Radúz, what are your memories of your
early years and the conservatory in
I remember I was very busy even as a little
boy. In Rožnov, where I come from,
I played ice-hockey, tennis, and attended
drama classes at the local Elementary
Arts School. It was a real challenge to
coordinate these hobbies and my mom
was my exclusive “taxi driver”, taking me
from one program to another. However,
I do not believe that anybody expected
that one of the hobbies would become
my professional career. When I was 15,
I had the idea to apply to the conservatory
in Ostrava. Only then did I realize all
the efforts which the job demands, and
what a journey I had chosen. My parents
were not willing to let me go to Ostrava:
I spent a lot of time persuading them
and justifying my dream. My mom was
particularly unhappy and cried. I was 15,
looking after myself on my own, growing
up very quickly as a stranger in a big city.
But those were absolutely an amazing
four years; I wouldn’t change anything
about them. The conservatory brought
me many great friends (my present
colleagues), opportunities to get close
to professional actors and theatres in
Ostrava and Český Těšín, and last but not
least, that was also where I met my wife.
Theatres of Ostrava have many talents
and enjoy a great reputation all over the
Why did you not start working with
a theatre in Ostrava?
Sincerely, I did not feel ready. I did not
consider myself mature enough. My
dream was to continue my education
from conservatory to DAMU (the
Academy of Performing Arts) in Prague,
to go on learning, and as my girlfriend
started working with the Ballet of the
National Theatre in Prague, that is where
I obviously wanted to go as well. I went
through all three application rounds
reducing the applicants from 300 to 20,
but did not qualify. My world crumbled
to pieces then.
If it had not been for my father, I would
not have applied at JAMU. I was
absolutely not interested in going to
Brno, but funnily enough it was JAMU
that opened the door to the National
Theatre in Prague for me. Zoja Mikotová,
a professor at JAMU, was looking for
a new Kai to play with Pavla Beretová, Iva
Janžurová and Vladimír Javorský in the
fairy tale of the Snow Queen which she
was directing at Stavovské divadlo (the
Estates Theatre). She had known me from
various demos and projects at school, so
she addressed me. That is how I got my
first job in Prague, followed by two more
guest roles and an engagement in the
I have heard that JAMU was a great
challenge as your director was a very
Yes, that is right. While in Ostrava I could
play guest roles in any theatre and play
almost every day, in Brno I spent all my
time at school: Oxana Smilková, the head
of our studio, demanded permanent
concentration, strict discipline, many
tasks and various kinds of emotional
training. I was at school every day,
Saturdays included, from ten to ten
o’clock. The night janitor would typically
push us away from the school when he
went on his evening patrol, locking the
school. It was a truly intense physical and
mental challenge, but I think that now
I will endure anything.
Having graduated from JAMU, you were
offered a job in Prague. Was the National
Theatre an obvious choice?
It was not all that simple. I had some
guest roles in the National Theatre
but I absolutely did not expect a full
engagement. In the mid-fourth year of
school I was really concerned about my
future. Then, within a week I was offered
engagement Husa na Provázku and
Hadivadlo theatres in Brno. And the week
after two more offers came from Prague,
the theatre in Vinohrady and the National
Theatre. And you cannot turn down an
offer from the National Theatre, can you?
I did not get as many opportunities
as I had wished, yet it was a great
professional training with actors whom
I had always admired.
A lot has changed with a new Artistic
Director of the National Theatre: the
company has grown younger, and I have
been through a few big jobs already.
I consider last year being the greatest
success in my career. It brought fine
opportunities to enjoy acting and grow. For
the first time I have been the leading actor,
and during the play Netrpělivost srdce
(literally The Heart‘s Impatience, known as
Beware of Pity) I spend two hours on stage.
I love this performance. I am so happy
for positive reviews, and want to invite
everyone to come and see us.
As my second premiere last year,
I rehearsed Erben’s Kytice (Bouquet)
with the directorial duo Skůtr (Martin
Kukučka and Lukáš Trpišovský) as the
bridegroom in the ballad Wedding Shirt.
This performance is an immense success,
people queue up for the tickets, it is
Thinking about it, I am very happy that
I chose my career with the National
Theatre even when I had absolutely
no guarantee that I would play these
significant characters. I have already
worked with the best Czech directors,
J. A. Pitínský, Michal Dočekal, Jan
Nebeský, Daniel Špinar, Jan Frič,
Lucie Bělohradská, Jan Mikulášek,
Duo Skůtr, Juraj Herz, Martin Čičvák,
Vladimír Morávek and Štěpán Pácl. My
international jobs include the project 1914
with American director Bob Wilson. This
programme took me to various theatres
of Europe and to meet Soňa Červená at
work, a lady whose professionalism and
dedication I sincerely admire.
Do you often come to Ostrava,
Wallachia and see your family?
Unfortunately, a lot less often than
I would like to. I come more often
on business than to see my family and
friends. I played Claudius in Much Ado
About Nothing at the Shakespeare
Festival in Ostrava. I also play in the
comedy Bosé nohy v parku (Barefoot
in Park), a travelling performance with
Veronika Freimanová, Rudolf Hrušínský
and Anička Kameníková/Linhartová.
A few weeks ago we went to Orlová,
Frýdek – Místek, Frýdlant and Ostrava.
The audiences in this region are amazing
and they respond so very well.
Your voice is recorded on a new album
by Radůza. That’s a fine combination
of two unusual names.
My theatre colleagues, Radůza, and
myself recorded the narration and songs
of the fairy tale “Coalman, Prince, and
Dragon” where I am the Prince Kryšpín.
Nature punishes a king who did not
appreciate and wasted nature’s gifts. The
moral of the tale is that humans must
improve their behaviour and relations
to their environment and protect it.
I sincerely enjoyed this collaboration,
and to tell you the truth, at age 32 I finally
played my first prince.
Thank you for the interview.
Kytice (Pavel Hejný)
Netrpělivost srdce (Martin Špelda)
POSITIV 4/2019 ǀ 65