And now, I will write about Kalyagin. It’s just necessary, because when you work with him, your hand is simply drawn to a pen, and the pen – to paper. I can’t not put such a remarkable personality into words. I hope that he’s forgotten that I didn’t take him into the theatre after he graduated from theatre school. Of course, he must remember – people don’t forget those things. But I disliked him so much then; what was there to do? I didn’t like him then and for a long time thereafter. Disliked, disliked, and then one day, I gave him a call and proposed that he play Hamlet in a television play (which we never got to realize, due to circumstances beyond our control).
Suddenly, one beautiful day, I began to realize that Kalyagin could play everything: Hamlet, and Fedya Protasov, and Orgon. Maybe that N. Mikhailkov film influenced me? For that film, Kalyagin lost so much weight that he became almost unrecognizable. He lost and gained weight when he had to. For any role.
True, he gained weight now and again when it was quite unnecessary. And even to the detriment of his health. But for Orgon, his “fullness" was perfect.Often, already after rehearsal, in the car or before sleep, I suddenly remember how that rotund man ran off like a shot after the maid. It made me so happy – and I would start laughing. Kalyagin was a natural comedian: he could play some ingrate, but that insufferableness would be unusually funny. He knew how to say something so subtly that its subtlety would be simultaneously plain as day. He would walk onstage, even somewhat grimly, say something sly, and unexpectedly become lighter than light, like a balloon. Light, quick as a flash, and subtle. He suddenly got sick, and for some time we rehearsed without him. When a talented person leaves a show, even for a few days, it gets boring. It’s instantly noticeable that he’s not there. And not because he plays Orgon, but because he’s Kalyagin.