“The talented singerMagomayev (1942-2008), who was of Azerbaijani origin, was adored in the USSR and was even offered a European career. They called him the King of Songs and the Soviet Sinatra. He was a very interesting character, and – among many Russian actors – it was my honour to portray him.” During December you performed in the play When Pumpkins Blossomed at the Belgrade Drama Theatre, which was the first time that it has been recorded as a live stream for an online audience. Is that – hopefully not – the future of theatre? “I hope that’s not the future of theatre life, but it is one possible direction of theatre communication that we performed as an experiment during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, we can act in plays in such a way for the diaspora once a year. As an actor, it was interesting for me that I had to adapt live acting on the theatre stage to film methods, because we were filmed by cameras.” You were declared the most popular actor in Russia in 2020, among tough competition. Do you have the status of a world star there; do people recognise you on Moscow’s streets? “I don’t knowwhat represents the status of a world star! If that means that my participation in a project will ensure it is widely viewed and popular, then yes, that is now the case. People recogniseme because they see me on Russian posters and billboards.” What other roles will you find yourself in during 2021? “I play Boško Tokin, a pioneering domestic film critic, in the new filmGod BeWith Us, directed by Slobodan Šijan, and for nowmy plans include two Russian projects that it’s not yet time to talk about publicly.” Among other roles, you’ve performed in the three most watched domestic films of the last decade. Your name is synonymous with high viewership and popularity. I know it’s a tough question, but what do you think is the secret of this kind of success? “I don’t know the precise answer; I see that as both a blessing and a responsibility. I try to interpret why I have been given that honour. But I also willingly treat that honour as a cross to bear in order to contribute to my country.” You also deal in the producing and directing of animated films. What new are you planning for us in this area with Johnny Depp, in the animated cartoon series Puffins, which deals with endangered bird species? “I work with over 500 people in this very interesting production kitchen. It’s like factory production and is created using animation technology which costs in excess of tens of millions of dollars to develop. We expect Johnny Depp to arrive in our country for the premiere of the first animated film produced in SerInterview » Intervju | 27 bia. The famous Jack Sparrow will lend his voice to one of the puffins.” What’s Serbia’s advantage compared to other acting markets? “The advantage is that we have talented actors, as well as students and children in high quality schools. Many projects have been filmed in Serbia in recent years, and that enables many people to work.” What won’t you ever forget from your career to date, and what were your greatest challenges? “I had the worst stage fright when I performed on the stage of theMoscowArtTheatreMHAT. That’s the stage onwhich both Stanislavski and Chekhov created, and which I’d previously only heard and read about. I don’t remember having ever worried more about my role than then, because I was performing in the Russian language with the greatest Russian actors at that moment.” What are your favourite places in Moscow? “I like the area around the central square andGorky Park. I don’t visit them often, unfortunately, because those places are the most beautiful during the summer and I’m there because of work.” What do you most often choose when it comes to Russian and Serbian souvenirs? “Serbian rakia brandy, and from Russia I’m most often asked to bring back attractive plastic caps for swimming and saunas that don’t overheat the head.” Šta publika može da očekuje u nastavku Južnog vetra? – Gledaoci će u priči dobiti ubrzanje, sve će biti malo brže, luđe i bolje. Drugi deo će biti dostojan nastavak prvog dela, a možda čak i bolji od prvog dela zahvaljujući većem producentskom zamahu. WHAT CANVIEWERS EXPECTWITH THE CONTINUATIONOF THE SERIES SOUTHERNWIND? “Viewers will get an acceleration of the story; everything will be a bit faster, crazier and better. The second part will be a worthy continuation of the first part, and will perhaps even be better than the first part, thanks to the increasedmomentumof the production.” Najveću tremu sam imao kad sam nastupao na sceni Moskovskog umetničkog akademskog teatra MHAT jer je to scena na kojoj su stvarali Stanislavski i Čehov / I had the worst stage fright when I performed on the stage of the Moscow Art Theatre MHAT, because that's the stage on which both Stanislavski and Chekhov created