Interview with Ondřej Sokol (Lead Actor)
How would you describe your character Rédl?
Roman Rédl is a soldier, a former paratrooper who, at the time of the story, works as a military prosecutor. He has a very promising career ahead of him, working on a case that can get him to important positions. And at the moment, he is approached by a neighbor in the block of flats he lives in. The situation is that his 20-year-old grandson has been missing for a couple of days. Rédl decides to use his contacts with the police to help him. Gradually, however, he discovers that he is caught up in a case that could endanger and possibly destroy his entire career.
Did you have to study some historical facts for the project?
Yes, it's actually a “period” series, but I have lived through this very intensively and I know it. Although I was 21 years old at the time of the film, I was absolutely interested in everything around me. Everything I act was lived through. I enjoyed the fact that thanks to the work of screenwriter Miro Šifra I looked at some of these things at a distance and with much more objective information and insight.
How was this collaboration with Jan Hřebejk for you?
The kind I've seen in previous projects. I must say again that it was amazing. He had an incredible interest in the project and complete respect for the entire staff. Every day he came up with something untested, something he didn't know how he could turn out.
In addition to acting, you also direct. How does it look when two directors are on the set?
I don't think it was a problem. I feel that I am far more obedient to the director than many actors because I know what responsibility lies with him. He just puts the whole work together.
How did you deal with the action scenes?
There are plenty of action, violent scenes, and I have to thank Jan Hřebejk, because he became their master during filming, even though he personally opposes violence. I have a feeling that some of the scenes were indeed unseen and unprecedented in Czech productions.
How do you think this project can appeal to the audience?
I think it will be very interesting and often surprising for my generation. The revolution and the whole subsequent transformation did not follow the standard path at all. Everything was handled without instructions. Things were crazily improvised, which had a huge impact on the way we live in today. That's why it's quite interesting. I am often very angry when I watch some films that are being made about our history because I feel that treating history as biased and ideological as it used to be under Communism. The great value of this mini-series is that it insists quite strictly on the non-black and white division of characters. There are not only bad communists and good dissidents. We really try to describe objectively and comprehensively the whole wild era with the help of an exciting and dramatic storyline. I think there are enough reasons for this project to be interesting.
*Courtesy of Czech Television
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