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Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Grażyna Sobocińska: A rising star of Polish cinema. Who does he play in the series “Matilda”?

While still a student, she got a role in a crime series “Theme”. She starred in an international film by Jan P. Matuszyński “Minghun”. She appeared in the series “Lulu”and now we can watch her in a new costume production of TVP “Matilda”.

Grażyna Sobocińskaalthough not of the Sobociński family, talks about working on the set, her fascination with jazz and music, and the power of women.

When I hear a famous name, I’m tempted to ask if the similarity is coincidental?

(smile – editor’s note) It’s absolutely random. Although this question is asked so often that I will probably start admitting that I belong to the well-known and respected Sobociński film family. Especially since we had the opportunity to meet at work.

On what projects?

– We met Marysia Sobocińska on the set of the film “Love is Everything” directed by Michał Kwieciński. In turn, with the cameraman, Piotr Sobociński jr. I worked on “Kos” directed by Paweł Maślona.

You graduated from acting school three years ago. Why did you choose Krakow?

– Kraków turned out to be an ideal city for my studies, but it was not my first choice. I applied to the acting faculty in Krakow and Warsaw, and at the same time to the jazz faculty. I wanted to become a jazz singer. My dream was to get into the Academy of Music in Katowice to study vocals, but fate decided that I got into dramatic acting in Krakow. I have not given up music even for a moment, because for me it is the most important of all arts.

I think this skill is an additional advantage in an actor’s work?

– Definitely. I played the violin for twelve years and played a violinist in an international project directed by Jan P. Matuszyński “Minghun”. Even though I put the violin on the shelf and I wouldn’t play Paganini again, some things are never forgotten and we managed to use them in this production. My musical education helps me a lot in playing. I have the impression that I do a lot of things in acting “by ear” (smile – editor’s note).

Recently I talked to Ania Kraszewska, who plays the saxophone and you sing jazz. Your acting generation is interesting.

– During the first three years of my studies, I came to Warsaw most weekends to give concerts in jazz clubs. We performed, among others: in the Harenda club in Warsaw and in “Piwnica pod Baranami” in Krakow. I miss it all the time. We’ll see what the future brings. Previously, it was jazz tributes, mainly my beloved Nina Simone, but I also wanted to try my own repertoire. My phone is full of ideas, I write music, but the biggest difficulty for me is writing lyrics. I am very demanding about this, because I believe that writing a good text is a great art. The most beautiful melody cannot defend itself when it offends the lyrics. Here you have to be very honest and know what you want to talk about. Maybe one day I will succeed (smile – editor’s note).

While still at school, you got a role in the crime series “Motyw” directed by Paweł Maślony, and a moment later the world was frozen by a pandemic. The worst-case scenario for someone entering the profession.

– I remember that we finished filming the series, I came home, closed the door and everything was over. The pandemic came and nothing happened for the next months. I finished my diplomas, after shooting with Paweł, I got a job at the Stary Theater and suddenly I lost my daily rhythm. My momentum and energy to act were cut off overnight. I spent this time writing my master’s thesis. My world came crashing down a bit, I admit. Projects that were supposed to start fell through. Then the fight for survival began. I knew I loved this profession, but being in a good agency and recording selftapes was not enough to get a job. The worst thing about all this was that the great need to be professional made me very tense. I couldn’t have fun and be free to play, knowing that everything depended on it. I took jobs in various places to support myself while trying not to fall out of acting. I didn’t give up and luckily, the roles I tried very hard for came.

You are currently playing in the TVP costume series “Matylda” directed by Krzysztof Lang. The 19th century and women fighting for themselves in a man’s world will be on the small screen again.

– This is a story with many dark pages that we will gradually reveal to the audience. In the script, my character, Izabella, was written as a very sad character. She is a woman who lives in fear of her oppressive and violent husband.

A topic that transcends all times.

– I see great strength in Izabella because she is trying to break out of this relationship. She fights for herself as a woman, and also fights for her child, her daughter. The times after the January Uprising, to which we were transported thanks to the characters, language, set design, make-up and beautiful costumes, tailor-made or, in my case, tailored to my figure, are for me a journey to the world of women and their emancipation. The institution of marriage was then sacred, and a divorced woman lost her reputation. Fortunately, my heroine has a spark in the form of romance, which gives her strength and makes her start fighting for her happiness. I hope that the emancipation theme will resonate strongly in this series.

– It is important for me to be able to present the fate of women after the January Uprising through this series, not only those of good birth, but also peasant women, because I feel that these stories are still untold. It’s hard for me to imagine what choices women faced back then. Today I wear the engagement ring of my great-great-grandmother, who lived exactly in those times, and sometimes I think about how much I owe today to the women who fought for their freedom, independence and education back then, so that I can take all of this for granted today. It is a great challenge and privilege for me to be able to show a woman’s path in taking the first steps to freedom.

Beata Banasiewicz / AKPA