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With Matěj Stropnický about politics and women.

Fast confession - Matěj Stropnický against greyness: I'm not Mr. Grey

03.Aug 2017
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6 minutes

Politician, journalist and actor Matěj Stropnický often provokes contradictory reactions. Through his views on society, he is able to awaken stimulating debates in the Chamber of Deputies and also on Facebook. With the Green Party Chairman we were talking about whether politics had rewritten his personal ideals.

You've been in politics for some time now. After that time do you now have a different perception of some things? Has anything inside you changed at all because of how it works or does not work in politics?

I thought that everything would be easier. That I will arrive, I will impress everybody and that at that moment I will enforce what I imagined, but it is not like that. Not that it cwould never be, but most of the time there is a need to negotiate everything and this takes a long time. I constantly encounter both opposing opinions and bickering. Also, perhaps, the other politicians do not want it to work, just because it was I who suggested it. Just meaningless accusations. Politics is full of people, who have differing views, differing ideals and, of course, these clash but I've become used to that now.

And do you mind? Or are you already fully armoured?

I learned more patience, because without it this job cannot be done. Perhaps no other either, but this one certainly not. Every change comes slowly because it inevitably encounters controversial proposals. In public, it creates the feeling that nothing is actually happening at all.

It is true.

But it is given by this - this IS democracy. On the other hand nothing extreme can happen and this is probably a relief for many people.

Luxusní penthouse na Praze 1 - 226m
Luxusní penthouse na Praze 1 - 226m, Praha 1

How do you think your colleagues perceive you? Are you popular?

Here at the City Hall (Matěj Stropnický is also a councilor at Prague City Hall - Ed.)? I don't think I'm very popular.

Why is that?

Because I go after what I promised to the voters. The relationship should be with the voters and not with the colleagues. I did not come here as a part of any collective, most of the people in politics are not very close nor sympathetic to me. I do not go out with them for a beer, for example - I do not even want to be too close to them. This also makes it a little more complicated for me to promote those topics, because a lot of what's going to be successful will be successful because of going for a beer, for example. In less formal relations it's the bonds that I want to avoid that are created and I am avoiding them because I do not like those people. It's something for something. If I had more friends amongst the local Social Democrats, I might not have been dismissed, but I would have had to join in things that I did not want to join in. I did not come here looking for friends. This is a profession that is inherently controversial, because there are different interests here, which is nothing unpredictable and I do not mind. I do not want friends in politics. Inside the Greens I found a lot of friends, I definitely did. There are also disputes, but because the Greens do not steal, instead there are other types of conflict.

When you do have time off what are you doing?

My working hours are very loose but neverthelesss almost permanent. I also need to get back to people on Facebook from home. But I like to read and to go out into nature. I read quite a lot, even in foreign languages, and I then write about it in the newspapers. I like to go to the cinema, in particular to Ponrepo, which is a cinema of this kind. Some people would say for the witnesses, but in fact it is an Art Cinema in which films from the twentieth century are played in differing cycles, in accordance with their directors and the quality of the dubbing and the country of origin and I enjoy to experience an overview of this kind. I enjoy being part of a chain - that in one book you can find a link to another one, so I buy or borrow it right away. This opens up another world for me. I also enjoy the Czech landscape, I like to discover the unknown places in our country. I'm pretty extroverted in politics, but I'm also fairly introverted in private. In politics, one always has to talk and attract attention, that's one of the tools to engage, otherwise you do not have the opportunity to escape above the greyness. Especially when you run a smaller party that does not enable automatic penetration to the media or does not own its media... In my free time I like to walk for two hours in desolate countryside; right now I especially enjoy the northern Pilsen region. You will not meet any human beings there and that is wonderful! I find it almost a miracle that this is still possible today in Central Europe.

What do you spend the most money on? What are your financial sins? What do you not spare?

I spent quite a lot on books. When I finally find the time to go to the bookstore I'll be leaving with two bags. If I like anything, it's the library that I'm building in my home.

Do you have a girlfriend?

Nope! I don't.

Are you looking for any right now?

I do not know but I do enjoy this style of life.

Given that you are introverted, when you like some woman, can you pick her up or are you shy and do you wait to see what she does?

I'm not so introverted but when I do have free time I'm more likely to be looking for some solitude.

What was your first child's love?

I cannot even remember that, I'd have to figure it out.

Do you go to parties?

I'm not going to them to get drunk, but sometimes I do go somewhere and I really enjoy that too. Only the days after are a little annoying, but I have learned to read or to go to nature during those days. Definitely the days after are not like I would be just laying and sighing.

So your recipe for hangover is to move around and it is definitely not to lie about and suffer.

Move and think - it will start to hurt your head, but it will go away faster.

You studied in Rome. How do you remember that time?

I was there for five years and since then I have not been back there. I did not want to be there at that time. It was the time of my adolescence, instead I really wanted to be here and to go out with my friends for a beer. When I was abroad I was very much tied to my parents. We lived in a remote diplomatic district. Sometimes I went somewhere by public transport. So paradoxically, I have always associated public transport with freedom, whereas for me cars are not free. This is probably the opposite of a lot of people, and this may also be reflected in my political opinions. I also learned English and French when I was in Rome.

Not Italian?

Not Italian! You know I did not have enough time (laughs). It took me a lot of work to learn both of the two languages. The international environment was still good and I did get rid of a lot of my prejudices.

Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 10 - 303m
Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 10 - 303m, Praha 10

Are you going to shoot something again?

When a person is a little younger, he thinks he can take on any profession with impunity. Now I'm 33 and I feel that every profession definitely requires professionalism. And I'm not an actor. What I could easily dare about 10 years ago, I'm not sure if I could dare again. Someone would have to come to me and convince me a lot that we could do it and that the character would be based on my personality. I would have to play to some extent myself or a character that would be similar to me, then I could think about it.

Would you play in any format?

Genre is probably not that important, but I would not want to play in the series. After playing in May, several offers came for the series but I refused.

How do you perceive fashion? Do you care about what you wear?

A little bit and it bothers me a little bit (laughs). I hope this will all be over with age. I care about fashion, but I do not know how successful this is for me. At the same time, I do not like to shop and I do not like the chain stores. I tend to fix endlessly what I already have, and sometimes to go against fashion. I have an old phone, for example (laughs).

If you had a billion crowns available, what would you do with it?

Because I am a journalist and I am not happy with what we have in the Czech Republic I would start up a newspaper. I feel that newspapers are increasingly threatening both democracy and also the quality of public social debate.

From that billion would you buy something entirely for yourself?

I was at the exhibition in Sovovy Mlýny where the 42 Group's works and all the works from the subsequent era are exhibited – i.e. from the end of the Second World War to the late 1970's – and there were great things, so if I could, I would go there to choose something.

If you could wish something, and it could happen immediately, what would it be?

In the Autumn Election, I would like to bring the Greens back to the Chamber of Deputies. This has been my principal desire for years. For a long time, I wanted to become the chairman of this party, because I was convinced that I had the best prerequisites for implementing a living green policy.

Fast confession:

Which is the better person – Miloš Zeman or Andrej Babiš?

Maybe Zeman. Zeman might have been decent a long time ago, while Babiš, I think, never.

Politics or acting?


Who is your political role model?

Jaroslav Šabata, a dissident and our chartist, perhaps was in prison for the longest time, while, at the same time, he kept his faith in a just society.

Which party would you never join?

The Civic Democrats.

What do you like most about women?

When it is possible to discuss with them.

Favourite film?

That japanese Idiot.

Active or leisure holiday?


Czech or Italian women?


Your bad quality?

I'm a conflict-directed person.

A clever or a beautiful woman?

This is a bit inconsistent with what I said... Beautiful, but probably both is better.

Will you ever get married?

I do not know, I do not think about it yet.

What kind of sport are you not good at?

Almost every one.

How often do you wear sweatpants?

In winter on a daily basis.

You would jump bungee jumping because of the electoral votes?


What do you read?

Detective stories.
And currently?
Currently nothing.
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