Wednesday, 3 October 2012
Liya Akhedzhakova - Biography
Liya Akhedzhakova is a tragicomic actress. It is a hard genre; lots of actors are attracted to it, but just a few really have this gift. The element of comedy never carries her away to the extent of forgetting the depth of human substance and so her characters are always accompanied with both laughter and pain. She never happens to be outshone by other vivid actors: instead, she better unfolds her talent under condition of creative competition of a sort. Thus, Eldar Ryazanov’s films are featuring her among the galaxy of brilliant actors, such as Alisa Frejndlikh, Valentin Gaft, Oleg Basilashvili, Andrei Miagkov and others.
Liya Medzhidovna Akhedzhakova was born in Dnepropetrovsk city, Ukraine, into a theatrical family. Her father was the principal stage director of Maikop Drama Theatre. Having a wonderful ear for music he sang in operetta for some time.
Liya’s mother was an actress in the same theatre. Thus, Liya also chose to be an actress and entered GITIS (State Institute of Theatre Arts), which she graduated in 1962. When a senior student, she started working on stage of the Moscow Young Spectator's Theatre, since her appearance was favourable for child roles. The year 1977 saw a turning point in destiny of Akhedzhakova when she took the stage in Sovremennik Theatre. Working with the theatre’s main stage director Galina Volchek let the actress broaden her stage repertoire, go up to the highest level and become one of the leading Moscow actresses. She had to wait for her roles rather long, though. But once she had her chance. Director Roman Viktyuk staged for her Columbine, and the role changed her life. Later critics also praised her leading role in the play Selestina written by Nikolai Kolyada after the dramatic novel by the 15th century Spanish writer Fernando de Rojas
Lyia Akhedzhakova made her film debut in 1973 in Mikhail Bogin’s film Ishchu cheloveka (Looking for a Man). However, these were films by Eldar Ryazanov that brought her nationwide acclaim. The film director contrived to reveal the specific gift of Akhedzhakova. The very first role, that of Tania in the popular comedy Ironiya sudby, ili S legkim parom! (The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!) (1975) was noticed and estimated by both viewers and critics. It showed the actress’s inclination to grotesque and tragicomedy. In this seemingly plain comic role Liya Akhedzhakova expressed the character’s innermost loneliness and unsettled personal life.
Then followed secretary Verochka in Sluzhebnyy roman (Office Romance) (1977), where Akhedzhakova proved that any woman can be a charming beauty. The image of the energetic and all-knowing secretary was in contrast to the roles created before this picture.