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 Viktor Sukhorukov

Born:   10 November 1951



When fervently acting at the entrance exam to GITIS (State Institute of Theatre Arts) Viktor Sukhorukov heard one of the teachers drop the cautious remark: This one is either insane or genius. The amazing cinema-reincarnations of the actor speak in favour of the last rather than the first suggestion.

Viktor Ivanovich Sukhorukov was born on November 10, 1951 into an ordinary family in the town of Orekhovo-Zuyevo in Moscow region.

At the age of 12 the boy went to Mosfilm to try fortune at film tests. Afterwards I cried my heart out to hiccup as they did not take me! the actor confesses. After finishing school Viktor served in the army and then for two years worked as an electrician. In 1974 he entered GITIS and graduated it in 1978. By that time he had already debuted in cinema with two episodic roles: in Rodion Nakhapetovs melodrama S toboi i bez tebya (With you and without you) and the war drama Letnyaya Poezdka k Moryu (A Summer Journey to the Sea) by Semyon Aranovich.

Viktor Sukhorukov Upon graduating from GITIS Viktor moved to Leningrad and joined the N.P. Akimov Comedy Theatre. In 1982 the principal stage director Pyotr Naumovich Fomenko left the theatre, whereas Sukhorukov was fired from the company and for half a year deprived of the right to be employed as an actor. That made Sukhorukov drop out his calling for several years: he suffered want and went on the road. He had to earn his living as a loader, a dishwasher, and what not.

Finally, he braced his energies and returned to his profession: upon changing several Petersburg theatres he again found himself in the troupe of the Comedy Theatre. In 1986 Sukhorukov was ultimately admitted to the Theatre of Leninsky Komsomol (now Baltiysky Dom) where he was engaged in several stage plays. Till the late 1980s Viktor Sukhorukov remained on the sidelines as a film actor, offered only tiny supportive roles in rare features.

Viktor Sukhorukov New life started for the actor in 1989, when the film director Yuri Mamin invited him to star in the farce comedy Bakenbardy (Sideburns). The deranged cinema of the post-perestroyka period (the early 1990s) happily accepted him as its kindred. Aleksei Balabanov approved Sukhorukov for the role in the film directors debut feature Shchastlivyye dni (Happy Days) (1991). The meeting with Aleksei Balabanov turned fateful. He made me with his films and I helped him the actor says.

Sukhorukov worked with various film directors such as Igor Maslennikov (the officer in Tma (The Darkness) (1991)), Mikhail Kats (the pale maniac killer in Khromiye voidut pervymi (The Lame Shall Enter First) (1993)), Maksim Pezhemsky (Yakov in Plenniki udachi (1993)), etc. He played one of his most remarkable roles in the unsuccessful feature film Komediya strogogo rezhima (Comedy of the Strict Regime) (1993) - that was the role of a prisoner acting Lenin in a prison stage play. A few years later Vladimir Ilyich fell to Sukhorukovs lot once again in the Estonian burlesque Minu Leninid (All My Lenins) (1997).

Viktor Sukhorukov The release of Aleksei Balabanovs cult films Brat (Brother) (1997) and Brat 2 (2000) starring Sukhorukov as Viktor, the elder brother of the protagonist Danila (Sergei Bodrov Jr.), made Sukhorukov popular with the general public.

Another scoundrel played by Sukhorukov cost him dear: It was so hard to play in Balabanovs film Pro urodov i lyudey (Of Freaks and Men) (1998) that I had a breakdown and had to go to a mental hospital. This is from where I used to go to the shooting site. His other character, the Ape (Ambal) in the action Antikiller by Yegor Konchalovsky is no less impressive: just the view of it makes one shudder!

In Ilya Khotinenkos historic film Zolotoi Vek (Golden Age) Sukhorukov played the main plotter and organizers of the murder of the emperor. That role started breaking the former image of the actor. The other film director Vitali Melnikov for a long time nurturing the idea of making a film about Pavel the First chose Viktor Sukhorukov to star as the emperor in Bednyy, bednyy Pavel (Poor, Poor Pavel) (2003).

Petr Mamonov and Viktor SukhorukovThe actor was just dumbfounded by that offer: I had never played such roles before! At last I had a chance to prove that I was not only a skinhead, a bully and a freak!

The next vivid role of Sukhorukov was that of the major-general Drozdov, the director of a gigantic factory in the film Ne hlebom edinym (Not by Bread Alone) (2005) by Stanislav Govorukhin.

However, the most powerful role awaited the actor in Pavel Lungins philosophical and religious drama Ostrov (The Island) (2006). The role of Father Filaret was just sensational for me. My task was to temperate Sukhorukov, harness Sukhorukov, and discover some shift in his character the actor says. It should be mentioned that he brilliantly coped with the task of outdoing himself.



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