There are actors whom you don’t remember after you finish working with them. Smoktunovskiy, to be sure, isn’t one of them. For one, he struck me with his silent obedience. He nodded his head at everything I said to him, even before I finished my sentence. Afterwards, he went to his mark and did everything with a precision that even I wasn’t counting on.
Ultimately he’s a surprisingly…softened person? Soft like a cat, or like wax, but at the same time, he has such will and self-discipline! The way that he can fall asleep in a second, curled up on a sheet of metal, and wake up without appearing asleep or out-of-sorts surprises everyone. Standing next to him and looking him square in the face while he did six takes in a row of the same scene, I almost couldn’t tell the difference. But when you looked at the screen, each of those six takes appeared different. They weren’t just takes, but variations. He achieved those changes an almost imperceptible movement of his eyes.