Czech actor plays lead in film about “Slovak Robin Hood” Jánošík
Jánošík: A True Story is the title of a new film about the 17th century highwayman Juraj Jánošík, a Robin Hood-like figure who is a national hero in Slovakia. However, despite the huge importance of the Jánošík story to Slovaks, the movie stars a Czech actor, and was made by a Polish director.
“Jánošík is a subject that is closely associated with the sense of nationhood in Slovakia, it’s really part of their mentality. I understand those who at first doubted my ability to play the role, but I think in the end I persuaded them I could do it. I appear a lot in the film, and I really tried to get inside the role – I felt I could really relate to a lot of the script.”
Polish director Agnieszka Holland co-helmed what is the biggest film of the year in central and eastern Europe.
“You know, he’s a national hero, but he isn’t a ‘classical’ hero. After all, he’s an outlaw, a criminal. Slovakia is probably the only country where the national hero is an outlaw. Even in Ireland – they fight for freedom. It’d be an exaggeration to say Jánošík is fighting for freedom. He’s having fun. It’s true there’s a fixed idea of who he was, but what would be the point of shooting something the same way it’s been done before? None.”
“It was really unfortunate when that happened, it was like when your first love leaves you, it was a big disappointment…When filming started up again I went back to the project with the same enthusiasm I’d had previously. Luckily I hadn’t changed too much physically in the intervening six years – and my relationship to the main character remained.”