Fast Confession - Andrea (Kerestešová) Růžičková: We are all of us a little bit bad and a little bit good
The Slovak actress, famous for the series Vyprávěj and later for her role as charismatic doctor Marika Lukášová from Ordinace v růžové zahradě 2, actively participates in social life even during her second pregnancy. Although she has a two-year-old son Tobiáš at home and a surprise in her belly, she and her husband decided to take a moment for themselves and they went out to celebrate the anniversary of a Czech designer store. The actress made time for an interview with Luxury Prague Life and talked about much more than just her excitement about the arrival of her second child.
Andrejka, we meet after a long time and at clothing stands. What about you and fashion?
I'm leaning towards sustainable fashion, our planet's future is the most important thing to me. I try not to hoard anymore, I try to own fewer things, but of good quality. I've been practising this approach for two years now and it's proven to be a good idea even when it comes to baby items. I love to visit various design markets. I know that if I buy a well-made sweatshirt or sweatpants, I'll be able to use a lot of these things for my second child. Their quality is so high that I know I might be able to use them even for the third child or for my grandchilden. That's my proof that it's really worth it. I don't even go to the huge chain stores anymore, and when I do, it makes me depressed. Of course, not everything we need can be found in an ecological alternative. That's why sometimes I find myself in a conventional store. But now I'm aware of everything that affects me there. The music, the lights, the crowd, there's so much going on that we get easily manipulated by it. That's why I try to avoid those places.
This fashion is beautiful, but it is also much more expensive.
It is more expensive, but it also lasts much longer. So it's just a matter of how you choose to look at it. "Don't ask why sustainable fashion is so expensive, but ask how it is possible that conventional fashion is so cheap." That's a sentence you see a lot in the field of sustainability and it says everything.
Which dress are you wearing today?
Appart Label. I really love it because it is oversized, i.e. large, but at the same time it sits well on my shoulders and I can wear it now, during my pregnancy, as well as after. Most importantly, it's extremely comfortable.
Do you know the baby's gender?
We do, but it's never 100 % certain until they're born.
I know you've always wanted a big family. What number do you want to go up to?
We're not ruling out anything. The way we tick, we probably couldn't prevent a child from developing if it were already there. I wouldn't have an abortion. Therefore, even if we had ten of them, I'd accept it, because I would accept every soul. We approach it consciously, of course. We're not ruling it out, but at the same time, I have no idea what my second labor will be like, my second child, how I'll manage it all together. It's already a crazy ride now with a two-year-old, I can't imagine how I'll be able to handle it physically and mentally when the new baby is born. So there's naturally a question mark, but we are keeping the door open.
You're still active. But when will your character from Ordinace v růžové zahradě 2 come back? Is it going to work, especially if you don't know if you'll be able to handle it yet?
Everything will depend on the situation, I even have made an arrangment with the production that we will see how we'll get used to being a family, then we'll see how our future cooperation will look like. Personally, I don't find filming difficult. I have a great gift from God - a very fast photographic memory. I learn texts very quickly and I quickly forget them again.
I can't see you being very popular at school.
My classmates hated me (laughs). But thanks to that, work is easy for me and I really enjoy going there. It's relaxing.
Has it ever occured to you to have your children cast in a role there, as a baby in a stroller or suchlike?
They'd have to be cut out for it. Tobiáš doesn't seem to be open to it at all yet, he is a rather introverted child, who doesn't like large groups of people and noise. If I felt that the child wants it, feels good in such a company and isn't afraid of strangers, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But with Tobias, I know it's not possible, at least not at the moment, he doesn't like strangers much. He's a lion, so he has the nature of a cat. Cat are afraid of everything at the beginning and only when they get used to it, they become dominant. He needs his time and space. But that can also change. Children develop.
You won't have to put him in kindergarten, since you'll stay at home with your second child...
We won't put him in kindergarten, even though we were thinking about it. Many people have advised us to do it so that we could devote our time to our second one, but we don't feel it's right. He's not ready yet, and at the same time I don't want to separate the children. I want them to get used to each other and become partners, not grow up in different worlds.
You have a family in Slovakia, so his grandmother lives far away.
They've all come to visit me recently, because we were there in the summer and now I don't really feel like making the journey anymore, it's uncomfortable. First my parents came here and now my brother with his family. When we're confident that we can handle it again, we will visit them in Slovakia. The other grandmother lives in Bechyně, we see each other every other week and when she comes here, she helps all she can. We're extremely grateful for that.
You're also doing a postcard exhibition, this means your passion for photography and traveling will also have to be sidelined.
I've had a very difficult period in general recently. But I actually have two exhibitions. One, which is a great honor for me, is currently in Mánes together with various European photographers. I have my photos on display there, which are black and white and rather raw. This is my favorite kind of photography so far - it is not entirely mainstream, but all the more pure and honest. Simply put, these are real photos, without interventions such as graphic editing and postproduction. That's what I prefer, what I feel closest to.
Recently, I've have also been involved in the project Postcards – An Everyday Wish, which is dedicated to children suffering from phenylketonuria. That's a metabolic disorder that children suffer from since their birth and there are very few things they can eat. If parents fail to follow the diet, which is one of the strictest ones that exist, it seriously threatens their mental development. The responsibility lies with the parents. And also with the children themselves. It's a very rare disease with only a few hundred cases reported.
Through this project, I support the National Association of PKU and other inherited metabolic diseases. I am their patron and I always try to come up with some project for them. I actively involve children in this. We've seen it through to the end, thank God it finally went to press. I had to take the last batch of photos with a belly and it was starting to be physically difficult, but we've put it together somehow.
At what stage of your life would you dare to grab a bag, a camera, a child and head out on a journey?
We are looking forward to that. I think from three years on. For me, it is essential that the child, when anything happens to him or her, is able to accurately describe what's wrong. So that if something happened, they could tell me, otherwise I would be helpless.
But then you'd have to choose a country with some kind of health care. It would be difficult in a rain forest.
I probably wouldn't go to a rain forest, but I would really like to try India again. Or Nepal, it is a more peaceful country.
Aren't you afraid of being critisized by "eco-mums"?
There will always be someone trying to attack you. I don't have that many haters, but the problem is that everyone here keeps diving the socienty into two extreme groups. You're either a chem-freak or eco, white or black, gay or hetero. Everyone gets classified, while the truth is somewhere in the middle. We are all of us a little bit bad and a little bit good, only some lean more in one direction, some in the other. That's how it is with everything.
I'm always trying to make people tone it down. Yes, I use natural cosmetics, shop in markets and try to live a life that I don't have to be ashamed of and that is friendly to our planet. But I'm not perfect either, I have to buy my child a pocket for food, because when I'm out in the town with him, I can hardly make him a bio-porridge on the street. I usually try to explain to people that I am not, nor do I want to be a fanatic.
What do you think about vaccination?
We have all mandatory vaccinations. But I made sure to put long time periods between them and I only had my child vaccinated when he was perfectly healthy, with strong immunity.
Czech Television began to broadcasting Vyprávěj again. How do you think back to it? Do you think you'll ever get such a role again?
First of all, I am extremely grateful that I got the opportunity at all, because some actors spend their life waiting for a role like this. I'm really grateful because it is a quality show and it helped me get into the game, for which I will never stop being thankful.
And if something like that ever comes again? I hope so, but I'm not pushing it because I know everything has its time. There something nice about every period in life, and now that I have children, I can honestly say that Ordinace suits me best at the moment. There are many things I don't have to concern myself with and it's not all that serious (laughs). Maybe a different kind of work will come when I have more space to devote myself to it.
Was there a role you had to reject because of your pregnancy or simply because of your beliefs?
I rejected a few offers, but it was never anything important. Rather, it simply wasn't the right time.
Describe what your husband's like as a dad; is he helping you? Do you divide female and male roles?
He's the best father my child could have. There's nothing he wouldn't manage, we don't divide the tasks, we switch according to the situation, we try to afford each other personal space, a chance to create, work. It's all about communication.
What do you think about politics in the Czech Republic? For example, since they have this great president in Slovakia now, wouldn't it be better to live there?
Yeah, the president in Slovakia is very nice and I like her a lot. She represents her country perfectly. But when it comes to politics, there's nothing beautiful there either. I don't understand politics, so I do not even try to publicly comment on it. All I want is for the state to be led by decent and honest people.
I have one more question - I know you're not a driver. Has that changed, or can one exist with children without needing a car?
I've been driving a little recently… but rather sporadically. We live in Vinohrady and everything we need is in walking distance. We use the car only when going outside of Prague.
Are you happy?
Do you think you can go even higher?
There's nothing like being too happy or not happy enough. Either you're happy or you're not. And I am. It is a state of mind we each have to reach individually, through our own path. We have to allow ourselves to be happy and then it happens.