Actor Igor Vetrov: "Baku provided a very good upbringing "
The Russian actor, associate professor of Popular Art at the Russian University of Theatre Arts (GITIS), Igor Vetrov, is known for his works in the Moscow Mayakovsky Theater, the Russian Army Theatre, the Moscow Satyricon theater, the Moscow Theater Center 'Vishneviy Sad' and the 'Small Theater Troupe' theater. He has starred in such films as 'Heads and Tails', 'Promised Heaven' and 'Intergirl'. Today Igor Vetrov answered the questions of Vestnik Kavkaza about cinema and Azerbaijan.
- Igor, you were born in Azerbaijan. How was it like to star in the film Intergirl for a guy from Baku?
- [The film director] Peter Todorovski came to the diploma performance of my group in GITIS (it was 'The Bed bug' by Mayakovsky) and said: "That little red guy should take part in the audition!" I went and got the role. Then they gave me a script, I read it and felt really uncomfortable. My character had to interrogate prostitutes. I had never seen any prostitutes. Baku provided a very good upbringing. If you liked a girl, you should marry her.
When we started shooting, Peter Yefimovich [Todorovski] put great actresses in front of me. I was quite confused – such beauties. I immediately fell in love with all of them – a man falls in love through his eyes, right? It was very noticeable, and I could barely finish the episode. Todorovski made fun of me for a long time, but he was satisfied.
And then I thought that it is a very harmful film. After all, many of the girls who watched it then became 'Intergirls', hoping for a better life. I blamed myself for starring in this film.
- How was your role in this film perceived in Baku?
- My mom worked in the printing office of the Administrative Department of the Azerbaijani Council of Ministers. All the employees of the printing office broke the law when my mom said that the Nizami cinema was showing the film Intergirl, in which her son was starring, all of them left work and ran to watch it. There was already a queue to buy tickets, but they formed another one. Baku people do such things. While watching the film, they approved of my character, they looked at my mother and said that her son conducts himself well. Someone even shouted in the cinema: "Igor, you are talking to them properly!" I laughed my head off when my mother told me that!
- Do you miss Baku?
- Of course I do. Baku is my homeland, the graves of my grandparents, my uncle and step-father are there. This is a bright country where I spent my happy childhood and youth. I went to School № 167, the teachers were just wonderful there: the maths teacher Sabira Timurovna, Russian language teacher Elegiya Efendiyeva, Azerbaijani language teacher Solmaz Alievna, who was very happy when I recited the poems of Azerbaijani poets. I also studied choreography – my mother sent me to the Baku House of Officers, there was a great teacher Leo Vaganov, who taught me how to dance, it was useful for both my theatrical institute and everyday life. Girls talked to me more favorably when they saw me dance. Every summer my mother sent me to a summer camp between Astara and Lenkoran in the village of Vel. The camp was called 'Young Dzerzhinets'. Today it's funny to hear such names, but it was like that. There was the sea, hiking in beautiful places, happiness and love.
- Do you have contact with the Azerbaijani diaspora in Moscow?
- Yes, but I would not say that the contacts are active. In Moscow people are busy, they are drifting apart. It is not Baku, where you always have time to say good words to friends, to talk, to solve their problems or just to remember something funny and laugh.
- Can you assess the level of the Russian-Azerbaijani relations?
- Unfortunately, Russian-Azerbaijani relations are far from perfect, and it is not Azerbaijan's fault. Russia is too busy worrying about its own problems. We must remember that Heydar Aliyev was a great man, a great son of his people. No one has done for Azerbaijan as much as this intelligent, cultivated, educated, understanding man did. He loved his people and shared this love with his son Ilham. Although his son inherited a difficult legacy. Azerbaijan has lost 20% of its territory, because someone has decided that it is right. But it's not right! My mother [after the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict] was saying all the time: "What are they doing, what they are doing ?!", referring to Gorbachev. She regarded Heydar Aliyev very well, although she was Russian. I believe that Ilham has followed the path of his father and did even more. I think that Heydar would not be ashamed of his son and his wonderful wife. They set an example to all the Azerbaijanis of how to be firm and valid, and therefore Baku and the whole of Azerbaijan are blooming.