In an interview earlier this week to prominent journalist Yuri Dud, Serebryakov said that Russia’s most common traits were “[brutal] force, rudeness and arrogance.” The actor’s statement caused a backlash as social media users and public figures pointed out that Serebryakov, who has been living with his family in Canada since 2012, continues to earn money in Russia.
“I didn’t hear that actor Serebryakov is in demand somewhere in Canada, the United States or in other countries,” Karen Shakhnazarov, a director and head of Mosfilm studio, was quoted as saying by National News Service. “Why then make statements of that kind? To earn points in your new country? This is ugly and dishonest.”
Meanwhile, Leviathan director Andrei Zvyagintsev and producers Alexander Rodnyansky supported the actor.
“Unfortunately, here in Russia we are familiar with such attacks as we faced them three years ago while releasing Leviathan and later once again in 2017 with Loveless,” Rodnyansky told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Serebryakov’s opinion can be irritating to someone and people have the right to disagree with him, but the harassment that ensued, calls to strip him of his Russian passport and ban him from ever working again — this just proves his point, that the Russian society is ill,” he went on to say.
“[Serebryakov] is a compassionate man who loves his country and who is pained by its problems,” added Zvyagintsev. “The responsibility of every artist, no matter wherever he lives, in Russia or somewhere else, is to tell only the truth, and the voice of this artist should always be heard.”
Back in 2015, Leviathan was heavily criticized in Russia for allegedly presenting life in the country in a negative light.
Zvyagintsev’s most recent picture, Loveless, which has earned an Oscar nomination in the best foreign-language film category, has also faced similar criticism.