On January 21, the famous actor, screenwriter and director Rodion Nakhapetov turned 77 years old. Recently, he is rarely remembered - for more than 30 years he has lived and worked in the United States. At the beginning of his career, they spoke of him as one of the best and most beautiful romantic heroes of Soviet cinema, then as an original lyric director who lit the star of Vera Glagoleva, and in the late 1980s. he received a flurry of criticism for his decision to leave his family and emigrate to the United States. What made him make such a decision and whether the director's American dream came true - further in the review.
Nakhapetov's real name is Motherland! The history of the origin of this unusual name, as well as the birth of its owner, deserve special attention. The future director was born in 1944 in the Ukrainian city of Pyatikhatki. His mother, Galina Prokopenko, was a liaison of the underground organization during the war and did not leave her activity even when she was expecting a child. While pregnant, she was captured and sent to a concentration camp, from where she managed to escape. She made her way to her own, hiding from the bombings in the basements of dilapidated houses, and during one of them her son was born. His mother named him after her underground organization - Motherland. Relatives called him Radik, and later, when issuing a passport, the name was transformed into "Rodin", and then - into "Rodion". For a long time he was sure that his father, Armenian Rafail Nakhapetov, who was in the same underground organization, had died at the front, but later his mother admitted that after the war he returned to Armenia, where his wife and children were waiting for him. For the first and last time, Rodion met him at the age of 11.
The post-war years for Rodion and his mother were very difficult - they did not have their own homes, they wandered in rented rooms. When he was 9 years old, his mother, who had been suffering from tuberculosis for a long time, was hospitalized, and Rodion was sent to an orphanage, where he spent a year and a half. Nakhapetov later spoke about his impressions of his stay there in the documentary "Remember?" in 1970. The episode in which the orphanage workers insert pieces of paper between the toes of a sleeping boy and set them on fire was not fictional - this is how the first night in the orphanage near Rodion himself passed. There he had to learn to fight and fight back the offenders. When after that his mother took him to a 9-meter room in a communal apartment allocated to her in Dnepropetrovsk, it seemed to the boy a real happiness.
Once, at a New Year's performance, Rodion was assigned to play a bear. It was then that he first thought about the acting profession. After that, he began to study in the drama club, and after school, on the first attempt, he entered the acting department of VGIK, and later graduated from the directing department. While still a student, Nakhapetov began acting in films - his first films were roles in the legendary films of Vasily Shukshin "Such a guy lives" and Marlen Khutsiev "I'm twenty years old."
In the second half of the 1960s. first popularity came to Rodion Nakhapetov after his roles in the films "Tenderness" and "Lovers". Then he was called one of the best romantic heroes and a real representative of his time - a laconic intellectual.Many viewers will remember him as a scout in the film "No password needed". All-Union fame came to him after the role of cameraman Pototsky in Nikita Mikhalkov's film "Slave of Love".
In 1972 Nakhapetov graduated from the directing department and started making films. His first full-length work was the film With You and Without You, which was watched by 18 million viewers. For his directorial debut, Nakhapetov received an award at a film festival in Belgium. During the preparation for the shooting of the next film - "To the End of the World" - the 32-year-old director met 18-year-old Vera Glagoleva. She was not a professional actress and was not going to become one, but she came to Mosfilm for the company with a friend. Nakhapetov asked her to read the text instead of the actress who was absent from the auditions, and he was so impressed by her spontaneity, simplicity and naturalness that he decided to give her this role.
At first, he just liked her type, he first became interested in her as an actress, and then as a woman. Soon after filming was completed, she became his wife. Their marriage lasted 15 years, the couple had two daughters. Vera Glagoleva became his muse, his Galatea, he filmed her in all his films, "sculpted" an actress out of her and was very jealous of her filming for other directors. But she quickly grew up, changed, looked for her own creative path, stopped looking at him from the bottom up, and gradually they began to move away from each other. Rodion himself did not notice when his feelings for her began to cool down and degenerate into friendly, kindred.
The first film, in which Nakhapetov did not shoot Glagolev, - "At the end of the night" - and separated them, as the director later admitted. It was the first Soviet film purchased by the Americans for distribution, and the director went to the United States. In Los Angeles, he met the daughter of Russian émigrés, Natalia Shlyapnikoff, who became his manager. Then Nahapetov did not even think about emigration - he went to the United States for a short time, only to discuss the distribution fate of his film, and stayed there forever.
The director later said about the reasons for moving to the USA: "". At first, he was going to settle there on his own, and then send a challenge to Vera and his daughters, but then business relations with Natalya, unexpectedly for him, turned into romantic ones.
When Glagoleva flew to him in the USA, it was too late to change anything. Nakhapetov recalled: "".
The divorce was very painful for Vera Glagoleva, but she did not say a single bad word about her ex-husband and did not interfere with his communication with her daughters. Later, she found her happiness with businessman Kirill Shubsky, and maintained friendly relations with her ex-husband. When she died in 2017, it was a great shock for Nakhapetov - he knew nothing about her illness and did not expect that she would leave before him. He said that part of his life had gone with her.
His creative career in the USA was very successful. True, he had to wait 8 years until a contract was signed with him to shoot the film "Telepath". While working in Hollywood, he often visited Russia, collaborating with local directors and actors. The result of this work was one of the films of the series “Deadly Power-2”, filmed in America, and the joint project of Russia and the United States “Russians in the City of Angels”. In 2004, his film "Border Blues" was released abroad, in 2005 the premiere of the comedy "My Big Armenian Wedding" took place in Russia, and the film "Infection" was released 2 years later. Nowadays, the director plans to shoot a film about St. John of Shanghai, and in the USA he is waiting for the premiere of his film "Dandelion Wine" based on the work of Ray Bradbury.
They married Natalya Shlyapnikoff in church. Thanks to her, he himself came to faith and discovered new spiritual horizons for himself. Together they opened a charitable foundation to help children with congenital heart disease. The daughter of his wife from his first marriage became dear to him, and Natalya was able to establish communication with his daughters.Despite the fact that Nakhapetov has been living in the United States for more than 30 years, he still considers Russia to be his home country.
Rodion Nakhapetov still fondly remembers his first wife: The interrupted path of Vera Glagoleva.
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