Girl With Attitude

A heroine of one of Ivan Bunin’s stories was certain a beautiful woman needed a light breath to be a real beauty, and not just tar-black eyes, delicate blush and slim figure
Actresses have always seemed some supernatural women to me, their “hypertrophied” femininity being unable to absorb the “leaden meanness of our life”. But our life is not a bed of roses, and any flower needs support.

Yelena Dubrovskaya, the holder of a scholarship of the presidential fund that was established to support young talents (which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year) and the actress of the National Gorki Drama Theater, has no problems with her “light breath”. Their profession looks like some marathon, so actors’ and actresses’ lungs seem strong enough to get them to this unbearable lightness. Lena has a special talent for the eccentric comedy and farce, but unfortunately, comedy is not really in favor at the Belarusfilm studio. She’d rather star in some slapstick comedy instead of wrapping herself up in a woolen kerchief in yet another war movie…

Last year was quite lucky for Yelena, as she became a laureate of the III International theatrical festival “Golden Vityaz” for the role of Buratino in the musical of the State Musical Theater Besides, she was called the best debut of the year at last year’s Listapad film festival. Yelena Dubrovskaya should now focus on interviews, banquets and withstand captious questions and probing glances of colleagues and critics. She also has to take lessons of how to behave in high places and speak to gurus, such as Krzysztof Zanussi, who has paid a short visit to Minsk.

— Would you like to appear in some of Pan Krzysztof’s movies?

— It would be quiet interesting, I think.

— How did you get to the Musical Comedy Theater from the Gorki Theater?

— I was invited by director Anastasia Grinenko, I worked with her in “Aibolit — 2002”. So she called me and said she needed a Buratino. I turned into Buratino in three weeks.

— Same with the Russian Theater?

— No, it took some time and effort. There was no assignment for me after the graduation, as the theater forgot to file a relevant application. We were back in our second year when we were taken to the studio of the Russian Theater. We were involved in the “Sleep of the Hill” and “Gelsomino in the Land of Liars” plays. We were certain we would get to the Russian Theater automatically after the graduation, and other theaters were thinking the same and never paid any attention to us. In the end, the art director of the Russian Theater, Boris Lutsenko, accepted us.

— What about the company?

— Let’s put it this way: the middle generation felt that the competition would get heavier, while the seniors were quite happy. It happens in all theaters, and even outside theaters.

— Are you comfortable in your current performances?

— I like our play about WWII “Casual Waltz”… It seems to me I was born in a wrong time, I should have been born some time before the war. I like the music by Dunayevsky, Fradkin, and movies like Vesna, with Lyubov Orlova, Nadezhda Rumyantseva… When I failed entrance exams because I am so short they told me “Just remember how many short actresses we have — Rumyantseva, Akhedzhakova…”

— Would you like to become a comedian some day?

— Sure. I am a character comedienne. I just love sincere materials, even plays for children, like Gelsomino and Buratino… I will soon appear on TV as Neznaika.

— You work both for children and grown-ups. Is it true that working for the young ones is more difficult?

— No, it is different. Children are very clever now, they know so much about things.

— What about your movie career?

— I got bit parts in the series Team, the movies Dunechka, Deep Current, series for children Ta-ra-ram. I like these short 3-minute series, where you have to create an integral image. I would very much like to continue.

— Many successful actresses were backed by directors who were their husbands. Don’t you think it would be the best option?

— I have not thought about it. I am taking a postgraduate course now, I am a stage historian. I will also be able to teach singers, so I will never stay unemployed, and I’ll try not to depend on my husband’s salary.

by Valentin Pepelyaev
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