IBNA Interview/Neritan Licaj: The actor is drugged by his role

IBNA Interview/Neritan Licaj: The actor is drugged by his role

The movie “Me, you and Kasandra”, which has a shocking plot for the Albanian society, brought fame for the talented actor Neritan Licaj.

Many years have gone by since then and Licaj has not left the world of film and art in general.

“Colonel Bunker” and then his transfer to theater with “The victims of the duty”, brought other prominent roles for Neritan, by making him loved by the public, not only the screen public, but also by the stage public.

In these 20 years, Neritan has not left the theater stages and the movie screens in Albania. “Eve’s Gate”, “Godfather and son”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Barber of Seville”, “Trojans”, “Truffle”, etc, are some of his prominent features.

The father of two sons, Neritan Licaj, talks in this interview for IBNA news agency about his two decades of career and the projects of his future

You have become known especially in the movie “Me, you and Kasandra”, which became very famous at that time. You played the role of a drug addict. Your interpretation was so realistic and many told me that you truly used to drug yourself in real life. Is there any truth in this?

The actor is drugged by his role. I just tried to penetrate the suffering of a drug addict. This is the job of a professional and this why we’re actors.

If you are offered another similar role today, but in the role of a drug addict parent, would you accept it?

A role is never offered twice. Nonetheless, I don’t know. I would have to think about it.

Since the end of ‘80s, you have played different roles, but especially during these 20 years, you have played professional roles in drama, then tragedy and then moved in the absurd theater. But you’re also present in comedy.

Yes, and the most recent one has been put on stage a few days ago and it’s called “Vanja, Sonja, Masha and the others”. This is a comedy which talks about an American family of the modern days. The message of this comedy is the fact that technology has developed more than it should, as it’s the case here in Albania.

Many actors complain that the financial reward is very small, although their efforts are great…

For an actor, the stage means his life. On the stage, the actor takes positive energies. When I get on the stage, I forget everything. I forget my problems, my spiritual state and I even forget my payment. I penetrate in the role and forget many things. And it’s not only me who does this, but every actor. It would be good if the financial reward was a little bigger, but this is the reality and this is our job.

You’re an actor of the National Theater and you’re in favor of the temporary contract, while several other actors considered these contracts as unacceptable.

Yes, it’s true that I’m in favor of the temporary contract. I consider it as a positive movement, because it encourages artistic competition, something that brings better quality.

Are you happy so far with the artistic life?

I am happy, but above all, I’m hopeful. Work will continue, because I have had offers. I think that things are going well and the public’s interest for the theater has grown.

What does an artist have to face when he’s a known theater actor?

To be a known actor is a positive thing. We all feel good when our work is valued. I also feel good when the public welcomes me and this is the good side. This makes me feel proud of myself. But on the other hand, responsibilities become bigger. The more the public likes you, the more you should work and try not to disappoint the public. But what we face is financial difficulty. Truth be told, we have not been valued as much as we should have and the financial problem is the main one.

You been graduated as a director. Will we see you as such?

Directing is an artistic vocation which requires an accumulation of knowledge and artistic “courage”. I believe that I have earned the first element, by taking from many talented and passionate directors that I’ve worked with. I lack “courage”. I think that a day will come when I will be the director of an artistic play, but when that day comes, I want the play to be something beautiful. It’s part of my long term plans. /ibna/

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