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YURI STOYANOV: “I HAD TO PAY FOR MY LANGUAGE MANY TIMES”

Once he was perceived as an artist of the comedy genre, and only later it became clear: literally everything is subject to him. Therefore, it is not surprising that today, when many actors are complaining about the lack of work, Yuri Stoyanov’s schedule is scheduled right until next fall.

– Admit it, you miss Gorodok?

– No, I don’t miss Gorodok. I miss my partner. I miss Ilya very much. I often think about him. And the more time passes, the more I think about him, about some missed things in our relationship. About when I was wrong. But how do we live? We live for today. We do not think that suddenly this person will someday disappear, and he will not be. If you think about it, you will treat the person differently. How can you miss something that cannot be restored? The fact that Gorodok could not be restored was clear to me from the first day Ilyusha died.

– Have you thought about restoring the program?

– What does it mean to restore? Just to recreate the format, there was no such format. The format of this program was a couple. That was the format. The couple was both a format and a genre and everything else. Everything was based on this pair. How to recover? It makes no sense to simply mechanically replace even a brilliant actor. Because the main achievement of this program was the Oleinikov-Stoyanov pair and what they did as a result. You can restore something that stands on the foundation of the Gorodok, that somehow appeals to it, something in which the atmosphere of the Gorodok can be present. I tried to do this in Stoyanov Show on the Russia channel. But these are just memories of Gorodok, only at a completely different stage, both technological and financial, of course, more powerful. This is a larger project, but not Gorodok. I tried to restore the atmosphere of “Gorodok” in my Instagram, in the antique videos “Stoyanov on Isolation”. But all this is not “Town”. Naturally.

– Why I asked about “Gorodok”. When you just started shooting sketches, started your own YouTube channel, you said that you were not betraying the traditions of Gorodok. Do you really get a kick out of it, as you yourself admitted?

– I started a YouTube channel so as not to go crazy in quarantine. (Laughs.) To keep yourself professionally. To talk to people in their language. The one they speak in life.

– Did your wife Lena really help you as a cameraman and the only partner behind the scenes?

– It was a funny surprise for us that it was not me that became the main intrigue of this little project, paradoxically. The fact that Stoyanov can play all sorts of small roles is natural for people. But the fact that a voice-over person constantly appears in the project, who exists as my equal partner, became an intrigue. An important component. People all the time wanted to know, but what is she, who is she? But, what is important, my wife Lena is not an actress, she is a civil engineer by training, and now my director. And at this time she not only played along, but also filmed everything on the phone. She had to act and at the same time film me. Her workload was more serious than mine. And what is most interesting, the majority of Russian women identified her with themselves. And she became the voice of all Russian women in isolation. (Laughs.

– You just confessed that you wanted to talk to people on the Internet in their language, the one they speak in life. And if many speak obscenities?

– If mate is the emotional component of the state in which a person is as a result of some strong event that happened in the frame, then this is a natural manifestation, however, in moderation, but this is not on large channels, of course. There is no hypocrisy in this. I am absolutely serious about this. I believe that there is no place for this on large channels. Because TV screens have different viewers. And you will not control it. And so there are restrictions. For example, you can send someone only after 23:00, but do not send until that time, the children are still awake. (Laughs) This is an absolutely normal story. The Internet is a more democratic thing, more popular, let’s say. Therefore, if a dumbbell falls on a person’s leg, he can say: “… your mother.” That’s all.

– Did you and Ilya Oleinikov really come up with a profession – a television artist?

– We thought so with Ilyusha. That’s what we called ourselves. I will explain what time it was. Look, in the 90s there were some programs on television, the artists were invited there, they were to some extent dependent on the producer, on the director, on the screenwriter. But television brought and brings you fame, not money, but trips to Russia with concerts monetize this popularity. That was the situation. Why did we become TV artists? Because it took us all the time. We didn’t have time for concerts. And that’s why we decided so: we will be TV artists, since we give work almost all our free time. We only had a week to a month to go to concerts, and not vice versa – we were shooting for a week, we were touring for three weeks. The editing was on us, the script was on us, everything was on us. It was an absolutely author’s program. That’s why we, maybe the first began to earn decent money for that time, because that was our main job. So we started calling ourselves TV artists.

– What do you think, “Gorodok” in that format would find its audience today among the younger generation?

– Judging by the number of views of the old “Gorodok” and by the number of memes that are simply isolated from the project, some funny pieces are cut out, turning into memes, and sent by people to each other, some part of it, of course, yes, is not outdated … Well, I’m reviewing Charlie Chaplin, so someone is reviewing us. Although we are certainly not Charlie Chaplins. (Laughs.)

– Do you really sincerely think that the more often you remind of yourself, the more often people will remember Gorodok?

– No, I hope not “Gorodok”. I hope that the more often I appear … no, not more often, the quality component is also important here, in what capacity. The better I appear, the more meaningful what I do, the more often people will remember my partner, because we are inseparable. And I really want to be remembered. That’s all. Naturally, the program will also be remembered. But first of all, I would like not to forget Ilya, because, unfortunately, this trend of memory is not very developed in our country. It is very difficult to explain in America that Elvis Presley is a singer from the past. Or Frank Sinatra. They exist in today’s cultural and musical space. And for example, in Russia it makes no sense even to students of theatrical universities to tell who Evgeny Lebedev, Vladislav Strzhelchik or Oleg Borisov is. Moreover, Pavel Luspekaev. These are for them – meaningless names. So I am doing this humble job.

– How did it happen that at the moment you are again filming “Vampires of the Middle Lane”?

– Oh, Vitalik, we started filming this story three years ago. And they took off a very good pilot. The director was then Anton Fedotov. The viewer liked the pilot very much. He was honored at the fashionable Ivanovo Pilots Festival. This, by the way, is very well thought out. Even there, to my surprise, I got the best actor in the pilot. Then there were some difficulties with the project, it was slowed down. I started acting in another story, and then this project reappeared, but I could no longer let people down, because, as I think, when a system of priorities arises in our profession, where it is more profitable, where it is more interesting to start working, it is not serious, dishonorable. So I could not let the team down, although I really wanted to return to this series. Really like. But I gave up filming. But since we already had such a friendly relationship with this group then, they asked me to name people, as it seems to me, who could play this role of mine. And I named two artists: Romochka Madyanov and Misha Efremov. It seemed to me that this is very “there”. That it will come out very differently, but it will be great if they play. Maybe it will be even better, because both are amazing actors. Both. They agreed with Misha Efremov. Then Misha starred in my Stoyanov Show, talked about the “vampire” shootings, how they went. And they shot somewhere about forty percent of the whole picture, and a pandemic began.Then they again asked me to return to the project. I had several conditions. And although there was little hope that this whole situation would be resolved like this, that Misha will come out, the condition was: even if I go to the shooting and it becomes clear that Misha is free, he immediately returns to the project. And I, as it were, say: “On a good journey and thank God that everything was resolved this way!” But that did not happen. And I started filming Vampires of the Middle Band. Here’s a story. It is such a rare case when a role is written for an artist. Not a TV show, I emphasize this, but a specific role. This particular role was written for me. The authors took into account some things that they like about me. Which they wanted me to play. This is a heavy and luxurious project. A brilliant team, a wonderful director. And I started filming Vampires of the Middle Band. Here’s a story. It is such a rare case when a role is written for an artist. Not a TV show, I emphasize this, but a specific role. This particular role was written for me. The authors took into account some things that they like about me. Which they wanted me to play. This is a heavy and luxurious project. A brilliant team, a wonderful director. And I started filming Vampires of the Middle Band. Here’s a story. It is such a rare case when a role is written for an artist. Not a TV show, I emphasize this, but a specific role. This particular role was written for me. The authors took into account some things that they like about me. Which they wanted me to play. This is a heavy and luxurious project. A brilliant team, a wonderful director.

– Further on the NTV channel will soon be a mini-series “Emergency exit”, where we starred with Roma Madyanov. And there is a series that I really look forward to, there my biggest serial role, which I have ever played in my life, is called “Marlene” And his name is deciphered as Marx-Lenin. He is an investigator for particularly important cases. Middle-aged. Investigates high-profile crimes related to celebrities and all sorts of media persons. A very eccentric character. The control word for me in the invitation to the role and the main motivation was that the producers wanted such a Russian Colombo. This is what is coming out now. Plus, Sarik Andreasyan’s film “Goodbye, America! Seryozha Svetlakov was the producer there. There are projects in the spring too. I know my life until autumn 2021. Of course, I understand my colleagues who do not have a job today for obvious reasons. But what can I do? Unfortunately, I can’t share my roles. (Smiles.)

– As I understand it, you have a lot of work now, you are snapped up. Happens that you refuse the proposed roles?

– The fact is that I cannot condemn any of my colleagues, who acts in films in everything that is offered to him. Never in my life! This is his job, he doesn’t know how to do anything else. And the quality of the material depends not only on it. (Smiles.) Well, you cannot give a task to a worker at a factory, and he replied: “I will not do this detail! She’s ugly. I don’t really like this corner. In short, I don’t like it ”. Then you become a character from “Mimino” who says that then you can choose your own color and paint yourself. Do you understand? But I refuse a lot.

– If it’s not a secret, what is the reason for this in the first place?

– Well, with the fact that I don’t like it, with the fact that I don’t need it, as I think. That’s all. With very simple taste preferences.

– Do you also refuse female roles? From those roles that the audience of “Gorodok” loved so much in your performance?

– We do not have female roles in the cinema, to which men are invited. But if they say that this is a disguised man who pretends to be a woman, I will think terribly a lot on this topic. And most likely I will refuse. Likely. Because it will be so used.

– In the TV series “Guests from the Past” you play the guitar wonderfully …

– Yes, I played there for a second.

– But it is very memorable. Often asked to perform something in the frame?

– Unfortunately yes. But I usually refuse and play where it is very motivated by what happens to the character. And where it is needed for the story the director tells. And not just like that: Yura plays well, let’s use it. Let’s do it with such a paint, a colored smear. Here in the movie Love I will perform my song. I wrote it specifically for this film. But there it is very necessary. History. It was written in the script. The film itself will consist of short stories. In one of the short stories there was a character who had to sing a song of some kind. And it was written in the script – some kind. And it seemed to me that it would be nice if this character sang his song. I wrote it and liked it very much. So I sang it. But I do not want to become a common place of a person with a guitar in the frame. This is part of my profession which I try to save for concerts. But there are no concerts!

– Unfortunately. But I can’t help but ask, where will you get the time for concerts, when will this covid barrier finally be raised?

Sometimes I may prefer a concert or a performance for which they pay a penny. Ask why? Because it is impossible to exist and work without a live connection with the audience. It all happens there: here and now. This situation will never happen again. A digital, electronic medium will capture a moment forever. Everything, it is unchanged. He recorded your professional, emotional state at that second. And in the theater you went out and lived today, and the audience lived it. And this story will be like this only today. And it will never happen again. It is a connection with a live viewer. This is professional hygiene. This is necessary for the artist in order not to lose their living form. This is a must. Tell me, do men like to shave? I, for example, I hate this shaving situation (laughs). I know in advance how this crap will buzz, how long it will take, and so on. But this must be done. For me, theater is a given, a necessity. But only if shaving is a burden, then theater is a great necessity. As well as stage, concerts.

– I will return to the TV series “Guests from the Past.” Are you a science fiction lover by nature?

– No. Past. From science fiction there are some books that any normal person has read and which I really like. For example, I would single out something from Stanislav Lem, probably from Bradbury. I would, of course, say that one of my favorite books is “It’s Hard to Be God” by the Strugatskys. But to say that these are my desk books and that this is what I devote my free time to, of course, not. By the way, Ilya Oleinikov loved science fiction. He read science fiction avidly all the time. And he knew her very well. Me not.

– And the role of the scientist, the creator of the time machine was written for you? All yours hurts.

– I do not know. When I read the script, when we shot the pilot, I had the feeling that yes. When the big series appeared, the role was a little blurred, it became much smaller than it was. In general, any decent artist would play it well.

– It’s no secret that we are not getting younger from year to year ..

– Yes, yes, to put it mildly.

– Do you feel your age today? And how much?

– You feel age like this, I’ll tell you now. First, it is in the eyes of the people around you. Those opposite. And, secondly, when you see yourself in the frame. That’s when you think about your age. And physically I do not feel my age. Ugh, ugh, ugh, absolutely. If you ask me how much, then it’s hard for me to say. I don’t remember myself, I feel decent at every age. But this coquetry is somehow masculine. You know, I feel like … In one play “Playing in the Towns”, which we play at the Moscow Art Theater according to my book, there is a phrase:

– Doesn’t the inexorable approach of the old woman with the scythe frighten?

– No, no, no, and no again. I am philosophical about this. On the contrary, this is a very interesting process in fact. It is very interesting, without noticing that you are getting old, sometimes to be convinced of this, looking at yourself in the frame. You think that’s what an interesting divine providence. After all, the only truth that absolutely does not require proof is death. You can doubt that twice two is four. Anything can be questioned except that we are all going to die. So what? Looking for Lucifer to ask him to sign in blood? This is not for me. But there are roles that no one can play except you. (Laughs.) Any old professors. But when you put on a denim suit, leave the hairdresser and look at yourself in the mirror, you understand: everything is fine! Everything is fine, Yurik! Or you catch a glance at yourself, thinking that someone liked you, but in fact you were simply recognized. But it’s more profitable for you to think that you liked. (Laughs.)

Don’t run away from selfies with fans?

– I always took pictures with everyone.They say it’s not very good now. Well, I ask you to step back one and a half meters and, please, take pictures. I take fame itself for granted. This is part of my profession. Probably, if they took it away from me, I would really miss something. I think so. But the fame in relation to me is not fun, not hysterical. People just consider me their person, with whom they have lived for many years. And there I brightened up some part of their sad life. We have such a common past, present. We are such friends with my fans. I have no hysterical admirers. I have people who smile at me. They don’t rush to meet me. They just smile at me, that’s enough, and they say hello on the street. And that part of fame is incredibly enjoyable.

– Without what do not you imagine your work?

– I can’t imagine work without work itself. This is the first thing. Second, no interesting work. No paid job because that is the yardstick for what you have achieved in life. It is very important. We are embarrassed to talk about it, or brag about it. We do not treat this as a norm. And to that, without which I could not live. Demand and fame are two very important factors in this profession.

– Are you susceptible to flattery?

– In relation to me or me? I’m not a flattering person at all. I am famous for just another. And many times I had to pay for my language both out of stupidity and in different ways. And in relation to me … I am very different. I understand, I myself know the value of what I have done. When the assessment coincides in an amicable, comradely way, it is pleasant. Yes, I somehow do not really dispose to her. I have not heard any direct flattery in my address. To be honest, I can’t even remember when I was flattered. This is terribly unproductive. Terribly unproductive. It’s a trip to the abyss to collect these compliments. Stagnation. This is a sign of a fool first of all. A very stupid person. Or stupid or domineering. One out of two.

– You once said about rest that you know how to have a good rest, but this is the path to oblivion. Has anything changed in this matter with age?

– Yes, of course, it has changed – I want to rest even more. (Laughs.) Because there comes a stage when they can no longer forget, but you can afford to relax, but there is no way yet. I’m waiting for next summer, maybe this infection will subside somehow.

– Do you have a close person from your colleagues, I cannot say such as Ilya Oleinikov was, but whom do you trust, share your secret? Or is it possible today only in the family?

– No, it’s not just a family. I would say that this is first of all family, and then friends. And the great thing is that they are among the actors. (Laughs.) Igor Zolotovitsky is probably in the first place. This is my friend, the rector of the Moscow Art Theater School and the Moscow Art Theater artist. But now I will offend someone if I start to make this list. These are most of the artists that fate confronts me. As a rule, I am on very good terms with everyone. I can only bend two or three fingers on one hand, meaning my colleagues who are deeply unsympathetic to me.

– And what happens when on the set or on the stage next to you is a partner of these folded fingers?

– The flour is terrible. Torment, terrible torment. This is a great misfortune. The trouble is. But outwardly, you will never feel it. Well, because you have to spend a lot more effort. Do you understand? The soul is spent very much on this, when there is a bastard next to him who must be loved. Or a git, which is less common, but it also happens. Well, nothing, then the profession turns on and the soul turns off. Listen, when does a surgeon need to operate on an enemy, for example? What should I do? He saves his life.

“ But he has the Hippocratic Oath.

– Ha! And I have a responsibility to the viewer.

– By the way, why don’t you wish your daughters a husband like you? Confess.

– I do not know a single father who would wish for his daughters: the first – a husband in general, the second – someone like him. Indeed, the basis is a very simple thing – you remember yourself young. And what good can you say about yourself in the sense of why you really wanted to date this girl. Is that what you wanted from her? Can I not voice any further?

– Once, talking about your youngest daughter Katya, you remembered yourself as a child and admitted that you were afraid for her because of the growing aggression. Today she is seventeen. Has something changed in your views, or in the world around you?

– Well, what has changed? What has changed is that there are even fewer men, in this sense I feel calmer, well, because of tolerance. (Laughs.) There have been fewer grooms legally. The level of aggression, rejection, and excitement does not fall, it only grows. And not only here, in general in the world. This is not only our problem. Everything on Earth is anxious, everything is restless. Of course, I am anxious and restless.

– Do you still smoke today or quit?

– I smoke and still enjoy it a lot. And I still don’t advise anyone to do this.

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