Berlin Connection

23 February 2007 text Elena Peneva, photos Todor Tsvetkov for Angel Kotsev Studio
Lately, we very often hear the name of Ivan Burnev and every time it is on a pleasant occasion. After Lady Z and The Assaults (Salza i Smiah New Drama Theatre), now he impresses us with something really big – a nomination for leading role in the Irzi Mencel’s film I Served the King of England from the Festival in Berlin. This is the first actor to appear at the festival for 20 years time! Even though Ivan did not receive the award we were so happy about his nomination that we hurried to find him and ask him about the most important things before the film is shown on the Sofia Film Fest. We are waiting excitedly.


Tell us about the Berlinale. You have just come back, how was it?

I am very happy that I went there because in this way people found out that I take part in the film. I felt very happy that it was selected for the festival because that is a huge and élite forum. There was a screening for the journalists who liked the film a lot, they even laughed and applauded during the film. On the press conference there were a lot of applauses for everyone from the team and especially for me. I knew that the film would have success but then for the first time I believed in it. In Prague the film-show was very well accepted.

Did you meet some great actors on that festival?
On the gala closing evening I met William Defoe who came to congratulate me together with Gael García Bernal who plays in Babel and Motorcycle Diaries. He is a very nice man. They both are in the selection committee. You suppose that if you go to the festival you will see some interesting persons but I went there later and missed Antonio Banderas, Robert De Niro, Clooney.

Tell us more about the film and what your role is.
This is an epic movie – the history of the Czech Republic during the first half of the last century through the eyes of the character – Jan Dite, who wants to become rich and to have a hotel. At the beginning he is a waiter but gradually following the hierarchy he gains a huge hotel. But then comes the communism saying: that hotel is very nice but now it is a state property. That is the end of the first part where I play. From that moment another actors continues to play my character – he goes to prison for 15 years where he strike a balance of his life.

 

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