The famous Soviet and Russian actor Ivan Agapov responded to the request of the MK correspondent to share his memories of Alexander Abdulov on the eve of the outstanding artist’s unappeared 70th birthday.
– I have a lot to do with him: not only did we sit in the same dressing room – we have a birthday on the same day – May 29th.
When I came to the theater, Abdulov was already an outstanding artist. He even told how he was nominated for some title, and the wording with which he was “hacked to death” was this: “unhealthy popularity.”
I don’t know how “unhealthy” she was, but one spectator splashed acid in his face at the service entrance – he miraculously dodged. Some other crazy person with an ax after him rushed around the apartment. Of course, the popularity was on the verge.
– How did your joint creative activity begin?
– I was a student, Mark Zakharov invited me to the film “Kill the Dragon”, the first shooting was abroad, Alexander Gavriilovich also appeared there. It was happiness to see Abdulov alive then, I could not believe that in the future we would play in the same performances, star in the same films.
– Did he help novice artists, prompt, share experience with them?
– Abdulov literally gushed with ideas – everything that he came up with, he easily gave to both directors and actors. He constantly helped the young, he had an energizer inside him and he tried to make the world around him brighter.
At the same time, he was a deeply vulnerable person, his mood could easily deteriorate. He was prone to outbursts of anger, sadness and depression. But he hid all this, and for the audience and colleagues he brought only positive and good mood.
Abdulov could come up with lines and texts on the go. If he had one performance at 12 o’clock, and the second at 19.00 – they were not the same. Mark Anatolyevich allowed him to improvise, because this showed real talent: for many, the role is “a step to the left, a step to the right – an escape.” And Alexander Gavriilovich was bored doing the same thing twice in a row. And in general, for him, the line between the stage image and him as a person was blurred.
– That is, he lived on stage, but played in life?
– One of the performances began with the fact that he was sitting in the corner and scraping something, repairing the school hall where the action took place, and then the lights were turned on and he read a monologue. But the performance could not start in any way: two spectators quarreled over the place.
Abdulov simply stood up and looked in their direction for a long time. The brawlers were so carried away that they did not pay attention to it. He seemed to be tired of this, and he said – either out of role, or from himself: “Will you calm down at last? Don’t stop working!” In the hall, of course, there was applause, everyone laughed. The people who sorted out the relationship fell silent. Abdulov said: “Is everything okay?”, – and imperceptibly “flowed” into the monologue.
And in life he was an inventor! He could tell that he was late for the rehearsal, because he was flying from the south, allegedly on military fighters. And on another occasion, he assured that a major traffic cop who stood in the cordon did not let him in the car, because “the first person of the state was driving.”
I approached him: “Alexander Gavrilovich, the first person is now in China, you need to watch the news.” “But I didn’t look. Well, okay”.
Do you know what is the most significant? After the performances, his shirts and suits were wrung out – they were wet. And even when he was unwell, he gave his all, did not know how to work half-heartedly, he even tried to perform film stunts himself. And there was not an ounce of desire to “show off” in this.
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