The viewer is sometimes mistaken in thinking that if an artist plays mostly negative characters, it means that the person is so-so – they say that he even has an unkind look … But if women are actively buying a new face today, then men often stay with what nature and parents gave.
The godfather of Bekmambetov
Victor Verzhbitsky got a non-Hollywood appearance: average male growth, early baldness, ordinary – not to say very expressive – eyes. And the lowered corners of the lips. As if he was always dissatisfied, sad, gloomy … In short, if you see this on the street, you will not immediately recognize it. Just think: looks like a stairwell neighbor.
However, for “no” appearance – a great talent. And it is precisely the nondescript at first glance face that allows the actor to try on all kinds of images: from a killer to an oligarch, from an official to an emperor. Wigs, mustaches, beards, costumes of past centuries – all this sits on Verzhbitsky as a poured one.
In the role of Nicholas I in the series "Poor Nastya", 2003. Photo: www.globallookpress.com
Timur Bekmambetov understood this even in Tashkent – with Verzhbitsky they turned out to be classmates at the theater and art institute. Timur studied at the stage design department, Victor – at the acting. There, a real male friendship was born, which has been going on for several decades.
It was Bekmambetov who became Verzhbitsky's godfather in cinema, a guiding star. It was he who first exchanged Tashkent for Moscow, persuaded a friend to follow his example and start from scratch at the age of 37: he sheltered Victor, then helped find housing … There was no need to talk about working together – Verzhbitsky was frankly lucky that his friend had grown up in a major director. But for Timur, Viktor’s participation in his, Bekmambetov’s projects became a good sign. Even though these are not always leading roles in the film “The Irony of Fate. Continuation ”, for example, Verzhbitsky became just a“ man at the bus stop ”.
In the role of a man at a bus stop. "The Irony of Fate. Continuation ", 2007. Photo: Still from the film
From Louis XIV to Nicholas I
The professional creative union of Bekmambetov and Verzhbitsky began simultaneously with the film "Peshawar Waltz", which collected several prizes, and … advertising. But not the one that annoys and makes you switch buttons. No, it was a completely different quality – almost a movie. Only mini.
The bank's management has set a task for the director: no special effects, animations – only a pure game of actors. The operator worked classic George Rerberg. One of the screenwriters is Mikhail Lesin. The voice-over text for some videos was read by Innokenty Smoktunovsky and Vladimir Mashkov.
Timur at that time was hardly over 30, he was not known, and there was nothing to boast of. But, apparently, managed to be at the right time in the right place. After a series of commercials “World History. Bank Imperial ”they began to call it a classic of Russian advertising. And the directors drew attention to the performer of the roles of Nicholas I, Alexander the Great and Louis XIV – Victor Verzhbitsky.
To say that the actor was immediately overwhelmed with the main roles would be an outright lie. He was known in Uzbekistan as a leading and honored actor. There he bathed in the classical theater repertoire, was spoiled by the main roles. No one was waiting for him in Moscow. No one promised anything. And at 37, having a decent experience, it’s not easy to go to bow-seeings …
Believe, hope, wait
Only once I decided to change my life – be kind, play according to the new rules. Sit for a year without going on stage. Carry your photos at the movie studio. Think about how and what to live on, rent an apartment. And wait. Hope … Maybe His Majesty Chance will deign to descend to you.
The case came down to Verzhbitsky a few years later, in 1998. Then Victor finally got a job … No, not so … There was a job, which, according to the actor, became the starting point in the film career (for a minute, the eighth picture in the filmography!). It was the "Siberian Barber" by Nikita Mikhalkov. A project in which the words “cinema” and “director” are capitalized.
Last name Verzhbitsky got into the second half of the list of performers. He himself admitted that, having learned about a large-scale international project, he gained courage, compromised his principles and offered … himself. The game was worth the candle. In that period, no one filmed such a movie except Mikhalkov. And working with such a director is a gift of fate for any actor.
The Siberian Barber, 1998. Photo: Still from the film
At 45, life is just beginning
The role of the adjutant of the Grand Duke in The Barber, played by Verzhbitsky, is unlikely to be remembered – the light of stars of Russian and world level was too bright in the film. And Victor had been waiting for a major role for the master for almost 10 years, proving with each work that he was capable of more than episodes.
At that time, Bekmambetov’s faithful friend, who was planning to shoot Night Watch, helped out again. The success was unexpected and deafeningly loud – a sequel followed immediately. The Supreme Dark Other, the magician Zebulun performed by Verzhbitsky, was convincing. Even the author of the books, Sergey Lukyanenko, recognized the skill of the actor, although the cinematic image did not coincide with the one invented by him.
Verzhbitsky came to real fame. It was a victory over oneself and life circumstances. In the year of the premiere of "Night Watch" the actor turned 45. But for him, everything was just beginning. It’s a joke to say that a year has passed from “Night” to “Day Watch”. And Victor managed to star in 7 works during this time.
Then everything went like clockwork. “Turkish Gambit” by Janika Fayzieva, “12” by Nikita Mikhalkov … In 2008-2010 Verzhbitsky has 8 films each year. Yes, not everyone "shot", not everyone can be proud of. About others, the actor confessed in an interview, it’s not worth remembering. But it happens. Cinema is a team “game”, and one player, even the most talented, is not able to create a masterpiece.
Now Victor Verzhbitsky’s piggy bank has more than a hundred works in the cinema, not only the 2006 MTV award in the nomination “Best movie villain of the year”, but also the title of People’s Artist of Russia.
He plays at the Theater of Nations. Filmed in several projects. Sometimes it works only in voice, voicing Rife Fiennes or Colin Firth. And, it seems, he is not at all worried that he will not be able to play Santa Claus. "Who will believe? .."
. (tagsToTranslate) Victor Verzhbitsky (t) legendary movie actors and directors