Interview with Agata Trzebuchowska
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THIS FILM, AND HOW IMPORTANT HAS THIS EXPERIENCE BEEN FOR YOU?
I got involved accidentally. I was spotted by Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska in one of the Warsaw cafes. She told me about Pawel Pawlikowski’s movie and encouraged me to contact him. After a few meetings and rehearsals it turned out that I was to play the part of Anna even though I had no previous acting experience. Acting in „Ida” was an important experience for me. I was given the opportunity to work on a unique film – and I felt this uniqueness even though I’m not a person from the industry.
The atmosphere was both professional and intimate; the entire crew were completely devoted to the story they were helping to tell. I think about it as a multi-dimensional „adventure”, since my memory of it is still very fresh
and vivid, I find it impossible to analyse its impact on my life. But I know it will have an
WHO IS ANNA? WHO IS IDA?
Anna is a nun, an orphan who knows nothing about her roots. She has spent her entire life in a convent and all that she cares about is her faith. She has no earthly life, the only one that she knows is a religious one. I’ve never thought about Ida as a separate person. She’s more a point of reference that enables me to look at myself from a different perspective. I guess that Ida represents the person I might have been, the life I might have led. Not only does Ida allow me to taste the,,real” world, full of agony and ecstasy but it also enables me to confirm or test the decision I ultimately take.
WHAT RELATIONSHIP WAS CREATED BEFORE AND DURING FILMING WITH
PAWLIKOWSKI AND WITH THE OTHER ACTORS?
I knew Pawel Pawlikowski from his ,,My Summer of Love” – a film which played an important role in my teenage life – so it was clear to me that he was a superb director, but I also quickly discovered that he’s a fascinating and open-hearted person too. While getting to grips with the screenplay, before we started filming, I realised that part of Anna was still something of an enigma even to the director himself. I must confess I was a bit anxious about it but this quickly disappeared when the filming began. What amazed me most in working with Pawel Pawlikowski was his calmness which masked a determination to achieve perfection and an incredible intuition – both gave me a strong feeling of trust and confidence. During the filming we didn’t need many words. Pawel and I shared a common understanding of Anna’s character and story. Agata Kulesza (Wanda) played an equally important role for me. In some way our relationship was similar to the one Anna and Wanda formed during their journey – fortunately we didn’t have any ideological conflicts.
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST MEMORIES OF THE SET?
There were many, but what I often think about are the scenes we were shooting with the Wartburg – a totally unpredictable car that provided a lot of fun and adrenaline – especially for the production crew. The Wartburg was also the only place where the temperature was bearable – winters in Poland can be really freezing – so sitting inside and waiting for what would happen the next moment was pure pleasure.