October 26, 2021

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"Everyone just told me to undress, because it would be fun."  When I asked the same thing, there was no shortage of people

“Everyone just told me to undress, because it would be fun.” When I asked the same thing, there was no shortage of people

“She’s the most feminine woman in Poland,” Agnieszka Osiecka said of her. The men were sighing at her, and some of the women … showered with love letters. But Grażyna Szapołowska did not want to be just a beautiful addition to the plot. Although she had no qualms about nudity scenes, it bothered her that early in her career, more was said about her beauty than talent.

The wings allowed her to develop a movie like “Another Look”. She was also known as a great actress in productions such as “Paan Tadeus” by Andre Waida or “Short Film About Love” by Krzysztof Kielowski. PRL-u She became famous for saying that a woman should buy a car so that the color of the upholstery matched the fur, and the conflict with Jean Englert ended in court.

But as the star says: I hate polite and quiet right people. I just don’t believe them.

Grażyna Szapołowska is certainly not one of them.

First roles, first loves

Grażyna Szapołowska was born in Bydgoszcz on September 19, 1953. Her parents returned home – her father was of Latvian-Polish origin. Her mother, nee Karkellis, came from Lithuania and was missing her native Soychiani and her sister who stayed there until the end of her life. When she went there to visit her hometown in the 1950s, she secretly baptized her youngest daughter, Grażyna. When the girl was 12 years old, her father left the family. Although he never officially divorced his mother, the woman has had to raise Grażyna and her older sister Lidka on her own since then.

I walked away from him, something inside me changed forever. I poured all my love on my mother – the actress recalled in one of the interviews.

Grażyna Szapołowska from Baby I dreamed of acting. Therefore, immediately after graduating from high school, she wrote a letter to her mother in which she explained that she wanted to become independent and left Lilinia Jura. Henrik Tomaszowski ran the Pantomime Theater there and agreed to hire an aspiring actress. She played a ring, but until then everyone was delighted with the grace and beauty of the little girl. But the theater director explained to her that education is also important in the career of an actress. On his advice, Grażyna Szapołowska decided to attend the PWST in Warsaw. I got it the first time. She graduated from school in 1977, and soon found work in the National Theater.

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While she was still a student, she started playing SeriesOr “forty” or “dummies”. Appeared on the big screen for the first time in Yugoslav language Movie “The Smell of the Earth” (1977). During her student days, Grażyna Szapołowska also experienced her first and serious romance. And her chosen one was Eric Wittkau, the brother of actress Agnieszka Wittkau-Peribechko. The relationship did not survive the test of time, but soon Szapołowska stood on the carpet in her second year of studies. The sacred word “yes” was heard from her by Marek Lewandowski, who was seven years her senior, and was very popular at that time. But this time, too, the choice turned out to be wrong. The reason for the divorce was the pressure of the actor’s mother, who believed that Grażyna should focus on the role of wife and mother, and not her career.

Grażyna Szapołowska – Illustration Photo by Alina Gajdamowicz / AG

However, the young actress was not discouraged by the institution of marriage. Immediately after graduation, she married Andrzej Jungowski, a wealthy businessman. This time she had no worries about motherhood – in 1978 she gave birth to a daughter, Katarzina. But the second husband turned out to be very jealous of the adoration of his fans. So he gave his wife an ultimatum – be it in the family or on the job. The actress did not think long about the answer. And her career took off very quickly.

Nudity is a guarantee of success

Grażyna Szapołowska has not been shy about disjointed scenes since the beginning of her career. She has already shown her charm in the first cinematic appearance – “Smell of the Earth”. The growing popularity led Szapołowska to abandon the stage in favor of film. Later, she admitted that she learned more at the National Theater than during her studies, but the cinema perfectly absorbed her. Soon she began to appear on magazine pens, give interviews. I became a star. She attracted the attention of the press, not only from Poland, but also from the international press, thanks to her role in the controversial film by Hungarian director Karol Mikke, “A Different Look”. Szapołowska played there alongside Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieślak, the picture was one of the first about lesbian love. The film was well received at the Cannes Film Festival.

He was the first to tell me about my worth, and about the sensuality that sells. Before that, no Polish director taught me this. Everyone told them to take off their clothes, because it would be interesting – recalls Karola Maka Zabunska in an interview for the magazine “Beauty of Life”.

She added that although she returned to Poland without an award, her performance was appreciated by an audience who “at first, we were seen as girls from behind the Iron Curtain, almost like animals. And then, when they saw the film, they fell to their knees. Standing “- she said actress.

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The role in “Another Look” made other women sigh at Grażyna Szapołowska. The actress stated that she received passionate love letters written by lesbians. In “Wielki Szu”, where she played alongside Jan Nowicki, a crowd of men came mainly to see her charms in a striptease scene. Apparently, Nowicki invited friends from abroad to the cinema a few years after the premiere of the film. He wanted to show them that people still enjoyed watching him. In fact, the hall was exploding at the seams. But to the actor’s disappointment, most of the audience left after seeing Szapołowska, releasing sexual excitement, on stage for a few minutes.

Fairy and self-confidence

It is said that the fortune teller predicted to Graاyna Zaponska that the actress would not begin to make a real career until after 30. Indeed, more or less at this time, Mrs. Grażyna enjoyed the greatest victories. A breakthrough in her career is considered to be her role in the comedy “Twenties and Thirties”. Shortly thereafter, the actress received the Golden Duck Award four times in a row, which the readers of the “film” awarded monthly. Her role in Kieślowski’s production of a short film about love earned her a Silver Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival and a Best Female Role Award at the Gdynia Film Festival.

Kieślowski said I have a talent for being on screen, and that my hands, hair, and feet play. And the state of the star is a created image. A little help me, many thanks to the media – commented the actress.

At that time, Grażyna Szapołowska gave a famous interview in which she said that she drives a Jaguar and that a woman should choose the color of the car’s upholstery to match the fur. The interview caused a scandal but was a provocation by the actress. The car, although luxurious for Polish conditions, got it from her friends in Switzerland after she had to sell her car to pay the rent. And the tailor sewed her fur from mink skins, which paid her to participate in one of the Soviet productions.

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Grażyna SzapołowskaGrażyna Szapołowska Photo by MACIEK SKAWINSKI / GAZETA AGENCY

In the following years, Szapołowska performed, inter alia, in “Home Chronicles” (1997) by Leszek Wosiewicz and in the adaptation of “Pan Tadeusz” (1999) by Andrzej Wajda, where she played the role of Telemena. In an interview with “Twój Styl,” the actress said, “I don’t just play Telemena, I’m her. I love her for the distance of her life and myself. She’s lonely, but with her choice. It’s the luxury of maturity.” . The performance earned her the Polish Eagle Award for Best Female Role.

Szapołowska had unusual ideas.

Sometimes he joked to me that since I take off my clothes, I would like the director and cinematographer to undress as well. What some of them did with zeal – I told “Beauty of Life”.

Grażyna Szapołowska in rehearsal Grażyna Szapołowska in rehearsal of the play “Tango” at the National Theater fig. Jacek Ajosky / Aginga Gazeta

Despite the passage of years

Grażyna Szapołowska continues to impress with her talent and charisma, attracting viewers to the screens and to the audience. In 2004, she returned to the troupe of the National Theater in Warsaw. However, in April 2011, she was disciplinaryally dismissed by the then director, Jan Englert. The reason is that the actress did not appear on the show. At that time, Szapołowska took part in the recording of the TV show “How they sing”, where she was a member of the jury. Englert considered it unethical to act. Meanwhile, Szapołowska argued that she had been repeatedly warned about her planned absence and had requested a replacement. The case ended in a court that sided with the theater administration.

However, Grażyna Szapołowska still appears in films and serials. In recent years she has been seen in the films “Botox”, “365 Days” or “The Crown of Kings”. In particular, she is related to entrepreneur Eryk Stępniewski. She is also the grandmother of Carolina Jungowska. And above all, a beautiful woman who proves that age is just a number. Fans compare her time-resistant, natural beauty and allure to Meryl Streep.