“I admit that it’s a little different from consciously choosing our series, I’m waiting for this audience the most. I’m glad that people who haven’t heard about it will meet it, because it’s probably the most interesting – I have a feeling that it’s very beautiful. “Something can happen,” says Ewelina Pankowska from the series “Control”, which won the hearts of viewers around the world. How has it been received by the Polish audience since it appeared on television? Will season 4 end happily? Is Poland ready for a series about the love of two women?
Katarzyna Mizera, woman.pl: How is the fourth season of “Control” different from the previous ones?
Ewelina Pankowska: I have the impression that this season is more mature than the previous three seasons, although it is still a coherent story. The heroes are girls we know, but life goes on and they face new challenges. What they experienced in Season 4 is more difficult. In addition to love, there is the issue of death, which is quite controversial because we lost one of the main characters. When I found out, I asked, “How?” For Majka, this is the biggest loss he has ever suffered, and virtually everything, his whole transformation, is determined by it. He loses something and has to build something else.
Your hero is the most torn character. Sometimes when I watch a TV series, I think to myself – girl, this is the love of your life, what do you mean? Did you understand his motivations, doubts, decisions?
I think so. We have a lot in common, but I’m not as chaotic and torn as Majka. He is very sympathetic, because he is a sensitive and warm person. And one who is driven by intuition and love in life. And I understand that he is at such a point in his life that he still doesn’t know what his body wants and what his body wants from him. It impresses me that even though he makes so many mistakes, he always accepts himself and accepts himself as he is. He leaves nothing to himself, leaves room for research, which sometimes upsets him and sometimes others. But this is probably the stage of making such mistakes in life that you don’t need to know who you are later and look for it again.
You never rebelled, why does Majka make such a decision, not another decision? After all, sometimes it’s hard to understand people with more intricate ways and social perceptions, isn’t it? Some of us have dreamed of becoming mothers since childhood, and some of us understand that at the age of 40 we prefer to live in a non-heteronormative relationship.
I understand such complex CVs a lot, because there are many such people around me and they are wonderful people. I have always admired them for their courage to do unpopular things. I never wanted Majka to correct me or teach me life. In fact, I learned a lot from him – for him, relationships with people are a key part of life. He just had to go through more to understand how much he loved her.
The fourth season is guided by the motto “love is not just a pursuit of passion, it is a person who is with you in difficult times.”
This is the value of Season 4, although the plot twists and dramas are not lacking, it is no longer the story of such a persecution. Girls are at a different stage of life. Majka became a mother, so she is no longer a scattered girl. What happened to him caused him to fall apart, and that was a big problem for me. We must remember that many people who watch the series experience similar events themselves. I wanted to be honest and elegant.
Do you think your heroes can fall into the pigeon hole?
I think it would be difficult, because they are very normal girls. People also often say that the series is about non-heteronormative love, but in such a simple and normal way. Because we meant it. After all, love is always the same, whether it is normal or not. Love is love, not just a slogan. Majka’s love is nothing but the love that befalls the people we pass on the street. The most beautiful things happen in simple, everyday things, events and people. Therefore, it is difficult to label them.
And now that the play has reached a large audience? After all, the generation of television will see it – the audience of “Na Wspólnej” and “Millionaires” are not ready for the story of two women in love?
I must admit that, unlike those who consciously choose our series, I expect this audience the most. I am very glad that people who have not heard of him will meet him, because this is probably the most interesting – I feel that something very beautiful can happen there.
Aren’t you afraid of boycotting old women with banners and crosses?
Of course, if someone is not open-minded and thinks that he already knows what the world looks like and does not want to learn anything new about it, neither “Control” nor anything else can convince him, but that was not our goal. . I hope that many people who tell this story in such an unnatural way may think that this is not surprising and that we can all live together. I hope so.
Well, ordinary buyers of “media bread” associate the LGBT community with a bright parade of equality, dress, indifference, and non-serious texts. And you show what their normal lives look like. Do you receive any messages from the audience?
Yes, we have a strong bond with the audience. In fact, from the very beginning, people write messages to us and share their personal stories as if they were just a study in Control YT. At first, they were mostly foreigners. Now that “Control” is in the Player, that has changed – a lot of Polish viewers have started talking to us. Their stories are sometimes very difficult and impressive. A 45-year-old woman whose husband had recently died wrote me a letter, depressed, and unable to live. A friend recommended “Control” to him, and this restored his energy, and he even decided to go for therapy. I was very impressed. Of course, there are messages about how young girls are grateful to see their representations in the story.
Your approach to this production is very emotional – just cut your long hair on the set.
It is the result of being in it from the beginning. It should never have been a great project, just a study. The whole team met on the set of the Warsaw Film School, because Natasza had to train in the first year, there was nothing serious, even considering the school conditions. We met one evening and night and I didn’t even know we were going to YT. I thought that the school board and our friends would only see it. The world surprised us a little – after filming in YT, history began to live independently. It was purely organic, because no one put a penny in the promotion. Sometimes miracles just happen, and that was one of them. All factors played – the right place, time and people. He also had an audience. It is known that art needs an audience, and this is inherent, and this story shows the special contribution of the audience, it is very effective. “Control” is really only available to the audience.
Have you ever considered cutting your hair?
Hair has always been very important to me. I lived in the village and the children followed me and shouted “squirrel”. My mother instilled in me the belief that the color of my hair makes me unique. He protected me and became my shield.
So do you know what it’s like to be “different”?
Yes, I also have the experience of being criticized for something beyond my control. It taught me to look at it from a different angle. I remember a friend once told me that a guy was in love with me, even “even if I had red hair”! In the city I heard many praises. So I grew up believing that hair was my greatest asset, and I suddenly realized that I understood myself through the prism of this hair. I measured my value and uniqueness with them. I began to think that if I didn’t have it, I would be interested in others. The impulse to cut was to look at old photos – I looked at them all the same and thought I would not change, but I still feel elsewhere, I have had so many things happen. I also had the impression that I was portrayed as a child and that I was accepted as such. And then the thought of cutting them began to sprout in me. I wanted to do it for some important role.
And so it happened.
I started seeing nightmares 3 days before I beheaded them. But at that moment, I felt a great power that I was doing it on the set, with people. It was like the power of a ritual. I once feared that if I cut my hair, I would no longer be myself. And I immediately felt that it was me. Regardless of my hair, I look at the world the same way, people perceive me differently.
Did you have any doubts before starting the role of Majka?
No – I was pleased with the scenario. In fact, I did not say it directly in any interview, but I am heteronormative and play the role of a homosexual. Audiences often ask me about it, and for a long time I didn’t want to answer because I felt it didn’t matter. But as long as I live in this world and the rights are not shared equally among the people and their sexual orientation determines whether they get married or have children, I feel the need to say that this should not be the case. this. It is not only the people who have been harmed and victimized in a certain way, but also those who have more rights to fight for their rights. We must speak louder and louder about the equal rights of all. Thanks to this project, I feel that I have done something important. And I hope it will do good to people who suffer from discrimination. Regardless of their views, it is a topic that should be raised with empathy and understanding. We urgently need a dialogue on this issue, not shouting at each other in our slogans.
You were talking about the right place and time – “Control” was created during the pre-election political campaign against the LGBT community. Did you feel any tension in this regard?
What is even worse is that some people have really suffered under the guise of a political game. It is a big problem in our country that people with certain powers allow such hate speech. However, I hope we are moving in a different direction. It may be hard to believe, but we did not experience any hatred. Some people share some doubts, but in a very respectful way. I remember Natasza once telling us that someone criticized the first episode, and her comments softened in each subsequent episode, until she wrote under the last one that she was happy to see this story – it’s almost a dream come true. most.
It’s fun to dig, to reflect, and not just take the reality you find.
Doubts are good, if they live in a reality where they think there is no heteronormative person because they have never met him, then some fears appear. If we already know that there is no point in seeking evil when we are strangers, then we need to address these doubts. This is beautifully portrayed by Natasza in Season 4 as Majka’s father (played by Cesary Żak). Majka confesses that she loves Natalia. How he plays this character is very impressive. He embodies this parent who has many doubts and perhaps does not understand, but who loves his child and wants the best for him. This is normal – it is a process of experience and conclusion.