“Two Hills” is a comedy dystopia about matriarchy. What appealed to you most in this story?
– I immediately became interested in the “strange” genre and, of course, the main role. In addition, the creators of “Vampires of the Middle Band” are involved in the production of the series, and these guys have everything with a sense of taste. That’s why I came to audition – and they got me! In general, I am happy that we have new species because I like to experiment.
According to the plot of “Two Hills”, humanity lives in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by matriarchy. So women are the elite that created a new civilization and abolished war. In this society, they need men only as “offspring producers” – they artificially suppress sexual desire and “pump” sperm with the help of pumps for childbirth. They’re like testosterone carriers, distracted from important matters and busy serving women: massaging them or lounging around game consoles. On the other hand, there is resistance, whose representatives do not agree to be the “guardian of the seed” (to laugh). And now my hero is just a representative of this world of “lust and debauchery”. Such a dystopia in the spirit of “Mad Max”, but only in relation to men.
– You played the primate Hera in the show. Tell me, what was the most interesting thing for you while preparing for the role?
– I must admit, I was fascinated like a child on the set of Two Hills – stylish pavilions, costumes, scenery and absolutely wonderful places in the park in Krasnodar. It is difficult even for me to distinguish any scene, because this is the first time I have felt such a comprehensive and quality shot.
But maybe there is a funny episode where my hero finds the game The Witcher 3 and launches it on an old computer, and his grandfather tells how it went in his youth. And then it turned out that my grandfather named my heroine in honor of the computer character Geralt of Rivia, abbreviated as Hera. I really liked this fact, because I am not only a fan of this game, but also a fan of the Witcher series.
– Thematically, the series intersects with Fellini’s “City of Women” and Machulsky’s “New Amazons”. For those who haven’t watched Two Hills yet, should we expect a fundamentally new look at a hypothetical society of women?
– Of course, there is a similarity in the theme of matriarchy, but other than that, they are often different stories. Compared to Fellini, we are much bolder in bringing up intimate topics using many parodies and metaphors. Here we are approaching the Netflix level. At the same time, it is our duty to ensure that the audience is listened to while watching. Still, it’s a comedy.
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– While watching “Two Hills” one gets the impression that the creators are somewhat ironic about feminists and skeptical about the creation of a matriarchal society. Do you think such humor would appear offensive to women? Or is comedy more geared towards male audiences?
– I can say that there are much more jokes about the world of primates in our series. That’s why I don’t think the humor will touch the female audience. At least – all the actresses who starred in “Two Hills” were delighted. Well, unless a very sensitive viewer takes the jokes personally. Don’t Be Threatened for Lots of Scary Movies and the South Central jokes I love. I think you can joke about anything.
– Not so long ago, Renata Litvinova filmed the fairy tale “North Wind” about the great matriarchy. Do you agree with the statement “Russia is a country of women”?
Yes, and I can explain why. Many men died in the Great Patriotic War – grandfathers, fathers, husbands, brothers. And it so happened that the next generation was actually brought up only by women. Of course, their upbringing is different from that of men. Even if you look at how the men looked in the movie “Fight for the Fatherland”, you can see that this is a different generation. Even their faces look like they were carved from granite. Smells like testosteroneto laugh)! Teens now have a tendency towards gyms and raw food diets.
Russia is a very big country, it is not easy to live in it. We have no place for childishness. Even our grandmothers can go out alone against the bear and drive it away, as in a popular video.
– To what extent do you think there is a demand for male education in Russia? And is there a difference in male and female education?
– There is such a demand, especially when it comes to protecting your girlfriend and child. In Russia, in general, you need to be able to defend yourself. It also seems to me that biologically raising children is a woman’s job and it’s more important for a man to leave more children. You see, on the BBC programmes, the offspring is everywhere led by the female, regardless of gender. This is nature. Men do not feel the baby in the womb – they do not have the same bond.
I see this because I recently had a baby too. I was there at the birth and now I spend a lot of time with the baby but I still realize that the biological bond with the mother will always be stronger.
– What do you think about the upbringing of children in Russia, usually in “homosexual” families – mothers and grandmothers?
– So it seems to those who live in the capital. Patriarchy flourishes in the countryside. I come from Novosibirsk – where dads do everything, including education. All the reins are in the hands of men, although women also get tough and play a big role.
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Would you be uncomfortable living in a society dominated by women?
– It seems to me that if some kind of historical event really happens, matriarchy will be possible … That is, it will somehow be forced.
– What if the male population dies after the virus epidemic like in the series?
– Well why not? The world does not exist without a reason according to certain laws. It is clear that we are free to change some things, but I will say this – I am not afraid of change. Therefore, there will be matriarchy – and so be it.
– Can you imagine that Russia will one day have a female president?
– Easily! No problem. Behind the steering wheel should be the winner. And in Russia, a woman may one day be president. But it won’t be soon, I don’t think so.
– In “Two Hills”, in addition to feminism, the subject of ecology is also addressed. What do you think about this topic?
“I am interested in ecology. But I understand that nothing can be done about it. There are many Greenpeace people, but they are not building factories. Our series shows the world of primates – and it’s a clear example of how not to pollute the environment.
– In April, the premiere of the series “Passengers”. Last Love on Earth” where you played with Evgenia Gromova. Since you’ve recently become a father, tell me, did a young parent’s experience work on set?
– Of course, the parental experience is indispensable – the series I played is dedicated to it. If there is a creature you need to take care of, then your own fears are forgotten, fade into the background. The child’s pain is your pain now. According to the plot, our heroes get into a taxi – this is a kind of Hades boat that takes us to hell. And while we’re driving, our duty is to confess. If repentance does not occur, the heroes will continue to wander “between worlds”.
– During your career, you played around 40 roles, took part in projects such as “Bender”, “Vertinsky”, “Major Grom” and “Pishcheblok”. Which character do you remember the most? Who was the most fun to play?
– Of course, Misha Yaponchik. This is my first major role – hooligan, daring, manly! Director Igor Zaitsev once told me: “Nikitos, consider this role my gift to you. Not every artist can play such a character.” And it really is.
– Did you know the biography of Mishka Yaponchik before filming?
– My father and I have long watched Ginzburg’s series “The Life and Adventures of Mishka Yaponchik” – I learned about it from there. I was not directly interested in biography, but the very image that Yevgeny Tkachuk embodied impressed me. He is reckless, eccentric, unpredictable – I love such heroes!
– Tell us about your projects that you are working on or have recently launched.
– Now I’m shooting in the movie “By the Pike’s Command”, where I played Emelya – we no longer have such a heroine in Russian cinema. Also, “Offline” was released. And “Desperate Shareholders”. There was also the premiere of the movie “First Oscar”, in which I played a real-life lieutenant Baturin, a very brave, strong-willed person. Of course, I admire and envy her masculine qualities. I really enjoyed playing this character. The plot of the movie is about two nerdy cameramen shooting a documentary during the Great Patriotic War. I think the director Sergei Mokritsky made a very interesting movie.
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– You also directed the gangster drama “Big Empire” in the spirit of “Peaky Blinders”. At what stage is the project?
– We shot it and forgot it, or rather, only one episode is ready so far. Actually, this work is not entirely my own, I would like to participate more in the development of the script. Unfortunately, the series is currently on the shelf. Despite the lack of funding, my free time: now I am busy making films and I spend my free time with my daughter. I would go back to her, although I confessed!
– What do you think will happen to the Russian film industry with the departure of the Hollywood majors?
– I think everything will be fine! And I’m not the only one who thinks so – most of my acquaintances are writers and producers. The competition will begin and this is the best that can happen in any field. A new generation will emerge now! We have millions of talented people. And now they will pay attention. Believe me, there will be a lot of content. We’ve been “buying a European candy” for a long time – and now it’s time to believe in yourself. It is no accident that we go through all these stages.
For example, I don’t consider myself a worse actor than Leonardo DiCaprio. We must respect ourselves and the place we live in.
— Are there any Russian projects that surprise you that ours did?
– “Karamora” by Danila Kozlovsky. This is a huge job! Imagine if such a movie would come out in English and be played by Benedict Cumberbatch instead of Kozlovsky. Everyone says, “Wow, Netflix!” he would say. I answer that it will be like this.
What do you think of the cancellation culture?
“I am trying to be a philosopher. There will be an iron curtain – we will find a way out, and then we will delight the audience. You have to open your instincts!
– What do you think, which direction in cinema will be the most promising in Russia? A movie was made in space recently, but what’s next?
– I think we should bet on historical cinema. Where are our Vikings? We have such twisted intrigues with these princes … My dream hero Stenka Razin!