the drums if properly taught to. The share of good workers and talented masters in the acting profession is equal to that of the real life. I guess.

Q (by Julechka20): Daniil, do you like extreme sports? Say, would you try the parachute jump?

Daniil: I did like taking risks before. I used to ask the director not to replace me with stunt men when it comes to hazardous scenes. But now I grew clever, realizing that what ay be a simple whim for me, could’ve as well turned into the tragedy for those who care for me, who love me, after all. I do realize these are not the words of the real “macho” who should cherish his fearlessness. However, I prefer to be honest rather than fooling around my audience pretending to be someone that I’m not. Well, I can’t really control what others think of me, that’s why I don’t really believe to have persuaded someone in something anyway. I bet no later than tomorrow AMEDIA still will be reassuring others of my further producer career at the expense of acting.

Q (by Naphanya): Danya, why do you make fun of such projects as “Dancing with the Stars” or “Skating with the Stars”? I do think that “The Stars in Boxing” is too much, but when it comes to the skate rink or ball room, wouldn’t you watch your colleagues’ progress, wouldn’t you care?

Daniil: As far as I do respect all the artists, musicians, actors and others challenging the skate rink, boxing ring, or else, I can’t think of these shows as of something worth capturing attention of the whole country. I’d say that these new projects of the modern television belong to the money-earning area that completely lacks the sense of shame. I once got a call from representatives of the similar project to be shot somewhere abroad. And the answer to my question: How much will I get? was (quite surprised): Wouldn’t you stand for the honor of your country? The funniest thing was that this person was not mocking me, but was pretty sure of honesty of his words. This only proves that the dullness of the moment has reached its maximum as producers on themselves believe in the importance of the bullshit they produce. And sometimes this bullshit is indeed dangerous; as there are some artists I know who got seriously injured for the sake of “entertaining the audience” (some actress got a crack in the spine, while another actor got his nose broken). I feel somehow that actors more belong to the theater than hospital.

Q (by Marusevich): Do you really rehearse the play “Opasnye Sviazie” (The Dangerous Liaisons) in Stanislavsky theater along with Vladimir Korenev. If true, can you tell anything of these rehearsals? How do you get alone with your colleagues? When will the premier be?

Daniil: I indeed got an offer from Tatiana Akhramkova to rehearse the role of Valmont for The Dangerous Liaison. However, with just two weeks passed, I realized I couldn’t go on not because of some organizational problems, but simply due to the lack of time. I felt really sorry, because I consider Tatiana Akhramkova as one of the best directors in Moscow.

Q (by Alsu119) : Daniil, how do you feel about the character you played in Sudebnaya Kolonka? Do you like him?

Daniil: Right, let’s end our conference with my upcoming project Sudebnaya Kolonka. Honestly, since I haven’t seen all the episodes in full, it’s rather hard to evaluate my performance. All in all, apart from any interesting directors I was working with, I did enjoy my partners. My basic, main, my chief partner in the project was my “fiancée” played by Olga Pavlovets. Olga is a really sensitive and talented actress and terrific person. As St,-Petersburg actress, Olga tops all the Moscow actresses with her sincerity and clearness.
The detective Anton Nikitin is my first role as a policeman. I noticed many actors have their moments of the “cop” roles, and I proved not to be an exception. Honestly, I don’t regret it, but happy. First of all, there have to be movies that show the dark side of our cops, which is a sad reality. On the other side, there should be a room for the movies showing the best side of the cops, which is a reality also. And last, but not least, there have to be fairy tales with the good forces taking over the bad ones, which happens in reality as well.

I’m heading for dubbing of the last episodes of Sudebnaya Kolonka. As such, I would like to say good-bye to all of you. Sorry for not answering all the questions. I promise to hold another on-line conference, should it be of any demand! Bye!

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Unread post by Adriana »

Hello everyone!
I am going to post some interviews which I translated in English, but first I want to mention that I do not understand Russian 100%. Therefore, if you find any mistake, I will be more than happy to repair it. Also, any mistake is unintentional. :oops:

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Unread post by Adriana »


Handsome 30-years old Daniil Strakhov took off on the wave of the popularity with television series “Poor Nastya”, “The Talisman of Love”, “Vsegda Govori Vsegda”... That [neozhidanney] was see the star of soap operas in the dramatic role of captain Lisnevskiy in the new film “Peregon” of director Alexander Rogozhkin.

- All the actors in Rogozhkin’s “Peregon” affirmed without the tests. But the most surprising, that you, Danya,hadn’t been seen earlier neither in the cinema, nor in the theater...
- I also wondered why Alexander Vladimirovich chose me for this role. He phoned the assistants according to the actress Natasha Titov and met Rogozhkin in Petersburg, after warning him that he didn’t want to make tests, but simply to talk to the actors. Certainly, I was astonished: a few directors thus selected actors. I arrived on “Red Arrow”, I made a white night, I generally sleep bad on trains. So to say, everything was impossible for me before it had even started. I think my look impressed Alexander Vladimirovich (he smiles). The day after we got acquainted with Rogozhkin he phoned me and said: “ You got the part! We’re sending the script.”

- Were you pleased by this?
- Pleased is not the word. This is a story about the people, about what they live, about their love during a war. The film depicts how people manage to find a common language, in spite of lingual, social, national barriers.

- The action in “Peregon” occurs on the military airfield... With you it was brought to [poletat] on “Yak-52”?
- It was complicated to be pulled out, since I am always in the sequence. But one time nevertheless it succeeded: we hang an hour in the air, we fly above the airfield, the pilot makes a pair “barrel”. Strange sensations – you are not frightened, but you obtain the powerful charge of adrenaline!

- After this serious film, will you return to the hateful television series? I read on the Internet that this year you were distributed immediately in several projects: in “Blajennoi”, in the third part of “Vsegda Govori Vsegda”, in “Grozovih Vorotah”...
- This is inaccurate information. “Blajennoi” was taken two years ago, until now it hadn’t reached the screens, but it didn’t even approach the fame of this film. It’s not possible to call “Vsegda Govori Vsegda” a valuable work. This is a tribute to the spectators, who required the continuation of the series. But I understood I had something more to say. Therefore, I tried to reduce my participation to a minimum. “Gorozovih Vorota” meant a year and a half in remoteness. On the whole, after Rogozhkin, I was distributed only in the picture “Hot November”. It is possible to say that I took a break.

- Don’t you feel the need for a change after “Peregon”?
- Certainly, the experience I acquired from Rogozhkin was priceless. Moreover, the circumstances were such that I didn’t reject, but was rejected. The roles to which I happily agreed, passed by...

- Did you survive?
- Regarding work is past by. For example, in “Besy” I did not pass the casting, although I really wanted to play there.

- By the way, Rogozhkin also wanted to distribute you in “Besov”...
- Well, even if it did not come out...

- Do you survive failures?
- Failures in reality are useful. I think that when you obtain everything, you can lose the entire very quickly. I don’t believe in the American formula of success- to prove to be in the right place at the right time. Nonsense! Therefore I receive any failure with understanding and humbleness. Yes, it is necessary to come to terms with the fact that you won’t always be the first, that you won’t always get the parts you like.

- In the press there are communications concerning the preparation for the surveys “Poor Nastya 2”...
- I am not within the concept.

- They say that the scenario is ready!
- All this is far from reality. There are many characters in “Poor Nastya”. To assemble all actors together, taking into account that so much water did flow away, in all its plans, drawings were oppressed for year forward - how is this possible? Is it even the necessary weather? I generally fought against the way ”Poor Nastya” ended- an American (from my point of view, banal) happy ending. The heroes get married at the church, and what next? This is not an ending, but rather sugar syrup. I proposed, taking into account the fact that he innocently perishes the hero of Makarski, Korf should be exiled in the Caucasus, to the war. Visualize the last plan: Korf leaves, and she looks after him. And it is unknown whether he’ll return. Will she wait for him? Here then it would be possible to speak about the continuation. But now what further to play? How, grown fat, having become an alcoholic, Korf, upset about having married Anna, begins to charge her with all mortal sins? And all this for the elongation of new 120 series?

- In your time you played in the best Moscow theaters, but in recent years somehow people have grown cold to the dramatic scene....
- I cannot brag with new theatrical works. Simply there are not. Now I don’t work for any theater.

- That thus? It is insurance with the hands and they would take by feet in any theater!
- You make mistakes. As the theatrical system is in agony, there is no reasonable alternative. State repertoire theater maintains stars in its womb with difficulty.

But what about MKHT? In Oleg Tabakov the company is literally stuffed by stars...
- Well, it has its special system, which lives in the autonomous regime. But any other repertoire theater is not originally interested in the invitation of the known actors. It is necessary to pay them well, to create the regime of propitiousness, and the state theater is calculated for the average company.

- But enterprises do not spoil your attention...
- As a rule, enterprises - these are comic plays. In one such project I played, and already slightly [podnadoelo]. After playing a fool, it is desirable to do something serious, and what even the most fashionable and untwisted directors propose in the enterprise, again [shalyay]- drag along, lightened French dramaturgy. It is desirable to spend neither forces, nor time. If it entirely shuts, then I agree. But thus far I am held.

- Danya, is it good to be a sex- symbol?
- Am I that?!

- They frequently describe you so...
- I am a little troubled by this word. What is a sex- symbol? No one knows what this is. Say to the favor: was I ever distributed in a work which would correspond to this concept?

But - as baron Korf from “Poor Nastya”?
- Baron Korf -a sex- symbol? My God! At first he is extremely unpleasant, drinking, arrogant, outsider. Slowly - to the end of the series! – the baron is selected from that pit, into which Russian people so love to take away, and gradually he is converted into a romantic hero. But not into a sex- symbol!

- But no one will contradict the fact that Strahov is one of the most beautiful young actors of our cinema. The increased attention of girls doesn’t affect you?
- Actors’ profession conceals many temptations. Including the attention of girls. To say it doesn’t exist would mean lying. As far as the ways of output from this position are concerned, each finds his own.

- You are indeed an exemplary family man !
- How do you know( he laughs)? Well, to be honest, everything is good with my wife(actress Maria Leonova).

- You are 30, yet you are a serious actor and man, not similar to many other series stars... Could that be because of your remarkable parents: mom - psychotherapist, father - philologist?
- Unfortunately, I am the most exemplary approximate son.

- But something in you from the psychotherapist exists? Or from the philologist?
- Acting assumes love for the language, the literature and the knowledge of psychology. So there is a connection.

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Unread post by Adriana »


This summer, Daniil Strahov promises to become more than a sex-symbol starring in series, namely to conquer the big screen with the military drama of Alexander Rogozhkin, “Peregon”, where he plays a military chief with dark blue eyes who loves to fly. 30 year-old Daniil Strahov approaches every woman’s dream of a man. We met in the pavilions of the motion picture studio Media Siti, where he once played in the series Poor Nastya and The Talisman of Love, which brought him his popularity. There wasn’t anything left from the previous settings. For Daniil, the time has come to change soap operas for serious cinematography. The nearest premier is the military drama Peregon, from the creator of the sensational Cuckoo.

Daniil Strahov: The film is not about the war. It is rather about the man involved in a war, be it pilot or local inhabitant... The scenario contained many stratagems; only the director and the script writer knew them.

Gala: - But you discussed with Rogozhkin about the film, about your role?
There was no selection arranged by the directors. Why spend time? Rogozhkin knew what he wanted from the artists, from the operators, from the entire crew, in order to bring his concept to life.

In this situation it is necessary to fully trust the director...
Yes, it is necessary to become the water which will be poured into the vessel without knowing what shape it will take. I had never done this, I didn’t know how and I didn’t like it. But at some point I felt the desire and the possibility, and I ceased to suffer by asking unnecessary questions for an artist. Which picture to choose? What does the director want from me? Is the action good? You can’t see the whole, but the director will sit down after the first meeting of the crew and will build everything in the manner he needs. It is complicated to trust yourself to someone else.. But I obtained enormous pleasure. I haven’t experienced something like Rogozhkin’s work in my life.

You practically immediately changed the theatre for movies. Weren’t you offended by the fact that the public loved the series better?
I wasn’t offended by that. Everybody watches TV, while 1 percent of the population goes to the theatre. That’s neither bad, nor good, it’s just a way of spending one’s time.

You have an internal separation: here skill, and here - craft?
It is difficult to say. They do many bad things in theatres. People lie on each other and rot for the beggarly wage. This is skill? I doubt. Whereas on area you can think on the scene, that you are part of something meaningful, but you will be disappointed by the result. The separation which existed between the cinema and the television earlier indicated shame and hack work. Now “the box” has gained more field. But even when something worthy of attention occurs, it passes as unnoticeable, because it doesn’t have the right format or furious Pr campaigns previously rejected it.

From the last television projects, was there something that made you glad?
Certainly, The Children of Arbat”, where I starred, was, from my point of view, a work which respected reality and related to the present. It is possible to relate to the book in different ways, but removing Andrei Eshpay exceeded the initial purpose. Another particularity is my character, Sharok, a scoundrel, a weak person, who fears making a choice. It’s a pity the movie couldn’t reach the ending they desired due to financial problems.

What do you think about the numerous screenings of the classics? I agree that this is important at the given moment. It is understandable - we read less. For instance, I frequently prefer reading to any another method of pastime. Nevertheless, this means internal expenditure, work, and there are so many temptations and ways of entertaining oneself around us.

There are some things which are shameful to you?
I am not ashamed. At least, I haven’t done my part of the work haphazardly. But actors are dependent in their essence. You can play good, but if the project fails, you will fall with the rest. From interview to interview, it seems to me that I have become an old owl, as I speak more and more about how bad things are.

But indeed , is there something good? Now, you are only speaking about the revival of Russian cinematography.
I’m not speaking about the revival of Russian cinema, rather about the birth of another cinematography, about which we know very little. We follow American patterns, although we try to put some soul into it. On Mosfilm, they were saying that almost 300 pictures were being shot. That’s a proof that cinema is good, and it’s starting to become advantageous.

You answer critically about the cinema industry, about television… But what have you achieved in your career?
How it is possible to realize something in 17 years? Only if you grow in a foster home and you become a teenager. But I was the boy from Moscow who miraculously entered the theatrical institute.

But why precisely the theatre?
I wanted glory and money. And I got that, however strange it may seem. How should I say this? Fear your desires…

...sometimes they become reality?
Quite right. Here they happened and, according to the large calculation, this...

Not entirely that?
Certainly. Not entirely what I had expected when I entered. Nothing of the kind of dreaming I reached the apogee because I was in a theatre school. Good actors in Russia can’t earn their living. Directors usually work with their students. Cinema is as elusive and unpredictable as fate. Series make you an introvert, reduce your soul and harm your reputation. That’s why Rogozhkin chose me, to defy stereotypes. But this doesn’t mean I won the lottery and now everything will change. Maybe fate will say: “ You want it, Strahov? Again? Good choice!” and the sky will be clear. This doesn’t mean I’ve become suddenly wise because I’m 30. You have to take things the way they are.

“Gala” № 7/8 (July August 2006.)
Text - Oxana Baulina

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Daniil Strahov “Love is the most important thing in my life. It is even more important than my profession.”

Daniil Strahov is a very serious young man. And a very secretive, by his own words. Thus, taking his interview appears to be rather difficult, but frankly speaking, interesting. However speaking with him reminds walking on a minefield: a wrong step (uninteresting question, according to the actor) and he abruptly changes his tone from amiable to distant. Irritation appears in his eyes and voice, but a charming smile stays on his face. But you have to let him do as he wishes. He doesn’t answer to the same questions, repeated again and again, with an expression of polite and detached interest. He rather says on the spot : “I am not interested”.
Daniil Strahov was born in 1976.
He has performed in:
“Severnoe sijanie” (“Northern lights”)
“Brigada” (“The Brigade”) – TV series
“Bednaya Nastya” (“Poor Nastya”) – TV series
“Deti Arbata” (The Arbat Сhildren”) - Feature film

- Daniil, you said previously that you decided to become an actor at random. Can you explain this?
- I’ve told this a million times. That’s really not interesting.

- Could you tell about it one more time, the last one.
- In my school there was a wonderful theatre “Fantasya” (“Fantasy”) headed by Vadim Zlotnikov, with whom I studied together in Schchukinskiy college.

- Are you a native Moscovite?
- Yes. I played the part of a cat in the theatre performance “The Dragon” by Schwarz, and also I played a young Kuechelbecher. All in all, there was some background, but I didn’t have any intention of becoming an actor. When my mom asked me: Which university are you going to enter?” I answered: “I have to think about it several weeks and then I’ll tell you”. And I chose the theatrical one. That’s all. Nothing interesting.

- Then explain another thing, Daniil. Why does a young man go to a theatrical university?
- Every young man and every young woman entering such a university seeks fame in most of the cases. That’s clear. And I must also have entered for that purpose. It’s evident that everyone enters this place to get success, and everyone believes in getting it unconditionally, Moreover, I assume that a theatrical university chooses many lazy people…

- Recently Mikhail Boyarsky said, “not very smart people as well”…
- Not very smart – it’s obvious… Confidentially speaking, there are very few intelligent people at all. And concerning “lazy” … Young people imagine this profession as a certain…

- Eternal holiday.
- Yes. Success, flowers, fans. To come to the theatre at 7 p.m., to work for two hours and to be free. But people don’t think about the fact that this profession implies eternal waiting and hard, constant work. It’s better to enter such a university at somewhere about 25, when you already have some life experiece.

- Like serving in the army, for example…
- Not necessarily. Army doesn’t include the whole life experience, as you can understand.

- Taking the above mentioned in account, one can conclude that you’re also lazy?
- Now I’m a workaholic. I just cannot be idle. But during those times…

- Do you like to do work around the house as well?
- No. I’m lazy at home. But I like to count thumbs only the first 24 hours. Being honest, I hardly like to do anything more that my profession … (a pause), if I’m not engaged in my work, I’m getting crazy. Of course, there are people that are able to be idle. There are very few in the world, but they do exist.

- They are as few as smart people.
- Exactly. They are very few, due to the fact that few people can allow themselves to be idle. And those who get satisfaction from being idle are even fewer. They enjoy life, innocent of supertasks and obligations.

- Daniil, you’ve already performed both positive and negative heroes…
- I don’t divide roles in positive and negative…

- How’s that? There is a hero – he is either good or bad.
- There are neither good, nor bad people. People are different. There’s another aspect of it: the public opinion or the fraternity of the Press push these or that roles or these or that actors into certain frames or lines of business. What can be done with this? Let’s assume when I’ve performed Yury Sharok, the absolute majority of people told me: “ Well done! What a villain you’ve played! What a bugger you are, Strahov!” But the entire role is made on positive charm. The whole one. From the beginning to the end.

- For yourself, did you explain his deeds away?
- Certainly. It cannot be otherwise. To play every role one must explain away the doings of the screen character.

- Could you say more precisely?
- Sharok is a person that is frightened to do something wrong, who is afraid to make a choice. If you watch the film attentively, you will see that he hasn’t taken a single decision. The destiny took all decisions for him. He hasn’t performed, as a matter of fact, a single deed. And just due to his being an amazingly lucky man he stayed alive for so long. The same, relatively speaking, concerns Pankratov.

- You said Sharok didn’t perform a deed? How so? He went to work in the organs…
- He didn’t! He was proposed to do so! And when someone was proposed to work for NKVD (People’s Committee of Internal Affaires)– he realized he had no choice.

- There’s always a choice. Sharok is simply a coward.
- In some things he certainly is a coward. But being a coward is not a vice, it is an entity. Do you know how many cowards did heroic deeds at war? Just due to their chicken-hearts, anxiety. When a person is not afraid, he is a fool. The other side of this are the deeds he performs out of his cowardice. I would not blame such people. Each of us has his own anxiety and pain threshold. One is afraid of going to a dentist more than the other. It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other… And moreover… How is that by George Orwell … At large, each person has his or her fear. And one should define this fear to start manipulating this person.

- Do you have such fear?
- Well, maybe (smiling). I certainly won’t tell you. But all in all I speak about the fear the person does not even know about. Which is deep inside our subconsiousness. Because if one knew about it, he either would become very strong, or would die of it, once he becomes aware of it.

- We’ll give the heading to this interview “Strahov about Fear” (The root “Strah” means “fear” in Russian).
- Yes, it is difficult to discuss this over a cup of tea. Many people are striving to this through their entire life. I dear to say that the way of self-understanding partially consists not only of gaining your own inner freedom, but also in identifying your own fears. For.. how can you be free if you do not know what you’re afraid of?

- Well, talking about these things we’ll go deep into philosophy, Daniil… Once you said that after graduating university you didn’t want to follow your profession, as you didn’t feel self-confident.
- Yes, I wasn’t self-confident, I wasn’t sure I could to follow this profession for my whole life and do this well. I can say one thing – theatrical college at large didn’t give me much knowledge. The things were so, that after Evgenij Simonov passed away our course was trapped at the crossroads: we supposedly were the students of the Schshukinskiy college, and at the same time belonged to Simonov’s studio. It occurred so that we did not belong to either places. At large we had a lot of problems and it was difficult for me in particular to study, ‘cause it was difficult to understand – what I should play, how to do it right… That’s why I’m convinced that one must enter the university at the age of his mature state. Every person becomes mature at a different age. Someone finds himself mature at 14, someone at 25. It is widely known that boys grow up slower. That’s why when a 17-year-old boy enters a theatrical college he must be either extremely talented or a genius. But when he is mixed up as many 17-year-old teenagers… He knows neither himself, nor his psycho, nor his body, he doesn’t feel himself an individual…What can he perform? That’s what I was at that time.

- At what age did you find yourself?
- First calls were somewhere at 24, perhaps.

- Let’s go back to positive and negative roles. You said there are neither good nor bad people…
- Yes, that’s my opinion.

- You surprise me, Daniil. If a man comes home and beats his dog, can he be considered a good man?
- Well what next! Recollect Chikatilo? Now we start going into casuistry. Eventually I’m not an advocate and you’re not an attorney. Let’s do it in a more suitable place.

- I am interested in you, as well as our readers, not only as an actor and what you think about your roles but also you as a person. And I’m interested in your strange, in my opinion, position.
- I mean to define whether a man is good or bad I should know more about him. Apparently he did bad things, but maybe yesterday he jerked an old woman out of the tram? All in all, we started quite a boring conversation …

- Fine… Let’s talk about theatre performance “Dorian Gray”. Would it be interesting for you to talk about it?
- Frankly speaking, not quite.

- Tell me then, Daniil, what you would be interested to talk about…
- It’s your task, Mila, to find topics for a conversation.

- If so, sorry, but I will ask about Dorian. You had to lose weight for this performance…
- Yes.

- What for? Didn’t you fit the standard?
- Well, a certain stereotype might exist… I can also hardly imagine a fatty Dorian …

- And you were as you said a fatty one?
- Well, not quite that… I just didn’t possess at that moment, and as a matter of fact nowadays, certain antique body features. … Like that… Dorian Grey, by his nature is perfect, that’s why the stage-director must have wanted me to somehow suit the role.

- Did you bring away something for yourself from this play besides the affirmation that one should take care of his soul rather than his body?
- I rarely bring away a certain moral in words or a concrete thought of things I’ve read. There’s plenty of good things in a good book…After having read “War and Peace” , writing down one sentence in a diary about this literary work is unavoidable.

- I don’t say that there should be one and only thought…
- You would like to know what thoughts I had after having read Dorian Gray? The way I must perform this. That’s it.

- And how did it all go?
- Judging by everything, not well. I performed badly.

- Why?
- Why a person performed badly – a difficult question. Because he wasn’t able to…

- Something was missing?
- Talent.

- Indeed? Thanks for being honest. Daniil, seeing that journalists like to put these or those actors into different lines of business, you get into a field of hero-lovers…
- Honestly, I don’t care where I get… It is challenging for every actor to play different roles. Nobody wants to walk along the stage as a beautiful stalactite for his entire life… But everything depends on how an actor’s destiny is shaped. If you’re lucky or not, if you can play different roles or not.

- By the way, aren’t you yet annoyed when they say all around “What a beautiful boy” ?
- I am annoyed. But taking into account my being a beautiful boy is an ancient story now…I learned not to hear those hypocoristic and humbling epithets.

- You said that work for you is the main satisfaction. What do you like about your profession most? What is it all about, in your opinion?
- Let’s say that, although I doubt a lot if art should bring up the public, for me the most important in my profession is … I don’t know how to put it … the result, that sense which I by my work bring to the spectator. If I manage somehow to rattle him up, to make him reflect over something… He might even give thought to nothing, but next time when he comes home he will not hit the dog…Or may be hit it even harder…Because he’s experiencing the pain himself. Because at the theatre something touched his nerve…

- You doubt that art can change the moral, but you want this to happen?
- For me this is the sense of my profession.

- Did the role of Korf in “Bednaya Nastya” give something besides fame to you as an actor?
- Sure. It gave me a great working experience…

- Yes, we heard about it many times: hard shooting…
- It was not only hard, it was different…Amusing, funny…Concerning the use of this work… I can say I got a huge bunch of letters, in which people thanked me for playing this role. I mean, it must have been useful to someone…

- As far as I understood, those who wrote were mainly women?
- You know, guys also were a case. But not fans, just “Thank you, Danya”.

- Daniil, you’re a serious man, you should understand that a man in his senses won’t write.
- Maybe not a man, a teenager. Why not? So, you think that all the people who write are crazy?.. All right, skip it, it’s not interesting…I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but the things you’re asking I’ve answered more than one hundred times.

- Phew, Daniil. It’s awfully difficult to talk to you.
- I understand. But I’m rather buttoned up and I don’t sweep it under the carpet (smiling).

- Then tell me, if it’s possible honestly, about your attitude towards this project.
- A difficult question. Taking into account the format , it is worth at least being respected.

- Another answer that I wasn’t expecting … Are you pleased by your performance there?
- This question’s even more difficult than the previous one… I watch my works not to be pleased by myself, but to realize my mistakes. Not more, not less. Because when you start being crazy over yourself at the screen… then it’s time to reach the ground. I rather evaluate my performances critically.

- Your heroes are accused of being cold..
- Who accuses?

- Spectators, fans…
- (sarcastically) Really? What should I do with this? What would you like me to say?.. I can’t judge whether my heroes are cold or hot. I try to do the best of my abilities, of my possibilities, the best I can.

- How long did it take you to go out of Korf character?
- As a matter of fact, I just did not come into this character. I don’t have a habit of projecting myself into my characters.

- We’ve been watching you on the film set. Even at that moment you were definitely in the likeness of your character.
- I don’t know then. I divide professional and personal life. I don’t walk around the house dressed in a tunic, by Jove. And do not bathe anybody’s feet at night, speaking about Yury Sharok. I’m an all-sufficient person and I do not lack in putting masks.

- Perfect. Let’s talk about something personal. Your wife, for example.
- Fine.

- You got acquainted with her when you were transferred to Schchukinskiy college. And you fell in love at once, according to your own confession. You as an actor somehow fixed what means “love at first sight”?
- You know, these are the things that you simply can’t fix. There was a certain blow… There appeared an instinctive understanding that my life will be connected with this person. But it is difficult for me to shape my feelings into words at the moment…That’s why it’s called like a thunderbolt from a clear sky.

- What does love mean for you?
- Love? For me it means (thinking) practically everything, honestly. It’s the most important thing in my life. Even more important than my profession.

- What side of love is more challenging for you: a fountain of emotions or steady and smooth relations?
- Neither. Love has many sides. If you’re in love with a person for two months – it’s passion, if you’re in love for six years – it’s… I don’t know how to put it… It must be love. And when you’re in love with a person for 35 years it’s something else. Perhaps, it’s not only striving for harmony inside yourself, but also a life path hand in hand with this person who means everything to you. You’re not alone… It must be an impossibility of existence without this person, outside this person. And the need for this person to such an extent that the sense of existence apart from each other is just lost.
Mila Verenich
“Nashe kino” # 1(9) 2005

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Unread post by Adriana »

The actor Daniil Strahov is Vladimir

Daniil Strahov was born on March the 2nd, 1976. From the first episode of the soap-opera “Bednaya Nastya”, Daniil captured the hearts of women and not just teens. Whether the actor likes his part on the series, whether he has common elements with Vladimir and who really is Daniil Strahov you’ll find it out by reading this interview.

*Daniil , for a long time now we’ve been seeing you with the look from the soap-opera “Bednaya Nastya”. Do you like to look like Vladimir ?
-The truth is that, if it depended on me, I would already have long hair. But the roles that I’m offered demand this kind of haircut.I was working in two theatrical plays and in the series in the same time. So we had to find a style that suited all my three roles. My similarities with Vladimir stop here.

*You participated in 3 series in the row, though before that you were against soap-operas. When did you change your mind about this kind of art ?
-The Russian series cannot be compared with latin soap-operas. Maybe that was that made me change my mind. I now work in Russian series. But working in latin series? No thank you. I can only laugh when I watch this series. It’s just the beautiful actors, the nature and the feelings that the characters reveal to each other that impress and intrigue millions of spectators worldwide.

*By the way, when you were signing the contract for your participation in “Bednaya Nastya” did you know that you had 7 months of exhausting work ahead of you ?
-Yes, but I had a more theoretical point of view and a less practical experience. It proved to be much harder than I expected. In one of the scenes that they throw water on me, the shooting took place outdoor and the tempature was below 0ο . As a result I got sick. But the next I was on the set. Nobody is allowed to take some rest.

*Do you watch the series or the films you’ve played ?
-I’m trying. But not to admire myself, rather to see what I’ve done wrong and what right.

*Have you ever watched one of your performances and said “Oh my God, what a nightmare !” ?
-Yes. And to be honest that has occurred several times, not just once.

*Are you coquettish ?
-I believe that every person is coquettish up to some degree. But I’m not a slave of my looks.

*Have you ever fought with another man for the love of a woman ?
-No. Well, if I really had to, then maybe I would have hit someone. But in general I’m not aggressive and I don’t like fights even as a spectator. I always try to behave with dignity.

*Nowdays most actors dream of working in Hollywood. Do you have the same dream and have you made any efforts to accomplish it ?
-No. And I don’t see any point in working there. I’ve never wished to go to Hollywood. I don’t speak English. The only thing I can say in English is “I was born in Moscow”. Just that.

*What do you dream of and what do you do in your free time ?
-I dream of new job offers. Untill now luckily, offers do not miss. I devote my free time to the people I love : my dear wife, my best friends and my family. And of course to my profession, which I love

He also said : “ Actors have many insecurities. I don’t express my feelings easily. Only my true friends know who I really am. With the rest of the world I behave differently. I appreciate people who can express their feelings. I’m not one of them.
I believe that actors are the people with the most insecurities on earth. But not anyone can be a true actor, although each and everyone has his own insecurities.

"Telenoveli" (Bulgaria), May 2005

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Unread post by Adriana »

Daniil Strahov : "I also put on the mask of someone that I’m not. Life forces me"

The actor makes efforts to play roles that he doesn’t like.

Daniil Strahov, who recently turned 29, comes from a family that has nothing to do with cinema. His mother is a psychotherapist. His father is a philologist specialised in ethnology and lives today in the USA along with Daniil’s younger sister and continues his academic career. He is responsible for Strahov’s uncommon name. In 1976 while he was reading the biography of prince Daniil Galintski, he got so excited by it that he decided to give his son this name.

Daniil recalls his childhood: “Although I was the son of intelligent people, I was an average student. Until the 7th grade I was getting along pretty well, but later on school became annoying for me. I was interested in other things, so I gave up studying . Luckily for my parents I also gave up fighting as well. You see... until the 7th grade I was a really big trouble-maker."

His parents decided not to interfere with their son’s choices, so they let him decide which profession he would like to choose. He chose to be an actor.

As soon as highschool was over for Daniil in 1993, he entered the School-studio of MHAT. One year later, he continued his studies to Schukinsk Drama School. Even from his college years, Daniil managed to get some roles in the cinema.

After graduating from Schukinsk Drama School, Daniil Strahov got in the theatrical group of Gogol theater. His first appearance was a big success. For his first role- the role of a king- he was awarded with a prize. His next role was that of a serial killer, Andrei Chikatillo, who stayed in the history for having commited the murders of 53 children and was executed in 1994.

It wasn’t easy for Danya to accept this role : “I couldn’t hide my soul and pretend that it was a pleasure for me to play this role. While I was working on that character, I felt “dirty”. My job was even harder since the play constituted the maniac’s monologue, which lasted about 1 hour, before his execution and I had the responsibility of the whole play”.
But exactly when his career started to flourish, the young actor left Gogol theater and stayed unemployed for 2 years. According to Daniil, it was during that period that he understood the meaning of the words of the famous actress Faina Ranevska “Loneliness is when you wait for the phone to ring and instead it is the alarm- clock that rings”.

Things changed in 1999 when the young actor had an offer to play in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. After that, he had many offers for theater, cinema and TV. He did some commercials and serials and in the meantime he had small parts in the cinema and on TV, mostly of negative and disagreeable characters.

The role of noble Baron Korf in “Bednaya Nastia” was his golden chance. His character immediately captured the hearts of all females, both young and mature ladies. The media talk about “Korf-mania”. Daniil became right away Russia’s new sex symbol. But he tries to keep some distances from all that because he considers himself not just handsome, but also a serious actor. Concerning his role, Daniil Strahov says “I tried to transform Korf from a negative to a positive hero and to change his character bit by bit”.

Daniil Strahov is known for carefully choosing his roles and so he devoted a lot of time wondering whether he should accept the part of young baron Korf, fearing that he would get the label of the soap-opera actor. In the end his desire to play in a historical drama won.

The casting for the actors of “Bednaya Nastya” lasted two years. Strahov was chosen for the role of the baron after a year and a half of rehearsing in costumes and actual settings.

The schedule of the shootings was exhausting. They were working 10-12 hours daily. Some times the shootings finished at 3 in the morning and started at 8 in the morning. The script was written during the shootings, like they do in Hollywood.

In his personal life Daniil Strahov is a happy man. He is married to actress Maria Leonova, whom he met while they were both students. Daniil acknowledges that for him it was love at first sight, although Masha didn’t notice him. They met again after a few years when they both played in the same theatrical group in Gogol theater. That’s when their relationship started. After living together for 4 years, Daniil and Masha got married. She often paints the settings of some of Daniil’s theatrical plays.


*When did you decide to become an actor ?
-As a student, I’ve never dreamt of being an actor. My favourite subject was mathematics and I was thinking about following a lawyer’s career. The crazy idea to become an actor popped up when I was in the final class of school. Even I was surprised,not to mention the reaction of my family.

*Did your parents try to change your mind when you told them that you wanted to be an actor ?
-No, on the contrary. Firstly, because when I get something in my mind nobody can change it. Secondly, because my mother really supported my decision. As strange as it seems, I got in the School-studio of MHAT from the first year. But after a year I was transfered to Schukinsk Drama School.

*Were you a good student ?
-Not quite. Actually it was the other way round. Maybe it was my young age, the lack of experience or maybe my teachers didn’t use the right way of approach. In some point the thought to quit and do something else crossed my mind.
*And how did you get over this period ?
-Down deep inside I didn’t want to change my profession. I worked as a waiter for a certain period of time in the school’s restaurant but when we were in the fourth year of our studies we started playing small roles in the theaters of Moscow. Then a director from the Gogol theater noticed me and asked me to join their group.

*How would you describe yourself ?
-Like all the people who live in a big city and have many contacts, I’m also forced to put on a certain mask . It is inevitable! In some relations I let my self free, although now I have a greater experience. Although I’m trying to give the impression of a mature person, I still can’t make it. Then again, I’m only 29.

*How do you keep your figure?
- I’ve been working so much that my figure manages it by itself. Shootings are a complete training program. There is only one time that I had to lose weight for the theatrical play “The Portrait of Dorian Gray”. I lost 7 kilos by exercising and being on a diet for a month and a half.

*If you hadn’t become an actor, what would you have liked to be ?
-That’s a tough question! I’m dealing with many projects now, like work in the theater, offers for cinema, so that means I’m lucky. I’m very pleased with both of my work and my friends. So it doesn’t even cross my mind to change my profession.

*You’ve worked with many famous people in the cinema, in the theater and on TV. Who do you consider as your teacher ?-I had many teachers but I have my self as my basic instructor. No one is more strict about my work than myself.

"Sapuneni Seriali" (Bulgaria), May 2005

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Unread post by Adriana »

The new series of Daniil Strahov has started

The new series “The talisman of love” has already started in Russia. One of the leading roles belongs to Daniil Strahov, who became the public’s favourite with the role of young baron Korf in “Bednaya Nastya”.

In this new series, Daniil Strahov plays the role of the adventurous Daniil Dronov. According to his fellow actors, Daniil was the soul of the shootings. During the shootings, and while nobody expected it, he got a pair of deer horns and started chasing his co-star. That wasn’t in the script but evey body liked it and the producer thought it was the best scene and left it.

Last week ,Daniil had to shoot a scene in which he walks on a frozen lake, on thin ice ready to break and falls in. Even though the dangerous scene was well calculated and all measures had been taken in order for the actor to be safe, Daniil scared everyboby when very convicingly he disappeared under the ice.

“Talisman of love” is a melodrama with many similarities to Bednaya Nastya. The story is full of unexpected incidents. The heroes get crazy and commite suicide, driven by wild passions, while everybody searches for the secret treasure.

Like in BN’s case neither the actors, nor the producers, nor the script writers know how the movie will end. The script is written during the shootings and the episodes which are already written are shot and presented to the public.

"TV Saga" (Bulgaria), May 2005

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Unread post by Adriana »

Daniil Strahov: My freedom comforts me

His bright face with fiercely scowled eyebrows follows me from big boards, glossy magazines, and TV screens, from two national TV channels simultaneously. It follows me on the subway, unexpectedly pops up in a bookstore and never lets go ,even at home. However, it’s not only TV roles that made my hero that famous (I’m sure as soon as Detie Arbata series is on TV, his fanclub will enlarge considerably because of his charming, albeit mean, character Yuriy Sharok). His first steps were nevertheless on the theater stage, particularly as Ableuhov Jr. role in rather mysterious play Peterbourg by Andrey Belyi in the Gogol Theater and as Dorian Grey in The Portrait of Dorian Grey play directed by Andrey Zhitinkin for the Theater na Maloy Bronnoy.

Daniil Strahov is rather skeptical about interviews, acknowledging the responsibility he bears before the audience and fans when confessing his hobbies or expressing his views. He is extremely demanding about his own self and therefore about people around. His deep look under the scowled eyebrows doesn’t lie.

- Daniil, tons of magazines have been threatening us with difficulties and guile of the actor’s careers. Your family does not belong to the theater society. However, you chose the stage. Why?
- I applied for the drama school having no clue about the profession. You may bet, I filed papers simultaneously to Shchukinsk Drama School, GITIS, School-studio MHAT, and sure enough I failed them all – classes of Eugeniy Simonov, Petr Fomenko, Avangard Leontiev. However, I was given another try: mama and I approached Avangard Leontiev to hear me once again. And what a miracle – he let me in his class! Words can’t describe how grateful I am: had it not been for him, my life could have gone in a completely different direction, I don’t know, maybe military forces first, another occupation and completely different way of life later.

- I agree, entering School-studio MHAT was a great luck. However, you changed it for Shchukinsk Drama School in a year. What made you change the schools?
- When I failed my first entrance exam for Shchukinsk School, Eugeniy Simonov and I made a deal: if I still was interested in his classes (at MHAT) as one year passed, he would give me another try. What a pity my transfer tragically coincided with his death… A really sad story.
Speaking of how these two schools differ – to my honest opinion, the difference is rather negligible, and I’m sorry to admit the Russian drama school is gradually losing its ground. I remember my excellent teachers back in Shchukinsk – Yuriy Stromov, Ludmila Stavskaya, Vitaliy Vilenkin — they are all like last farewell of the train that has departed long ago.
You may probably know that I have worked with four Moscow theaters, because I like changes, and that could partly explain why I changed drama schools. Or you may argue I like exploring different places. Or I am just a rolling-stone, as some director called me once.

- This could probably explain your aversion toward being linked to one theater?

- I used to work for Gogol Theater and Theater na Maloy Bronnoy on a regular basis. I also had contracts with Theater n.a. Mossovet and Theater of Dzhigarkhanyan. By this time, the contract with Gogol Theater is what’s only left. My freedom comforts me. If I was a clerk, I would have lost a great deal of this freedom.

- Right, but here’s one thing: you often use this word ‘work’. The theater used to be some kind of a temple for a theatergoing public, that does not match the term ‘work’ absolutely. Don’t you think?
- Your point is that actors used to SERVE the art?

- Exactly. Unfortunately, Russian theater traditions are going into history along with these terms... Sure enough, both representatives of MHAT or Vakhtangov drama schools were truly devoted to their theaters. On the other hand, your generation of actors has a choice of stages, directors, countries, scripts, especially when it coincides with some calmness in a theater activity. You’ve once faced such a problem as lack of roles, am I right?
- Right, living through the period when all I was offered was the role of Sebastian in The Twelfth Night in Mossovet Theater helped (or forced) me to realize I could not sit unemployed like that, admiring someone else’s success, counting every penny, while barely holding on. On the other hand, idleness could be rather helpful for strengthening not only yourself, but also relations with the one you love, and thanks God I succeeded in both.

- Daniil, will you comment on whether the talent does really matter in the actor’s career? Or perhaps the capacity for work? Or is it simply luck?
- I’d vote for all of them. All these characteristics together enhanced with uniqueness of each of them either produce a certain outcome or not. It comes into my mind sometimes that the actor who is probably far more talented than myself is not as much demanded.

- Your last theater work is Paris in Romeo and Juliet play directed by Robert Stourois. In your opinion, what is the idea behind the play directed by an extraordinary (as I believe) director? For instance, Yuriy Kolokolnikov (Romeo part) explained the idea as: all heroes are talented in their own way.
- As far as I’ve got the thoughts of Robert Stourois, the play is not about love, but cruelty.

- I agree. Romeo is cruel and egoistical: when seeking love from a young girl, he never cared if he could ruin her life. I deem the director as cruel for making Paris, in turn, that ideal and romantic. Strange that Juliet didn’t fall in love with him.
- I do appreciate your comments, because that is exactly what the director wanted my performance to be: my character was supposed to win the audience and convince everyone that had the story made another turn, it would be Paris, not Romeo, whom Juliet would choose. However, despite your pleasant comments I am not satisfied with my performance. I feel a kind of tension.

- But you can’t say that your work on TV is what affects your theater performance, can you? Now seriously, don’t you think that being employed by TV might cost you good offers in theater?
- If I only got a call from… Whom of the theater directors to name, especially of those gone long ago?…

- Let’s say, Meyerhold.
- Right! If Mayerhold called, believe me I wouldn’t turn this call down because of the TV career.

- Do you have a chance to see your peers’ theater works? I heard many actors complaining about lack of time to attend theaters. What about you?
- Honestly, even in my teens I could easily count the times I was in a theater. Nothing changed today, I don’t really like going there. Now you’ve got my confession: I am absolutely clueless about theater works that are the talk of Moscow right now. I used to have this headache every time I watched the play. I don’t know if it was because I was simply bored, or because, on the contrary, I was too strained playing all the roles by myself in my mind, especially when I thought they were not performed properly … In addition, here’s a sort of dilemma: you come to a poor play and you’re upset because it was just a time-killing; and you watch an excellent play and get upset because it was not you playing there. Now goes the question: why go to the theater?…

- In some interview you said you were your own teacher. But is there any director who helped you develop as an artist?
- I might have put too much meaning in the term ‘teacher’. However, if you consider me as a rolling-stone, always running somewhere (but I’m not in a hurry at all!) from one theater to another, then yes – I’m a teacher of my own. However, on my way I met wonderful people whom I didn’t dare call a teacher probably because of my excessive caution. Among those who helped me a lot I’d mention Sergey Golomazov (I still play in his Peterbourg) or Andrey Eshpay (the director of Detie Arbata). Andrey Eshpay is a fantastic director! He’s got that light and unbelievable kindness towards actors that you can only sit and listen to everything he says in the atmosphere of complete mutual understanding.

However, the first role I was absolutely fond of (when I’ve realized I had to play so as to pass everything I put into the character onto the audience) was Platonov under thedirection of Sergey Golomazov. I’d say Platonov from Bezotsovschina play is my absolutely favorite role. And I’m really happy we’re bringing the play back to life starting January 2005 in Theater Center Na Strastnom.
If you ask about my first play I was poured deeply into, I’d vote for the last performance before Peterbourg was closed. We all were fully aware the play won’t last anymore, and we all knew it was the last time we played in Peterbourg. That very play was therefore filled with unbelievable nerve-strain and awareness this would never happen again. And I felt sort of a break-through, like a cork being pulled out!

- Did any of directors demand to either lose or gain weight from you?
- I had to lose weight while rehearsing for Dorian Grey in the Theater na Maloy Bronnoy. However, there still was something to work on for the premiere day, and your journalist peers never missed a chance to point it out. I’d love to gain 20 kg like Robert De Niro and then lose weight again like Alexandr Kalyagin for Platonov’s role in Neokonchennaya Piyesa dlya Mechanicheskogo Piano. I’d be totally happy to be faced with: gain (or lose) the weight – and the role is yours! What a pity (or luck?..) it’s not what’s happening to me right now. In other words I sell (sorry for the ambiguity) what I’ve got.

- Daniil, you’ve been describing yourself as an ambitious person. Does this help or perhaps affects your career?
- I’d say both helps and affects. Sometimes I think I should hide away my ambitions. On the other hand, I just can’t do this properly. And then over and over I start arguing defending my point of view. This is quite risky sometimes, because it’s not that the director always perceives the situation better than the actor.

- Do you trust directors?
- Not really. However, it’s a damn for actors, for we’re supposed to trust directors.

- Do you trust your fans then?
- When my official site was still working, I used to read critical comments of my fans there. And yes, sometimes it was quite helpful. However, because the site lacked a single owner, the conflict broke out, and I had to close it down.
But still there are close friends of mine and my family around, who would always say the truth. Beside, I do have this self-criticism, that keeps me away from taking it easy when reading some favourable comments.

Natalia Boyko

Teatralnaya kassa, No.2, 2005

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Unread post by Adriana »

Poor Nastya’s leading star jumped out of window for love.

Daniil Strahov is known as ‘fatally gorgeous’. Who could have thought that even he has problems in personal life. We are going to throw the light on this issue in an exclusive interview with the actor!

In the sensational serial called “Brigada“ (aka The Crew), handsome Danil Srahov played a small, insignificant part of Vitalik. However, it is generally considered that the serial ‘Poor Nastya’ (Bednaya Nastya) has raised him on the pedestal of nationwide admiration. And the role of Yuriy Sharok from “Children of Arbat” has just put the final touch.

Many letters from fans have been coming to our redaction: girls of all ages have been writing their love confessions to Daniil. The reporter had collected all those letters in one big parcel and went to meet the actor.

“I married once and for all”

-Which of all the roles you have played till the present day, will you always remember?
-All of them were interesting in their own way, but as expected, I often recall a particular one. There was a serial “Maroseika 12”, where I played the role of a man serving the police, who starts working in a casino and does that for love. It was my screen début. Till then I had been known only to Moscow theatre audience.

-Would you tell us something more about theatre, please…- Oh, I had played so many roles in theatre! For the role of Dorian Grey, in 2001,I was nominated for “Чайка”(Sea Gull) award. And the very name of the nomination cheered me up then:“ Fatal man”.

-Why? You don’t consider yourself fatal?
-I do not consider myself ordinary - that’s certain. Basically I am a quiet, home oriented person. More than anything I like to take a rest on the sofa, …Hugging my wife Masha (smiling)

-So you are married! That would be great disappointment for your admirers!
-Well, I hope they will forgive me, but that’s how it is. Even so, I’m delighted to see all those letters you have brought with you, but I’m afraid there won’t be any serious changes in my personal life in near future. Masha and I are very much in love.

-And it dates back to your students` days?
-Yes, we met in Shchukinsk drama school. The truth is girls were crazy about me there, they thought I was very attractive. The only one who didn’t pay any attention to me, at all, was Masha. And there goes the classical story: she was the one whose heart I wanted to conquer, and I started courting her… And when we were determined to sign the marriage certificate, on our way to the registry office, I was teasing her: what if you are going to unite your destiny with unworthy man… Here we are now, five years together. I can only hope that she feels the same about me. In my rare moments of solitude, I often think how I married once and for all.

-Are there any conflicts that happen between you sometimes that make you ask yourself whether you have made the right choice?
-Well, tiny arguments - but what counts is that Masha is the only person I trust, my heart and soul. When I was offered the role in “Poor Nastya”, I was having second thoughts for some time: 8 months day-to–day work,12 hours a day, and night - it was a burden, serious enough. Masha and I discussed the problem, for about a week. We knew that if I accepted it, we will be apart a lot, because a great deal of shooting was assigned to take place in St.Peterburg.

-But couldn’t you take your wife with you…
-Well, that wasn’t the option. I strongly believe that you shouldn’t mix work with private life, and that’s why I have never taken Masha to my working trips. We had small quarrels over it, at first, but soon she realized that it is senseless to interfear in the special atmosphere which is created during the shooting.

- Rumors had it you’re not as good at homeworking?
- Basically, Masha is handling all the homework. I help her with shopping. Since my childhood days I had been annoyed by a particular scene: women carrying heavy shopping bags full of supplies. That is why I want to spare my loved one. And I never go near the stove. All these pots, pens-spare me, please! The truth is I am not very picky about food, I’ll eat with pleasure a simple borsch or grilled meat.

-You are talking about your family life with such a pleasure, it gives an impression that maybe, even for you, such a handsome man, it wasn’t all roses in personal life….
— Wow, you’ve guessed! That is true. There was a moment in my life that left a mark on my soul for many years. When I was 12 years old , I fell in love with a girl from my class. I wrote her an inspiring letter, full of passionate confessions. And she just laughed at me: and not only that, she showed my epistolary masterpiece to all her friends, and then she told me she had ripped it …

-I bet she is tearing her hair right now...
-Could be. Oh, how I suffered then. I am romantic, you know, ready to make any kind of foolishness for love. One of the most extreme was jump from the third floor window, on a rope made of sheets. In that way I saved a girl’s reputation. We were 16, I went to visit her, and just as we were going to be together, we heard the noise in the keyhole. Parents! And I had to escape through the window.

Profession and Sacrifices

- Aren’t you sick of talking about your work?
-No, I understand that your readers are interested not only in my private life, but also in my, so called, professional agenda. Let me beat you to your next question, and tell you straight away: When I finish “ Children of Arbat", I need to take at least a short brake from shooting. Yet, if a new project occurs, I won’t reject it.

-That’s a paradox…
- Well, yes, but I felt on my own skin what happens when you are out of work. You gradually start having doubts in yourself.

-So, you are determined to make sacrifices for your profession-for example to give up holidays?
-To some extent. The biggest sacrifice I have ever given was my image transformation… For quite a long time, I had long hair - down to my shoulders, which was really useful for the role of Dorian Grey, in theatre. Zhitinkin, the director, used to tell me:“ Just don’t cut your hair, Danya!“ And I didn’t intend to, because I really liked my hair the way it was. But Korf from“ Poor Nastya” was supposed to have short hair, so it was time for me to cut it. I admit, I have suffered.

-Can you name the most difficult moments from the shooting?
-Yes of course, and again it has to do with “Poor Nastya” serial. I would say the most difficult moments were the ball scenes. We were filming those five nights in a row. Music hadn’t been switched on, and we had to imagine that we were dancing with music, we had to move following the tact of music we were not apparently hearing. That was really difficult. And there were some moments, in theatre, that really shook me. I used to wear myself out, ending up completely exhausted by the end of the play.

-And how do you fight the stress?
-Sometimes with valerian, sometimes with a glass of vodka. And TV, of course. The most important is to keep your mind on something else, otherwise your inner feelings will devour you.

-Do you have something you would like to wish to our readers on St. Valentine’s eve?
-More love, more intelligence and less fanaticism.


Daniil Strahov was born on Mach 2nd, Moscow, in a family very distant from theatrical society. His mother is a psychotherapist, his father was a linguist. Of all his bright, but unpleasant, memories,he remembers his father’s belt for misbehaving: first cigarette, stolen from the toy store. In 1993 Daniil entered the School-studio MHAT, and after one year he moved to Shchukinsk Drama school. After he had finished it in 1997, he was admitted to the theatrical troop of the Gogol Theatre. He also worked in the Mossovet Theatre, and in 2001, in Malaya Bronnaya Theatre. At the beginning of the season 2002-2003, he got permission to take a break from the theatre, and started actively shooting films and serials.
Alla Petrogradskaya
“Yellow Gazette” #6 February 2005.

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