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Pavel Shuvaev. The real major Maysky



Info: Pavel Viktorovich Shuvaev: actor, front man of the band OddisS
Birthday: April, 23, 1977
Zodiac sign: Taurus
Favorite dish: Lean beef and anything you can make with it.
Dream: To get enough sleep.
Favorite form of relaxation: Being with my family at the country house.
Most memorable present: Last year, while I was sleeping on the night of my birthday, my mom and my brother put a spare wheel cover with the OddisS logo on my car.

  Many of the people who spend a free autumn evening on a comfy couch under a warm blanket in front of the TV have by now probably seen Trace, the criminal investigation show on Channel 1. Amidst the intricate plots and virtuosic methods of investigation into some of the most mysterious of crimes comes the handsome Major of the GRU, Sergei Mayskiy. Many have already managed to love this character and it’s no surprise, for who could really stand indifferent to the obvious talent, clever sense.

- Pavel, you’ve got some popularity since taking the role of Major Mayskiy in the show Track. Can you feel it? Do people recognize you on the street? How do you feel about all this?

 - Frankly speaking, yeah, people recognize me on the street. A lot of people and pretty often. Now, say, if I were 25 right now, I’m sure I would be overjoyed. But right now, it’s kind of distracting, and really there’s no practical use in being popular – only to amuse my self-esteem…But people are truly happy to get a picture with me on their cell phones or iPhones. I try not to turn anyone down (if I look decent enough, of course). It shows that these are positive vibes I’m giving out and then, these people will share them with others. This is great. “Just think, we saw Mayskiy today! Yeah, just now! Look at the photo!” As an actor, I would like to make people happy. And myself included. Of course, that’s not always possible. So, I try to dress modestly and not stand out, like I said, so I’ll hide in a corner with the bill of my hat down and a newspaper up. That’s how I get around.

- Having played this role for so long, do you ever feel like some of Mayskiy’s character traits have become your own? What do Major Mayskiy and Pavel Shuvaev have in common?

- Naturally, I’m much ruder and Mayskiy, after all, is a hero, but some thoughts don’t even come to him. Like, for example, he doesn’t curse, but like a real soldier, he puts those words into action. He talks less and does more. I would like to possess those same qualities myself in full measure, but Mayskiy’s also bound to a script and I can, however, do whatever I want.

- Tell me, do any conflicts ever come up between you and your co-workers on the set? You do, after all, spend a large amount of time together. And if so, how do you resolve them?

- Honestly, I can’t recall any conflicts between the actors. Well, we bicker at each other sometimes, but who doesn’t? But, this only occurs when we’re discussing creative matters (the rest of the time it’s between the actors and the project administrators). The girls on the set get angry at me from time to time for my silly, inappropriate jokes. But, it usually doesn’t last long until they start giggling again. It’s the same stuff that happens in any other workplace family.

- Have there been any love stories?

- The majority of our actors have families. Tashlykov and I are the only single men. (laughs) So, I don’t have any stories about the actors, but there are all sorts of love stories about our film crew. Some of them even have kids already!

- You like jokes? What do you think about practical jokes? Do people play practical jokes on each other on the set?

- We really don’t have time for such things on our schedule. There’s always humor on the set, I mean, how could we go without it?! And really isn’t shooting 25 scenes a day funny enough?

- Do you have a girlfriend?

- I haven’t had a stable girlfriend in kind of a long time. I’m probably just an instable guy right now. Definitely not a family man. I can basically say that I haven’t had any serious relationships worthy of mentioning here. I’ve had some flings and yeah, some heart aches, but it would be too much to reflect on them now.

- What type of girls do you like?

- If we’re talking about the “exterior” – a fit, athletic figure, long hair and Slavic facial features. It’s pretty much like I’m describing a horse…neigh! Seriously, I’m now interested more in a woman’s personality.

- Are you a jealous person?

- No, I don’t think I’m jealous. Jealousy, to me, is something that comes from one’s own inherent fears and anxieties, such as cowardice or a relationship without complete trust. The fear that your girlfriend will find somebody cooler, more attractive and better than you. When a woman gets tired of being a relationship with you, she starts looking around more often at other guys. And the same goes for men. If I feel close to a girl and I want her to stay with me, then I’m always trying to amuse her with a new impression of myself, surround her with attention, make her feel comfortable, safe and secure. And yeah, it really works! And if she still finds someone who can do all this better for her, then that’s just the way it is. It’ll be better for her. I’ll get over it, too, as long as nobody takes away my vodka!

- How do you see sex? And love?

- Sex is rest and relaxation. And God is love. Life’s truest happiness is when have both of these together.

- Aside from being an actor, you’re also famous as a musician. How would you describe the style of music you play? And what does the name OddisS mean?

- I would say that it’s heavy music with a humane side. The name OddisS is a combination of the words ‘ode’ and ‘odyssey’. So, it’s kind of like a poetic journey.

- Do you play shows a lot? I’ve heard that you are coming to play for us soon in New York, with a planned performance at the Millennium theater. What are you going to surprise us with?

- Lately, we haven’t toured as much as we’d like to because we’re spending so much time getting ready for the concert in New York. We were asked not to make too much noise in the Millennium, even though it’ll be our first time playing there. So half of our set will be acoustic. Kind of like Unplugged. In Russia, however, we play only metal, as we are really a metal band. That’s our main rule. For the show in New York, our music will have more lyrics, more atmospheres and what have you. A lot of our newer songs will be performed for the first time. We’ll get acquainted with the audience, socialize a bit and take some questions. I’ll answer what I can. Maybe I’ll read some poetry. Everything should go okay.

- Do you like American movies? Do you have a favorite Hollywood actor or director? Have you ever thought about a career in Hollywood?

- I don’t really understand today’s Hollywood. There’s so much CGI, all the movies look like cartoons. But, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one I really enjoyed watching. And I loved Rambo 4. An excellent job by Sylvester! I also respect Schwarzenegger a lot. Russell Crowe and Will Smith are some of very powerful actors, in my opinion. Also, director Ridley Scott. I think it would be hypocritical, for an actor not to dream of a career in Hollywood, where, you know, the whole world would see your work. And it’s an honest way to make money. But, it’s also true that I don’t have any of the prerequisites for a job in Hollywood. I don’t have an acting degree, I don’t know the language...and let’s face it, there are plenty of people beating down the doors to make it there, with or without me. But, either way I’ll try to get my resume out there! Just in case.

- Can you cook?

- As a good old bachelor who loves to eat good, enjoys a variety of different things and, most of all, eat with feeling and capture every sensation, of course, I know how to cook! I mean, who else is going to feed me? My dad is an excellent cook (his Uzbek pilaf is especially good) and he has taught me since childhood. All my friends also love to eat well, but not all of them can cook, so they gather at my place. It’s my pleasure! I have a lot of respect for Eastern cuisine. I love seafood, especially oysters.

- Thank you, Pavel. We’ll be waiting for you in New York.

- No, thank you and yeah, see you in New York!

   Julia Rideler

 Tasty Truth №102

October, 2009. New York 

(Translated by Mikhail Mullin)