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Cyprus is never really talked about anymore, says John Malkovich

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Cyprus is never really talked about anymore, says John Malkovich


    John Malkovich, the acclaimed American actor, participated in an open discussion at the THOC Theater in Nicosia today.

    The event offered a glimpse into the actor’s intriguing mind and touched upon various topics.

    When asked about what goes on in his mind, Malkovich replied with self-deprecating humor: “There is rarely anything in my head. I’m not a profound person.” However, he acknowledged a talent that not many people possess: “I am actually where I am and that’s very helpful for work and it’s not too bad for life.”

    The twice-Academy Award-nominated actor, who is in Cyprus to star in the play “The Infamous Ramirez Hoffman,” was asked about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and whether he believes the great powers can offer a solution to the political problem.

    “I don’t know. There was a time I was… We were trying to develop a film set here about that very time. And it's a very interesting topic. But it was many, many years ago. And I don’t remember well enough all the source material and everything,” he said.

    However, he added that the planet is filled with similar unpleasant and complex political situations. “Cyprus is never really talked about anymore. I mean, I remember it (the Cyprus issue) clearly from my childhood. But I don’t think the global powers are very ‘warm’ on it. A number of things in the last few years have caused me to doubt their wisdom. And their honesty. Definitely about the US, but I also put most of the major countries in the same basket. Certainly America. And I put most countries in that basket. The big countries. It’s very sad. I think it's devastating for youth. I’m too old for it to devastate me but I don’t think it’s a happy it’s a happy occurrence for young people,” he said.

    When asked by his interlocutor, Alexander Weinstein, director of the Cyprus International Theater Festival, about the exclusion of Russian artists, Malkovich unequivocally stated that he is against cancellations.

    I don’t believe in canceling artists. Artists are not meant to be some great moral vectors. They often feel their only job is to shine a light, preferably a strobe light. On humanity’s worst instincts and characteristics,” he said.

    “I’m from a country that’s given the world a war every year of my life. Why aren't I canceled? he asked rhetorically. “The history of the war and it’s starting and all of the things will be a subject for historians, not for journalists. They say journalism is the first draft of history. And I say, I’ll wait and read the book. Thank you. And it's not anti-journalist because they work with the information they have. But the quality of information should concern every citizen in the world,” he added.

    On regrets and life choices

    When asked if he had any regrets in life, Malkovich answered in the affirmative. “Yes. I think regret, like guilt, is an essential component of life, I think. Our Western societies are built on the notion of guilt, really, to a certain level,” he said.

    Asked why he returns to the theater after such a successful film career, Malkovich replied that the theater is his home. “Cinema was more like I got known for being a saxophonist. But I played the piano. So it's music. It is still music. But it's not really what I do. So something I learned, I got to work with wonderful, wonderfully interesting people at the very least. And I’m very appreciative of that. And will remain so. But I grew up in the theater. That's what I like. Theater reminds me of life. Why do I say that? Because you had to be there. The show they see tonight will not be the show they saw last night. The show they saw last night exists only in one place, in their memories,” he noted.

    According to Malkovich, cinema is a “plastic form.” “It’s not living. It’s… dead. Every instant is manipulated 100%. Every single thing. The length of each shot. The accompaniment of every note of every score. Everything. And there’s beauty in there. Great beauty. And some people love that it's lasting. I don't need it to last. You know? I’m happy at the Acropolis. Things fade. Things go to ruin. There are civilizations, whole civilizations and languages ​​and cultures that no longer exist. I don't necessarily believe the outstanding quality in life is permanence. I think it’s not correct,” he added.

    The second performance of “The Infamous Ramirez Hoffman” will take place at the Pattichio Theater on Thursday, May 16, at 7 pm. Sold-Out Tickets.

    (Picture by Philippos Christou)

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