Magdalena Popławska, born January 1st 1980, is a theatre and film actress.
Magdalena’s mother, who once dreamed of becoming an actress, instilled her passion for drama into her daughters’ minds. She often took them to plays and made them successfully participate in recitation competitions. When the elder child – Aleksandra - enrolled in drama school, Magdalena decided to choose her own path and intended to join a high school for economics. This choice soon turned out to be ill-advised but fortunately, behind Magdalena’s back, her sister had registered her for an audition at the Academy for the Dramatic Arts, which she passed on her first attempt, despite an enormous amount of competition.
Before she even graduated from the Academy, she had her début in November 2003 on the stage of Teatr Rozmaitości in Warsaw, in a play entitled Electronic City by Richter Falk. During the subsequent years she avoided being bound to any specific theatre. She performed on various stages, including underground theatres, in Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań and Wrocław, earning many rewards and honourable mentions at drama festivals. She won a second prize at the prestigious Stage Songs Review in Wrocław for her interpretation of an Agnieszka Osiecka song. As a scholar of the Catalan Insitut del Teatre, she performed in Barcelona. Since 2008, she has been cooperating more regularly with Krzysztof Warlikowski’s Nowy Theatre, where she continues to act in three celebrated plays - (A)pollonia and Koniec (The End) and Nancy.Interview.
In 2005, she made her film début with her performance in Doskonałe popołudnie by Przemysław Wojcieszek. Soon TV became her natural environment. Up to now, she has participated in six series. Critics of The Film magazine wrote about her appearance in the Usta usta series (2010):
A tender mother, a caring wife, a frustrated woman.. She is wild, crazy, furious, beautiful, sexy and classy, easily blending extreme emotions. You need to be greatly gifted not to exaggerate or not to bore the audience. I am waiting for her future roles – eager to see another incarnation of a modern woman.
She acts as an ambitious woman in her thirties, who sacrificed her promising career for an affluent but monstrously monotonous family life. Only a person who knows similarly self-destructive cases will notice how skilfully Magdalena builds her character, being convincing and reserved at the same time.
Her major success came with a feature film by Arkadiusz Jakubik - Prosta historia o miłości / A Simple Story About Love, which was awarded a Grand Prix at the Gdynia Film Festival. She assumed the role of an actress who acts in a melodrama directed by her boyfriend, shot on a speeding train. Despite him being very close to her at all times, she becomes fascinated with her screen partner. This role, giving the actress a wide range of opportunities, revealed all of her values, which made her able to create an absolutely credible image of a present-day young woman. All of her strengths were masterfully synthesized, flavoured with a drop of bitter irony – a sign of Magdalena’s experience. The jury of the Zbyszek Cybulski Award gave her the title of Most Interesting Young Actress of 2011.
Her following film roles were also well received, though mostly supporting: she played the pregnant wife of the protagonist of Bartek Konopka's Fear of Falling (2011), the cold, cheating mother of a rebellious teenager in Anna Kazejak's The Promise (2014) and actress Adrianna Soska-Tekieli in Łukasz Barczyk's Influence.
In her work she often uses musical and dance skills. She displayed them, among others, in the widely acclaimed performance Nancy. Interview, directed by the French choreographer Claude Bardouil. She played the punk-lover of the famous Sex Pistols' bass player. She spoke about her role in Maleman magazine:
I achieved the climax of what I want to do in theatre when it comes to substance. I am not even able to describe it, it's impossible to describe. It's a dance performance, although it's not really danced, somewhere between playing and not-playing. Our major inspiration was the relationship between Sid Vicious (Sex Pistols) and Nancy Spungen. Fascinating, yet tragic. The play is mostly improvised, which reinforces the concentration on stage. We have to be present and ready for what's happening. I feel very proud of what we did there.
Jacek Marczyński reviewed in Rzeczpospolita:
The performance is emotionally involving, but it's better not to analyze it too much. It will become obvious then that the choreography repeats a set of gestures and movements very well known in postmodern, contemporary dance.
The performance also seduced the rock audience of the Opener festival in Gdynia, won many awards and was presented abroad. The actress collaborated with the French director again during rehearsals for another dance-experiment, this time dedicated to the icons of pop culture. In Exhausted/Wyczerpani, presented in the spaces of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Popławska plays Savannah, a porn star from the 70s. She is accompanied on stage by Ewa Dałkowska, who plays the legendary Marlena Dietrich.
The actress is a vegetarian and an enviromentalist - among other projects, she played in a documentary about the life of bees and traditional apiculture - Łowcy miodu / Honey Hunters, directed by Krystian Matysek (2016).
- 2005 - Doskonałe popołudnie, by Przemysław Wojcieszek;
- 2006 - Mrok (TV Series), by Jacek Borcuch ;
- 2006 - Cold Kenya by Laurence Walsh;
- 2007 - Ekipa (TV Series);
- 2007 - Glina (TV Series);
- 2007 - Benek, byRobert Gliński;
- 2008-2009 - 39 i pół (TV Series);
- 2008 - 0_1_0, by Piotr Łazarkiewicz;
- 2008 - Na kredyt, by Przemysław Nowakowski;
- 2009 - Zero, by Paweł Borowski;
- 2009 - Fundacja Kultura, by Rafał Kapeliński;
- 2010-2011 - Usta usta (TV Series);
- 2010 - Prosta historia o miłości, by Arkadiusz Jakubik;
- 2010 - Between 2 Fires ("Dwa ognie"); by Agnieszka Łukasiak;
- 2011 - Przepis na życie (TV Series);
- 2011 - Lęk wysokości / Fear of Falling, by Bartosz Konopka;
- 2011 - Dół, by Leszek Molski.
- 2013 - Komisarz Alex (TV Series);
- 2013 - Hiszpanka / Influence, by Łukasz Barczyk
- 2013 - Bez tajemnic - (TV series)
- 2015 - Król życia / King of Life, by Jerzy Zieliński
- 2016 - Jestem mordercą / I am a killer, by Maciej Pieprzyca
Autor: Konrad J. Zarębski, listopad 2011, translated by Wojciech Oleksiak, updated by NMR, August 2016.