While everyone was guessing who played Sergei Dovlatov in Alexei German's new film dedicated to the writer, we made our way to the set and interviewed first the Serbian actor Milan Maric, who, due to a striking external resemblance, was unexpectedly invited to Russia for the role of a Soviet writer of Jewish-Armenian origin.
How did you get to casting the movie "Dovlatov" and got the part?
First I got a call in Belgrade, where I work at the Yugoslav Drama Theater and take part in plays of contemporary Serbian authors. They asked me to send my photo, then I read the monologue from Chekhov on camera, and a little later I came to Petersburg. Here again I was auditioning and was subsequently approved for the role.
And you knew before the casting, who was Dovlatov?
No. In general, playing a writer is a huge challenge, and even more so if you play a writer from a country that has given such a pleiad of authors who have influenced the entire world culture.
What do you think about filming in Russia? Do they go the same way as in Serbia?
Russian cinema is still very serious, it is of world importance. In Serbia, a couple of films are made per year, and one great director's name appears once in a decade. In principle, here I first met a serious director and saw how the movie really is made. For a young actor, it is dangerous to fit into projects for which he is not ready to fight to the end.
And how did you work with Alexei German?
It was an interesting experience. In my student years, I watched his films, I was very interested in his world view, his own vision, which seemed then unattainable. And I never thought that I could become a part of his world. On the set, I began to realize how difficult it is for me, because such work requires maximum application of forces. There was no classic "director-actor" relationship. You either begin to understand each other and work together, or not.
And do you have this understanding?
Yes, I think it happened.
And what do you say about working with Russian actors?
When you meet with famous actors in a big country, it puts some pressure on you. Fortunately, I was lucky to appear together with excellent colleagues, whose work I had previously watched. At first I could not believe that this was happening in reality (laughs).
And how did you decide to become an actor?
Incidentally (laughs) . My father is an economist by training, and my mother works in a kindergarten. None of them has anything to do with theater or cinema. They thought that this was my hobby. "No, Milan, it's all fine, but what will you live on and how will you earn?" My parents told me.
When I was young, I played sports and could not decide what I liked more: swimming, football or volleyball. Then suddenly a drama club was opened in the school. The theater frightened me and attracted me. Something happens there that I can not fully explain myself. It's like you're a little child and you go into a room without light: you're afraid not of the darkness itself, but of what is hidden in it. This is the actor's work - all the time go into the dark and think what will be there..