Polish actor Tomasz Kot plays the role of Nikola Tesla in the movie “Nikola” and he tells the daily Vecernje Novosti that it’s a great honor. The director is Anand Tucker, who is known for his movie “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”
“I’m going to play Nikola Tesla, and I’m very much looking forward to that role. Although it was a bit surprising to me. When they informed me that I had been cast, it was difficult to believe it. However, in Poland I’m considered an actor who plays biographical films, and the movie ‘Cold War’ was my Hollywood passport as far as the producers of ‘Nikola’ are concerned. In addition, I suited them because of my build, because I resemble Tesla, and because of my Slavic origin and temperament,” Kot said.
“It’s a great honor for me to play one of the greatest scientists the world has ever had! I know that there is much debate in the Balkans about whether Tesla is a Serb or a Croat, but for me there is no question. I will play Nikola Tesla as a Serb, because that’s what he was. I was looking forward to the whole project and it was very important for me from the beginning to present his ethnic belonging to the Balkans, even though he lived in New York,” the actor added.
“I remember insisting that I play some parts speaking Serbian. Especially when he’s angry, because it’s hard to imagine a Serb cursing and being angry in English. So I asked that they introduce me to some Serbs who could teach me to swear in Serbian. Then one of the producers told me that there was no need to look for Serbs, because he came from Croatia and could easily explain how it’s done. And I also received some great advice from a friend on how to find out if there are any Serbs in my area. He told me to just shout that Tesla is a Croat, then, those who start cursing would be Serbs,” Kot says.
The preparations were demanding, and as he says, still are.
“I’ve already seen every movie about Tesla that exists on the internet, but I have a great desire to visit his birthplace. I would love to follow in his footsteps from birth. To experience every moment of his life. I’ve already been to Croatia, as we shot a part of the movie ‘Cold War’ in Split. But I would love to visit Serbia, to feel that mentality that was part of his personality, and to go to America following his discoveries and thoughts,” he said.
Kot understands Tesla’s story because it is in a way also his own.
“All of us from this area are in some way Nikola. Although we are top experts, scientists, actors in our countries and in Europe, each one of us arriving in America is faced with starting life almost from scratch. What follows is a lot of proving, fighting, overcoming huge obstacles. From the language, to social acceptance. It’s enough to know that your colleagues here simply had to hail a cab to get to the shooting that morning, while you had to fly over the ocean, and you will immediately understand the difference between us and them. In this respect, Nikola’s life story is in a way mine too. And that’s another important reason why I accepted the role in this movie,” said Kot.