Agata Trzebuchowska on Ida

Moritz Pfeifer met Agata Trzebuchowska, the actress playing “Ida” in the eponymous film, during the Polish Film Festival in Paris in December 2013. The movie opened in theaters in France in February 2014.


How did you get to play the role in the movie?

It was an accident. I was sitting in a café in Warsaw when Małgorzata Szumowska spotted me. So Pawel, the director, saw me and then we met and shot one scene and that was the beginning.

Was it difficult for you to act?

Not really, I thought of it as an adventure. It was funny for me. I had some doubts, of course, but not very deep ones. Pawel and Agata Kulesza, who is one of the best Polish actresses, helped me out.

Do you think about starting a career as an actress?

No, not at all. I’m studying History of Art, Literature and Philosophy. It was just one thing that happened in my life.

In the movie you play a nun. Could you identify with her?

I can’t say that I can identify with her. But I try to take her away from this really tiny historical context and compare our lives and find some similarities. I don’t have a religious background, but for the character the change, going away from the nunnery, was the most important thing, so there was a similarity with me doing my first movie.

So the historical background is not important?

Of course, the background is important but it’s not the only aspect. The main subject of the movie is the relationship between the two characters, not the historical setting. Ida is fascinated by her aunt and, despite of their differences, they develop a very deep relationship.

Do you think that there was some reason why the director chose the aftermath of the Second World War as the film’s setting?

Pawel is very attracted to that period. He was born during that time and he had to go away from Poland. So now that he’s back he’s very attracted to the period, to the music and the images. And, of course, looking for one’s identity is something he experiences.

Did the movie change the way you see the past?

I don’t think so. The film was important for me, but I can’t say that it changed my views. I am quite familiar with Polish history.

Do you think the director imitated older Polish movies?

You can find some similarities in the aesthetics. But people were different. Today we can say things in our movie that people couldn’t say back then.

Thank you for the interview.