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The Russian in Greek sitcoms is actually a Bulgarian

16 February 2009 / 12:02:52  GRReporter
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Chris Radanov is an actor who is taking part in the Greek TV and theatre. He is from Rouse and he was supposed to work in the Kozlodouy nuclear reactor a technical supporter but he became a bodyguard and later on a manager in a dairy farm. Eight years ago he came to Athens and at the beginning he worked in Goody’s but after that he realized his dream. Right now he is one of the most sought after young actors in Greece…

Interview of Marina Nikolova

What do you believe is the reason for the success of “One out of ten”?

We were three actors in “One out of ten” – Enkeleg Fezolari from Albania, David Maltese from Georgia, and I from Bulgaria. The play is without a script and is sewed with pieces of different stories… One critic wrote that it was like small “shots of life.” David had a story of how they changed his name. they couldn’t remember his name so they called him Aleko and every year he used to bring candy for the Aleko name day. “I got used to being Aleko.” He used to work for five years in this factory where they called him Aleko.

The play had three seasons. In the beginning we were planning to play it for three months. I think people liked it because we are telling our stories, the stories are us. At the beginning Vangelis Theodoropoulos, who is the “Neos Kosmos” theatre’s owner, gave us the attic, which has 50 seats and a stage. It is very dark there and the audience felt the “dark” atmosphere from the second they entered. When we got on stage we introduced ourselves with our real names. I believe people were drawn towards the true.

We were rehearsing for seven months and at the end we filtered out the material, which we had gathered. We wanted the act to be quick, in order not to tire people. May be this is another reason for the success. By the end you are left with the feeling that you want more and it is all over.

You have built the play based on your own life – what did you find in common between the three of you?

We didn’t know each other before we started working on the play. The director Laertis Vasiliou brought us together. One of his conditions was all of us to be from the Eastern bloc countries, because we have the same memories. When I’m on TV I always play Russian. My face looks Russian. So, all of us had a very happy and free childhood and all of a sudden our wings were cut – everything changed, poverty came, our relatives were leaving abroad. Our memories of the communism are similar – we were living in a pretty lie. In they play we are talking about the identity and the contradictions inside of us. Greece has changed as well. The ordinary people have gotten used to foreigners and they accept us.

There was very emotional moment in the play, when three friends are passing the border and one fo them is killed by the border police. The other two, who managed to pass the border, write a letter to his mother as if it were him and they sent her money. This happened to the director’s uncle, who is Albanian. He passed the border at the beginning of the transition period – 1989-1990 when there was commotion everywhere. For ten years him and his friend were sending letter “I’m OK, I’m working, nothing interesting is happening, I hope the money will be enough.” Tragedy – the mother lives with the idea that her child is alive.

 

How long have you been in Greece and what intrigued you in this country on the first place?

I have been here for eight years. While I was in Bulgaria I graduated from a technical school for nuclear energetics but because I was playing sports I became a bodyguard. After that I started working in a dairy factory as a manager, owned by the same person. So I thought: this is how my life will go – in the morning I will open up the factory and at night I’ll protect my boss. Perfect. Someday someone will find me in a…

But I believe in destiny. I got into a car accident on Easter – one morning as I was going to open up the factory I pushed the accelerator…one of the front tires of my Lada blew up. I was in the hospital for a while and another boy took over the factory. My mother was living in Greece for ten years, so she offered me to come and live with her. When I came here I calmed down but on the other hand I had a hard time with the language. I started working in Goody’s without understanding even a word. I knew only “nai, malista” (yes, of course). So without talking to much, I did what they told me to…At one point after living in Athens for three years I told myself that I have changed the country anyway, so why not try and make my dream come true? I took the Ministry of Culture exams, passed them and then signed up in a theatrical school. From then on, it’s a question of luck and work. Another confession I can make is that last year I won the award for a male role of the Greek theatrical awards.

 

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