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News

“I Like the Role of Nekrasov More Every Day”

16.12.2016

On December 18, it is the 95th anniversary of Yury Nikulin, the famous cinema actor, circus actor and anchorman. One of the bright and impressive roles performed by him was his role of soldier Nekrasov in the film “They Fought for Their Country”.

In his book “Almost Seriously” Y.V.Nikulin remembered: “When Bondarchuk offered me a role of soldier Nekrasov, I carefully re-read the novel by Mikhail Sholokhov. Then I thought long whether to agree or not.

“We both fought in the war”, – Serghei Fyodorovich said. – “Soon it is the 30th anniversary of our victory. We are going to release the film for this date. Can’t you be still hesitating? It is our soldier’s duty to take part in this film”.

Two days later I was selecting soldier’s outfit for my Nekrasov at the “Mosfilm”. I put on coarse underwear, a field shirt, trousers, boots, tightened myself with a belt, tried on a soldier’s field cap and looked in the mirror. For a moment I felt shocked: an old soldier was looking at me from the mirror. The faded field shirt, worn out boots made me remember the forgotten years of the front life, dugouts, trenches, bombing, hunger and depression of those hard years”.

Earlier, in the talk with I.Gummer, the reporter for the “Literaturnaya Gazeta”, the actor said: “This is the first film in my actor’s biography, where I, at last, play a role close to me, the things I had experienced once… I was called up for military service in 1939, after finishing school. I took part in the Finnish campaign, fought in the Great Patriotic War near Leningrad, took part in liberation of Estonia and Latvia. I started as private and finished as artillery senior sergeant.

Some time before, the film director Stolper offered me to try on the role of General Serpilin in the film “Living and the Dead”. I did not dare then: well, what is a general of me? And I was right, because I wouldn’t be able to act so well.

Many years ago, Bondarchuk tried me and approved for the role of Tushin in the film “War and Peace” and for the role of an English officer in ”Waterloo”. By coincidence, I couldn’t perform in those films. And to refuse the third offer of the respected film director I had no right.

Every day I like the role of Nekrasov more: it shows a splendid soldier humour, calmness emanating strength, consciousness of self-dignity and confidence in victory”.

Y.V.Nikulin, as one of the filming crew, visited Vyoshenskaya in 1974 and 1975, on the invitation by M.A.Sholokhov.

Yury Vladimirovich is the People’s Actor of the USSR (1973), the winner of the RSFSR State Prize named after Vasilyev Brothers (1970); the winner of the “Kinotavr” award in the nomination “Presidential Council Prize for Creative Career” (1995). The films, where he acted, entered the golden fund of Russian cinema.

Yekaterina Karbysheva