Bogusław Linda

Born on 27 June 1952 in Toruń, a Polish film, stage, and television, actor and Director, one of the most-important figures of the contemporary Polish cinema, and an indisputable star. Co-founder of the Warsaw Film School. 

In 1975, Linda graduated from the Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Kraków. At the beginning of his acting career, he performed at the Stary Theatre in Kraków for two seasons. Between 1977 and 1981, he was one of the actors at the Polski Theatre in Wrocław. Later, he worked at the Contemporary Theatre and the Studio Theatre, both located in Warsaw. He was an instructor at the Wrocław branch of the Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Kraków in the years 1977–1981.

His first television role was the bit part of a halberdier in a series entitled Czarne Chmury/Black Clouds in 1973. Linda’s screen debut came in 1976, when he played in Dagny, a Polish-Norwegian picture directed by Haakon Sandøy. It is a story about the tempestuous relationships between Dagny Przybyszewska and Stanisław Przybyszewski,  August Strindberg, and Edvard Munch; Linda portrayed Sierosławski, a friend of the Przybyszewskis.

The late 1970s and early 1980s saw a succession of exquisite roles in some of the most-significant works in Polish cinematography. During that time, Linda performed in pictures directed by the best Polish artistes, for instance Człowiek z żelaza/Man of Iron, by Andrzej Wajda, Dreszcze/Shivers by Wojciech Marczewski, Matka Królów/The Mother of Kings, by Janusz Zaorski, Kobieta samotna/A Lonely Woman, by Agnieszka Holland, and Przypadek/Blind Chance, by Krzysztof Kieślowski.

As a result, Bogusław Linda became widely known as an actor who creates characters haunted by existential problems, making important life choices and facing difficult realities. Unfortunately, almost all these roles remained unknown to Polish audiences for many years. The majority of the aforementioned films featuring Linda, created in 1981 and 1982, were banned by the communist censorship authorities and were ultimately broadcast as late as after 1987 (including Kobieta samotna/A Lonely Woman, Przypadek/Blind Chance and Matka Królów/The Mother of Kings).

In 1987, he played the leading role of Jerzy Malik – a ruthless gangster and murderer – in Zabij mnie, glino/Kill Me, Cop by Jacek Bromski. In the same year, Linda portrayed Bolko von Teuss in Magnat/The Magnate by Filip Bajon, for which he subsequently received the Golden Lions Award. He returned to Kieślowski a year later and starred in Dekalog, Siedem (Nie kradnij)/Decalogue, Seven (Thou shalt not steal).

In early 1990s, Linda’s career took a distinct U-turn. His roles in Kroll (1991), Psy/Pigs (1992) and Psy II: Ostatnia krew/Pigs 2: The Last Blood (1994), directed by Władysław Pasikowski, dramatically changed the actor’s image. All of a sudden, he became “the tough guy of Polish cinema”.

At the same time, he starred in many original productions, such as Wszystko co najważniejsze/All That Really Matters, by Robert Gliński (1992), Jańcio Wodnik/Johnnie Waterman, by Jan Jakub Kolski (1993), the controversial Szamanka/She-Shaman by Andrzej Żuławski (1996), and Szczęśliwego Nowego Jorku/Happy New York by Janusz Zaorski (1997), and also in a Czech-Slovak-Polish-French film Zabić Sekala/Sekal Has to Die – a war-drama film, directed in 1998 by Vladimír Michálek.

Furthermore, he created unique characters in screen adaptations of literary works, such as the Priest Robak in Pan Tadeusz/Pan Tadeusz: the Last Foray in Lithuania by Andrzej Wajda (1999), and Petronius in Quo Vadis by Jerzy Kawalerowicz (2001). In 2011, he starred in a monumental war film Bitwa Warszawska 1920/The Battle of Warsaw 1920 by Jerzy Hoffman.

In 1988, Bogusław Linda decided to get behind the camera and direct his first film – a futuristic picture entitled Koniec/The End. In 1990, he created Seszele/The Seychelles, a drama film featuring Zbigniew Zamachowski and Tadeusz Szymków. In 2000, he directed an action comedy movie Sezon na leszcza/The Sucker Season, where he played the leading role of the Cop, alongside Marian Dziędziel, Anna Przybylska and Gabriel Fleszar. In 2006 he directed his next film, Jasne błękitne okna/The Skylights, with Joanna Brodzik and Beata Kawka in the leading roles. In this picture, Linda played a supporting role, and his co-stars included Marian Dziędziel, Jerzy Trela, Barbara Brylska and Jacek Braciak. The basis for the screenplay was the memoirs of Beata Kawka.

The great return of Linda to world-class cinema as an actor was his performance in Powidoki/Afterimage – the last film created by Andrzej Wajda, which premièred at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016.

Selected filmography

Actor

1973 – „Czarne chmury”/„Black Clouds” (TV series)
1977 – „Wodzirej”/„Top Dog” dir. Feliks Falk
1980 – „Gorączka”/„Fever” dir. Agnieszka Holland
1981 – „Dreszcze”/„Shivers” dir. Wojciech Marczewski
1981 – „Człowiek z żelaza”/„Man of Iron” dir. Andrzej Wajda
1981 – „Kobieta samotna”/„A Lonely Woman” dir. Agnieszka Holland
1982 – „Matka Królów”/„The Mother of Kings” dir. Janusz Zaorski
1986 – „Magnat”/„The Magnate” dir. Filip Bajon
1987 – „Zabij mnie glino”/„Kill Me, Cop” dir. Jacek Bromski
1988 – „Dekalog, siedem/„Decalogue, Seven” dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski
1991 – „Kroll” dir. Władysław Pasikowski
1992 – „Psy”/„Pigs” dir. Władysław Pasikowski
1993 – „Jańcio Wodnik”/„Johnny Waterman” dir. Jan Jakub Kolski
1994 – „Psy 2. Ostatnia krew”/„Pigs 2: The Last Blood” dir. Władysław Pasikowski
1995 – „Tato”/„Daddy” dir. Maciej Ślesicki
1996 – „Szamanka”/„She-Shaman” dir. Andrzej Żuławski
1997 – „Sara” dir. Maciej Ślesicki
1997 – „Szczęśliwego Nowego Jorku”/„Happy New York” dir. Janusz Zaorski
1998 – „Złoto dezerterów”/„Deserters’ Gold” dir. Janusz Majewski
1998 – „Zabić Sekala”/„Sekal Has to Die” dir. Vladimir Michalek
1999 – „Pan Tadeusz”/„Pan Tadeusz: the Last Foray in Lithuania” dir. Andrzej Wajda
1999 – „Operacja Samum”/„Operation Simoom” dir. Władysław Pasikowski
2000 – „Sezon na Leszcza”/„The Sucker Season” dir. Bogusław Linda
2001 – „Quo Vadis” dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz
2006 – „Jasminum” dir. Jan Jakub Kolski
2006 – „Jasne błękitne okna”/„The Skylights” dir. Bogusław Linda
2010 – „Ratownicy”/„Paramedics” (TV series)
2011 – „1920. Bitwa Warszawska”/„Battle of Warsaw 1920″ dir. Jerzy Hoffman
2011 – „Sztos 2″/„Polish Roulette” dir. Olaf Lubaszenko
2016 – „Pitbull. Nowe porządki”/„Pitbull. New Order” dir. Patryk Vega
2016 – „Powidoki”/„Afterimage” dir. Andrzej Wajda
2018 – „Kobiety mafii”/„The Women of the Mafia” dir. Patryk Vega

Director

1988 – „Koniec”/„The End”
1990 – „Seszele”/„The Seychelles”
2000 – „Sezon na Leszcza”/„The Sucker Season”
2006 – „Jasne błękitne okna”/„The Skylights”

Selected awards and distinctions

The Two Theatres Festival – the Best Actor Award for his performance in a the play entitled Bezdech/Breathless; the Golden Duck Award for Best Actor in Action Films; International Film Festival TOFIFEST – the Special Golden Angel Award for artistic rebelliousness; the Special Zbyszek Cybulski Award for lifetime artistic achievements, with particular emphasis on the roles played in the years 1980–1982; the Gdynia Film Festival – the Golden Lions Award for Sezon na leszcza/The Sucker Season; the Polish Cinemas Association – the Silver Ticket Award for Sezon na leszcza/The Sucker Season; nomination for the Polish Film Award: Eagle for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in Pan Tadeusz/Pan Tadeusz: the Last Foray in Lithuania; the Gdynia Film Festival – the Golden Lions Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in Psy/Pigs; the Valenciennes International Festival of Action and Adventure Films – Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in Psy/Pigs; an award at the Kiev International Film Festival “Molodist” for In flagranti; the Golden Duck Award for Best Polish Actor for his performance in Demony wojny wg Goi/Demons of War, Psy/Pigs and Kroll; tge Gdynia Film Festival – the Best Actor Award for his performance in Kobieta samotna/A Lonely Woman, etc.