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Famous Pike Alumni

Yesterday, the famous Boris Shchukin Theater Institute turned 100 years old. On this day, October 23, 1914, a young student of Stanislavsky Eugene Vakhtangov held the first lesson with youth. And already in November, young actors organized their own amateur studio, which later developed into a completely professional theater. Let us congratulate Pike on its anniversary and recall its most prominent graduates.

To list all the celebrities who came out of the walls of the “Pike” – an impossible task. So I remember only my loved ones.

Rolan Bulls
This short charming actor was one of the graduates of “Pike.” He was remembered for his very diverse roles and directorial work. He could be the tragically funny Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin from Gogol’s “Overcoat”, and self-confident Red Army Karjakin, and the evil Barmaley, and the pathos hunter from Little Red Riding Hood. He played the most childish roles very seriously and with full dedication – remember at least his Kota Basilio from “Pinocchio”. Sometimes he played female roles – mainly grandmothers. Even in episodes, he was remembered by the viewer no worse, or even better than the main characters. For example, his burry speech therapist from the movie “For Family Circumstances” or a potential heir to the throne in “Elusive Avengers”.

Alexander Kalyagin
It is believed that “aerobatics” for any actor – reliably and did not go to play a hero of the opposite sex. Kalyagin had to do this on the move – the role of the eccentric and charming aunt Charlie from Brazil became his first main role in the movie. It is unlikely that anyone will argue that he coped with this difficult task.

But the aspiring actor once wanted to kick out of “Pike.” His image is too incomprehensible: plump, chubby, balding, short. In a word – not a hero-lover. On the child and the old man, too, does not pull. What roles to give him? Kalyagin found the way out himself. On the exam, he played a Chekhov character – funny, miserable and touching. The study was recognized as the best on the course. By the way, Chelyov’s story “Unfinished Piece for a Mechanical Piano” is also considered to be the best work of Kalyagin in cinema.

Alexander Zbruev
Charming Alexander Zbruev was called to the main roles in the cinema immediately after he graduated from the Shchukin school. In his first film “My Younger Brother” the company was made up of such novice stars as Andrei Mironov and Oleg Dal. But still, popular love for him came after the film “Big Change” in the image of the cunning and cheerful Grigory Ganzhi. Almost the entire female population of the country fell in love with this charming bully. Probably, this role was easily given to Zbruev. After all, at school he himself was like that – a hooligan guy with a funny trick in his eyes. He studied poorly, remained in his second year, was engaged in boxing, easily got involved in adventures. And still, among his friends he earned the nickname “intellectual.”

Despite the constant film projects, Zbruev never gave up theater work in his native Lenkom. So today – the actor can be seen in the cinema in the movie “Cinema about Alekseev” and in the Lenin Komsomol Theater in the role of the modern Boris Godunov.

Andrey Mironov
The famous fellow student of Zbruev is Andrei Mironov. He was one of the most popular Soviet actors. In his youth, his heroes are funny, bold and cheerful people. But then a turning point occurs, the actor begins to find drama in any comedy plot. Through his tears, his Ostap Bender, and Mr. Furst from “The Man from the Capuchin Boulevard”, and the doctor on vacation, Victor from “Be My Husband” laugh.

And he knew how to fall in love with the audience in any of his characters. We were sympathetic to the speculator Dima Semitsvetov from Beware of the Car, and the smuggler Geshe Kozoedov from The Diamond Arm, and to the kidnapper of national wealth, Marquis of The State of the Republic. And contrary to the belief that good must defeat evil, they worried when they lost.

Vasily Livanov
“The best Sherlock Holmes in the world” is also a graduate of the Schukin Institute. By the way, the fact that he is the best is recognized even by the arrogant British (although this is probably a serious blow to their national pride). Several years ago, Livanov was awarded the Order of the British Empire for playing the role of Sherlock Holmes. And in 2007, commemorative coins were made in New Zealand in honor of the 120th anniversary of this literary character. Who do you think depicted them? Of course, Livanov with colleagues in the film!

Livanov’s hoarse voice cannot be confused with anything. Moreover, they are told by the characters of our childhood: Carlson, Crocodile Gena, Gromozek, Barmaley and many others. And he appeared as a result of a professional injury. In his first film, “Unsent Letter,” Livanov voiced his role in the cold, and his voice broke.

We know Livanov primarily as an actor. But he wrote scripts, made one film and several cartoons. For example, the appearance of the wonderful animated films “The Bremen Town Musicians”, “Blue Bird”, “Santa Claus and Summer” is largely his merit.

It must be said that not all famous Russian actors could easily study at Pike. Nikita Mikhalkov himself expelled…

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