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The very best Cardinal Richelieu: Why the actor Alexander Trofimov acted so little in films
The very best Cardinal Richelieu: Why the actor Alexander Trofimov acted so little in films

Recently, the theater and cinema actor, People's Artist of the Russian Federation Alexander Trofimov celebrated his 69th birthday. Recently, his name is rarely mentioned in the media, and modern viewers are not at all familiar. For more than 7 years, he has not appeared on the screens, and in his entire 35-year film career he played only about 20 roles. But even one of them, the very first, would have been quite enough to enter the history of Russian cinema forever - this is Cardinal Richelieu in the film D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers. Why the brightest actor with extraordinary talent and a wide creative range was filmed so little, and what he is doing now - further in the review.

Find for the Taganka Theater

Actor on the stage of the Taganka Theater

In his family, no one had anything to do with art, but he himself was engaged in creativity from his youth - he wrote poetry and music, independently learned to play the guitar, but these hobbies at first did not affect the choice of his future profession. After school, he decided to master a technical specialty, and at the same time got a job as a stage technician in the officers' club at the military academy. Collecting the scenery and watching what was happening on stage, one day he decided to try his hand at amateur performances, and the head of the studio after a rehearsal told him that he saw in him an acting talent that must be developed. This turned out to be enough to leave the school and take the documents to "Pike".

People's Artist of the Russian Federation Alexander Trofimov

Neither he nor his acquaintances believed that with such data one could become an actor - Trofimov stuttered from birth, was very shy and vulnerable, and outwardly was not at all like the movie heroes of the early 1970s. Too sophisticated and some kind of "alien", thin and lanky guy still somehow attracted the attention of the selection committee - and was accepted on the first try. For all his external subtlety, he felt some incredible internal energy and strength, and most importantly, what the actors needed so much was a bare nerve.

Alexander Trofimov in the play The Master and Margarita

While still a student at the Shchukin school, at only 19 years old, Alexander became the head of the youth studio at the people's theater of the silk factory in Naro-Fominsk. Then he came to Yuri Lyubimov and announced that from the very first performance he saw with Vladimir Vysotsky in the title role, he fell ill with the Taganka Theater and would like to perform on this stage. Surprisingly, Lyubimov not only accepted him into the troupe, but also entrusted first the role of Rakhmetov in the play "What is to be done?", And a few years later - Yeshua in "The Master and Margarita". Trofimov played this difficult role, which many actors dream of and go to it for years, only at the age of 25! At the very first rehearsal, Lyubimov said to the bewildered young man: "". The role of Yeshua has become the most significant and expensive for the actor. He spoke about her: "". The actor devoted his whole life to this theater and has been on the stage for over 50 years.

Best Soviet Cardinal

Alexander Trofimov as Cardinal Richelieu, 1979

At the age of 25, the actor first appeared on the screens - in the TV show "Profitable Place", but the audience hardly remembered his debut role. And 2 years later the whole country started talking about him, because at the end of 1979 the legendary film by Georgy Yungvald-Khilkevich “D'Artanyan and the Three Musketeers” was released, where Trofimov brilliantly reincarnated as Cardinal Richelieu.Most viewers could not imagine that this role was played by a debutant actor, who at the time of filming was only 26 years old, because on the screens his character looked much older, more experienced and wiser.

Still from the film D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers, 1979

The director himself originally planned to take an age actor for this role (the main candidate was Mikhail Kozakov), and Trofimov was supposed to play the Englishman John Felton - the one who became a victim of Milady's insidiousness. Once at the audition, the actor decided to play along with his friend, Boris Klyuev, who played Rochefort, and read the text of the cardinal's remarks. And here the director realized that it no longer makes sense to continue looking for another actor for this role. True, Mikhail Kozakov voiced the hero - according to Khilkevich, his manner of speech was more consistent with this image. But the song was performed by Alexander Trofimov himself in a duet with Alisa Freundlich.

Alexander Trofimov as Cardinal Richelieu, 1979

About why he did not let the actor voice his role, the director later said: "".

"Own" director

Alexander Trofimov as Nikolai Gogol, 1984

Surprisingly, the role of Cardinal Richelieu, which brought him all-Union fame, was not the actor's favorite. He called Mikhail Schweitzer "his" director, with whom he starred in several films: "Little Tragedies", "Dead Souls" and "Kreutzer Sonata". This director drew attention to the incredible similarity of the actor with the writer Nikolai Gogol and entrusted him with this role.

Alexander Trofimov as Nikolai Gogol, 1984

Trofimov said: "".

Where did Richelieu disappear?

Alexander Trofimov in the film Peter Pan, 1987

Alexander Trofimov has always been very critical and selective about the choice of film roles. He did not pursue fame and did not worry about the fact that he appeared on the screens very rarely. The fact is that the theater has always remained in the first place for him, on the stage of which the 69-year-old actor continues to appear to this day. In addition, his transformations on the screens were so unexpected that often the audience simply did not recognize their favorite actor in the new image. This was the case, for example, with the role of Captain Hook in the film "Peter Pan".

Veniamin Smekhov and Alexander Trofimov

Despite the chosen profession, Alexander Trofimov has always been a non-public person, did not attend social events and rarely agreed to interviews. Because of this, he was called one of the most private actors. His colleagues rarely got to see him in real life. Veniamin Smekhov, with whom they performed at the Taganka Theater and starred in The Three Musketeers, recalled working together and communicating with him: “”.

People's Artist of the Russian Federation Alexander Trofimov

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