Bořek Slezáček is known to the public as a man of many talents. He can sing, dance, act, host, and on top of it he's really funny as well. Currently, the viewers can see him in the show Your Face Sounds Familiar. As an artist, however, he now faces an unfavorable time of the coronavirus pandemic. In the interview for Luxury Prague Life, Bořek talked not only about his work, but also about the detached view he had gained over the years in the Czech media circles, also thanks to his alcohol addiction, which he successfully overcame. In times of crisis, he focuses mainly on his two sons.
The state of emergency has began again. What does this mean for you, as an actor, an artist?
I don't really know to be honest. I know what it meant to me in the spring. But I stopped keeping up with it. In the spring, for me, it meant stopping everything, all profitable or entertainment activities. I'm lucky to do what I enjoy, work is also my hobby. But I also found fun things to do at home. There is always something to do around the house.
Now, unfortunately, the second wave is quite destructive. We somehow survived the spring. My wife also works in the theater, so we both sat on our asses at home back then. Fortunately, we had some savings, but now this is becoming a problem. But it is what it is. I found myself sitting down a few times in the spring, started counting the outgoing finances, and I was really ashamed that I was beginning to worry about money. I never wanted that, it's the end of punks in the Czechia. On the other hand, what else could we expect from the capitalism other than to start thinking about money. But since the situation is already here, it's also necessary to learn from it in the future.
Nevertheless, many artists didn't have any savings.
This is bad especially for musicians, young boys who, under normal circumstances, knew that every day they'd have a job for 2-3k, half of which they would spend and the rest would pay their rent, but the next day the money would be here again. They don't have that now, I feel sorry for them of course. I also functioned like that for many years. As I said, perhaps we will all learn a lesson from this. In any case, it's a terrible situation for them, so I hope that the society will back them up.
So you weren't worried you'd have to go and do something else?
I would go do something else. As part of my previous alcohol escapades, I have already left the showbusiness, because of course, everyone already knew what kinda person I was and no one really wanted to work with me. I worked at the corporate for a while, but I think everyone understood that it wasn't going to work. I've always loved trains and stations, so I'd go to be a train driver, for example. I've always loved trains.
Don't you need a training for that?
You definitely need it, but if I managed to finishe college, I'd probably learn this too. But I don't have these thoughts in my agenda of the day yet. But it's also clear to me that this situation won't only last during this autumn, things will likely be the same next spring and autumn, it won't just disappear.
What are you doing nowadays? Now we mainly see you in the show Your Face Sounds Familiar, but I don't assume that this is an income that you can rely on every month, it's rather an one-time thing.
Normally, this would be the money on the side. Now it's not. But what matters is that there is some money. For now. Just one positive covid test and it's all over.
Are you shooting something now?
I've recently completed several projects in Czech Television, some of which I can talk about, some not yet. This year I shot two German projects, the third season of the show Charité and the film Allmen. The Mills of God, which is a miniseries by Honza Hřebejk, was supposed to air on Czech Television this year, but due to the coronavirus, the entire premiere of the project has moved to God knows when. Shootings are being stopped because no one knows what will happen, and money is hard to come by. Besides that, I do theater, which I don't actually do much of now. Musicals not at all, drama yes, but tours are usually canceled. And the events to which I'd go to sing or host are basically nonexistent.
So you have a lot of free time? Or is it not true because of the Face?
Because of the Face, this is rather not true, it can be quite time consuming. I finished the German project Allmen last week, so there was something to do. But I still have some free time left. I partially devoted it to writing a screenplay and also to working in the garden. Now, in the fall, I don't feel like working much outside, so I'll exercise at home. I'll keep myself busy somehow.
Tell me your secret for looking so good at fifty.
I have a theory that I have been so saturated over the years of representative drinking that I probably won't grow old because I'm so well soaked in alcohol. As a prostatic, I urinate badly, so I can't even really get it out of me. I think I'm well preserved (laughs).
But jokes aside, I have a healthy lifestyle. I was never the type to live unhealthily (apart from drinking!), I always tried to take care of my diet. Except when my wife was pregnant, then I was getting fat with her. I do a lot of sports. During the quarantine in spring, it was a time when I had to find something to keep me busy. I'm used to being at work all the time, I had to be careful not to get weird thoughts again that would, God forbid, lead me back the bottle. So I doubled on the sports activities.
Do you feel the aging? Does your body hurt, is it asceticism?
Of course. In the morning I walk the first ten meters like a monkey, warming up and breathing out before each exercise. I was too lazy to do it one time and I've had a tennis elbow for about a month now. I can feel it healing too slowly. I did Sean Paul squatting in the Face, and I completely destroyed my knees. One knee was done for completely, so I thought good, it will hurt for two days, but it still hurts. It's age-appropriate, I don't expect it to be the same as before.
You've mentioned your turbulent period, it must have left some health scars. Do you visit doctors, do they monitor you?
You go to the doctor healthy and you leave sick. Every profession proves to those around them that they are needed, this applies to politicians and doctors. But I don't go for any check-ups, I can always make do when I catch a cold. Maybe it will turn out at a later age that I've neglected something. But I've undergone some liver tests recently, for example, and I have the liver of a young man, explain that to me.
And the lungs?
I've never been a heavy smoker, I was more of a pub smoker. I never lit up one during the day, always in a pub. And I never really had the need for cigarettes. I just didn't know what to do with my hands at the bar.
What about the boys, do they go to school?
They do, but we'll see for how long. The problem was in the spring, because Andy started going to first grade last semester but didn't have a chance to enjoy it much. He barely acquired any new habits, which was something to say when it comes to him, and then he began to lose them again. I'm pretty worried about that.
The whole family was at home. A lot of parents were nearly going out of their minds, how did you handle it?
Sometimes there was yelling, but fortunately we have the opportunity to hide in our own corner in the house. If we don't want to see each other, we don't. In the spring we spent a lot of time outside in the garden. We made it and I'm happy for that, because I had a lot of time for them, which I'd never really had before. We cooked every day, the whole family sat down to lunch, it was actually nice. I talked about this with Dan Bárta, we both admitted that we actually liked this sort of retirement and that we would stay in it if it didn't mean death by starvation.
In addition, the boys are still at the age when they are interested in their dad, they've not yet entered puberty.
I think puberty comes sooner with the way everything is accelerated nowadays. Kolja has enough of his own worries sometimes as it is.
Do they know what they want to do when they grow up? Do they want to be like you?
I hope they want to be like me, but that doesn't mean they have to do the profession I do.
Yes, that's what I meant.
I meant that they would be honest. I may be wrong, but I think Kolja would be more inclined, because he goes to the theater with me and shows great interest in it, while Andy is still small and has his own world.
A lot of people are watching the show Your Face Sounds Familiar, you must have a lot of fangirls. As a result, does Kolja perceive that your profession also means women's attention? Do fangirls from the past contact you, for example?
I'm fifty-three, I don't hear from any fangirls anymore. I mean not those who could have any chance (laughs). I hear from a lot of people, but they've called before too.
What do they want?
They don't want anything. They greet, praise and go on to the next virtual house.
What about haters?
I don't care about haters at all. If anyone is so desperate to spend their lives writing comments under articles, that's completely below my discernment. Besides, I never cared what anyone thought of me. There's nothing you can do about it, that's their problem, their fight. Filling yourself with any negativity about anything is completely useless. An adult man is only an adult when he understands that the ego is his greatest enemy.
If Kolja perceives it, he certainly perceives it thanks to the Internet. My children know who I am. I think he also sees the other side of it, that one that is exposed to unflattering comments. I noticed that Kolja was fighting with someone on the social media because of a disgraceful statement that would leave me completely calm, but it annoyed him. I told him that it needs to be dropped altogether. I think that this flip side is even more important for them, because they deal with it more on the inside.
Are you happy? Is there something you lack?
Unfortunately, I am not one of those people who would be satisfied with inner restlessness and composure. I still have some lust that drives me. As I didn't care about anything for years, including my career, it ended when I stopped drinking. My acting career is very important to me in a way, because I enjoy it. I still have that need in this direction, but I'm happy. Or rather, I've never been happier.
Is it because you changed your lifestyle?
There are always a thousand reasons for everything. As a person gets older and calms down, he no longer takes himself so seriously and so on. Of course, children and family are a crucial factor that contributes to happiness. I'm a happy guy.