What do festivals mean for you?
Festival are brilliant things. Really perfect, and now I am not just talking about theatre festivals but also film festivals. People meet and bring their work. It is perfect that people sit down and talk about the performance. Once I was with JAMU at the Theater Festival in Belgrade. We arrived there, we performed, and the next day we came back. We did not know what people from the other schools liked, or even whether they saw us perform or not ... That way the festival loses meaning and loses perfection.
Why is our festival SETKÁNÍ/ENCOUNTER unique or special for you?
It is excellent. I would not say anything more. The festival SETKÁNÍ/ENCOUNTER offers a lot of possibilities to be confront with different notions of theatre. Another excellent thing is that we can see something that we could not otherwise see. Festivals exist so that people meet other people and say how they see the world.
How do you feel as ambassador of the festival? What does this position mean for you?
Do you know what it means for me? It is a pleasure. It is a pleasure for me insomuch as I am here as a person who studied at JAMU,. You know, the life of an actor is something like a pie which is divided into several parts. Some percent of an actor’s life is talent. Next is luck. And a very important component is the first acting engagement. And this was a lucky one for me.
What do you think about performing arts schools? What should they aim to do?
The important thing is that the schools should teach students to like theater. If school endsand you have not learned that, then you don’t want to start working. You start shooting TV series and that’s the beginning of the end.
When you talk about love for the theater, why did you establish a film festival instead of a theater festival?
I will tell you why... Because my theatre ensemble stopped working at Divadlo Na zábradlí in Prague. I was tired and I did not want to go anywhere. Part of the ensemble went to the Národní divadlo or the Divadlo na Vinohradech. They all left. In 1993, they came to me and said that they were establishing a foundation for one film festival. And they asked if I wanted to lead it. I said yes but I had no idea what that involved. Film critic Eva Zaoralová did not even know how to order movies. But we just jumped right into it.
Do you prefer to be an actor or to be the director of a festival?
The truth is that in 1993, I was an actor and being a famous actor is good for your festival. It is easier to find the necessary money because when I addressed sponsors, they knew who I was.
Last question. Have you had any special encounters which very much influenced you?
Of course! Encounters with a person with whom you go on to live with. Encounter with a child one second after it comes into the world. These are fateful encounters which affect people.