Ru Az

Portrait from Puzzles

Waiting for a new star (who, moreover, was recently named “a new sex symbol” of the Russian cinema) is always grueling. Danila was running late, and I already started drawing his portrait in my imagination: he's late, means he is starstruck. Now he'll come, apparently pompous and uncrackable, so I'll have to break through his armor of "a golden boy". Will I be able to find out his ego, to draw his true portrait? At that moment I could not expect Danila to come and just without actor's upland apologize for being late, and be so open and simple during conversation. But not so much, to put it all out on the table. Avoiding labels and definitions, Danila left me to judge who he was: realist or romantic, idealist or pragmatist, fatalist or workaholic? It's like he gave all pieces of his image's puzzle, but the solid portrait we will need to collect ourselves using his answers. Let's start…

Danila, do your characters affect your real life?

They do, probably, while working on the movie or play. And pretty indirectly, I think. Well, if only you don't walk the street and rehearse your role, pronouncing to yourself, what happens quite often, and then catch on yourself baffled looks of the passersby or drivers who got stuck in a traffic… Perhaps, some processes happen, which I'm not aware of, which I just don't notice, but so that I feel some strong influence – probably not.

In "Dukhless-2" you live on the island of Bali and have close connection with the ocean. Tell us about the impressions of this friendship. Perhaps, something in you changed spiritually?

The ocean is marvelous. And, perhaps, it is even capable of changing the vision and attitude in general, but it takes much more time, than it was allocated for film-making process. It's rather difficult to change something in yourself in a month, I think. But to gather impressions to understand something about this island, to receive pleasure from work and communication with people – both with film crew, and with locals – this, sure, worked out well. In this regard Bali is a unique island! There is everything, starting with surfing, beach vacation and finishing with yoga. Of course, if I had more time, I, most likely, would be in search of something interesting…

Do you miss that?

Though already half a year passed, I often think back and – yes I, probably, even I miss that time. Despite getting up early and pretty intense schedule: in order not to lose the regime and, the main thing, daylight, we had to wake up at 5 am, because at 6 the sun already ascended and to work till sunset – it was around 6 pm: as with a flip, the sun just "turned off". After shooting I came back tired and went to sleep… But still, it was a great time!


Passing from beautiful Bali memoirs to today's reality, I cannot but touch the subject of the Russian cinema, to be exact, of its positions in the world market. And, respectively, the question: is it hard, considering the competition, to be one of the leading Russian actors, to get a role in Hollywood, sign a contract with the world-famous brand… the list can go further?..

I'm not even sure, whether it is hard or not… There are moments when everything concentrates and you need to manage to do a huge number of work in one week – meetings, shooting, interview and everything – what people usually do in a month, you need to do that in a week, in a non-stop mode! Of course, it's not easy: lack of sleep, contact with family, and I don't even start with friends. You go to bed in the dead of night with one thought: tomorrow you need to wake up early again… You know, there is the hardest moment – when you go from your bed to shower, I would call this one of the most difficult parts of the day. But even despite all this, you understand that you do what you love, which brings enormous pleasure, brings you together with unique people, where you have an opportunity to develop and to be happy from all this process… On the contrary, I'm grateful for that!

April issue of our magazine is called “Destiny”. And of course, I have to ask: how much do you believe in destiny?

I absolutely believe in destiny, and there are already many proofs of it in my life. I will not mention those manifestations of destiny which we know from history, from biographies of great people and so on. Of course, I do believe. It is remarkable that your magazine was so focused around this concept and once again reminds that there is such phenomenon as destiny. I believe that this is one of keywords in our dictionary and our life.

Which life-changing events affected your life?

I think, first of all, the birth. For me this is a quite fateful event! Getting into dramatics academy and meeting with my teachers: Lev Dodin and Valeriy Galendeyev. In general, if to speak about fateful episodes, then in my life those are, as a rule, meetings with certain people which had a strong impact on me, which are connected with my both professional and private life. Whether my teachers, the great artist of ballet Mikhail Nikolaevich Baryshnikov, whom I met in New York or directors whom I worked with, – either way, everything is connected with people…

Probably, for you the combination of certain factors and personal data, such as (not consider for compliment): appearance, intelligence, talent multiplied by good luck became life-changing? How does it feel to be a carrier of all these "factors"?

I did not think about it…


This cannot be true…

No, fortunately, it's the truth. And why you told me about it! Now I will think of it. And the responsibility will devour me.

I don’t believe it! What is your zodiac sign?


Then I don’t believe all the more: Taurus actually go deep down to sense of themselves…

Well, one thing is attempt of understanding yourself, and another is naming all these qualities you told about. All of them are, to put it mildly, positive, but it looks more like some self-love and even narcissism, but not awareness… By the way, the question of intelligence is quite controversial: there are, unfortunately, some problems…

Well, by speaking about intelligence, I don't mean knowledge of subtleties of geography or mathematical formulas. Personally for me manifestation of person's intelligence consists of his understanding of life. And if a person is successful in something – in our case, you are successful in your career – therefore, with intelligence everything is all right. By the way, have you ever counted on your appearance?


See now? And you speak about intelligence problems!

And what you counted on? On opportunity of solving certain tasks which were set for me. It's first of all. And it's, probably, somehow connected with craft, with school, with professionalism… I think, if to count on myself, then only with this matter. At least, for those directors with whom I worked with, both in theater, and cinema – for them appearance is not the first issue and not even the second.

But nevertheless many talented people, trying to make acting career, still feel uncomfortable and even have complexes, they are afraid to move forward, thinking that today you only need to have a pretty face. I speak about commercial cinema now. You have to admit, that this factor exists, and do not hate me for my questions.

No, I'm just afraid to seem like some guru! But I actually think that the main thing is persistence and work. This process of self-improvement, is largely dependent on… I do not know on what…


I think that you don’t very much like giving advices.

No, I don’t like giving advices at all.

And do you listen to them?

I try to. Depends on who gives them.

And how much are you an open person? If tomorrow Danila Kozlovsky has a problem will he share it? And with whom?

There are people whom I can share with, but very few. And it gets less. Not like they die, no – God bless them all! – just due to certain circumstances and factors you suddenly understand that, in principle, you could talk, and then you realize that it's better not to.

This means that you agree on the opinion, that the more successful a person is, the smaller is his circle?

If we speak about successful people… We are all human, and each of us have special personality, ambitions, feelings and emotions, disagreement with some things, envy and so on. And so, envy is a very strong factor which I, in any way, try to eliminate at the first stage. But I don't think that friends are able to envy. Buddies, colleagues, companions – yes, but not friends. It is worse when friends are not enough in this sense…

Why people say unflattering things about you, without knowing you personally? Why people don't like it when someone just like them succeeds, and they don't? Isn't this envy?

It seems to me, by using such words as envy, anger, we somehow simplify all this negative process. I think, everything is more complex, than just envy. Probably, there is also some personal dissatisfaction, some ambitions, anger not towards the person who succeeds, but towards themselves: why I can't make it? And, of course, we shouldn't forget about those who really work, and still can't make it, and they reach despair. I understand their anger and disappointment. From a human position I may have conflict with it, but after all I can understand it. And those who do nothing and just speak like that – this category of people I don't even want to discuss.

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Who is the most important person in your life?

My mom, of course. My teachers, my girlfriend. My family.

What can you tell about love?

Love is a key state in human life. Without love nothing is impossible. Without it we turn into people who just go to supermarket to spend time there. Love is the main driving force, this feeling is capable of both creating and destroying, making person happy and miserable. But it is beautiful. And when they say that real love does not exist – there is passion, I, perhaps, could agree with that. They tell me: you dated a girl for a year, and in the end you broke up. And I answer: yes, we broke up, but I am so grateful to this feeling and this girl for everything that happened this year, and it gave me a lot of things, and I'm sure, will give more, somewhere far… It will always be with me, and nobody will take it away! Therefore, for me love is the main feeling.

There is infatuation and love. Are you in love now or it is infatuation?

I won’t answer that question. Otherwise I will be confessing in love through a magazine.

Are you amorous?

Yes, I am, very much.

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Which one of your crushes you could call love?

There are couple…

As a worker in creative field, I perfectly understand you. Friends often scold me, saying: get your head out of the clouds, you don’t live in a movie! And sometimes I just want it so much…

I generally don’t like when people say: dude, be a realist. And I don’t want to be a realist! I have enough household worries: go to the laundry, shop – that’s when I’m a realist, and for love it’s better to keep a romantic attitude to it, but not practical. When people propose me a rational attitude to relationships, I strongly reject it – for me it’s the same as gas up the car.

So, you are romantic?

I let you to decide, who am I, and won’t tell, whether I am romantic or not.

You know that you are much loved in Baku…

Really?! You have no idea, how much I want to come to Baku! I heard so much about this tremendous city! I was told that it became incredibly beautiful, developed, that you have amazing people, and fantastic views… Southern, green, warm… I really want to come to Baku, to Azerbaijan!

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You are cordially invited! And at last, I want to ask you about your plans.

Soon my musical debut will take place on the scene of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and of Alexandrinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg – a musical show “Big Dream of an Ordinary Man”. This is a musical material, in which will sound the songs of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and also couple other “golden” representatives of American Jazz of 50-60’s of the last century. Later comes out the movie “Status: Free” – romantic comedy about a break up, starring with me and Liza Boyarskaya. This is my first production experience, which we make together with famous producer Yevgeniy, the director is Pasha Ruminov. Then will be released “Hardcore” – it’s a movie which was shot completely from the first-person vision in English by a Russian director Ilya Naishuller. After that, the movie “Flight Crew” by Nikolai Lebedev will be released. Then, hopefully, will come out the film “Matilda” by Aleksey Uchitel. By this time, I think that we will finish our work on the movie “Viking” of filmmaker Kravchuk – it’s a story about prince Vladimir the Great. If things go right, in June we are staring to rehearse “Hamlet” with Dodin in Maly Drama Theatre. And the premiere is dated for March 2016!


The material was published in the 15th issue.