Actor Yuri Kolokolnikov on the construction of a bridge between Russia and Hollywood

As an ambassador for this year’s Key Buyers event, the annual showcase of Russian content and talent hosted by the public film promotion organization Roskino, lead man Yuri Kolokolnikov, born in Moscow but raised in Canada sees itself as a suitable spokesperson for an event designed to build bridges.

“From my earliest childhood, my life was between East and West. I have witnessed how the world has come together, despite all the disagreements that exist, ”he said. Variety. “Our industry is at the forefront of this movement. We all want to get to know each other. And I would like to continue to be a part of this connective tissue.

Kolokolnikov’s Hollywood career began auspiciously when he met casting director Nina Gold, who was in Russia looking for actors for “Game of Thrones”. She offered him an audition and he was quickly chosen to play Styr, the leader of the fierce and cannibalistic Thenn tribe. It was the key role of the actor.

“It turned out to be an amazing adventure, I can’t say it any other way,” he said. “Before that, I had not had the chance to participate in a project of this magnitude. But luckily, I wasn’t a big fan of the show; I hadn’t even seen a single episode when I started working on it. Otherwise, with all this pressure from this kind of project, I would have pissed in my pants. “

With the worldwide success of “Thrones”, Kolokolnikov’s star began to rise. The suspect has over 80 feature film credits to his credit, including “Tenet” and “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”, and has caused a sensation in series such as FX’s “The Americans”.

Over the course of his career, he has seen the industry’s uptake of Russian talent evolve. “The era of stereotypical ‘Russian villains’ is drawing to a close,” he said. “Of course there are bad guys, you can’t escape them. But now you can see more in-depth stories with multi-faceted characters.

This trend will only continue as Hollywood deepens the country’s rich talent pool, he said. “We have a lot of talent; it’s cheaper to film here; we have a lot of powerful and professional production companies, we are developing the discount system. Really, it’s a Klondike in terms of content creation.

Next time, Kolokolnikov will be a star on the Croisette in the Cannes competition title of Kirill Serebrennikov “Petrov’s Flu”. Later this year, he will star in a lavish adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel “The Master and Margarita”, directed by Mikhail Lockshin, the director of the original Netflix drama “Silver Skates”. And he’s currently working on the third season of “Stories About Us,” a documentary series on Russian history that airs on the local History Channel.

Despite the full list, Kolokolnikov said he took nothing for granted, citing an old Russian proverb: “Don’t give up poverty or prison will always come your way.” “I guess it’s in our blood, a kind of genetic fear because so many generations have gone through both, poverty and imprisonment,” he said. “Just saying it’s like, ‘Hey, are you relaxing? Be careful ! And don’t enjoy your life too much because at any time, they can put a bitter end to it.

This mentality is one of the things that sustains his love affair with Russia. “An endless contradiction mixed with brutal natural energy, a huge multicultural and multinational territory [full of] the unpredictability, the paradoxes, ”he said. “It probably creates the very Russian mysterious soul that everyone wants to understand, but no one can fully understand it. Even I, sometimes, get lost with the answers.

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