Film and theatre actor, born on May 1, 1986, laureate of the Zbyszek Cybulski Prize for Acting in 2010.
Film and theatre actor; laureate of the Zbyszek Cybulski Prize for Acting. He has shown on the big screen that he can both play emotions and play with the viewers' emotions.
Mateusz Kościukiewicz (born May 1, 1986) was only 24 years old when he gained great recognition for his role in Paweł Sala's dark drama Mother Teresa of Cats and winning a number of awards for his performance. He had already made his theatre debut by that point, cooperated with leading personalities of the Polish theatre and won widespread acclaim for two major film roles. Mateusz Kościukiewicz grew up in the Wielkopolska region. After graduating from high school in Nowy Tomyśl, he entered the Academy of Theatre in Kraków and in 2008, he took part in an acting course in Paris based on Lee Strasberg's and Carl Jung's method. Before his big break on the big screen, Kościukiewicz played a few supporting parts in TV series and feature films (in Sweet Rush by Andrzej Wajda, as he bitterly comments in one of the interviews one could only see his back) and performed in Klątwa (Curse) by Stanisław Wyspiański staged by the Academy of Theatre and directed by Anna Polony. However, it was exposure to the American method that steered him along the right path.
Getting role in Jacek Borcuch's All That I Love (2009) was a turning point in his career. It tells a coming-off age story in the times of first 'Solidarity' movement and the martial law: first loves and adolescent passions confronted with harsh reality. The film was recognized as a generation statement. At the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia it won the award for the best set design and the Golden Claquer audience award for the longest-applauded film. It was also screened at several international festivals, including Sundance Film Festival, and was selected as the Polish candidate for the Oscar. Kościukiewicz, who not only plays the leading part but also sings in the film (his protagonist is a leader of a punk band) received the 'discovery of the festival' award at the Prowincjonalia Film Festival in Września. However, there is one more aspect of All That I Love that hardly anybody takes into consideration:
Jacek made a film with completely unrecognisable faces - said Mateusz Kościukiewicz in an interview by Łukasz Maciejewski (Film No. 9/2010) – and it turned out that we exactly know what's we're doing; we are not helpless monkeys; we have our own views, ideals; we read something and admire somebody etc. I do not think it was a question of coincidence. Poland of the 20-year-olds is in bloom. Either my generation enters cinema, television, theatre and literature or there will be trouble.
The actor's predictions have come true. The offensive of young actors, who as Kościukiewicz argues in the above mentioned interview follow his way of thinking, has been launched:
I feel like tearing thousands of things into pieces at the same time. My head is filled with multiplicity of projects. I do not want to waste my life for sweet farting in the spotlights or a social self-love. I feel hungry for cinema but I am not under pressure to gain fame or money. I prefer staying at my friends' place and go by bike rather than blacken my name right away in 'Dancing with the Pussies'. I am familiar with this process. First, it is all about an apartment, then a car. Costs you almost nothing. I will dance, sing (...) Two years pass - you appear in a TV series every day and discredit yourself as an actor. You do not develop yourself, do not invest in your professional career. Finally, you get used to it. That's it. Money loosens you up. I do not want to be loosen up, I want to fight - for reason.
The fight for sense was demonstrated in another role played by Kościukiewicz, this time in Paweł Sala's Mother Teresa of Cats (2010) in which he also played a young man who cannot accept the reality aaround him. In contrast to Janek from All That I Love, Artur from Mother Theresa of Cats does not grow up or mature but sinks into madness which leads to an inevitable tragedy. The film tells a story of two brothers who murder their own mother. Commenting on his award-winning role at the Karlovy Vary Festival, Kościukiewicz said to Łukasz Maciejewski:
While working on the role, I passionately returned to Dostoyevsky and his Raskolnikov as a model of a certain attitude. Neurosis, psychosis, egocentrism, complexes. Różewicz in A Story about Old Women wrote: 'I like old women, ugly women, evil women - they are the salt of the earth.' I fully agree. Youth, beauty, sincerity - these often lead to the chaos of self-deception. In Artur everything intermingles and mixes up; one feature disturbs the other. To grab an axe, one impulse is enough. But to save yourself in an existential sewage, you must learn how to love. Nobody taught Artur how to do that.
After the premiere of All That I Love Mateusz Kościukiewicz was compared to such film stars of the recent cinema as Leonardo di Caprio or Robert Pattison ('I hate it. I have my own name, I am original, not a copy' - he defends himself in an interview), while in his role in Mother Theresa of Cats the actor was viewed as James Dean or the young Zbigniew Cybulski. The next film with his participation Shameless by Filip Marczewski hit cinema theatres in 2011. This time the protagonist played by Kościukiewicz falls in love with his older sister.
After Shameless came Małgorzata Szumowska's In the Name Of... where the young actor plays a boy in an ambiguous relationship with a priest (played by Andrzej Chyra). In 2013 Baczyński (dir. Kordian Piwowarski) premiered as well - a fictional essay about the tragic poet, portrayed by Kościukiewicz, and the nostalgic Bilet na księżyc / Ticket to the Moon directed by Jacek Bromski. Kościukiewicz played the main part in Francesco - an Italian TV series about St. Francis, directed by Liliana Cavani, alongside Rutger Hauer. In 2015 he appeared in Filip Bajon's Damaged and Jerzy Skolimowski's 11 minutes. He also debuted as a screenwrite, co-authoring the script of Maciej Bochniak's Disco Polo.
Mateusz Kościukiewicz has already shown on the big screen that he can both play emotions and play with the viewers' emotions. On November 8, 2010 he was awarded the prestigious Zbyszek Cybulski Prize. And yet, he continues to hone his craft, opening himself to a variety of forms. Theatre director and producer Krzysztof Warlikowski invited the young actor to join the cast of his latest performance The End, which premiered on September 30, 2010.
- 2006 - Fala zbrodni" / "Crime Wave (TV series)
- 2007 - Nightwatching (co-production: Poland - United Kingdom - Canada - Netherlands)
- 2008 - The Criminal Division (TV series)
- 2008 - Drowsiness, directed by Magdalena Piekorz
- 2009 - Sweet Rush, directed by Andrzej Wajda
- 2009 - All That I Love, directed by Jacek Borcuch
Prowincjonalia Film Festival 2010 Prize
- 2010 - Mother Theresa of Cats, directed by Paweł Sala
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2010 Prize for Best Actor
- 2011 - Shameless, directed by Filip Marczewski
- 2012 - Bejbi Blues, directed by Katarzyna Rosłaniec
- 2012 - Baczyński, directed by Kordian Piwowarski
- 2013 - In the Name of... directed by Małgorzata Szumowska, Shooting Star Award for young European actor
- 2013 - Bilet na Księżyc / Ticket to the Moon, directed by Jacek Bromski
- 2015 - Damaged, directed by Filip Bajon
- 2015 - Disco Polo, directed by Maciej Bochniak (as actor and screenwriter)
- 2015 - 11 Minutes, directed by Jerzy Skolimowski
Author: Konrad J. Zarębski, November 2010, updated by NMR, June 2016