Table of contents:
- About the path of life
- About the series "Survival Game"
- About Russian cinema and working as an actress
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-28 10:38
A frank story about yourself, the new series and the intricacies of working in the Russian film industry.
Linda Lapins is a Russian actress who played Victoria Kempinnen in the TV series Survival Game. We talked with Linda about cinema and the difficulties associated with working in it, found out many interesting details about filming, and also tried to figure out why everyone thinks that only bad films are made in Russia.
About the path of life
Why did you decide to become an actress?
To be honest, I didn’t answer this question myself.
Probably, like most of the graduates, I went to get the first higher education for mom and dad - it was an economic education. She studied for a year and a half full-time, then transferred to distance learning and began to earn money as a model. And when I received my diploma, I realized that this is absolute nonsense and that I absolutely do not want to do this and will not do it.
At that time, I was very interested in journalism. And I thought that before entering the second higher education I need to work out with a speech teacher. I found it at the theater institute. When I got there, I was asked why I should not be like the preparatory courses in acting. And I answered: why not. Then the teachers persuaded me to enter the university itself. And again I thought why not. And so it started.
So you didn't want to be an actress as a child?
As a child, I did not have any theatrical circles, songs and dances. Although I did a little dancing. But no-no-no, it always seemed to me that an actor is a very strange profession. She was associated with me only with the red carpet, on which the celebrities walk, smiling.
Where did you study to become an actress and how did you get to Moscow?
The first two courses I studied at the Yekaterinburg State Theater Institute. When I finished two courses at YSTI, I realized that in this city, most likely, the path of becoming an actress will be very difficult and long. The solution to the problem was moving to Moscow, which I did by re-enrolling in VGIK.
Is it worth going to college to become an actor? How important is higher education in this matter?
Definitely worth doing. Many people think: since I can cry and speak, then I am already an actress. But this is the easiest thing you can do. The most difficult thing is to lead your character from A to Z and build these lines correctly. This is what the theatrical institute teaches.
An artist cannot evaluate himself. There were a lot of situations when I played an excerpt, I had snot, drooling and it seemed to me that everything, now I will finish - and everyone will go crazy from my fantastic game. But the episode ends, I look at the audience, and they all sit with absolutely stone faces.
Therefore, a director is needed: he explains when your acting is too much and when too little. And teaches you to be more subtle about your craft.
You need to work out your character, correctly place accents in the role and text. It's not enough just to trade your face in front of the viewer - you have to give him something. You need to understand how to make your palette much wider than just “I'm in the frame”. And this is what the theatrical institute gives. Teaches not to be the same everywhere.
You originally played in the theater. How did the transition to films and TV series come about?
Quite a funny situation emerged. I cannot call myself an aspiring actress, since I have 30 projects under my belt, and 11–12 works are still in production and simply do not appear on the screens.
It so happened that The Survival Game is one of the filmed projects that finally came out. Therefore, I cannot say that I had some kind of transition. I simultaneously filmed and served in the theater.
So you continue to play in the theater now?
No, I left the theater just on the set of the series "Survival Games". The artistic director and I had different opinions about how I should see myself there. And then this project happened, and I perfectly understood that I would not be able to go to the performances, since the filming took place in Abkhazia for five months. And this prompted me to finally make the decision to leave the theater.
Is this the only reason? Are there any other, for example, payment?
Well, naturally. Many actors are very sensitive to the wording. They say that they serve in the theater, not work. And I always joke about this: they really do serve, because they pay money to work. And the salary in the theater is 22 thousand rubles a month. Well, kamon guys, are you serious?
Theater is only for the soul, for training, in order to constantly remain in the profession. Filming is such a process that sometimes you work without getting out, and sometimes, on the contrary, you have filmed and there are no new projects for six months. And as in any profession, but especially in the acting profession, a half-year break is a serious disaster for you.
However, payment for me became the second reason for leaving, and the first I named above - this is a different vision of how it should be.
What was your debut role?
I don't even remember. Maybe a cameo role in the series "Policeman from Rublyovka". And at the same time, a project was being filmed where I had one of the main roles - it was a series for Channel One with me, Ravshana Kurkova and Igor Vernik. But for some reason, it has not been able to be published for three or four years.
In the theater, you had quite literary roles, and in the cinema - serials about cops and thieves. Why is that?
I am always surprised when asked questions like: "Why did you agree to this role?" What will I live on? This is my profession.
You need to feed yourself, and therefore sometimes you agree to roles that you don't really want to play. And in order to be at least a little honest with yourself, you try to make something more or less watchable and interesting out of them, as much as possible within the framework of the project.
In addition, very often good directors have closed auditions for full-length films. These ads do not appear on job sites. To get to these tests, you must first find out about them - and this does not always work.
It seems to me that if in 2020 an actor is waiting for a suitable role - cool, incredible - then he can sit for 10 years in poverty, sorting out buckwheat in the kitchen. Therefore, something has to be sacrificed.
About the series "Survival Game"
How did you get into the series "The Survival Game"?
Following the same scheme: my agent sent the script, but said that first there would be an acquaintance with the director. It seems to me that this is a very correct approach. It is much worse when you do not know the director, he does not know you either and does not understand how to "grope" you. So there was an acquaintance, and then an invitation to audition for a specific role.
You were immediately invited to the role of Victoria Kempinnen, or maybe you initially auditioned for another role?
We were all thrown off the description of the characters and the script of only the first two episodes. By the way, we didn't see him in full almost until the end of filming. But when I read these series, I realized that I would definitely audition for Victoria Kempinnen. It was obvious to me.
Did you have the feeling that this was another Russian TV series?
No. First, you always look at the dialogues - they say a lot. When they are spelled out very well, precisely and specifically, then you understand that this cannot be 100% shit. Then, of course, you wonder who is doing the production. You watch the work of the cameraman and the director and draw conclusions on the basis of this.
Well, and finally, that the project is good, you are convinced on the samples. Very often during them, the director wants to finish as soon as possible and go about his business. Another thing is when you see interest in you. The director puts everything on the shelves, and you feel that the person is burning with it. And this, it seems to me, is already 70% of the success of the picture.
How different are you from your heroine? While watching, you get the feeling that you are close to her character. How really?
Close, of course. I don't really believe in reincarnation. Each of us has a set of absolutely all qualities: mercy, compassion, greed, envy. Just as a percentage of something, someone has more or less - this is what a personality is made of.
Therefore, when you come across a certain role, you isolate something most important in it, and this quality is your own, if you have the least of it, you just start pumping it up.
In principle, any actors play those characters that are close to them. And that's okay. Naturally, we do not take into account heroes with mental disabilities and the like.
What do you dislike about heroine?
It would be nice if you asked this question after the release of all 12 episodes. I can't answer for sure right now because there will be a lot of spoilers.
Can you hint somehow blurry?
The whole thrill of this project is that people here are put in very ambiguous situations. And when you try them on yourself as a spectator (and even as an actor), you don't know how you would act. You can both justify the hero and understand why he did this, and condemn his act. Both versions will be compelling.
Therefore, when Victoria Kempinnen does the main thing … Well, damn it, there will be a spoiler, I can't. I will say this: she did not disappoint me. I'm afraid of questions about the heroine, because she is a character with a huge riddle that opens almost at the very end. It is difficult for me to say something about her, so as not to say what should not be said.
There are many other mysteries in the series. Will you hint at some clue? Maybe not very important so that there are no spoilers?
I will not discover America, but, as it turned out, for some reason, not everyone is watching the series carefully. Only by the sixth episode did the audience begin to pay attention to the phrase of Igor Vernik at the very beginning: "The one who remains human will win." It has eluded many, and because of this, guesses go in the wrong direction. Yes, this is a fig intrigue, but sorry, I can't say anything more. The producers will kill.
You said that the series was filmed in Abkhazia. Judging by the footage, it was very far from the populated area. How really?
Yes, that is right. This area is called Auadhara. The first month and a half we lived in a boarding house, around which there is nothing else. Tourists sometimes met anyway, but the village was very, very far away.
You should have seen us all when we got there. I had a suitcase weighing 60 kg, and then I brought things several more times. Indeed, in the mountains, the temperature can rise from 4 to 30 ℃ - and this happens in three hours. Therefore, it was necessary to have both summer clothes and practically winter ones.
And I also took a first-aid kit just for all the diseases in the world. I understood that if something happens, then until someone gets to us, it may become bad.
What other locations have you filmed in?
After the mountains, we left to film in the abandoned suburbs, which were located in the vicinity of the city of Tkuarchal.
I have never seen a more terrifying sight in my life. Imagine: a whole abandoned city and on the whole street in only one ruined house there is a light in the window - a family still lives there.
And this is a sight when you enter these destroyed buildings … People just left their things and left. I swear to you, it's like a horror movie. On the table is a book with a huge layer of dust and moss, on the floor - a toy and other uncollected things. It was morally hard to be there.
Was there a moment when you really got scared while filming?
Yes ∗∗∗∗∗∗ [tin]. ∗∗∗∗∗∗ [tin], how terrible in some moments it was.
One of the most terrifying episodes is the series with the test in the cage. It seems to me that I am even now roaring. Nothing worse has happened to me in my life. She's already out, so I can tell you.
There is a huge forged cage that hangs horizontally by a cable over the open sea and is divided in half by a door. On one side sits the character Semyon Prikhodko, and on the other, Victoria Kempinnen. And the cell begins to move, stand upright and sink to the bottom in the water - in the real sea.
It is clear that there were rescuers, but do you understand how many tons this cage weighs? I don't even want to think about what would happen if something went wrong.
And such a story happened: the cell goes to the bottom, and I have to take the last breath. I did not fully understand the second director and thought that the cage would not completely submerge in water and there would be a gap so that I could breathe. And I'll play it like I'm drowning.
But the cage really went under the water, and I did not take the last breath. Panic started inside me. Everything, there is not enough air. And there is a shot, I do not know if he entered the final version of the montage, where I hit the cage and shout that they say "everything." Karen was delighted with him.
I have not yet seen how it is mounted, but everything that happens there is for real. I had terrible insomnia for a week after that. I thought that my heart would jump out and I simply would not survive this scene never in the light. A year has passed since filming, and sometimes I dream about it.
What else went wrong with the script, but in the end remained in the series?
We have a lot of things that went wrong. He added and corresponded right during the filming.
For example, the scene in the pit with Semyon Prikhodko and Victoria Kempinnen. Director Karen Hovhannisyan and I discussed that it would be nice to do this, wrote the text and filmed it 15 minutes later. And there are a lot of such moments.
Karen Hovhannisyan gave us great freedom of action. As the saying goes: "I just kiss his soul!" I am infinitely grateful to him for that.
How do you explain the success of the series?
If you do not take into account the director's and camera work, then it can be explained by the fact that it is very interesting to observe people in stalemate situations. What choice will they make? It is always interesting to watch how a person, his essence and character, is revealed in such situations.
And also, I think this series has had such a success thanks to the absolute connection of the viewer. He constantly asks himself questions: “What would I do? What would I do? Could I betray or not? Could you have remained so noble? " It's always easy to think in the “Me? Never! " But you've never been in this situation.
And why are the series criticized? And how justified is this criticism?
Criticized for being tough. A lot of people wrote to me: “In the first episode everything began so well, and then this! How can you show it? You are promoting cruelty!"
But imagine: here you turn on "Novosti" and there they show how they caught a pedophile. Does this mean that the program promotes pedophilia? This is generally illogical. The message of the project: "Don't do that, stay human to the end."
The accusations of cruelty are incomprehensible to me. If the announcement told you: “New series! Love triangle! Stork's nest!”, And you turn it on, and there it is - I agree. But it was originally said that this is a game of survival. What did you think they would show there? People with buttercups running across the field?
And I like this series just because everything in it turned out to be very everyday and truthful. In order for the viewer himself to believe, everything must be exactly this way, and not otherwise.
About Russian cinema and working as an actress
Where did the opinion come from that Russian cinema is a low-quality product?
Because in a sense and in some cases it is. But I did not fully understand this issue. At first I thought the problem was the lack of good scriptwriters.
Is that what I watch movies about? Yes, about the same thing. The heroine must lose the child, and then her husband must return, and then he will betray her, and so on. This is the first year of the screenwriting department. Well guys, there are so many interesting things in the world. If you cannot invent history yourself - take an event from world history as a basis and twist it.
But when I started filming more and meeting people, it turned out that there are good and cool writers. But why is this and not something else being filmed? I didn’t answer this question for myself. Maybe because it sells better.
But a quality product should also sell well?
I do not want to speak harshly about the viewer, because he is very different. But I have a feeling that it is like with the Russian language. When they could not raise the general level of culture of the population - and instead lowered the level of culture and the Russian language. When you can say "theirs", when coffee - he, she, it, they. When you can say whatever you want.
I have a feeling it's the same with cinematography. It seems that some projects are filmed for people who have come home from work, are tired, do not want to think and draw any conclusions. They need everything to be clear: Vasya came to Lena, and Lena is Masha's friend.
And as a result, cinema does not raise the level of consciousness of people, but itself sinks to their level. If people need it, let it be, we will stamp. As they say, people hawala.
But I will emphasize: not everything that we do is bad.
What difficulties are there in the work of an actor in Russia? Which ones did you encounter yourself?
There are general difficulties, not only for Russia - this is a film process in which a lot does not depend on you.
I recently had a case when we filmed my tantrum all day. This is a very emotionally difficult scene. This state is very difficult to enter and must be maintained for a 12-hour workday.
I arrived at the site, set myself up for work, but it turned out that for some reason someone did not bring the game machine. Or there is no electricity supply. And you wait five hours, after which the marinated one comes out to the site and there is nothing you can do.
And one of the difficulties that concerns specifically Russian cinema is fees. You cannot, like Joaquin Phoenix, play "The Joker" and not work for two or three years - live peacefully on this money and wait for a new cool project to come.
We can't do that: we need to manage to work on two or three projects while there is an opportunity. And you start to go a little crazy. You confuse platforms and make-up artists. I literally two weeks ago had a moment when I forgot for a second what city I am in now.
What obstacles did you face on your way to becoming an actress?
The biggest obstacle is when someone's wife is being cast for the role, simply because she is someone else's wife. Or a daughter, mistress, girlfriend and niece.
You know that you did everything right, and the director is delighted. And at the last moment, at the stage of signing the contract, they call and say: "Sorry, it so happened that they approved another, you understand everything." I say yes, I understand everything. I had it like this with two projects.
There is nothing worse than this. This is unsettling: at some point there is a feeling that maybe it's not worth trying at all, because what's the point if they still take whoever they need.
Is it worth becoming an actor in 2020?
I think you need to become whoever you want, no matter what year it happens. This rule should be followed in life. If you want something - do it, do not betray yourself. Get it, work on your fears.
In 2020, the pace of life is frantic, and cinema exists in the same rhythm. This is a huge amount of work per day. Your concentration and stress resistance should be at a very high level. First you need to ask yourself: “Can I even do this? I want this? I want to live in constant stress, nerves, malnutrition? In nervous exhaustion? And if you answer these questions: yes, with a bold point, then, of course, you should.
What can you wish for those who want to become an actor?
Be able to separate constructive criticism from envy and meanness. I would wish it to everyone. Sometimes they serve you everything with sugar sauce. They say that they just want to help you, to advise you something. And at the same time they neatly hint that, in general, an actress, you are shit.
I know it. And it completely kills pride and gives you self-doubt. And insecurity is not the engine of progress. You don't have to listen to all kinds of nonsense.
What films with your participation would you recommend to watch?
Unfortunately, there are not many of them. I highly recommend watching the eight-part film "Spit", which we are currently filming. But it will be released in at least six months.
What about other films? Foreign or Russian?
I definitely advise you to watch the movie "Magnolia", if suddenly someone has not seen it.
“At the age of 15, I fell in love and dreamed of making all the money.” Interview with Fedor Golubev, founder of GorodRabot.ru
Fedor Golubev tells how to find your own business by trial and error, how much you can earn by helping others find a job, and why you need a digital detox
Falling in love with friends is not such a bad idea: you know a friend, you always have something to talk about. But, as with everything related to relationships, there are nuances
Why you shouldn't delay talking if a woman feels that she has stopped loving her husband (or he has stopped loving his wife), and how to cause less pain to a partner and to yourself
"King's Gambit", "Knights of the South Bronx", "Queen of Katwe", "Luzhin Defense" and more - Lifehacker collected the best films about chess
In Judy, Renee Zellweger reminded viewers how good she is, beating Scarlett Johansson and Saoirse Ronan. The protracted career break was not a problem either