Elena Valyushkina: “Perhaps Pedro Almodovar is crying for me somewhere”

Actress Elena Valyushkina

Actress Elena Valyushkina

A photo: Boris KUDRYAVOV

On the eve of the birthday Elena Valyushkina returned to Moscow from Argentina, where she spent her “dream vacation”. “Unreal trip,” she wrote on social media. She gladly shares her impressions, charges her subscribers with positive energy – she has a lot of them. And they know to encourage: “Lena, where are you now? We follow your travels…

Elena Valyushkina is not typical, although she is a very good actress. She does not hide her age: “I am waiting at the Mossovet Theater on December 8, 10, 11. Let’s hit the anniversary! I’m turning 60!!!” He speaks frankly on various topics, is not afraid to take risks and implements his ideas and dreams with inspiration and imagination, and most importantly – on his own, relying only on himself.

– It’s strange to me when actresses hide their age, – Elena is surprised at my question, why is she not “younger”. – Give me at least one reason why? To play Juliet or Nina Zarechnaya until the age of 60? This is not my choice. The problem of age is purely Russian. In fact, a person is met not by age, but by merit.

– How did you spend your vacation in Argentina?

– Wonderful! I dreamed about this trip for a long time. And she gave herself a birthday present. We traveled the country from north to south. I saw the famous Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Iguazu Falls. From the Brazilian side, it’s just fireworks. I walked around the most beautiful Buenos Aires… I saw the mummies of Inca children who were sacrificed 500 years ago and found in the glaciers of the Andes. I wanted to see the whales, but they went far into the ocean. But the penguins of Magellan brought offspring literally before my eyes.

To visit Argentina is my old dream. But there are many more places I want to go next time.

Elena Valyushkina during a trip to Argentina.

Elena Valyushkina during a trip to Argentina.

A photo: Personal archive

– In Argentina, as I noticed from your posts, you spoke Spanish. Where does this knowledge of a foreign language come from?

– Thirty years ago I learned Spanish. Then a project was planned as part of a cultural exchange between the Mossovet Theatre, where I serve, and the drama theater in Barcelona. After the exchange tour, the Spaniards decided that I should decorate their stage. To do this, I learned Spanish, but human envy is boundless … Someone (I will not name whom) did not like that Valyushkina would play in Spain. And the project was closed.

– A pity, perhaps you would have become a world star!

– All my life I wanted to act with Pedro Almodovar. And she specially learned Spanish in order to get into his cinema in this way. I expected that if I played in the Spanish theater, the fame of me would go all over Spain, and Almodovar would definitely hear about me and invite me to the cinema. But it didn’t happen. And now he is somewhere crying bitterly about me: “Oh, Elena, Elena, where are you?” – Valyushkina laughs.

– You said somewhere that your first husband, artist Leonid Fomin, was very jealous of you and interfered with your film career. Is this possible?

– Perhaps, when a man is 15 years older than his young wife and at the same time very jealous. He stayed at home and answered calls (there were no mobile phones at that time). When I was invited to shoot, he said for me that I was not filming. Unfortunately, I found out about this too late. But what to do now? He took a lot of things from me, not only my film career.

– You live outside the city, rent a house. You like country life, I understand. Why not build your own house?

– It is very expensive to build a house in the place where I like it. And renting a house, I live exactly where I want. There are things more important and interesting to me than building a house. For example, travel.

– What do your children do?

– Daughter Masha is studying to be a designer, and Vasily has already graduated from the Moscow Architectural Institute, he is a certified architect.

– It is strange that the children did not follow in the footsteps of their parents-actors?

– They had their own hobbies. They didn’t get bored in the dressing room while I played or rehearsed, they didn’t go to the shooting with me, as often happens with acting children. They had (thanks to the nanny) their own busy life: fencing, drawing, dressage and much more.

Elena Valyushkina in movie "Love Formula".

Elena Valyushkina in the film “Formula of Love”.

– What is the best age for a woman?

– Best looking for what? There are many wonderful ages. One age is good for creating a family. For self-realization – another. At every age it is important to cling to something. I have friends who are 20 to 25 years old. We communicate freely, despite the difference in age, go to restaurants, play the fool, have fun. It never occurs to any of them to ask: Lena, how old are you?!

– In the Mossovet Theatre, with the advent of the new artistic director Yevgeny Marchelli, changes took place that not all artists liked. Someone rebelled and began to conflict with the artistic director, for example, Alexander Domogarov. Someone, on the contrary, supported Marcelli. Whose side are you on?

– I’m always on my side. The theater is necessarily someone’s wounded ambitions. Today you are a leading artist, tomorrow nobody needs you. I have been serving in this theater for 40 years, of which for 15 years I was the leading actress and played performances almost every evening. But everything is changing…

You can treat the work of Yevgeny Marchelli as you like, but the fact that he allows free direction, allows artists to do independent work, invites other directors who stage amazing performances with us, speaks in his favor. In my opinion, there is no stagnation in our theater. There are rehearsals. The troupe is working, and even those artists who have not appeared on stage for many years are busy.

– What do you wish for your birthday?

– Wish me a lot of interesting work and good earnings so that I can travel. I have big plans: Peru, Antarctica…

– Can you change your profession: instead of an actress, go to work as the host of the “Movie Travelers Club”?

– Nothing needs to be changed. I really like being an actress, and in my free time I travel a lot.

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