Jakub Gierszał is a film actor, born in 1988 in Kraków.
His father is Marek Gierszał, a Hamburg-based theatre director who mainly works in Germany. Jakub grew up over Poland's western border and returned to the country to study at the Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków. His appearance and magnetic personality draw comparisons to James Dean and he is regarded as one of the most promising actors of his generation.
He debuted in theatre in 2010 as Hamlet in Jan Peszek’s staging of the play, a diploma performance of senior year students of the Kraków Academy. Before that, he was cast in the widely awarded film All That I Love by Jacek Borcuch (2009). A breakthrough in his career came with the role of Dominik – a teenager lost between the real world and virtual reality, in Jan Komasa’s film Suicide Room (2011), which received Silver Lions at the Gdynia Film Festival. This role brought him not only critical acclaim, but also vast popularity among young audiences, reflected by the Zbyszek Cybulski Audience Award, which he received in 2011.
His next role was Zyga in Piotr Mularuk’s Yuma (2012). This extravagant comedy about a young boy growing up on the Polish-German border during a political turning point confirmed Gierszał’s universal talent. He worked again with Jacek Borcuch in the film Lasting, where he played opposite Magdalena Berus. They played a couple of enamoured students, who have to face a tragic event on the brink of their adulthood. In the famous The Lure (2015), he played a virtuoso bassist, whose band takes Polish discos by storm.
Gierszał has also been gaining increasing popularity on the international scene: he had parts in in the superproduction Dracula Untold by Gary Shore (2014) and in the indie comedy Morris from America by Chad Hartigan (2016), which had its U.S. premiere at the 2016 Sundance Festival (just like The Lure).
all that i love
sundance film festival
zbyszek cybulski award
Gierszał was, after all, born in Germany and has featured in German productions (Finsterworld by Frauke Finsterwalder, 2013, and The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs by Maria von Heland, 2013), so he doesn’t hide that he has no insecurities about working abroad and that he is also interested in an international career. After the premiere of Dracula Untold, he told Anna Tatarska in an interview:
This was an interesting experience for me, to see a set worth seventy million dollars – and they still complained that the budget was too small. To work on such a professional, big film, even if it’s a bit part, is always an adventure, it’s fun. But I would lie if I said that this was the only motivation. Everybody knows that in this industry talent isn’t enough, one also needs to be lucky, have connections, meet people. And on that set I met lots of people and those connections do work. So it was also a strategic decision. (Onet.pl, 16.01.2015)
- 2009 – All That I Love, dir. Jacek Borcuch;
- 2010 – $1 000 000, dir. Janusz Kondratiuk;
- 2011 – Suicide Room, dir. Jan Komasa;
- 2011 – Yuma, dir. Piotr Mularuk;
- 2012 – Lasting, dir. Jacek Borcuch
- 2013 – Finsterworld, dir. Frauke Finsterwalder
- 2013 – The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs, dir. Maria von Heland
- 2014 – Influence, dir. Łukasz Barczyk
- 2014 – Dracula Untold, dir. Gary Shore
- 2015 – The Lure, dir. Agnieszka Smoczyńska
- 2016 – Morris from America, dir. Chad Hartigan
- 2016 – Game Count, dir. Agnieszka Holland