This year’s central figure of “And God Created Actor” supposedly has the most unsettling blue eyes in Polish cinema. Eyes that are the window to the soul, the man, and the artist.
Andrzej Chyra has always been enchanted by actors who played scoundrels (and often were scoundrels themselves), but were charming as well. Actors who loved wine, women, and song. He based his actor’s image on their roles. We will not see him in blockbusters or commercials; his demeanor would never fit there. One would sooner see his name on a poster advertising opera; it is there that Chyra had his directing success, adapting Dmitri Shostakovich’s “The Gamblers.”
Chyra also worked for television, and in PR, but first and foremost he acted a lot. And he did so with such aces as Kieślowski, Kolski, and Kutz. But it wasn’t until he met Krzysztof Krauze that his life turned upside-down. For his role as Gerard Nowak in “The Debt” (1999), Chyra received the Eagle Award and Best Actor Award in Gdynia.
He does not like to release the tension of cinema by drinking. He believes that the national-nobleman tradition makes Poles into alcoholics. Chyra demonstrated the pernicious effects of prolonged alcohol abuse as Adam Miauczyński in “We’re All Christs.” He played an intellectual who drank because his father and grandfather had drunk. Chyra also broke away from tradition as an 8-year-old, when he refused to attend religious education class, which he considered a farce. Alhtough he declares himself to be an atheist, he portrayed a homosexual priest in “In The Name Of” by Szumowska. This film made him realise how lonesome priests must feel despite the faithful who gather around them in vast numbers. Chyra was excellent at depicting the drama of loneliness.
Artur Zaborski | stopklatka.pl
LIST OF FILMS
Debt, The | Dług | reż. Krzysztof Krauze | PL | 1999 | 98 min
Elles | Sponsoring | reż. Małgorzata Szumowska | FR, PL, DE | 2011 | 99 min
In the Name Of | W imię… | reż. Małgorzata Szumowska | PL | 2013 | 102 min
One Way Ticket to the Moon | Bilet na Księżyc | reż. Jacek Bromski | PL | 2013 | 120 min
TV THEATRE | Tempest, The | Burza | reż. Krzysztof Warlikowski, PL | 2009 | 134 min