Iona Katarzyna Pawlak: She played the role of a lifetime and left Poland.  She then spent years trying to rebuild her career

Iona Katarzyna Pawlak She was a third-year student at the acting department at the Łódź Film School when her husband – Jacek Pawlak – convinced her to participate in test shoots for the lead role in “Nad Nymnem”. She went to the casting, not expecting that she would win, because the competition was really strong and it was said that the matter had already been resolved long ago and she would become Justina Grazyna Wolszczak.

“I returned to school and continued studying, and after a week I received information that the school… I was chosen for the lead role. Grażyna Wolszczak did not accept it for some reason. “I was terrified but happy,” Iona recalled years later in an interview with “Tygodnik Sieci”.

After the premiere of “Nad Niemnem” and graduation, Iona devoted herself to working in theatre. For a few seasons She was one of the brightest stars of the new theater in Łódź She did not care that cinema and television only offered her small roles.

The breakthrough in the life of Iona Katarzyna Pawlak was her visit to Australia. She flew to the Antipodes to promote “Nad Niemnem” and… stayed.

“I did it spontaneously. There I met an agent from New Zealand, she took great care of me and helped me. She invited me to her place. She started going to auditions, and got a role in the TV series “Gloss” and the movie “Brotherhood of the Rose,” in which she played alongside Robert Mitchum — whom she recently told Tomasz Jawinski of “Angora.”

I was more recognizable in New Zealand than in Poland“- she admitted in “Tygodnik Sieci”.

Although Iona acted, she had to do “non-acting” odd jobs to support herself. She admits that she worked as a model, but she was also a hostess in a restaurant and took care of the elderly.

“I missed Poland very much, I missed my home. And of course my husband. It was an unbearable longing,” she said, recalling her life in exile in an interview with Stockholm Designer magazine.

The actress really wanted her lover to come to her. She even sent him money for a plane ticket through a friend, but it never reached the recipient.

“They disappeared… Then Jacek told me on the phone: ‘Maybe you can come back?’” I found out The job at Nowy Theater was still waiting for me, so I didn't wait any longer and came back“- she said after returning to the country.

Iona Katarzyna Pawlak says about her husband that he is the love of her life. They met when she started college and married a few months later. Last year they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

“The recipe for such a long relationship? Marry a loving and understanding man. Of course, as in every relationship, we go through ups and downs, but when you have a friend in your life partner, you can survive everything,” she said in a message. Interview with “Życie na hot”.

After returning from immigration for a year and a half Iona had to remind Polish filmmakers herself. Eventually I started getting roles. She played, among others, in “Citizen of the World”, “Qumran” and the second part of the series “Dogs”, but she was never able to repeat the success she achieved with “Nad Nimnim”.

“I often heard that if I had not left, my career would have taken a different path,” she recently admitted in “Tygodnik Sieci”.

“I have never regretted leaving or coming back,” she added.

Iona and her husband lived in the actor's house in Łódź for several years. They both remember that although they did not have enough money, they did not complain about their fate.

“The actor's house was a wonderful place. The conditions may have been difficult, but we didn't have to worry about anything. We paid for our accommodation and didn't have to think about gas or electricity bills. We even had our bed covers changed,” says the star. “Nad nimnim.”

At the end of the first decade of the century, Iona Katarzyna Pawlak – who was somewhat disillusioned with acting – went to graduate school, and She graduated from the College of Media Management for Film Producers in 2012 and Television at Koźmiński Academy.

She also moved to D.C. with Jacek, but it turns out there are no jobs for her or him.

“I've been away from the art world for eight years. I worked in a bankShe admitted in an interview with “Angora,” adding that on the day she had to leave because the bank was undergoing a transfer, he called her. Jan Englert With an offer of a role in a play directed by Jerzy Jarocki at the National Theater, which he directed. She played in Mrozek's drama for nearly a decade.

A few years ago, the actress's husband got a job in Zielona Gora. It was proposed to promote the Lobosch region. They both played the roles of… officials. Iona was an employee in the field marshal's office, which did not prevent her from continuing her acting career – She recently played, among others, in the series “The Crown of Kings. The Jagiellonians”.

She recently told the newspaper “Wiadomości. Zielona”: “My own passion and the online community that supports me do not make me forget about acting. I have this attitude: what did not work in the past will work in the future.” Jura Gate.

In January 2024, Iona Katarzyna Pawlak finished her job as an administrator and returned to Warsaw with her husband.

“After returning to the capital, I continue the third year of filming in the TVP series. I play the role of the herbal Greta in the next part of 'The Crown of the Jagiellonian Kings'. And I can finally continue my acting challenges,” the actress revealed to Bombonic.

See also:

I've waited a decade for 5 minutes. When she reached the top, her husband did a terrible thing to her

Ewa Winsel left “M jak miłość”. It's all because of the fans

Agata Moynarska bids farewell to her sister in the series! She was a child star!


1. Article “No longer on the Niemen, but on the Vistula”, “Życie na hot”, November 2023.

2. Interview with E. K. Pawlak, “Tygodnik Sieci” No. 21/2023.

3. Interview with IK Pawlak, “Stockholm Designer Magazine”, March 2021.

4. Interview with I. K. Pawlak, “Angora” No. 25/2015.

5. Interview with IK Pawlak, “Wiadomości. Zielona Góra”, May 2023.

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