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Daniil Strakhov's Exclusive Interview for Dstrahov.com

Chatting about Danya

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Daniil Strakhov's Exclusive Interview for Dstrahov.com

Новое сообщениеот Natasha Suvorina » Сб 27 дек 2008, 20:24

Daniil Strakhov’s Exclusive Interview for www.dstrahov.com

By Svetlana Girshon (aka Natasha Suvorina)

October 10, 2008

This interview was taken during the break on the set of Sergey Ursulyak’s “Isayev” mini series in Tutayev, Yaroslavl Region, Russia.


Svetlana Girshon (SG): Danya, the lengthy filming of “Isayev” is now coming to an end. Are you feeling tired?

Daniil Strakhov (DS): There is no tiredness, just a feeling of slight sadness because this work is coming to an end. It is hard to overestimate the life experience and the acting experience that I received from this work. All of this will be over soon and so there comes a question: “What should I do next?” I would like to work on another project with Sergey Ursulyak but I understand that each of us has own personal and artistic life. The richness of colors, the freedom, the atmosphere of closeness and seeming easiness of work that Ursulyak creates on the set is a great present, and I would not know what to do with all this wealth afterwards. There is a pretty sad situation that all actors face: you are happy to complete filming of a bad movie but then you cry at the premiere. (Laughing) And after working with great directors, it is had to come back to reality without them. These situations are inevitable, there is nothing to do about it.

SG: Yes, but let’s try to look a bit ahead. Danya, will you play a part in “Always Say ‘Always’-5”? There are some rumors that the creators are going to bring back your character, Grozovsky.

D.S. I think these rumors are just rumors, created by tabloids. The story of Grozovsky’s character ended because I felt like there was nothing more to tell about him. I did not find it necessary and interesting to endlessly repeat colors I once found in this character. On the other hand, the creators are successfully and very professionally continuing this convoluted story and I am the bad guy who ended this epic for myself. It seems to me that it’s not worth reviving Grozovsky because it would be “a soap opera in cube”. He got out of it pretty sloppy and the comeback would be ugly, like “Hellraiser - 6”. It would be delirious and I hope that these talks are just rumors and the producers are not provoking them in any way.

SG: Daniil, can we expect your new theatrical works?

DS: Unfortunately, there is nothing to expect yet. Something may come up in 2009, after filming of “Isayev” is over, the economic recession continues, and situation in cinematography is indefinite. I can neither promise nor mention any authors, producers or titles at this point.

SG: But the hope remains?

DS: The hope always remains, especially since I never said that theatre is not interesting to me; it has always been an important part of my work. The circumstances are such that there is nothing to play on the stage. Projects that are offered to me do not coincide with my interests for various reasons. I am too busy working on “Isayev” to tour around the country just for the sake of touring, anyway.

SG: We are talking about something that would come after “Isayev”…

DS: It would be silly to begin touring after “Isayev”. I think we should be patient – the audience and me. Speaking of patience, look at the situation with the “Judicial Column” TV series. It seems to me that it has been buried by all television channels.

SG: The story with “Judicial Column” is a mystery. It was shown on the Ukrainian TV…

DS: They showed 12 episodes in the Ukraine, Serbia, and Israel.

SG: And how many episodes are there?

DS: Twelve.

SG: So, all that has been filmed, has been shown?

DS: If we are talking about the Russian television, all that has been shot has not been shown. I have no idea why. Perhaps, our TV stations’ programming schedules are overbooked. It’s one thing to watch the series on DVD and it’s quite another, watching it on TV, getting viewers’ feedback, the ratings, and seeing for yourself if it has hit the reality or not. Since “Judicial Column” has not yet premiered on the Russian television, it is difficult for me to estimate the final value of this work. We were making it very honestly and I just want to hope that this work will not expire and loose it’s “freshness”. After all, it’s just television series with a pretty simple plot. The whole story is built on the atmosphere of lightness, humor and irony. It is not too serious and may loose its relevance if the time is missed. It appears that Channel One’s schedule is so booked that it cannot find time for it. It’s hard for me to say, I have no information, just like you.

SG: I have watched “Judicial Column” and have a feeling that the second screening would be just as interesting, despite the fact that the viewer already knows who the killer is and the mystery is not a mystery anymore. Your acting duet with actress Olga Pavlovets was very interesting, greatly contributing to the quality of the series. I hope “Judicial Column” finally premieres on TV, and has high ratings and reruns.

DS: Thank you. Let’s hope for the premier, at least. Initially, when we agreed to take part in this project, when we were making the pilot episode, we decided to pay particular attention to the personal relationship of the two main characters. It was challenging because the forty-two minute TV episodes are too short to fit in a deep psychological analysis of the family relationship of two young people and a dog. Our main goal in the pilot episodes and in the ones that followed was to find a good tone, so that it is not boring to watch. We wanted to depict a “realistic dream” because such ideal families do not exist. Besides, our characters are not even a family yet - they don’t have kids, they are not married. They live in a stylish apartment, everything is well, and, in addition, they are constantly chasing the bad guys. It’s all very idyllic. It was hard to find in it it’s own irony, it’s own pain (for example, the episode about the WWII veteran) and show it as truthfully as possible. That was our objective, and I hope, we succeeded.

SG: Your character in “Judicial Column” is a little wimpy in the beginning episodes, constantly pushed by his boss and his girlfriend. By the middle of the series and closer to the end he is almost a James Bond – a very confident man, constantly taking responsibility for the actions of his light-headed girlfriend. Was this change in his character planned by the directors or your own view approach?

DS: It’s both. Since different directors worked on the series, each of them had their own idea of the main characters and the characters changed because every director brought himself into the story. In addition, I understood that even though each episode is different, the main characters should not be changing drastically throughout the series. They should be themselves, demonstrating different sides of their personalities in each episode. And, as a result (by the way, the episodes were rearranged in the final version of the series - they were shot in a different order), it appears that their characters gradually change from episode to episode, however, in reality, there is no transformation at all. It’s just that there is a wimp in any hero, and in any wimp there’s a hero, and all people are different. Evidently, a new story in each episode allows the actor to twist its character and see it from a different angle every time. There’s its own beauty in this approach. I wanted to experiment with this format. It was very different from “Poor Nastya”, where I pretty much played the same guy in all 127 episodes and it was hard to show something new in him. And it’s completely different in “Isayev”, where you don’t play with the format, you play with the director (laughing).

SG: On a simple scale of vital values, what would be on the first, second, or third place for you?

DS: You mean, if it’s the profession, the career, the family, right? How should I put it?.. It’s the truthfulness of heart, if it can be said so, which includes both family values and professional integrity. I will soon stop entertaining questions like these because it’s risky to throw out such loud words. However, I would say that I am not the perfectionist I was in my younger years. That time is gone forever and I don’t believe in actor’s fanaticism. Acting is an easy profession with a great responsibility.
SG: Responsibility before close relatives, viewers?

DS: The actor should bear responsibility before the viewers, before himself as an artist. It’s easy to tell the truth to yourself when there’s nothing to hide from yourself.

SG: “Honesty” is it the defining word?

DS: I think it is. Even if you understand that you are not an angel and each human being has his/her own vices and imperfections. One can’t be, moreover, should not pretend to be ideal. It’s probably one of the major vices of an actor. One should be honest with self in this but, at the same time, should not be too self-remorseful.

SG: Daniil, you mentioned once that a while ago there was a pause in your movie career, lack of work. Aren’t you afraid of this to happen again?

DS: I am, but there’s no turning back. You accept some rules for existence for yourself. If I have decided not to work on other projects while working with Ursulyak on “Isayev”, I have to stick to it. I will start to fear afterwards. I also realize that possible big success of “Isayev” could have a reverse effect on my career, meaning less work. There are a lot of ways for future events to develop. They’ll develop the way they’ll develop.

SG: So, you remain a fatalist when it comes to your career?

DS: Not just my career, my life path, as well. Actor Valery Barinov recollected his grandfather’s worDS: “Why do you worry about how it is going to be? It will be the way it will be and not otherwise.” I memorized this saying because it corresponds to my perception of life. It matters, of course, how we conduct ourselves in this life, how we react to different events in life, how big are the circles on the water when we throw a stone in it… But water will be the same after us as it was before us. The main events of our life are predetermined somehow. There is no doubt about it.

SG: Daniil, let’s talk about simpler things, like your preferences in music, colors, scents… Do you have any?

DS: I can’t say that I am an indifferent person. My musical preferences change easily, depending on my mood; on the city I am in; on the culture, that surrounds me at the moment. I just came back from Italy, where Celentano is the King. There’s also the everlasting love for the Russian rock music. Time passes, things change but “Kino” and Viktor Tsoy remain on the top of my chart. Speaking about rock music, I would mention Zemfira, Surganova, and “Splin”.

SG: What about “Nochnye Snipery”?

DS: To a lesser degree. They do have some pretty good songs, but “Snipery”, like Surganova, tire me by being too serious about themselves. I can’t play their CDs for too long, unlike Zemfira, whose CDs I wear down.
SG: Do you go to theatres, watch your colleagues play?

DS: Nowadays, I act like a typical director – I don’t watch my colleagues’ works. It’s not a standpoint, just life circumstances. Perhaps, when we complete the filming of “Isayev”, I will have more free time and will spend it going to different plays to see my colleagues’ progress and maybe, learn something from them. In general, I don’t really like going to the theatre, I know that it’s not good. In the past, watching other actors’ play always gave me a headache. Perhaps, it was because, as an actor, I was trying to participate in the process: if I liked it, I became envious of other people’s success; and if I hated it, it was really hard to sit there and watch, unable to get out.
SG: What films do you watch?

DS: There are so many of them.

SG: Do you prefer to watch the new ones?

DS: No. I really like the old cinema. A while ago, there were these markets where you could buy pirated copies of Orson Welles, Bertrand Blier and others, for pennies. I’m really into all this. I have boxes of those DVDs at home. I’ve watched about ten percent of them, the rest was “buried alive”. Speaking of this, the ideal passive pastime for me would be to open one of those “magic boxes” and watch a movie, either good or bad.

SG: So, hunting is no longer one of your favorite pastimes?

DS: Yes, hunting is in the past. I feel really sorry for the animals. It’s now photohunting, as it was with the cartoon dog Sharik from Prostokvashino. Hunting did not become my passion. My attitude towards the animal world changed. This doesn’t mean that I condemn hunters. I see nothing reprehensible in hunting if it isn’t poaching or entertainment. I have nothing against real hunting and I am not going to preach against it. It’s just that I’m not interested in it anymore and I don’t want to kill anyone.

SG: Have you changed your mind about having an official website?

DS: What do you mean? There were a few people who helped me with the website technically and artistically, they worked really hard. Nevertheless, the need for a dictatorship eventually arises in any team. Creative nature of the project contradicted the original agreement. And since the website domain belonged to me, I thought that I have the right to make the fundamental decisions. People who worked on the website thought otherwise. It was the classical question of “who is the boss”. I can be very stern in some situations. After all, I closed the website and I still don’t regret it. Having an official website would require my constant participation, which is very time consuming. I see what a brilliant job you guys are dong with http://www.dstrahov.com and I ask myself: “And why do I need an official website?” This is your website, your vision, your comprehension of me, your interaction with each other. In some aspects it coincides with my own ideas and I respect it for that. I don’t feel the need for an official website yet. The less time I waste for various framed portraits of myself, the more time I have left for other things. For example, being busy with “Isayev” for a year now, what should I’ve reported on my official website: “I’m working, leave me alone”?

SG: Thank you, Danya. We’ll be looking forward to the premiere of “Isayev”, counting months and days.

DS: Please don’t do this. Look at what happened with “Judicial Column”… Besides, time goes faster when you don’t constantly look at the clock. And don’t expect something super-super-good from this movie. I’m not saying the series will be bad, it’s just that there is enough preconceptions towards it already and it will only get worse. There would be so many comparative implications related to Tatyana Lioznova’s "Seventeen Moments of Spring" that one could only hope that they don’t hinder the perception of the film. This movie has nothing to do with Lioznova, Tikhonov, and even Stierlitz.

SG: It’s a story of Isayev told by Sergey Ursulyak.

DS: Absolutely right.

Translated by LikaN
Жизнь слишком коротка, чтобы быть маленьким и слабым!
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Natasha Suvorina
 
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Новое сообщениеот Елена » Сб 21 фев 2009, 14:10

Dear foreign friends, you can see the pictures, taken by Svetlana Girshon (Natasha Suvorina) in Yaroslavl, on shooting location for the film "Isaev", here http://www.dstrahov.com/ekskluziv/Inter ... Isaev.html
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Елена
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