Oscar Kuchera: Success is not a burden at all

2 December 2021
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The film screening of an ironic 24-episode detective series «Provincial» will begin on the TV channel «Inter» soon.

One of the key roles in the film was played by the famous actor and TV presenter Oscar Kuchera.

In the new action series, the illustrious artist will appear as captain Elistratov. A highly ambiguous character, ready to go for a moral compromise to receive a promotion and, instructed by high-ranking officials, to do everything possible to eliminate his main rival in the person of the main hero – a former provincial district officer Nikolai Semashko.

Our journalists were able to meet with the actor during the filming of the series and talk with him about the profession and his role in the new project.

More details are further in the article.

– Oscar, what is the acting profession for you today: purely work, an opportunity for further realization in the creative sphere or already a way of life?

– You know, it seems to me that when a person enters this profession, they can only do it in one case: if they can’t help but do it. Because then everything else is meaningless. So I have no answer to your question… The acting profession is my life. I guess that’s all I can say.

– Why? That’s a very good answer…

– That’s the only possible answer. I can’t think of a different one. (Smiles, – Ed.).

– You said that the acting profession is only for those who can’t do without it. Why do you think that?

– Because this profession is, on one hand, very rewarding, and on the other, absolutely not. It includes many obstacles, nuances and difficulties that will not be encountered in any other professional field. And besides, it is very dependent, on a million things: from the opinions of producers/directors, partners, to health and even mood. You can come to the set and wait four hours for the rain to stop, for example. Or for some other reason, you have to wait for these four or maybe even ten hours. So you’re always dependent on something or someone.

Plus, you can imagine how many people are graduating from theater schools, while only a few become popular artists. And I think popularity is kind of a litmus test that shows you’re doing something right in your profession.

If a stonemason, for example, lays a stone well, then his crown achievement would be a house. In our case, it is the roles and how the viewer perceives them. He either loves you or he doesn’t. If he does, he recognises, and eventually you get popular. And you might call it some kind of prize to indicate that the work you’ve done means something.

Although, on the other hand, as Vladimir Posner (if I am not mistaken) said, you can also show your butt on TV, and then it will be recognized as well. But I certainly mean a profession in its classical sense. Because what some of my colleagues do, despite their recognition, is not a profession.

That’s why I say, If you can do without acting, you shouldn’t take it up. Why do it if you can do without it?». After all, this is a profession for crazy people. I really don’t think of us, artists, as healthy people. I remember that even the teacher at the university told us that it was not normal to be on stage. It’s actually normal for everyone to be in the audience.

– You’re saying that a positive viewer rating is a sort of prize for an actor. In that case, I cannot help but ask: is success a great privilege that emerges over time as a result of the work done, or is it a burden?

– I won’t lie – it’s not a burden at all, at least for me. I may not be as popular as Philip Kirkorov (Smiles, – Ed), but you can feel quite comfortable being recognized. Of course, I don’t like some things – in particular, overfamiliarity, sometimes from complete strangers – but that’s the downside of popularity that no one likes. And it is not necessary to, while walking somewhere, look everyone in the eye and say: «Look, it’s me going». Perhaps Philya, given his height, was less fortunate in that way – he stands out, but I’m fine.

Before beginning to actively shoot in films and achieving success in the acting field, you had to work as a presenter on the radio, and then on TV after graduating from the theater school. Do you remember the role that became iconic – after which you woke up and realized that you had finally became accomplished in acting?

– To be honest, I still wake up wondering about what’s going to happen next and thinking: «I wish I got lucky with the role». And I don’t really think that I became accomplished in my profession. I haven’t had a role yet that would make me say: «Yes, that’s good!».

And as for the fact that I didn’t start shooting straight away – I didn’t have much of a chance then, but I had to make money. So that’s why there was a job on the radio. It’s only now that the film industry is a little bit wider and develops more actively, but in the mid ’90s, there was practically no cinema. Except maybe for Mikhalkov… Well, and so we did run around like soldiers in «Siberian barber» (Laughs, – Ed.)…

– I think by now you can afford to choose which picture to shoot in and in which one not to. Name the core components which make up the base of your decision to participate in a project.

– This is the team that makes this movie and, of course, the role itself, first of all. Sometimes, however, I don’t find the script interesting, having read it, but the director says: «Trust me, it’ll be cool». Convinces me – I believe, agree, and sometimes it really works.

This year, let’s say, before being confirmed for a role in «Provincial», I was lucky to play the antagonists in three out of five projects. So, I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant, and I consulted with my agent to see if I should take on another role like this.

But I liked it because my character is still very ambiguous. He is neither absolutely bad nor absolutely good. He’s a negative character against his own will, as it’s called. Such characters are always interesting to play because they suffer the torments of conscience.

– Are there people in the professional community whose opinion is important to you? Or do you rely solely on your inner understanding and the feeling that a particular job has been done great when evaluating your work?

– It’s not in my nature to say that I did something great. Sometimes it seems like it worked, but you still want to do another take. Even during the filming of the series «Provincial», when I recorded self-tapes for another project, Sasha Pashkov, who helped me in this, says: «Everything is great!» after the second take. And I reply: «No, let’s do it again». In the end we recorded about six takes, but I still sent that one – the second one (Laughs, – Ed.). So I can’t tell you that I always feel whether it was great or not on some kind of internal level.

And the authority figures I listen to, of course, exist. Among them are reputable directors, with whom I sometimes work, some partners on the set… A good partner, by the way, will never give you tips himself. But if you have any doubts and you also have a brain, and your self-absorption is not developed to the level of the Ostankino Tower, you can ask the person you respect as an artist a question: «Is it better like this or like that?» and he’ll surely give you advice.

– If we are already talking about this, what qualities must the director have in order for you to confidently call him: «My type of director»?

– He should have one quality – to know about my role and the film he shoots more than I do. That’s it!

So an actor has to be sure that he will get an answer when coming to the director with a question…

– Yes, the director should know everything about the role of every actor on the set. That’s what his work is – he has to know the material. For modern directors, unfortunately, this is not always the case. But it is a separate topic. If we’re talking about a good director, it’s someone who knows the material and also has a clear idea of how he wants to see the picture he’s working on. And accordingly, if I begin to do something on the set that doesn’t fit the pattern of his vision, he has to steer me in the right direction, give me a hint, suggest something. Not just merely say: «Stand here, look there, and say this phrase louder».

– Can you, while working on the project, tell about your vision of a role or a scene to the director?

– Yes, of course.

So arguments are possible?

– They aren’t even arguments… I practically always offer my options. Although there are times when you come to the set and realize that the director knows what to do and how to do it so well that you don’t even have to offer anything. He’s always one step ahead of you in that regard. So everything depends on the situation. You see when you can do it and when you can’t.

Talking about the project «Provincial», I could come and voice my proposals, and we discussed them later with Sergei Scherbin (Director of the series «Provincial», – Ed.). A lot of footage was shot during the day and Seryozha’s eyes, naturally, could periodically «glaze over», and I understood that I could offer something from my side.

– How did it feel to work with your colleagues in the acting department of the «Provincial» project?

– Great! We made a good team. Regarding theteam, it was like four months of total fun.

– What qualities must a partner have in order for you to work comfortably with him?

– A person must be a professional. This is very important. An artist may be young, inexperienced, but still be a professional. Or he may shoot for 20 years, but never become one. And there’s more of the second type, unfortunately.

– Why do you think this is happening?

– Because these people could do without this profession. That’s where I started our conversation, actually.


We will remind you that the complete cycle of production of the series «Provincial» was carried out by Kyivtelefilm Film Company. Filming took place in the spring and summer of the current year in Kyiv and Kyiv region.

More details about the cast and the filming process can also be found in the following articles:

«Shootots, chases and fights: Kyivtelefilm continues filming the series «Provincial»

«Provincial»: About the scenery, script and acting ensemble

«Shooting of the series «Provincial»: About the work of the creative group»

Julia Yurchenko: I’m interested in everything concerning my profession

Alexey Morozov about his role in «Provincial»: I’ve played such a character for the first time




24 episodes

Crime melodrama

Year 2021


Screenwriter: George Konn

Director: Sergey Shcherbin

Director of photography: Anton Verbin

Production designer: Alexander Ukolov

Costume designer: Tatyana Zubareva

Make-up artist: Irina Boytsova

Director of the film crew: Artem Suliga

Executive Producer: Pavel Karvan

General producer: Valentin Opalev

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