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Alexander Pashkov: My profession always comes first

22 December 2021
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In the beginning of January 2022, the 24-episode ironic detective «Provincial» will air on the TV channel «Inter». Kyivtelefilm Film Company carried out the entire cycle of production of the picture.

The director was Sergei Shcherbin.

One of the key roles in the series was played by the famous actor Alexander Pashkov.

Our journalists were able to meet with the renowned artist during filming and talk with him about professional activity and role in the new project.

All details are further in the article

– Alexander, how did the project «Provincial» appear in your filmography?

– I have learned about the project from my agent, like I always do. I did initially try out for the role of Semashko, the main character of the series, but I was not approved. This news, of course, upset me, and I did not even hope to participate in this project then. However, a week later I got another call, and this time I was offered the role of Captain Barkash. I recorded the salf-tapes, sent them off, and after a while I found out that I was approved, which I was very happy about. Because I knew it was a long-running project and I would have time to immerse in the script, come up with something to play with.

What will you look like for the audience in this show?

– My character, Captain Barkash, is an open, kind, happy guy. He can be a little talkative and a bit too direct, likes to make jokes, but at the same time he’s a real hard worker. If Semashko is the brains of the task force, then Barkash is its hands and feet (Laughs, – Red.). That he is – a typical workaholic.

– How was this role like for you?

– To be honest, on one hand, I had fun and enjoyed working on it, and on the other – it was a bit hard. Because there was a large volume of texts, and filming days were also very full themselves. We didn’t have much time to relax: just got changed – straight into the frame, just learned the lines  – straight into the frame. Stage after stage, stage after stage…

– There are quite a lot of action episodes in the film «Provincial». Did you have to learn something new during filming because of this?

– I haven’t had many fights. Plus, you have to understand that in the script, our characters are operatives, and they may be trained in hand-to-hand combat at best. So even during the filming of these episodes, I suggested to our stunt designer that we limit ourselves to a few punches and, for example, a hip throw, which is, well, what happens in life.

It is clear that it is a film, but let’s be objective – in reality operatives don’t do «wheel» kicks, do not do flips and do not assume a stance like «Charlie’s angels». So, as for the stunt parts, I personally had no completely new skills that I had to master.

– How demanding are you on set?

– I’m very calm on the set and usually always aim forward – to quickly shoot a scene and move on to work on the next one. I even got a lot of jokes from the guys on our show. They said that while everyone was filming the scenes scheduled for August 10, Pashkov was already ready for filming on the nineteenth (Laughs, – Ed.).

But I’m used to doing it like this – having finished a scene with my colleagues, I immediately move on to working on the next one. They ask: «How can you do that? We haven’t shot this one yet». And I tell them:  «But what do we have to wait for? Firstly, the process goes faster this way. And secondly, I will already be prepared for the next scene internally».

– What is the measure of success for a role and a project for you?

– There’s not really much time to look through the footage during filming, and I hardly ever watch the TV. Well, and I can’t really evaluate myself. The best indicator, therefore, is external praise. When, for example, having watched the series «Provincial», somebody tells me: «Pashkov, this really is a fine job».

– You mean evaluation by the professional environment or the audience?

– Our viewer is hard to please. We can’t know how well the picture will be received… So, of course, what matters to me is the opinion of the people in the film industry. Professionals, who see the shot,  see how everything is organized and played.

– If you think of a victory stand, where would you put your profession on it?

– It has always been on the first place. Only on the first! I’m not saying that I can’t do anything else in this life – no, I can do a lot of things, but I’ve been in this profession since I was nine, and that’s why it’s everything to me. It’s my job, my friends, my life…

– Paradoxically, but despite all the declarations of love for their profession, many actors, including you, say that you don’t really want your children to bind their lives with acting. Usually pointing out that this profession is far from the most stable one

– Totally unstable…

– Other than that, any other reasons?

– You know, I wouldn’t want any of my children to live through what we had to live through when beginning our acting career. The film industry was miserable then, and you were starving, with no money for a bus fare, simply didn’t know what you were going to eat tomorrow and what you were going to do. It’s very hard…

And now there are so many wonderful opportunities not related to cinema and acting… With which you can develop and travel the world,  and your family will live a rich life…

In this case, what makes you stay loyal to your profession for so many years?

– It’s already like a drug – we can’t do without it. I, for example, cannot imagine myself not participating in a play.

Speaking of which, if I may say so, I do not think that an actor, even if actively starring in movies, can’t do without theatrical development or other accompanying professional activity. And it’s weird to me when artists, after an active filming season from May to October, having made money, fly away for six months and forget about acting. Yes, it’s a personal choice, but I think the actor should be in training all the time.

Theater, for example, doesn’t allow an artist to stand still. You’re always at work. It’s both rehearsals and performances where, unlike in cinema, everything is done with one take. And while working on the stage, you have to internally and emotionally proportion for these two or three hours in such a way that you have enough creative energy for the rest of the performance, so the spectator, having watched it, would stand up and has say: «Thank you!».

In my mind, an actor should be constantly in his professional casing, and remember that when he flies out of it, he risks never getting in again. It’s all been proven by experience. Leave for three months – that’s it, you need to reload it once again, oil this mechanism. And it’s a long process…

–  There are many examples in the history of cinema when artists have been held hostage by their role. How free from this are the actors today?

– Unfortunately, today every artist’s name also has a certain stereotyped vision, image behind it, established by directors and producers. For some reason, there is a belief that some star exclusively in sitcoms, some in action movies, and some can only play lover heroes. And I really don’t like it. Because we actors can be different, and play it all…

And the fact that I have about 150 melodramas under my belt doesn’t mean that I can appear in a picture exclusively as a lover hero or a metaphorical D’Artagnan. In my filmography, for example, there are works where I play real scumbags, murderers. And as an actor, I’m even more interested in doing those roles.

We’ve been discussing this subject with colleagues who do a lot of melodramas, by the way. And we recognized for ourselves that we need to break this stereotype and show that every artist can be completely different – not as everyone is used to see him.

– What do you think the acting mission is?

– First of all, to give joy. Not only to the audience, but to everyone around, including fellow actors and the entire film crew. And that, by the way, energizes you, empowers in a way. I, for example, spend my energy on the set, cheering up the group, come home, and still have some to have fun with my close ones. And that is great!

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We will remind you that the complete cycle of production of the series «Provincial» was carried out by Kyivtelefilm Film Company. Filming took place in the spring and summer of the current year in Kyiv and Kyiv region.

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«Provincial»

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24 episodes

Crime melodrama

Year 2021

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Screenwriter: George Konn

Director: Sergey Shcherbin

Director of photography: Anton Verbin

Production designer: Alexander Ukolov

Costume designer: Tatyana Zubareva

Make-up artist: Irina Boytsova

Director of the film crew: Artem Suliga

Executive Producer: Pavel Karvan

General producer: Valentin Opalev

 

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