The main roles in the historical saga are played by Sergei Marin and Svetlana Ivanova. The key characters are also played by the stars of Russian cinema Maxim Averin, Alexander Baluev, Yulia Snigir, Yan Tsapnik, Alexander Ilyin, Yuri Chursin and many others.
The Cathedral saga is a large-scale adventure movie and an incredible love story – love against all odds. The young serf Ivan Starshov has a chance to become free and be with his beloved – Maria, the prince’s daughter. After all, the country is in full swing – Peter’s reforms, society is changing dramatically. On the way to the goal, our hero also changes: from denial of God to conscious faith, which will lead him to a burning desire to build a cathedral in the new capital of St. Petersburg.
– In fact, this is a dashing adventure movie, – Sergey Ginzburg explains the plot. – The main story, the main intrigue of this picture is love, and love is unequal. The main character, Ivan, will be sent to the Preobrazhensky regiment, he serves for the sake of his rank and title of nobility, in order to be on a par with the princess. Because of this, he, headlong, rushes into the thick of adventures and performs feats. It is also important for us to show the transformations in the country: how the reforms were difficult for the tsar, how the army gained combat capability at the expense of such companions of the sovereign like Ivan. Peter is rebuilding the country and the army – so new colors and a new way of life burst into our film. Changing costumes and sets will highlight how the characters change. This is a unique opportunity for the viewer to see the evolution of a huge country in screen images.
Filming takes place in Moscow and the Moscow region, near Pskov, in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, and Lenfilm pavilions, which have become a large-scale shooting site for the project, are widely used in them.
The main roles are played by Sergei Marin and Svetlana Ivanova. For Sergei, this is not the first work in historical cinema. The artist starred in the films “Godunov”, “Ekaterina. Takeoff ”and others. Sergei prepared for the role with special care, looking through historical documents about Peter’s times. And at the same time he found common features of the past with modernity.
– Love, envy, friendship, betrayal – these feelings are unchanged, whether in Peter’s times or now, – says the actor. – These are eternal questions: why are we here, why exactly now, why exactly at this time all this is happening? This is the search for God, the search for inner freedom, the search for the meaning of life. Our picture covers a lot, but it seems to me that the personal growth of the hero remains important, which takes place against the background of incredible events, epoch-making changes.
Svetlana Ivanova, who plays the very daughter of Prince Maria, prepared for the role with no less care. And the actress is greatly impressed by the grand scale of both historical events and the filming itself. By the way, Svetlana often came to the shooting with her daughters – eight-year-old Polina and two-year-old Mira.
– This is an incredible adventure, one of the most beautiful adventures of my life! – Svetlana admits. – This is a fantastic job in one breath in such a talented company, incredible expeditions that my children and I will remember for a long time!
The role of Peter I is played by Maxim Averin. It is interesting that the director of the film, when approving the actors for the role, was sure that Maxim had already played this historical character. But it turned out not. Moreover, according to Averin himself, he was afraid to take on this role.
– When the casting director called me and said about this role, I felt fear and expressed my doubts, – recalls Maxim Averin. – And she answered me: “And we believe in you!” Actually, I am not superstitious, but I was scared to start this work. This is the kind of role that you can wait all your life – or you don’t even need to dream about it … I was nervous both on the audition and on the first day of shooting, but what is interesting: I liked that I was worried! And now I want to thank the people who believed in me, helped and supported me. I want to say a huge thank you to production director Sergei Ginzburg. I am happy to have met him. From the trial, from the first shot – this is such a work with an artist! He did not give up for a single moment – he helped to cope with difficult moments, supported, prompted … But at the same time he did not allow hack! Every scene has been thought out. And there was excitement from this work of the director with the artists. Each day of my shooting began as a ritual, with a make-up shop – it was like getting used to the image.
Yulia Snigir starred in one of the roles of the film.
By the way, as far as makeup is concerned, there were no complicated plastic manipulations: they did with a wig and a mustache. And for greater growth, Maxim Averin was made shoes with heels. The artist himself was 1 meter 90 centimeters tall, and Peter I was just over two meters. In addition, before filming, Maxim Averin took riding lessons to feel confident in the saddle.
Although the authors of the picture in every possible way emphasize that this is not a historically documentary film, but still fictional, nevertheless there was close attention to detail.
Preparations for the shooting took several years. For more than two years, the authors of the picture worked in archives, museums, and at the same time wrote the script. Much attention was paid to historical props. Since the films about the era of Peter the Great are not often filmed, historically accurate artifacts of that time were specially made for the “Cathedral” saga: weapons, household items, costumes, jewelry and much more. Everything was done to make the picture interesting, honest and accurate.
Make-up artists at work.
Spectators will see how an elegant cane will replace the boyar staff, and an outdated wick musket will replace the advanced flintlock rifle. Women will have their necks bare – they will change into European dress, and men will shave off their beards and put on wigs.
Several large-scale decoration complexes were built: the boyar estate of the late 17th century; scenery of St. Petersburg since its foundation. Also, military redoubts, ditches, fortifications were erected, which became the background of Peter’s wars with the Swedes.
In addition, a real port was built on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. And here, in the nearest barn, the first assembly took place – the very ball at which, according to the scenario, the fate of the main characters will intertwine.
Alexander Baluev plays the role of Prince Badarin.
The saga will also reflect the transformation of St. Petersburg. This will be done due to the decorations and the finalization of the backgrounds using computer graphics – since there are practically no real objects from those times. However, part of the filming will take place in the real Peter and Paul Fortress.
But the main decoration – the temple that the protagonist is building – was not erected right away: the audience will see the actual stage-by-stage construction of the cathedral. It was built right during the filming process. The cathedral, according to legend, was washed away by a flood, and then burned down. As the filmmakers say, it is based on the authentic history of the Transfiguration Cathedral. It has survived to this day in the architecture of the 19th century. But earlier on this place there was a wooden one.
“This is one of the most important projects, which we have been working on for more than two years,” admits General Producer Rafael Minasbekyan. – It’s a huge responsibility to make a film called “Cathedral”. The Transfiguration Cathedral in St. Petersburg in this saga will not just be a place around which events unfold – it will become one of the main characters of this story, a center of attraction for people and a witness to the great military victories of the Russian Empire.
The film will also feature several battle scenes, including the Battle of Narva and the Battle of Poltava.
Alexey Bardukov during the filming of the Battle of Narva scene.
“We start at Narva, where the battle was tragically lost, and end at Poltava, where we see the triumph of the Russian army and the final defeat of the Swedes,” says director Sergei Ginzburg. – This is a unique opportunity for the viewer to see the evolution of the army and a huge country on screen. It is important for us to show the epic nature of the battles, to convey the scale using computer graphics, to achieve historical accuracy thanks to the detailed restored weapons and costumes of that time. We work carefully with historical consultants to recreate the context of time. War scenes for us are not an attraction, but a deeply thought-out dramatic action in which the conflict takes on an extreme form.
At the same time, the director of the saga emphasizes that the movie will still be adventure.
“We want to show the transformations in the country: how the reforms were difficult for the tsar, how the army gained combat capability at the expense of such associates of the sovereign like Ivan,” says Ginzburg. – But all this will look at one breath, as it is presented in the form of an exciting adventure movie.
Photo of the press service of the film
Age category of materials: 18+