MOVIE INTERVIEW – We sat down with Péterfy Bori, actress and singer, one of the main characters in the movie Mastergame, who played a strange “femme fatale” character in the movie, whose true motivations and complexity of character are revealed later in the movie.
theGeek: You are known to be not only an actress but also a singer. What are the differences between being a singer and an actress, in terms of challenge or excitement? What is the difference between a concert performance and acting?
P.B.: Let’s say I’m basically an actress, that’s my original profession. I was an actress long before I was an actor, and I had a significant acting career – especially with Béla Pintér’s Krétakör company – before I got so seriously involved with the orchestra. I’m practically in two professions, completely parallel and equal. So it’s not that I sometimes take on acting roles in addition to my singing career. As for the difference, it’s completely different to play a role and to experience the “rock’n’roll flow” of a concert. In my case, the two jobs are partly separate, but my specialty as an actor and frontman is that I can always feel the actor’s approach to being on stage.
tG: Without spoiling the story, we can tell you that you have to play the same character in two different ways. What kind of acting training did this require and how is it different from your other roles?
P.B.: Actually, with Bana, I’ve been very careful that it’s going to be very variable for the audience to know when they’re going to recognize the “specialness” of my character. We tried to design the character and the scenes so that it would come out as late as possible. We also tried a little bit to separate the scenes in terms of tone and in terms of the different attitudes that this character has in different scenes, the different ways that he behaves.
tG: In the movie we see a pretty serious action scene with you and another character. Have you been in other movies with a scene like that?
P.B.: I did a short movie a few years ago where there was a fight action scene. There was a special action director there, so I got a little insight into how it works. For example, I had ropes on me that would snap when I went for the gun. But I had a double for certain parts. In fact, they had doubles for both of us, but it was completely unnecessary because I’ve done scenes in the theater where there’s some pretty rough physical contact between the actors, and I’m not afraid of that at all. With a talented and controlled partner like in this movie, I have no problem with that. And of course they give you protective gear, for example for the parts where you are pushed against the wall. Action sequences like that have their own trade secrets. I really enjoy it, especially because as a Hungarian actress you rarely get close to roles or scenes where you can do that, so you have to appreciate the smallest things.
tG: Talking about how rare a mystical psychothriller with action scenes like this is in this country, do you think this genre has a future in this country?
P.B.: I think all good things can have a future, I don’t think the genre classification is the obstacle, so it’s not that there’s no future for any kind of movie, it’s that the distribution of money is terribly wrong and unfair, which makes it impossible and cripples young or older director and actor talent – my generation has been crippled for a number of years. I think the audience should not be looked down upon. That’s the terrible thing about today’s world, that everything is measured by ‘success’ defined by numbers. It is a terribly sad thing, because art cannot be a victim of the constant desire to serve the public, that is, to attract a lot of people to the cinema. It doesn’t work that way, because really valuable things never move large crowds. Unfortunately, this is the law of art. Of course, there are exceptions, when something really brilliant hits and moves a lot of people. I also don’t think that this movie will be as well received as a silly Hungarian comedy that I find unwatchable.
tG: But are these terribly silly “romances” you mention, which we, the movie press, see over and over again, really so “successful”? These terribly stupid “works” really tarnish the reputation of Hungarian films, don’t they?
P.B.: I don’t think it matters so much, because these movies are made for the domestic audience and many people love them. Meanwhile, other unique and brilliant Hungarian films, often made without state support, are achieving worldwide success. I’m very happy that Mastergame could finally be shot after all the delays, even if it took far fewer days than it should have. The whole crew did a fantastic job to make this movie in such a short time and to such a professional standard. I was very grateful to be a part of it and I hope the audience will love it.
The psychological thriller Mastergame is directed by Barnabás Tóth, written by Barnabás Tóth and Tibor Fonyódi, produced by János Szurmay, Máté Szabó, Ádám Ruzsinszki, Agnes Fernandes and György Nikolits. The cinematographer is András Szőke Másik, the editor is Károly Szalai, the composer is Gábor Keresztes. The chess expert of the movie is Piroska Szurmay-Palotai, FIDE Master. The film was produced by Innoplay with the support of the National Film Institute, Origo Film Group Zrt. and co-produced by SPARKS Camera & Lighting with the kind support of co-producer Judit Romwalter. The film was released in Hungarian cinemas on November 9, 2023 by JUNO11 Distribution.
Interview by : Herpai Gergely (BadSector)