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A rising acting star talks about his talent, his family and his dreams.

Quick confession - Zdeněk Piškula: he had to persuade his parents about his acting

Tereza Janatová
19.Oct 2017
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8 minutes

When Lord God gave out talent, Zdeněk Piškula seemed to have gone for it several times and it is possible that he was even overtaking in the line. In addition to film roles, he won StarDance at just nineteen years of age, while also excelling in a range of sports and in music and he is also interested in charity. It is also possible that later he will toss film roles through the forks, but, with all humility, he admits that his life goal is somewhere else – i.e. having a happy family. How much he wishes to have children, but also how much his roles are hard-worked, he described in an interview for Luxury Prague Life. 

Zdeněk Piškula, StarDance

Dance, football, golf, tennis, skiing, snowboarding, ballet, break-dancing, singing, guitar, ukulele, piano, horse-riding, climbing. You know all about that. Do people feel a bit inferior to you?

(laughing) I don’t know. You would have to ask them, but it’s not like I managed these things at a one hundred percent level. Climbing for example! I once shot a movie about climbers and so I learned how to climb a little bit. I did not climb any huge mountains however. Horse riding – again because of the movie – this time “The Three Brothers”. Those other things like skiing or snowboarding I have somehow been doing from my childhood. Also playing the guitar and the ukulele. It was a gradual development.

Did your parents lead you to it from the beginning or did you just care about yourself and say that’s what I want?

In the case of snowboarding I said that I wanted to do it. I really wanted to replace my skis with something.

You know snowboarding is probably more for the dudes, right? (laughing)

Exactly (laughing). When I was about twelve, it caught me and I started riding. I do not quite excel in it, however. When I was snowboarding I broke two bones, so there’s no one next to me to feel inferior. Generally speaking my parents tended to be more sporting than artistic.

Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 9 - 176m
Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 9 - 176m, Praha 9

So, when I ask what they said about the Art School is there any interesting answer that is intended for me?

They were not very enthusiastic when I told them that I wanted to go there, because it is believed that at this Art School the artists are so scornful and party makers. It’s true, but the school really did give me a lot. I have discovered a lot of things in myself.

But now your parents may really be satisfied, right? You have a few movies behind you including the victory in StarDance…

Now they are thought of as being proud and satisfied.

They have not been before?

Yes, of course, but now I can see that my mum likes to boast sometime. Originally, they wanted me to study at a grammar school and I was explaining to them that I would hang myself there.

Grammar school would probably not support you much in regard to what you know

At grammar school I would spend ten hours sitting at the desk, but at the Art School I am at the desk perhaps two hours, then I make some movements, then three hours at the desk, then I go to do some acrobatics and singing and it is not about just sitting out and writing the formulas.

It’s also very much about you that you like girls. You are nineteen years old so there is no wonder. So how are you with them? Do you have anyone now?

Now I have a girlfriend for the seventh month, which is my longest and most beautiful relationship.

Who is she?

Her name is Simona Lewandowská. Also an actress. She is a year younger than me and is studying at the Art School. Right now she’s just graduating.

When I called you for the first time, it was before the holidays. You said you wanted to enjoy the holidays and then give interviews. So how did you spend your holidays?

At the beginning of the holidays I was in Carlsbad and then I flew down to Crete. When I came back, I went up to the mountains with my friends, I also went to the Sziget Music Festival in Hungary and then with my girlfriend to Amsterdam and then it was already the end of the holidays, so it was just about bathing in a quarry or about being at a cottage with my friends. I was not dealing with any work matters at all. Well, actually, only one, but it was more about fun than work. I also started learning to play basketball since I’m going to shoot the Golden Smash film about Czechoslovak basketball players that will be directed by Radim Špaček.

So did you learn this because of the film or because it seemed to be the only thing that you did not know about yet? (laughing)

(laughing) It’s always all about the film.

And if you were learning something that would be just for you what would it be?

Languages, yoga, some martial arts.

I’m going back to your parents. So your parents are not actually in the industry? According to the list of your skills, I was wondering if your Dad isn’t Superman and your Mum Superwoman...

(laughing) No, no! My parents are not in that field at all. Mum’s working now on the newspaper and Dad’s the head of foreign trade in one company. The only ones who were working in my field were my great-grandmother and my great-grandfather. My great-grandmother was an opera singer in Brno and my great-grandfather was quite a well-known swing singer. He sung the “Stars are as Daisies over Brno” song. His name was Milan Směták.

But you’re not doing too badly in regard to singing, right?

I’m learning and I also know that I have more to learn. When I was fifteen and sixteen, I felt as if I knew how to sing and so I started singing. Then I actually realised that I could not sing, so I stopped it and I told myself that when I learned it and had become confident about it I would perform publicly again.

In The Three Brothers fairy tale film you do sing however.

But these are very simple songs.

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

Well, well, when someone says he cannot sing, I imagine something different. For example, I cannot sing, and if I did, I could clear the halls over-night. When you say you do not know and you sing in a fairy tale you will probably not feel so bad about it.

No, but it could be even better. I would probably not sell the hall, which is something that I would like to try once.

If I had not talked to you on the phone and read the list of all the things you know, I would say that such a talented person might even be considered to be quite arrogant. Now that we see and know each other I am equally surprised by your modesty and your humility. Did your parents lead you to this position?

Thank you. I was led both by my parents and my friends. I was always involved with a circle of people who kept each other on the ground in every aspect and usually when the posh film parties were taking place where the would-be celebrities went, I ran to the pub to meet my friends rather than going somewhere for the purpose of pretend something. I think that now I do not like to pretend anything at all any more.

So good quite honestly, even when you do not enjoy it and the question is: Who is Zdeněk Piškula?

Hard to say! I’m only nineteen and I’m still discovering myself.

So, what is a nineteen-year-old boy all about?

I know about myself and though it may sound like a cliché I really do like to help people. This is what I would really like to do in the future.

But that is not really typical of a nineteen-year-old young man.

Because I was visible I found a path to a charity where I could actively help. I found out that it is fullfilling and I really enjoy myself when I can help others. I am such a peaceful pacifist peacemaker (laughing). But I can also be pretty stubborn and angry too. If something does not work for a long time, I (excuse my French) get pissed off and am angry with myself. I always have to stop, take a moment, do something else and then go back to being myself again.

You did say that you do not like posh events and that you were happier when you were with your friends in the pub. But you did spend a luxurious vacation in Greece and then you were in the Saint Catherine Resort and that is not a very cheap adventure. When choosing where to go, do you prefer to be under a tent with friends or having a luxurious experience?

Both. I went to St. Catherine twice. Once after StarDance when after half a year I needed peace and massages. Then again after graduation. One of the toughest years was when I had StarDance, some filming in May and then I started to shoot a new fairy tale in which I played the lead role, and in the same month I graduated. So I was madly stressed.

In such a charged programme how is graduation actually managed?

It’s none too pleasant. Somewhere there is the inner stress. In the end, I achieved it and it simply fell out of me again.

You said that you were going to shoot a film about basketball. When will you start? 

In January. But now we are already training – in order to have enough time to learn the game. Now in October, I am shooting “The Line” Internet series.

You play a hockey player who wants to live an ordinary life but his dad still pushes him into something else. Are you allowing things like this to actually happen in real life?

Not at all. The first sport I had been playing for four to ten years was football. Dad signed me in and lived the dream of having a footballer as his son. Sometimes he pushed me a little, but certainly not forcibly. But I realised that I did not like how the trainers were screaming at me and that I do not enjoy myself when someone is telling me what to do. I decided to let it go and I kept on dancing and after dancing enrolled for a musical acting class.

That’s a big change. I’m afraid to ask what your dad said about this. (laughing)

(laughing) He never admitted it, but I think it hurt him a little (laughing). But now he’s fine and happy about it all. Perhaps I have fulfilled his expectations in some way.

Have you ever been afraid that you would not meet his expectations?

Occasionally, but it was more about little things. But overall, I think it’s only my business whether I can manage something or not. 

Some time ago, a hacker stole your Instagram profile. Somewhere you said that this would return to this guy because of his KARMA. Do you believe in these things?

Of course. Karma is free. What works is what’s true. I even experienced that it’s coming back on my own.

For example?

In general, whenever I’ve done something that hurt someone, it has always come back to me. I also believe in spirituality.

How much do you believe in it?

I’m not the study type to read all the serious books about it but I do create my own faith and come to conclusions by myself. I also want to move on in regard to meditation. It seems to me a comfortable solution to get to know oneself better. But I still have not found the time to try it out properly.

The media portrayed you a bit like a girls’ heartbreaker. You do not seem like one to me, but what about karma? It would be pretty bad for you if you were keeping yourself busy breaking hearts....

Exactly! But even if I did not believe in karma, I do have a conscience and that’s my great weakness. When I do something to someone, and it does not even have to be deliberate, or there is no other way out, it makes me terribly self-devouring. I never cheated on my girlfriend. I did not want to do it because I knew that I would hurt both her and myself.

Do you have a goal that you are following or do you let things flow and let que sera sera?

I have such a goal that I want to have a house built in a nice place, have a family and know that I can afford them some comfort and whether it will be one child or five children to be able to take care of them. And I’d like to start travelling more while it’s still on the cards.

Before the five children arrive!

Before the five children arrive (laughing). Possibly travel with them, but then it is already about big money.

That number of children is clearly given?

Probably classic! There are two, no more than three, but it may catch-me-out and then it will be my hobby.

So I wish for the future that it catches your partner too.

(laughing) That’s another thing entirely!


Fast confession:

In which famous Hollywood movie would you like to have a role?

Pulp Fiction.

When was the last time that you got dumped by a girl?

Cca. two years ago.

What do you dislike about Czech showbiz?

That showbiz.

Briefs or boxers?


What do you do to pick girls up?

I’m trying to be who I am.

What are your vices?

When I drink I drink big.

What would you like to improve about yourself?

My singing, my acting and my dancing.

Who is your role model?

I don’t have one. I find inspiration everywhere.

Which of the actresses do you think are the most sexy?

Simona Lewandowská and perhaps also Karolína Kurková as well.

What food would you not eat for all the tea in China?

Perhaps the entrails. I do not like them much - something really disgusting.

Would you ever play in a movie without receiving a royalty?

Yes, I would.

What makes you embarrassed?

Girls, mostly.

Do you know how to fight?

It depends... Last time I fought was in the fifth grade.

What are you most afraid of?

The future.
The interviewer asks the editor:

Do you have a daughter or a son?

A little girl.
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