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A demanding role in Angeliki Antoniou’s “Eduart” March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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‘I created my own Eduart in my mind and in my heart, and I was afraid that if I met him and he was very different it would confuse me tremendously,’ says Durmishi.

A true story about a rare event is always a promising opportunity for a role full of dramatic tension and a display of thespian talent. The young Kosovar actor Eshref Durmishi was given this opportunity to shine in his first feature film, Angeliki Antoniou’s “Eduart.” In the drama, which is now playing at theaters, the Greek filmmaker tells the story of a young Albanian man who commits a crime, atones for it and turns himself in to the authorities.

“Angeliki Antoniou gave me different parts of the script for rehearsals. The second time we met, I read a monologue and she gave me the part,” he said. “I had only just graduated from a drama school in Pristina when the film was cast. We worked extensively on rehearsals with Angeliki because it was my first feature film, as well as a large and complex role. I told her that I needed her help and we didn’t stop rehearsing for quite some time. It was a wonderful experience because I got to work with people like Angeliki, cinematographer Jurgen Jurges and actor Andre Hennicke.”

Have you ever met the real Eduart? > No, never. I wanted to see him before we started shooting but I reconsidered it and discussed it with Angeliki and we decided it wasn’t a very good idea. I created my own Eduart in my mind and in my heart, and I was afraid that if I met him and he was very different it would confuse me tremendously. When I got the script, Angeliki told me just to read it and not do anything else. I respected her wishes and what came out was from the work we did together.

When you play a thief and a murderer, do you have to like him in order to put him across? > You have to love every character you play, otherwise it won’t come out as it should. I came to love the story and the character. You have to believe in the character first, otherwise no one else will. The first thing I liked about Eduart was that he came back to Greece to surrender and pay for his mistakes. I also liked the scenes with his father and his sister, when she tells him that she doesn’t want to visit him in prison again.

What do you think of his change of heart? > Maybe he didn’t want to be free when his conscience was imprisoned by guilt. Maybe he wanted to be liberated through his imprisonment. When we were shooting the prison scenes, I really felt like a prisoner because the set and the atmosphere were very real.

Would you say that you are a method actor? Did the character of Eduart stick to you? > That was not my intention, but I noticed that it did happen. During a break in filming, I went on holiday to Italy with my family when what I really wanted was to be alone. When I was preparing for the role, however, I didn’t read any books or watch any movies. I wanted the character I had created to be as authentic as possible.

How do you think the audience will respond to the film? A film on a similar theme, “Hostage,” was a box-office failure. > I hope it does as well as it did at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. As far as the other film is concerned, I have heard about it. Maybe its timing was off, because the story it told was very recent and the public had already had its fill from the media frenzy it created. Eduart’s story is less known and is also quite different.

Is there any potential for a career in film in Kosovo? > Very little. As we all know, after the war we had to start with less than nothing. There are very few films being made today, but the good thing is that many producers are interested in making films either using Kosovo as a location or about the war. Things are improving.

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