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We spoke with the actress about her daughter, love and money.

Fast Confession – Mahulena Bočanová: I’ll Stay with my Daughter for as Long as I’m Alive...

Karolína Lišková
02.Jan 2018
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9 minutes

Mahulena Bočanová is hard to get a hold of. She’s usually acting or hosting and when she does take a few days off, she tends to spend those with her daughter Márinka. But she found some time for the interview during Sacre Coeur Night, an event she moderated. While reading the script, changing and applying make-up, the actress, seemingly always full of energy and in a good mood, told us what she thought about herself all her life and what is the truly most important thing for her. 

Mahulena, here we are – at a lingerie fashion show. What does a beautiful woman such as yourself think about lingerie?

The older I am, the simpler designs I choose. I think that they’re simply better for women – I call it the Demi Moore style. Lingerie should be beautiful and made of luxurious materials, but I prefer the sports style. I no longer give preference to laces, suspenders or stockings – I don’t feel good in them, they make me feel bad and take away from my personality. I don’t want to wear laces if I don’t feel good in them; instead, I choose clean simplicity and beauty. After all, my age should come with a bit of frugality.

I also wanted to say that, you know, you’re not the youngest anymore …

Yes, I’m fifty.

… but you’re still considered an exceptionally beautiful woman.

I might not be beautiful anymore, but it’s not bad for my age. (laughter) I used to be beautiful when I was young, now I see that when I look at my old photos… but back then I never thought so. I didn’t hold myself in such a high regard.

Luxusní byt na prodej s terasou a výhledem
Luxusní byt na prodej s terasou a výhledem, Praha 1

My cameraman is all eyes for you…

Really? That’s cute… but it is true that the young guys, they still look at me. I’ve heard gossip about me saying that I always keep chasing young guys, but to be honest I don’t even like them that much anymore, really. Once in my life, I tried dating a guy who was twenty five years younger than me. We spent the weekend together and had no idea whether it would lead to anything longer. But he was such a great person and we enjoyed each other’s company so much that we were together for three years. But that was an exception and blind luck – otherwise I like men who are my age or even older.

But you’re still so full of energy, especially when compared to most men in their fifties …

They’re afraid of me, while the younger ones aren’t. But for me, a young guy doesn’t mean a guy who’s forty. For instance, the tabloids might report that “Mahulena the cougar strikes again” and I’m always wondering who did I strike? For instance, he was 42 and I was 50, and I’d never consider myself a cougar with those ages. A forty-year old guy is more of a grandpa to me. (laughter)

To call me a cougar, it’d have to be for some who’s say twenty five – and indeed, guys that age do go for me. And while I do prefer older men, those are often afraid and too reasonable and so they know that it’s not really a win, dating me (laughter) – because I’m quite mouthy, dominant and problematic. And I’m not going to change, I’ve been alone for ten years. It’s hell on earth with me. (laughter)

So, do you have a man in your life?

Of course. I like having a single, stable relationship but living separately. I simply don’ want to live with anyone anymore.

You live with Márinka now, but one day she’ll also go away. Do you really want to live alone?

She won’t. Due to Márinka’s anomaly, diagnosis, she will never leave, she’ll always stay with me because she can’t live alone. She’ll always need permanent attention, and that’s me. Unless one day, in ten or twenty years, she decides that she can’t stand her mom anymore and that she’d rather live somewhere in some safe home with her friends. But that’s very unlikely. We want to live together, that’s the best for her. We’ll stay together as long as I’m alive.

That’s so beautiful. I recently saw a few of her last photos and she’s growing up into a very nice lady.

She’s great. We do need to wait for all the small steps forward slightly longer than normal children, but that also makes them all the more enjoyable. For instance, when Marína started reading. Ten years ago, nobody would believe that to be possible. Slowly, with patience, love and decency – that’s how one makes the most progress.

She’s sixteen now, how did puberty affect her?

Márinka has the mind of a child, she’s a baby girl, even though her body is that of a young woman. So puberty has so far made her express her love for me more strongly – she caresses me, wants me to sleep with her in bed. The puberty where kids bang the door shut and talk back, we’re not there yet, that’ll come later. Considering our timeline, I’d say that the real puberty will come in maybe five years.

What do you think about “inclusion”?

I agree with those parents who think that children with physical problems should certainly be integrated, but I don’t think integration is good for children with mental problems.

It’s almost the holidays, but I still see you working all the time…

September, October, November, December were difficult… I take two months of vacation in summer because of Márinka. That time is reserved for her, no matter what. I even rejected two kind of important jobs because of it… but I decided to reject them, even though we do need the money, because those two months are important. There’s simply no way around that, no work during the summer holidays. But then I need to catch up moneywise until Christmas. That’s also when there’s the most work. But then again, it’s not that bad, soon we’ll be going again for another month – visiting my sister at her cottage in South Bohemia, then to the mountains. January is quite easy-going, in February there’s Márinka’s spring holidays which we’ll spend at a hotel in Františkovy Lázně where there’s a waterpark directly in the hotel. So quite a lot to look forward to until February.

When you travel around the Czech Republic like that, what about the public, do people want to take pictures with you?

Yes, they do. But I’m used to it by now, after all I’ve always been in this business. Sometimes I’m having a bad day so I simply wear a hat and glasses, but most of the time I do my best to endure it and be respectable. Otherwise I end up having regrets – like if I tell someone to wait until I finish eating or that they shouldn’t bother me because I have my kid with me… they usually end up leaving after that, and I then feel sorry that I hurt them. Of course that person had no idea that day was already the twentieth. They saw me for the first time in their life and wanted to take a picture with me, and I happened to be hungry and wanted to finish my soup first. And so I learned to tell myself: Mahulena, endure it, take the picture, smile. So that I don’t later feel regret. Sometimes it’s hell, because it really might not be my day and I could be full of stress, but those people cannot possibly know that.

Recently I even saw you helping others in need.

I became the face of a project for supporting children in a shelter. We gave gifts selected by employees of the COOP Centrum Družstvo, PK Solvent and Procter & Gamble. I even went to visit them in Beroun… after that, at least on the way home you realize that you actually don’t have any real worries.

I really like this kind of help. Basically, in COOP you buy some things from Procter & Gamble that you need anyway, and part of the money you pay goes to shelters and women in need. The money really goes towards a good thing.

Prodej luxusního bytu 2+kk, 98 m2 s terasou
Prodej luxusního bytu 2+kk, 98 m2 s terasou, Praha 4

Do you take Márinka with you to such events? Do you teach her that people should help those in need?

I take her with me everywhere, but I’m not sure how much she took out of that message. (laughter)

Márinka is of course really good, she’s an angel. And she has a gift… whoever gets to know her ends up being soothed by her presence – they later say that Márinka charged them with some sort of angelic energy… she’s a pure, innocent soul and it’s nice to spend time with her, but it’s always better if I’m around. She then reacts better to various things. We travel the world together, I taught her to ski, swim, dive, bike, the two of us went to Georgia on our own, frequently travel to Cyprus – so frequently she might even think we live there. I take her everywhere with me from her early age, so that she could see as much as possible, and so that her brain could be stimulated, opened. She’s a truly happy child, and she saw and experienced a lot in her life. The only disadvantage is that she thinks that our life, full of experiences, is completely normal. (laughter)

She doesn’t understand that mom needs to work day and night to make it possible. (laughter) Basically, she considers it all to be a matter-of-course, and whenever she has a problem, mommy can take care of it. She says things: Mommy, I want to go swimming, please make the sun go up – and then believes that I’ll make it happen… and I would maybe even try to do that. (laughter)

Tell me a bit about your work now, what are or aren’t you working on now, where will we see you next?

We recently had a premiere – I act in the Háta theatre, in Činoherní klub, and in Hybernia – in the Snow queen... so it’s mostly around those theatres, but I try to arrange everything so that I’m with Márinka half of the days in the month and the rest of the time I’m acting, so that we have enough finances for the next month. She goes to the theatres in Prague with me, she likes that, musicals are her favorite, for instance in Sněhovka there are songs that she really likes, but normal plays are not as enticing for her – during those she likes going to the make-up room and helping with costumes – she’s a girl after all: costumes, clothing, make-up. Or, she brings flowers for us on stage. She likes company.

Do you miss television?

We recently finished shooting “Mazaly dvojku”… but for me the problem is that whenever I get an offer for a TV show, it would be a big thing and I wouldn’t manage it time-wise. These TV shows are shot from six in the morning to six in the evening. But each evening I have a play and furthermore I have Márinka. So that simply doesn’t add up. I’m hoping that perhaps I can get another role which would only take four days a month – but unfortunately I’m the type where they either offer me the main role or nothing. The two projects that I rejected were supposed to be shot during the summer holidays, and as I said earlier that’s a no-go for me.

But something will pop up, and if not then I’ll survive on theatre alone. It’s just about how much we can travel. I act in theatres in Prague about five times a month, and ten times in the Czech Republic.

I’m surprised to hear that you need to earn money for the next month. Did you consider investing for instance in real property?

I did – I bought a huge house, the house of my dreams.

Yes, but I meant something that could generate money in addition to your salary. If there were to be a shortage of work…

I’d have to be employed in Hollywood and not in Prague 6. Let’s be real, Czech actors really don’t make millions. (laughter) People who invest in real property are those who can afford it, actors don’t have that kind of money. We can maintain nice living standards, but that’s about it. And in addition I’m an actress in theatres, TV shows only happen once every four years or so and those are naturally a great financial help. But otherwise actors don’t swim in money, people truly have the wrong idea there.

The times when I did TopStar and VIP News, where I did make a lot of money, those are gone – I used the money to build the house. I’ll pay off the mortgage in three years, we have a huge garden, and I have a cottage in Slapy. We have a living standard that Márinka is used to, we don’t need to be frugal – we travel to the sea, to mountains, and those things cost a ton of money. My work is good enough for this kind of life now, but I certainly can’t save money from it – I couldn’t buy an expensive watch or diamond ring.

And how do you treat yourself then…?

Those trinkets aren’t my thing at all, but I do like cars. I don’t have my own, instead I use a borrowed advertising car from a company, but if I did have the money then I’d buy a beautiful huge jeep. But that’s rather a dream than something real.

Last question – any goals for the new year?

Mostly I wish we stay healthy and together.

Thank you a lot for the interview and a happy New Year!

Fast confession:

What were you in your past life?

A black woman.

When did you fall in love for the first time?

Pavel Brabec, third grade.

Most beautiful experience?

Márinka, giving birth.

Tango or waltz?

Tango.

Best job in your life?

Háta.

What makes men attractive?

It’s awkward, I’m old now – intelligence.

What is the best material gift for you?

A car! I need one!

Your three negative properties.

I talk a lot, eat too much… and what else… I guess I’m full of myself, since nothing else comes to mind.

Why are men from Mars and women from Venus?

For a bit of fun in the world.

What kind of mother-in-law would you be?

I think I’d be the best mother-in-law in the world, hopefully I become one someday

What are you completely immune to?

I’m a choleric… so nothing.

What can’t you live without?

Without Márinka.

Your life motto?

Just make sure not to shit yourself.

What makes your heart ache?

When Márinka is having trouble with something.
The interviewee asks the interviewer:

How old are you?

Too old.
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