Renata Litvinova: Pleasure from life is more important to me than “elusive beauty”
Today, in search engines, a search for Renata Litvinov opens 2.5 million links! She is quoted. They talk about her. She is constantly being watched and tried to copy. It leaves few people indifferent: she is either adored and idolised, or frankly misunderstood, perceived as a resident of another planet.
A woman surrounded by a special aura of elegance and mystery and one of the most amazing actresses of our time. Director of theatre and cinema, style icon, TV presenter, screenwriter and Honoured Artist of Russia. All this is Renata Litvinova.
For many years, a keen interest in you, Renata, has not waned, but the impression is that the critic does not touch you and does not really touch the admiration. Is this so?
I like talented criticism and I like it when my friends and loved ones like what I do – for the rest of the reactions, I still have a second skin and, in the words of Pushkin, “accept indifferently”.
With such a rich life, with so many people in it, are you still interested in a person? What qualities do you value most in people?
People – strong, talented, kind, beautiful, bold, courageous, meek and obsessed – they, in the end, can not help but admire. After all, I am the author. I feed on human characters and the thirst of such people. They have always inspired me.
You once said: “Here lies a man, ten will pass by, but I will not pass”. You are very fond of man, but today it is a rarity! Is it possible for people to change?
I do not agree that participation in another’s grief is a rarity. I met and meet many courageously indifferent people who have gone through trials and are still kind and loving. I, myself, hate indifferent, greedy and empty people who think only of themselves – this is such an ugly nonsense. This is, for me, a hellish defect, if there is such a thing in a person and he does not struggle with it.
Is it Kira Muratova who first called you “The divine Renata”? In the preface to your book “To Have and Belong”, she wrote: “She has everything that can fascinate and captivate. She is not trying to hide anything about herself, to seem better than she is. She does not need anything. Litvinova – a sample of self-sufficiency.” Do you agree with this description of you?
Kira was a very noble and magnanimous person. She knew how to admire and encourage people, and me in particular, with a kind word – I always perceived it as a big advance so that I could become such a person and not disappoint my most beloved director and teacher. I always try to be better, so as not to upset Kira, with some errors and failures, of course, as she always treated herself critically.
Beautiful women also have complexes that suffer from low self-esteem, but you are not afraid to upload your photos without makeup on Instagram. Your advice: how to love yourself in spite of everything? How do you maintain your beauty?
To maintain the outer shell still needs one to be philosophical – without the “overflow”: eternal youth does not exist. There are things that are more important than beauty – to love someone, to see the continuation of oneself in your child. During the shooting period, when the shooting was 17 hours a day, I studied daily with a trainer, who sometimes came straight to my place at lunchtime. I did everything possible and impossible to keep fit, but I don’t live in this wish mode anyone! It was some kind of hard labour – for the sake of filming, I was ready for it, but in my normal life – no and no! I am generally an adherent of moderate training and walking. I love wine and champagne and breakfasts and dinners with your favourite people; the pleasure of life is more important to me than the “elusive beauty”. Now, it’s my daughter’s turn to sparkle with beauty – I concede to her.
In your documentary “No death for me!”, you managed to earn the trust of legendary female actresses. The words of Nonna Mordyukova hit me in memory: “The acting profession is like love between a man and a woman. How can you ask for a role? This is the same as asking a man to love you”. Do you agree with this? And, how often did you ever ask someone? What, and who, helps keep you afloat?
I never asked for roles. I often ask for help for someone or for funding for a project or a charity event – I always do it hotly, but never ask anything specifically for myself.
Love and work keep me afloat.
What are you afraid of in life?
I try not to articulate fears. Otherwise, they will be sent to you.
Thanks to you, your daughter Uliana has already had an acting experience – and with brilliant partners on the stage (Konstantin Khabensky, Svetlana Khodchenkova and others). Do we influence the formation of our children, or is everything originally laid? What do you think is intergenerational?
Ulya does not want to be an actress. She is removed from me purely as an option and as a friend, in my free time. She has already chosen what she wants to do and I have no leverage to convince her. She is rather successfully moving towards achieving her goals herself, I just can’t help her in the area she chose. I just love her very much and support her – this is the most important thing between us. And, we are friends. I really respect my daughter – and I am proud that she is my fighter.
You said that you changed the phone number when you started writing the play “The North Wind” and then you changed it again when you began to rehearse – in order to cut off all the excess and concentrate. What “sacrifices” did you have to make while you were making a film based on your play?
I am in the stage of editing my film – probably by the autumn we will collect all the material. The music has already been written by our brilliant composer Zemfira. And, I adore the actors I shot with – there will be a lot of discoveries. In the process of editing, the film surprises more and more, as if created by circumstance.
Somehow, you have mentioned that, in addition to directing, you like drawing most of all and even would like to take lessons in classical drawing. How is it going? Will we see your exhibition of paintings in time?
Why not? Only, this will be an exhibition of drawings.
If you had the opportunity to meet with yourself from the past or from the future, at what time in life would you like to go back or go forward?
I would not change anything and would not return anywhere. I hate going back to old graves and advise no one to do so.
Interviewed by Julia Vertova