Korobko: the best players get into our national hockey team
The Ice Hockey World Championship is in full swing now. In parallel with this important event, filming of the fifth season of the beloved series Molodezhka continues on STS in Moscow. Actor Ilya Korobko, playing the role of an exemplary hockey player Mikhail Ponomarev, met with the Championship and spoke about his sports hobbies, love of surfing and filming the new season.
Photo: from the personal archive of the actor
- Ilya, now everyone is watching the game of our team at the World Championships in Cologne, but do you have time to watch the matches?
- We recently started filming the fifth season of Youth, and therefore I get to watch just a couple of games. We will find out the score on the set between takes. For five years of filming in the project, the actors, and the entire film crew, are now into this sport. Hockey is an integral part of our life. You have to not just follow him, but delve into, try to understand what is happening in this world.
- Who from the current composition appeals to you?
- Not I want to single out someone, after all, this is a team, and we need to talk about the team. There is safety in numbers. Yes, and the national team includes the best, the elite gathered from all over the country, real talents.
Photo: from the personal archive of the actor
- How do you assess our capabilities at the World Championship?
- The first match was played with an interference, but now we are performing with dignity, despite the defeat in the match with USA. Hope we get to the final. Of course, our rivals are strong, the same America, for example. In any case, I wish the guys to show character and prove that they really can! Hockey is now very interesting to watch, the level of athletes, sports medicine is growing, the technical equipment is improving. We were recently brought to the set of a new generation of skates, and even we, non-professionals, noticed the difference, and what can we say about the people who make blades to order! Our national team is powerful, and I don’t worry about the guys.
- Now many are worried about the question that NHL players may not get to the Olympic Games. What do you think about this?
- Let them figure it out for themselves, but I think that forbidding a player to play for his national team is stupid. I have a glimmer of hope that if they are offered to choose, they will, of course, choose the national team. Generally speaking, hockey is very developed in our country. During the five years that we have been filming in Molodezhka, we have seen and communicated with many hockey players. We have young talents, great coaches, technical capabilities. More and more ice rinks are being built.
- Of the young talents, whom could you mention?
- Kirill Kaprizov, our little star (smiles) . When we were in Novogorsk, we met a huge number of talented and young guys. What I really like about them is that they are self-confident and at the same time very kind. Rarely met aggressive, angry. If only goalkeepers ... but I'm kidding! WithIn fact, goalkeepers are the holiest. In general, I have a very good impression of the hockey children. They are all involved, and that's cool! It's especially great when a child likes this business.
- Is it more interesting for you to follow professionals or promising ones?
- I like to look at professionals. The other night, I practically did not sleep, because my dad and I watched the confrontation between Ovechkin and Malkin. My two favorite players! I really like Ovechkin, and in life he is cool. When we met, I learned that he has the same passion for dogs as I do. He has five crazy shepherd dogs (smiles) . So, I hope that I will build a house and will breed it the same way!
- Which team in the KHL do you prefer?
- Since childhood I have been rooting for CSKA football club, and my love for the army team carried over to hockey, five years ago. At that time, Radulov was still playing for my favorite team, and I just enjoyed these matches. It's funny that the first and second seasons of the Youth Club coincided with the period when hockey CSKA was at its best.
- How did you feel about Dmitry Kvartalnov's departure?
- It's a pity, of course. When the team was on the rise, a great excitement was created around the games, more often I wanted to get out somewhere with friends, watch the match. Now everything has become a little different.
- In this Gagarin Cup, some had a glimmer of hope that CSKA would be able to win. Upset because of the loss of your favorite team?
- I was happy for Alexander Sokolovsky (actor, colleague of Ilya on the TV series Youth. - Ed.) . He is a fan of SKA. To be honest, all my life I envy Peter for the fact that they have only one team in both football and hockey. It would be great if there was only one CSKA team in Moscow and no one else. There would be no such separation. My dad is a fan of Spartak, goes to the stadium, and about 44 thousand people gather there. It's a shame, more people could have come.
Photo: from the actor's personal archive
- How do you and dad get along at home then, if you are for CSKA, and he is for Spartak?
- Now I live separately, and before that we watched football in different rooms. Naturally, we have never had conflicts over this, everything is kind.
- So, follow the football too?
- If possible. I root for Juventus, but mostly I watch only significant matches, the Champions League, European and World Championships. I love football almost from the cradle, because until the age of 14 I was engaged professionally in the section. Dad even tried to send me to CSKA, but realized that all this would not bring the desired result. And I abruptly went into acting.
- Have you ever regretted not becoming a professional athlete?
- Honestly, as a child I dreamed to be a clown, and when I got to the Lenkom theater, I realized that I would be on stage. There were, of course, such moments when, during the filming of the Youth, thoughts crept in, but what ifwould I become a hockey player? Nevertheless, I will not trade my job for anything now. Here I am a hockey player for five years, then a special forces soldier, a lawyer, and anyone else! There is an opportunity to live many different lives.
- You both watch hockey as a spectator and play on the ice yourself. Where is it more interesting?
- When I watch hockey at the stadium as a spectator, it is wildly interesting and cool for me, because I relax, succumb to the general heat of passion and am happy for the team. However, as soon as I leave the game, these feelings are quickly forgotten, because I start thinking about work. When I come to the site, put on my uniform, go out on the ice, and the crowd applauds you, then I understand how the players I saw yesterday feel. It's cool both on the podium and on the ice.
- What did you learn from hockey lessons?
- Personally, thanks to hockey, I have formed an inner core. I literally moved from a football locker room to a hockey room and saw what a real men's sport is. It helped me not only in my work, but also in my life. I realized that somewhere I could be a little stricter, more severe, more mature, more powerful. When you are constantly training on the ice, the pace of life accelerates. Even if you play one game a week, then you can't stop, you want to pick up the club again and go play!
- Why are you so attracted to training?
- Directly in hockey itself, I am attracted by the nature of this sport, the sensations that you experience on the ice, being in shape, with a stick in your hands, when your partners are nearby, and on the contrary - rivals. The whistle, the game begins, and there is no turning back. It's like surfing!
- Quite an amazing comparison! Do you also surf?
- While I was at school, every summer my parents sent my sister and me to a surf school, which is located in France, on the ocean coast. There I got up on the board for the first time, rolled down the wave and felt extraordinary pleasure. Since then, surfing has been my love.
- Generally, it is not the easiest sport.
- Yes, surfing is incredibly physically expensive. You ride from 6 to 12 in the morning, until the solstice, then you seem to run out of steam, and the ocean is nearby ... I don't know, this delight is difficult to describe in words. Although, when I first got up on the surf, it felt very disgusting. Bad weather, rain, wet wetsuit. There were huge waves, and I hardly got out of the ocean onto the shore.
- Do you remember your first training on ice?
- For two weeks I got used to how to put on the shin guards correctly, how to wrap them with tape. At first he laughed, did not understand why this should be done at all. Now, if there is no scotch on the set, I am the first to shout for it, otherwise the gaiters fall (smiles) . It's also funny when a new actor appears in the series, and you, as an experienced player, tell him that he shook his club wrong. I was always curious why in the movies they show how the coach takes the board and draws the game scheme on it - I also did not understand anything. Now, natureBut the coach draws, and you realize in your head what and how to do. Most of all we felt hockey when 300 extras were brought to the site. You throw the puck and they all start screaming! The feeling is akin to when you go out to the audience to bow after a well-played performance. And yet, there, on the stage, there are still doubts, because you do not know whether you personally played your role badly or well. And on the ice the result is immediately visible - the puck is in the goal.
I think hockey players have incredible feelings on the ice. Just imagine how Ovechkin felt when he scored the 500th goal? There the caps flew on the ice! Probably, this moment can only be compared with when an example of a ballerina is thrown bouquets on the stage of the Bolshoi Theater. And in hockey, almost every second person is so thanked. He threw three pucks and got teddy bears on the ice.
Photo: from the actor's personal archive
- Do not these feelings lose their importance over time, do not they become commonplace?
- No, such feelings cannot become commonplace. It's like kissing a loved one. You will still be pricked somewhere in the heart. Moreover, this is human attention with positive emotions, and it is worth a lot.
I remember that we were walking along the street with a classmate who starred in another television series, also famous. And he heard mostly negative in his address. They came up to me, shook my hand and said Thank you for our project. When everything just started with Youth, I did not think that everything would turn out like this.
- How did you pass the casting for Youth, how did you prepare for filming?
–We had an unusual casting. We auditioned for the project for three months, as if we were entering a theater university again. 800 people per seat, while no one knew how to skate! Initially, they wanted to take on the main roles of professional hockey players, but then changed their minds, decided that it was better to teach the artists to skate.
After we were approved for the project, we gathered at the Reebok store, where we received skates and a training schedule. Three times a week, for two hours a day, we worked in the gym and on the ice. There were two coaches for five artists - almost individual lessons. It seemed as if we were in Hollywood - they constantly worked with us, trained. We were taken to Novogorsk, to the Dynamo training base. We went to our team. We talked with all the top hockey players in the country - they all came to our site. Oleg Znarok, by the way, is very fond of Youth, constantly asks the producers to send him episodes before the air, because he does not want to wait (smiles) . And they send him CDs.
- Does your hero Misha Ponomarev have a prototype in real life?
- No, the writers did not try to copy the characters from real people, although all the stories are just the opposite taken from the life of hockey players. These are all collective images. Nevertheless, Misha Ponomarev has number 95 for a reason. If you remember, this number belonged to oneto one of the captains of our team, Alexei Morozov. We talked a lot with him, and he even took part in the filming of the first season. We keep number 95 with Misha, despite the fact that Ponomarev moved to another team. Thus, we pay tribute to my favorite captain and player of my favorite team. Well, we are also trying, together with understudies, to convey on the screen Morozov's technique, his manner of playing.
- What do Misha Ponomarev and Ilya Korobko have in common?
- Naturally, Misha and I are two completely different people. I'm not such a bad artist that I can't play a given role. Misha is internally very calm, knows how to pause, assess the situation soberly, reflect, and only then - do. In most cases, he is silent, waits, takes an observant position. We made Misha a real man, honest, sincere, who will never cheat or betray.
Ilya Korobko is a completely different person (smiles) . Emotional, agitated, can immediately say what he thinks, or vice versa, keep silent, harbor resentment. I am far from being a calm person.
Of course, the director at the casting had the task of finding actors who would best fit the written characters. That is, some basic character trait had to coincide. And Misha and I are related by kindness. This is my personal, even family quality. Ponomarev is a lover of noble hockey and a noble person. At one time, Nikolai Karachentsov told me that a real actor should be a noble and educated person with whom it is interesting to communicate. I fully share his point of view.
- What could you compare hockey with?
- My colleagues and I drew a parallel and found out that hockey is very similar for the acting profession. There are many overlapping factors. For example, any hockey player has his own agent who helps him find a job. There is enormous competition in the hockey world. Children of wealthy parents have some advantages. It's the same in the life of actors.
Hockey is a team sport, fast, energetic, which creates a feeling of partnership in you. And people go to the acting profession just for the feeling of partnership, for this energy.
- Finally, reveal the secret of what awaits the audience in the fifth, final season of Youth?
- I can't tell all the secrets, but believe me, it will be really interesting. The scriptwriters prescribed another sport for my hero - fighting without rules. And, to be honest, now all my fists have been knocked down (smiles) . The fifth season is called Adulthood, so everything will be adult. There will also be a lot of hockey for the audience.
Photo: from the actor's personal archive