Somehow, after the premiere of “The Misanthrope,” a scholar made his way backstage to Valeriy Zolotukhin. “So?” Zolotukhin asked. The scholar began, in a level voice, “Rousseau said about ‘The Misanthrope ‘…” But Zolotukhin didn’t hold back; he interrupted and began yelling, “Don't you go telling me about Rousseau! You tell me what you saw in us!” It wasn’t an actorly desire to hear praise. It was a thirst for understanding that is very close to me.
And in this actor, in this moment, I saw myself, as though in a mirror. I, too, always want to start yelling like that. Only I hold back. And politely smile, even. But in my interlocutor’s face, I alway see whether he’s caught sight of something in us – or has seen nothing at all. I don’t even need him to say anything – I understand it all not from the first word, but from the first glance, the first sound.
And what’s more, when Zolotukhin started yelling, I saw an in him an ally.