Yasulovich, shortly before leaving, played the life of his hero and his


A few months ago, Igor Nikolayevich took part in the film program of the Tretyakov Gallery, dedicated to the school and students of the Soviet classic Mikhail Romm. He presented three of his directorial works there, shared his plans, spoke about the essence of the profession. Everyone knows him as a great artist, a talented teacher at GITIS and a professor at VGIK, who raised many worthy people. But few people know that Yasulovich studied not only acting, but also directing at VGIK with a difference of 12 years and twice with Romm. And then he made his film debut, again with his master, starring in 1961 in his film “Nine Days of One Year” in a small role as physicist Fedorov.

“The Diamond Arm”.

In the cinema, he remained a virtuoso of the episode. Supporting roles are our joy and his cross. He played in more than one hundred films, but his main ones are counted on the fingers. But his episodes from the masters of directing are worth krupnyak. He played the engineer Shchukin in “12 Chairs” and a neighbor with a dog in “Diamond Hand”, the White Clown in “Aibolit-66”, the leader of the blind in “The Legend of Til”, the correspondent Vinkich in the film “Time Forward!”, Igor in the tape “Not the most successful day” of his father-in-law Yuri Yegorov, a speculator in “The Most Charming and Attractive”, a duke’s servant in “The Same Munchausen”, Electron Ivanovich in “Guest from the Future”, Suslov in “Brezhnev”, Stavrovsky in the film “According to the Laws wartime “- that was the main role. Yasulovich is in demand in “Wick” and in “Yeralash”, where in the extremely compressed screen time it was necessary to create a capacious and memorable image. Students invited him to their short films, and in one of them – “Milk” – Yasulovich was seen at the Berlinale.

He was born in a village near Kuibyshev, where his mother was evacuated. My father went through the war, was a professional naval officer, so the family wandered around the cities and villages. The childhood of the future actor passed in Izmail near Odessa, then they moved to Bucharest and Tallinn, where Igor first seriously joined the theater, began to go to the theater studio.

He had powerful experience behind him. In addition to Romm, his teacher was once the actor of the Chamber Theater Alexander Rumnev, who taught the art of pantomime, made him a mime at the Moscow Experimental Pantomime Theater “Ektemim”. Hence the expressiveness of gesture and facial expressions in Yasulovich.

In the theater, unlike cinema, he played many major roles, had a wide range. For example, at the Film Actor’s Theater, Yasulovich was Chatsky in Woe from Wit and Gogol’s dumb Chichikov. One of his last stage works is Abbot Pafnuty in Father Sergius based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy, staged by Kama Ginkas, on the stage of the Moscow Youth Theater – also with a minimum number of words. The very fact of the presence of his character, who most of the time was watching what was happening, was important. The face and plasticity, any gesture of Yasulovich were so expressive that words were not required. Tolstoy does not have hegumen Pafnuty. Kama Ginkas specially thought up this role for Igor Nikolaevich, concentrating to the utmost in it what Tolstoy has dissolved in other characters.

From the play “Buffoon Pamphalon”. Photo: theater press service

For almost 30 years he worked at the Moscow Youth Theater and even at a venerable age played in six performances, including the most difficult “Krapp’s Last Tape” based on Beckett’s play. There, his lonely and elderly hero listens to tape recordings and scrolls through his own life in voice diaries, counting down the days spent in vain that cannot be returned. Rothschild in Rothschild’s Violin, Creon in Medea, the Black Monk in the performance of the same name – all this is the golden fund of MTYUZ. Yasulovich was appreciated by the British director Declan Donnelan, who constantly invited him to his Russian projects: together they created Pimen in Boris Godunov, Chebutykin in The Three Sisters, the jester Feste in Twelfth Night, Prospero in The Tempest.

The last theatrical role is Ermiy, a former nobleman in the play based on Leskov’s “Buffoon Pamphalon” by Vladimir Pankov at the Center for Drama and Directing. At his age (81!) Yasulovich carefully and skillfully led a six-hour narration, practically without leaving the stage. This amazing work “MK” noted with his theatrical award – they announced just a week ago.

Yasulovich’s voice was special, creaking, so he was constantly invited to voice cartoons, voice offscreen text, including in documentaries, dub foreign films – from Spielberg’s Schindler’s List and Scorsese’s The Aviator to Shrek. He spoke for many artists of Soviet and Russian cinema, even for Igor Starygin’s Aramis in D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers.

Ten years ago, Igor Nikolayevich and I talked at VGIK about the essence of the profession that he passed on to his students. And this is what he then said: “Young people who have come into the acting profession should understand that they are doing the most wonderful thing in the world – human studies. The task of the actor is to find pain points, to understand the motives of the actions of his characters, to deal not with the text, but with people. Aren’t they offended to hear the phrase “serial artists”? I see how they return from the series, what happens to them. The environment for a young actor is very important. And we increasingly have to pronounce a text that is not remembered, but it is important that it fits into the language. It is difficult to work when you are constantly driven somewhere, you are required to give out a certain number of minutes. Sometimes it seems that you pronounce the same text. The director says: “The housewife left the room, and now she has returned, and we must repeat it for her again.” Can’t this be put in other words? I understand that thanks to an early role, fate can take place, that by acting, students gain experience. But one should not forget about discipline while studying. Discipline is important for an actor.”

In principle, his soul ached for people, not only for those whom he personally knew. He was a man of honor and conscience, which is why he wrote letters in defense of political prisoners, those who were treated unfairly, who were in trouble. Yasulovich went to the courts, and the very fact of his appearance was already a powerful defense.

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