Actor Oleksandr Rudynskyi – interview with UP

Actor Oleksandr Rudynskyi – interview with UP

Caligula in the production of the same name, Mortimer in “Maria Stewart” and Vitya in the film “Stay Online”. Actor’s career Oleksandr Rudynskyi from a full-scale invasion changed the vector. He became the star of performances that the whole of Kyiv dreams of attending, not only of TV series and films, which are called the best works of the year.

Today, Oleksandr works directly with director Ivan Uryvskyi and acts in the movies he likes. Recently, these are roles in films that tell about the events of the beginning of a full-scale invasion. At the end of 2023, it was the series “First Days”, and this March “Leave Online” is released – the first screen life film in the history of Ukrainian cinema and a film that positions itself as “a film about war during war”.

Film reviewer UP Culture Elizaveta Sushko spoke with Oleksandr Rudynskyi about the Tik-Tok era in theater and cinema, favorite Ukrainian actors, State Cinema and red flags in characters that need to be reincarnated in the conditions of a full-scale war.

I started watching yours interview with Masha Yefrosinina, where you said that in your office now only Western actors are used for inspiration. If you are not inspired by Russian ones now, maybe you have started discovering Ukrainian ones for yourself?

– They were and are. My favorite actor is my master Andriy Seminin (“Credence”, “Khaitarma”, the voice of Tom Cruise in Ukraine). He is a man who, in my opinion, has one of the best stage IQs. Now we play together in the Franko Theater, we sit together in the dressing room. And from 2014 to 2018, he was my teacher at Karpenko-Karyo.

This list also includes Vitaly Saliy (“I work at the cemetery”, “BozheVilni”), Ivan Sharan (“Pamfir”) – a young actor of my age, with whom we work together. Uncle Sasha Yarema (“Lessons of Tolerance”), who plays with me in the movie “Stay Online”. He is also a brilliant artist with an incredible nature. He is truly gifted by God. And there are many of them, I really like Ukrainian actors.

A frame from the film

What is it like to work on the same stage with the master?

– I dreamed about it and got it. And it’s very easy. The most interesting process in creating a performance is the search. And you go through it together for three or four months, many things fail. You consider yourself amateurs in this business. And then at some point people can’t buy tickets to the show.

TikTok did a lot in the popularity of the play. This does not exclude its artistic value, of course. But this is a certain change in perception of reality. The same can be said about the film “Stay Online”, which was shot in scren life format and looks like a laptop screen. That is, the so-called “new media” and various technologies, already so embedded in our lives, that they affect art as well? Have you thought about it?

– Of course I thought. Really, really, if “The Witch of Konotop” had lasted, for example, five hours, would it have been as popular a play. Because now because of the rails, because of fast scrolling, because of this swipe-swipe-swipe, your concentration decreases. You can no longer think about something for a long time. Likewise, you cannot focus for a very long time, because you need to change the picture, color scheme, information, whatever. I noticed even today that I was driving to the rehearsal and didn’t listen to the song to the end. I got bored of a song from my playlist halfway through.

These are the realities of our days. And the uniqueness of Ivan Uryvsky is that he is attentive to the changes and development of technologies around him. He knows what people are interested in and what is not interesting.

“The Witch of Konotop” was made using the collage method, as this is one of Ivan’s directing techniques. Here is this sudden change of light, mood, atmosphere and the fact that it is visually impressive gives an opportunity not to lose curiosity.

The performance of Caligula was also directed by Ivan Uryvskyi.  The main role is played by Oleksandr Rudynskyi

The play “Caligula” was also directed by Ivan Uryvskyi. The main role is played by Oleksandr Rudynskyi

Julia Weber

I don’t know if you saw Tomashpolsky’s film “Space” at the Odessa Film Festival in 2021…

– I have not seen this film, but I definitely know it. Because a lot of friends were filming there, and even Vanya Sharan invented something there and, according to the concept, filmed himself during the lockdown for this film.

In a way, there is a feeling that something very similar to what happened with the lockdown is happening in cinema right now. But then they twisted and removed, taking into account the restrictions. Now we have neither funding, nor adequate leadership of the State Cinema, nor many Ukrainian industry figures who have put aside their work and gone to fight. How are you with the roles and materials for these two years?

– It did not affect the theater at all. We literally did not work for the first three months. I worked as well as I work. Even more, because the demand has grown a lot. I hardly see my child, because I spend the lion’s share of my time in the theater.

And about movies: serials have been filmed and are being filmed. Almost all of them are related to the war. Movies need time to see what will and will not happen with the industry.

A shot from the TV series The First Swallows

A shot from the TV series “The First Swallows”

I was a little more lucky because there were offers in Europe and I traveled and filmed there. But I have little faith in the fact that the authors we already have, who already have a name, or young talented people who before the war had to realize their ambitions and ideas, now have the opportunity to fully realize themselves. First, of course, due to lack of funding. Only units can seek grants or pitching abroad. I don’t know if any author would now have the opportunity to make a film like “Luxembourg, Luxembourg”. And I am sure that there would be a demand for such a movie.

Do you have red flags in roles and material right now that you would not accept under any circumstances?

– There is no regarding the roles, but there is regarding the materials. Indeed, there were offers that I refused for a number of reasons. On the one hand, I didn’t have the opportunity to shoot because of the workload in the theater, when we release 13-15 premieres a month. And secondly, I did not see that I could discover something new for myself there as an actor. I didn’t see the potential. I accept a role only when I see an opportunity to spread my wings. I want to have a playing field.

Everything I refused was related to television. And I understood that it would be very, very exhausting. Because everything is filmed there very quickly. Besides, I’m not sure how many people watch TV these days.

A frame from the movie Stay online

A frame from the movie “Stay Online”

“Pereveznytsia” had good ratings.

– After all, this series is not made for television. But also, all 10 episodes were aired at once, in one evening. Because you have to spin “SuperMama” every night. And then they will say that we don’t have good series. Because people simply did not see them. Thank God that “Pereveznytsia” had good ratings. Because Zhenya (Evhen Tunik, showrunner of the series, note) deserves it.

Were your acting wings not shackled by these Telegram circles and the screen life format in “Leave Online”?

– The first reason why I agreed to this project was the fact that this is the first game work during a full-scale invasion. After all, at that moment there was hopelessness that it was no longer possible in Ukraine at all. I thought I would never act again. And here is a project that people did themselves without state funding.

As for the role, I play an ordinary guy who just decided to try to wear a bronik, to stand with the boys at the roadblock – to be useful in something. And it dragged him. And yes, I had the opportunity to show my acting skills. Filming was physically difficult because it was the middle of summer. And if my colleagues and colleagues were already playing with me, in response to my recordings, then I was playing with a black screen. You can say that one of my partners in this film is Eva, the director of the film. That actress Lilya Tsvelikova (“First days” – the series “Zoo”, “Amber mines”), who does not play in this film at all. She just helped as a reader. And for that I give her a huge thank you. They read all the scenes to me and I played with a black screen.

A frame from the film

A frame from the film

Now there is a lot of talk about such an idea as “a movie about a war during a war.” Once, you and I talked about this in the context of the series “First Days”, but somehow this conversation stems from all game projects about today’s events. We have already seen what happened around “Yurik” about Mariupol, how people are outraged “Bucha” about Kyiv region. “Stay Online” even carries such a slogan – “a movie about war during war”. In your opinion, why is this film necessary for an ordinary viewer in Ukraine?

– I don’t have a specific answer, I can only guess. Because not all parts of Ukraine were under occupation, did not see the Russians, and did not hear shelling. But the desire to find out what it is like, to feel it for a few hours at least, can help. At the same time, I am sure that many people will not be interested in watching. But many people will be super interested to experience it through the screen.

We will definitely be checked for sloppiness – whether it was filmed truthfully or not. But why is this film necessary? Because to this day you scroll through Telegram channels, read news, watch videos. We still have a desire to learn something new about the course of events. And the cinema gives an opportunity to learn the colors of this war.

And it is necessary to make films about local stories. “Stay Online” is not about a famous battle or about the liberation of a city. This is a story about a small family that wants to help another family.

Backstage from the film Stay online

Backstage from the movie “Stay Online”

Do you believe that cinema can have a therapeutic effect for those who create it and for those who watch it?

– Again, I can only assume. Recently, I was asked the question: “name the anti-war work that, in your opinion, had the greatest impact on society.” If the Bible has had no effect and in the year 2022 people are fighting, killing each other and seeking to seize territories and rape, then what work can help?

I hope that such a work as “20 days in Mariupol” can really remind you at least for a few days or months. But I don’t know what will radically change my experience.

A frame from the film

A frame from the film

Perhaps this is a provocation, but what do you think about Derzhkino now? Not so long ago, the cinematographers signed an appeal to redirect funds to the army, because they do not trust the management of State Cinema and Ms. Maryna Kuderchuk personally. But the institution still announced there would be a pitching, the first since the full-scale invasion began. Are you ready to act in films that will win this pitching by the decision of an illegitimate board of directors, if you are called?

– I may not be offered any of these projects. And if they offer it, maybe I won’t be interested. And maybe I will be very interested. Because who knows who will seek funding in this competition? Maybe one of those people we idealize, you know? Because those who for us are the top one, two or three in the industry also need money in order to realize themselves. The state has allocated funds for cinema, so they believe that it is necessary. I still think it’s necessary.

Because if we don’t make a movie, it’s… horror.

Backstage from the film Stay online

Backstage from the movie “Stay Online”

But the letter was not for not filming. And in order to change the leadership. To make the industry heard.

– Indeed, the problem is that of the 38 people who were elected to the expert commission under the Council, there are very few who have achievements in cinema. Casting director Alla Samoilenko did a little investigation and at least googled these names. It is simply not clear who they are about the majority. It is even more unclear why these few can even call themselves experts in the film industry. So, of course, this is a very risky thing. But the competition will take place, most likely.

Backstage from the filming of the film Stay online

Backstage from the filming of the movie “Stay Online”

I think that will happen. And definitely not transparent.

– It is necessary that the society does not close this page. That it was constantly under the supervision of such people as Alla Samoilenko, you, me. Everyone who is even a little bit interested in it. Because if we allow money to be simply distributed for TV series, TV channels, for friends, it will not work.

The last and perhaps the most difficult question. What are your two favorite Ukrainian films?

– I will say very easily. Not difficult at all. “Pamfir” and “The earth is blue, like an orange”. I was very impressed with this movie Iryna Cilyk.

Everything related to my favorite since childhood was the easiest.

A frame from the movie Stay online

A frame from the movie “Stay Online”

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