Theatre and film actor. Born on the 27th of February 1955 in Kraków. Died on the 15th of June 2014.
A theatre and film actor.
In 1977, Hudziak graduated from the Acting Department at the Theatre Academy in Kraków. While still a student, he made his debut at the Stary Theatre in Kraków in 1975. He played a student in Jerzy Jarocki’s production of Sławomir Mrożek’s Garbus / The Hatchback. His performance was well-received.
Aside the titular protagonist, all characters in "Garbus / The Hatchback" are cripples, moral and psychological hatchbacks (...) – wrote Bronisław Mamoń in his review of the premiere. – Even the student, the most likeable character (a very natural interpretation by Andrzej Hudziak, a 3rd-year student of the Theatre Academy in Kraków), falls into this category ("Tygodnik Powszechny" February 1, 1976).
His successful debut brought him a contract with the Stary Theatre. After having earned his diploma, the actor played Inocenty in Witold Gombrowicz’s Iwona, księżniczka Burgunda / Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy directed by Krystian Lupa (1978) and Przodownik / Leader in Stanisław Wyspiański’s Wyzwolenie / Liberation directed by Konrad Swinarski (1979, television version – 1979). Hudziak has performed at the Kraków Theatre till the present day.
At the beginning of his career at the Stary Theatre, Hudziak was cast mainly in the supporting parts. In Andrzej Wajda’s productions he played: Nikolai in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1984) and Perełka in Aleksander Fredro’s Zemsta/The Revenge (1986). Hudziak also cooperated with Tadeusz Bradecki in whose productions he played Sergey Eisenstein in Lars Kleberg’s Uczniowie czarnoksiężnika / The Magician’s Students (1984), Karl in Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck (1986) and Feldfebel Macierzanka in Adolf Nowaczyński’s Wiosna Narodów w Cichym Zakątku / The Spring of Nations in a Quiet Corner (1987). The role of Macierzanka was constructed as a replica of the legendary episode of Stary Wiarus / Old Comrade played by Ludwik Solski in Stanisław Wyspiański’s Warszawianka. Hudziak also starred as the Chamberlain Jan in Witold Gombrowicz’s Operetka / Operetta directed by Bradecki (1988).
Following his performance in the 1978 production of Gombrowicz’s Iwona, księżniczka Burgunda / Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy, Hudziak appeared in more productions directed by Krystian Lupa. However, his roles of Eumaios /Swineherd in Stanisław Wyspiański’s Powrót Odysa / The Return of Odysseus (1981) and the leading part of Ja/I in Miasto Snu / The City of Sleep based on Alfred Kubin’s novel The Other Side (1985). This 7-hour long performance, which was criticized for hermetism and excessive symbolism, depicts the main character’s nightmarish journey in search for the essence of his conscious existence. Hudziak’s subsequent roles of Thomas in Robert Musil’s The Dreamers (1988) and Father Zosim in a renowned adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (1990, revival in 1999) won recognition. At the early 1990s Hudziak created remarkable roles in Lupa’s productions. He played Lassman in Rainer Maria Rilke’s Malte, or the Prodigal Son’s Triptych (1991).
There are two roles in this theatre production which have aroused an exceptional admiration: Piotr Skiba's Malte and Andrzej Hudziak’s Lassman – observed Grzegorz Niziołek. – The roles are almost ideally transparent. (...) Both Malte and Lassman return home after a long-term absence. There is a huge gap between the present day and the childhood memories. They feel distance towards people but closeness towards objects. They are also surprised by their own selves spread between the two times ("Teatr" 1992, No. 4/5).
Next, Hudziak performed as Konrad in Kalkwerk / The Lime Works based on Thomas Bernhard’s novel (1992, revival in 2003). These two roles brought him the Aleksander Zelwerowicz Prize awarded by "Teatr" magazine.
He work unhurriedly and humbly in view of the mysteries hidden in people and events (...) – said Krystian Lupa about his cooperation with the actor. – His imagination is fascinating...imagination regarding our deep emotions and how they may be expressed. But also about how we hide them. He is a wonderfully discreet actor. Besides, he is a visionary, a dreamer and a follower of the inner and outer journeys…For me, it was clear from the very beginning that he is the perfect Konrad from Kalkwerk ("Rzeczpospolita" July 21, 1995).
Konrad – a madman and a genius, an oversensitive sadist possessed with the idea to create and unable to create a single line of his The Case Study of Hearing was Hudziak’s great acting achievement.
The character of Konrad has moved me right away. Interestingly enough, in spite of his quite dark character, I was overwhelmed solely by warm feelings towards him – admitted the actor. – The crime he committed was unquestionable and horrifying. And yet, no matter how appalling it may seem, I thought that this man, being in this exact state of mind, had no other choice but to do it ("Gazeta Krakowska", January 7, 1993).
Hudziak also played in two parts of the story about the European spiritual heritage, Hermann Broch’s The Sleepwalkers. In Esch, or Anarchy (1995) he performed the part of Martin Geyring, a crippled socialist and unionist, while in the second part entitled Huguenau, or Objectivity (1998) the actor played the role of Ludwik Gödick – a man who survived his own death. Hudziak created his interpretation of Serge in Yasmina Reza’s Art (1997) and a discreet and tactful interpretation of Yeshua Ha-Nocri in Mihail Bulhakov’s The Master and Margarita (2002).
Shortly after the groundbreaking Kalkwerk / The Lime Works Hudziak, considered to be an actor who had modestly waited and worked for his success for many years, played the title role of Ivan Voynitzky in Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya directed by Rudolf Zioło (1993). In this role Hudziak was given the chance to present his acting style which does not search for external attractiveness, but which is complete, focused, discreet and often simply dignified.
Passive, "demagnetised", deprived of a character, egocentrically prone to self-analysis – such is Andrzej Hudziak interpreting the role of Uncle Vanya – wrote Andrzej Wanat. – The only clear form of his activity is partly foolish, partly masochistic mockery at his own corruption and alleged spiritual inferiority. (…) It is quite a challenge to play weakness for three hours. Hudziak is definitely not boring in this role (in: Andrzej Wanat, "Pochwała teatru / Praising the Theatre", Warsaw 1997).
Hudziak cooperated with Jerzy Jarocki again in the 1990s. He played the role of one of the Drunkards in the classic Ślub/The Wedding by Witold Gombrowicz (1991); Pafnucy in Sen srebrny Salomei / The Silver Dream of Salome by Juliusz Słowacki (1993) where he was successful in spite of the difficult text, and in Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz’s Grzebanie / Burial (1995). His other successful performance in the Polish drama of the romantic period was that of Guślarz/the Sorcerer in Jerzy Grzegorzewski’s production of Dziady – dwanaście improwizacji / The Forefathers. The Twelfth Improvisations (1995).
In recent years, the actor performed the role of Confucius and the Blind Man in Elias Canetti’s Auto da fé directed by Paweł Miśkiewicz (2005); Ficinati, the Painter and Worola, the Lawyer in Trans-Atlantyk / Trans-Atlantic directed by Mikołaj Grabowski (2008) and in two productions by Krystian Lupa: Zaratustra / Zarathustra based on Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Einar Schleef’s Nietzsche. Trilogy (the world premiere at the Hellenic Festival in Greece in 2004, Polish premiere in 2005). In this performance asking the fundamental questions about the sense and purpose of human existence, Hudziak interpreted the role of the Prophet of Weariness.
The actor cooperated also with the Television Theatre. He was Lieutenant Zaliwski in Stanisław Wyspiański’s Noc listopadowa / The November Night directed by Andrzej Wajda (1978); Słowacki in Epilog / Epilogue directed by Maciej Wojtyszko (1979); Podchorąży / Cadet in Tadeusz Różewicz’s Do piachu / Down to Sand directed by Kazimierz Kutz (1989), Davison in Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart directed by Robert Gliński (1994); Boris Simeonov-Pishchik in Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard directed by Andrzej Domalik (1994), Colonel Emil Fieldorf „Nil" in Jerzy Stefan Stawiński’s Ziarno zroszone krwią / A Seed Watered With Blood directed by Kazimierz Kutz (1994); Nemecsek’s Father in Ferenc Molnar’s The Paul Street Boys directed by Maciej Dejczer (1995); Geszwinowski in Bruno Winawer’s Obrona Keysowej / In Defence of Keysowa directed by Laco Adamik (1995) and Iwakichi in Yukio Mishima’s The Damask Drum directed by Andrzej Wajda (1996).
His recent roles in television productions included: Janusz Korczak in Korczak’s Bankructwo małego Dżeka / The Bankruptcy of Little Jack directed by Agnieszka Glińska (2000), the leading part of Franek in Roland Schimmelpfenning’s The Woman Before directed by Dariusz Gajewski (2006) and Father Ząbek in Grzegorz Łoszewski’s Stygmatyczka / Stigmatic Woman produced by Wojciech Nowak (2007).
In 1978 Andrzej Hudziak made his film debut. He played the supporting part of Augustyn, a student of philosophy in Krzysztof Zanussi’s moving picture about the act of dying, Spirala / The Spiral. Whereas in Lech J. Majewski’s Rycerz / The Knight (1980), a poetic film about the corrupted medieval kingdom on the verge of collapse, Hudziak performed as the Monk. During his career as a film actor, Hudziak appeared mainly in supporting parts. He created his episodes intuitively. Hudziak was Witoldyński, a journalist, in a TV series Z biegiem lat, z biegiem dni... / As Years Go By, As Days Go By… directed by Andrzej Wajda and Edward Kłosiński (1980); Hajduk, the vice-chairman of the "Solidarność/ Solidarity" Works Committee in Kazimierz Kutz’s Śmierć jak kromka chleba / Death As a Slice of Bread (1994); Assessor in Pan Tadeusz / Sir Thaddeus directed by Wajda (1999), Zatyczka in Lech J. Majewski’s Wojaczek (1999) and Stefan Bogacz in Zerwany / Torn, a feature film debut of Jacek Filipiak (2003). Hudziak played first leading role on the big screen in 2005 by creating an outstanding and acute portrait of Miron Białoszewski in Andrzej Barański’s film Parę osób, mały czas / Few People, Little Time, a subtle and intimate story of a spiritual relationship between the poet and his long-term blind secretary Jadwiga Stańczakowa (played by Krystyna Janda). For this role, Hudziak received award at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. In 33 sceny z życia / 33 Scenes from Life, a personal family story by Małgorzata Szumowska (2008), Hudziak starred as Jerzy Szczęsny, a documentary filmmaker and a father of the main protagonist Julia, who struggles with his wife’s disease and consequently her death.
- 1992 – Aleksander Zelwerowicz Prize awarded by "Teatr" magazine for the roles in Krystian Lupa’s theatre productions at the Stary Theatre in Kraków – Lassman in Rainer Maria Rilke’s "Malte" and Konrad in Thomas Bernhard’s "Kalkwerk / The Lime Works";
- 1993 – Award for the role of Konrad in Thomas Bernhard’s "Kalkwerk / The Lime Works" directed by Krystian Lupa at the Stary Theatre in Kraków at the International Theatre Festival "Kontakt / Contact" in Toruń;
- 1998 – Grand Prix for the role of Konrad in Thomas Bernhard’s "Kalkwerk / The Lime Works" directed by Krystian Lupa at the Stary Theatre in Kraków at the 38th Theatre Meetings in Kalisz;
- 2004 – The Audience Award for the role of Konrad in Thomas Bernhard’s "Kalkwerk / The Lime Works" directed by Krystian Lupa at the Stary Theatre in Kraków at the 10th Festival of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant in Łódź; The Ludwik Prize awarded by the Kraków theatre circle for the role of Konrad in Thomas Bernhard’s "Kalkwerk / The Lime Works" directed by Krystian Lupa at the Stary Theatre in Kraków
- 2006 – The Crystal Globe – award in the category of "best leading actor" for the role of Miron Białoszewski in "Parę osób, mały czas / Few People, Little Time" directed by Andrzej Barański at the 21st International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary.
Author: Monika Mokrzycka-Pokora, May 2005; updated: October 2009.