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"I'm retired now!" Maski Show actor Volodymyr Komarov talks about his star disease, work as a tour guide and business with smokers

Volodymyr Komarov

According to his passport data, Vladimir Komarov, the star of the comedy TV show Maski Show, celebrates his birthday every four years. The artist was born on February 29, a leap year. Yesterday he turned 60 years old.

In an interview with OBOZ.UA, the most colorful character of "Maski Show" told why he left the show at the peak of its popularity and also revealed a hobby that has nothing to do with his artistic career. Volodymyr Komarov is the only craftsman in Odesa who creates his smoking pipes. As it turned out, this is not all of his current occupations.

''I'm retired now!'' Maski Show actor Volodymyr Komarov talks about his star disease, work as a tour guide and business with smokers

– Volodymyr, congratulations on your anniversary! I confess that it was not easy to reach you.

– I've been calling since seven in the morning! Not a moment of peace – congratulations from all messengers. From different cities and countries, even from Australia. But I mentally prepared myself for the fact that today I would be answering calls all day. What else could I do? I'm retired now (laughs).

I have always dreamed of talking to a person born on February 29. Tell us, how does it feel to wait four years for your birthday?

– I don't wait, I take it calmly, evenly. There are positive aspects of a birthday, but there are also negative ones. The upside is that it comes once every four years, and the downside is that the celebration usually stretches over two days - on February 29 and March 1. Or both February 28 and March 1. And in the army, I was given two whole days off on these days. What was the most memorable day? I don't remember anymore, you know, my life is always running around, moving around.

I've only been celebrating the New Year at home for the last few years, but I'm always on the road, always traveling. Today I have only calls and phone calls. In the evening, I'll go to the pipe club, they'll greet me with a cake, and then I'll start walking home. Because I don't drink anymore, I need to lead a quiet life and take care of my health (laughs). No, I'm serious! Otherwise, the spectrum of impressions in the morning is not pleasing, and I want to feel good all the time.

''I'm retired now!'' Maski Show actor Volodymyr Komarov talks about his star disease, work as a tour guide and business with smokers

– Is it true that you are the only craftsman in Odesa who makes pipes?

– Yes, I am the only one in Odesa. I once watched a video on YouTube about what cigarettes are made of. It turned out that what is sold in stores today does not contain tobacco, and I wanted to smoke tobacco. So I came to the conclusion that it was better to switch to a pipe. And there should be at least a few of them because after smoking a pipe, you need to rest and breathe. If you smoke the same one often, the taste of the tobacco changes – not for the better.

So I decided to make myself a few, and then it went from there. By the way, Ukrainian craftsmen are considered to be among the best in the world, and I am the youngest among them. A pipe is not a cheap pleasure. A masterful product made of good wood cannot cost less than $100. And it takes a lot of time to make it – often a whole week.

– Tell us about another hobby of yours – you give tours around Odesa.

– In winter, practically not, it is traditionally a time of stagnation, but I will start in March. I come up with the routes and topics myself. What can it be? The Moldavanka district, where I grew up, or, for example, an alcoholic tour of the city center, because I used to love to drink – I know a lot about it (laughs). There are also individual excursions – people constantly write to me in personal messages: can I order one?

''I'm retired now!'' Maski Show actor Volodymyr Komarov talks about his star disease, work as a tour guide and business with smokers

– How has Odesa changed during the war?

– People's psychology is changing a lot, their perception of the world is changing because of these bombings and air raids. And the city itself is changing regardless of the time we are living through. Odesa was completely different in my childhood. And now, I think, it's becoming a little bit standard, turning into a kind of common city. Of course, this upsets me. I would like to preserve some flavor at least somewhere in the Moldavanka area.

I love Odesa very much. I have an electric scooter, I don't know what brand, but I liked it and bought it. I called it Bolivar. I ride it around Deribasovskaya Street, in the Soborka neighborhood: everyone knows me here - hello, hello.

''I'm retired now!'' Maski Show actor Volodymyr Komarov talks about his star disease, work as a tour guide and business with smokers

– You are probably often asked why you left the Mask Show. There were even rumors that you were struck by star sickness.

– No, it's not about that. I had starstruck about 25 years ago. And it was very fleeting. My friends put my mind in place and everything went away. Why did you leave the Masks? I'm so built that I try to live in the pursuit of pleasure. As soon as I stopped feeling joy from my work, I was no longer very interested. I realized that I had to look for something else. It seems to me that it's not even me who makes such decisions, but rather my feelings decide for me. If I don't like it, I say goodbye.

And most often without knowing what will happen next – where I will go. And I have never regretted any of my decisions, although sometimes it was not very easy. But here I have a recipe: you have to listen to yourself. What do you want to do? What do you want to do? If you listen, everything will work out. And you will have money to live on.

– Do you need a lot?

– I don't need much. Just enough to cover daily expenses, and if I can go on vacation at least once a year, that would be great. So far, I don't have enough to travel: my pension will be 2 thousand hryvnias. Well, that's the way we live in Ukraine now, what can you do? As for the Masks, I would like to note that we all remain on good terms, and moreover, I have been friends with Borys Barskyi for almost half a century. He is my longest-lasting friend in my entire life. We met when he was a student and I was a schoolboy. We practiced pantomime together at the Palace of Student Culture.

''I'm retired now!'' Maski Show actor Volodymyr Komarov talks about his star disease, work as a tour guide and business with smokers

I still visit the Masks Theater in Odesa, but I haven't worked there for a long time. And I don't want to, because it's not right to do a little bit of work. You either get into it all or you don't need to start. But if Boria asks me to do a commercial or to help out, I always agree.

''I'm retired now!'' Maski Show actor Volodymyr Komarov talks about his star disease, work as a tour guide and business with smokers

– In The Mask Show you were very good at playing female roles. When playing them, did you imagine any particular character?

– No, I just imagined the dress they would put on and that's the character I created. I started from the costume, the external image. The dresses of a market woman and a prim girl are different. And a type of behavior is born – nothing complicated. And, of course, you have to feel the character. I don't remember the last time I played such a role. But I continue to act in movies – before the war, a TV series with my participation was filmed in Chornomorsk.

– How is your personal life going? In one of your interviews, you talked about your three wives.

– I had three wives, yes. And now I'm sixty, I'm alone. And I feel very good, no one nags me (laughs). But I love each of the three wives. The first one now lives in Italy, the second one in England, and the third one is not far from me, and we see each other almost every day.

– Will you see your children today?

– My son is in Odesa, but he is very busy – he works in a correctional center as a child psychologist. He was educated here and then studied in Israel. My daughter lives in Italy, and I already have a granddaughter there. I just saw her on Viber and congratulated her.

– What thoughts do you wake up with at this difficult time?

– Of course, I dream, like everyone else, that the war is over. I wish that this bald jerk would quack at last. That's my main wish right now. I also want the country to start developing in the right direction, for deputies to be deputies, not God knows who, for laws to be enforced, and for our children to have a happy, measured life.

– Do you still have friends in Russia? Do you keep in touch?

– Not only friends but also relatives. They understand perfectly well what is really happening, but it is difficult for us to communicate. They are afraid that they are being listened to, and I am also worried about them in this sense. That's why we don't talk on the phone as often as we used to.

''I'm retired now!'' Maski Show actor Volodymyr Komarov talks about his star disease, work as a tour guide and business with smokers

– Let me compliment you on your excellent Ukrainian.

– Well, it's normal, Ukrainian is my second native language. For many years, I went to my grandmother's house near Kirovohrad (now Kropyvnytskyi - Ed.) for vacations. When I returned to Odesa, I spoke Ukrainian. It came naturally to me. I believe that if you live in Ukraine, you need to know the language. At home, in everyday life, you can speak even Gagauz. And you know what I have recently noticed: there are a lot of Ukrainian-speaking residents in Odesa. Sometimes I even ask a cashier in a store, for example: "Where are you from? Your Ukrainian is so good." "I'm from Odesa," she replies. I like it so much! We have good young people - literate, and promising.

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