Kusta as a head of the class

Fifteen years ago, he met Kusturica and entered the world of film. He has three great movies behind him: “When father was away for business”, “The time of the Gypsies” and “Underground”, TV series: “Top lista nadrealista” and “Band of Brothers”, great movie characters, Perhan and Muta. He attended the Music school, he likes rock’n roll and reggae, and he does acting easy and he does it only when the cameras are on. He hangs around with people from Sarajevo and Belgrade, he is very optimistic and he believes in himself. His horoscope sign is a double “Virgo”, and he doesn’t believe in destiny.

He got the movie award at the festival in Nis, he has been nominated for Felix in Paris, where in ’89 he was nominated for one of the five top actors in Europe. At that time, Davor Dujmovic was only 20 years old. It wasn’t easy to reach Davor. He is a very quiet and distrustful person. Five years later, he decided to be interviewed for newspapers. He is a bit shy, modest, intelligent, realistic and different. He gladly talks about some past times, smokes a lot and drinks coffee with lots of sugar. Piano instead of accordion

How did he get in the movie?
As a matter of fact, I’m a musician. I said the same thing in Cannes at the press conference. As a kid, my mother and father have sent me to a music school, and I chose piano. We were poor, I didn’t have the instrument, but my mother knew the cleaning lady at the school who unlocked the classroom for me during the night and I practiced. Of course, I didn’t always play what I was supposed to; I always played some of my crazy stuff. But, the next day, in the class, I would put my music in front of me and played exactly what I should. The Music school was in front of the building where audition was held for the movie “When father was away for business”. I went there for probation shooting, Kusturica liked me and everything kind of started by itself.

What was the reaction of your friends, neighbors and parents?
At that time, nobody took that for real, neither have I, my parents, nor friends. Just after we won the Golden Palm tree in Cannes, that became important and I became significant to myself and to others. Then people started to recognize me on the streets, I got some benefits.

When you look back, what do you think about those beginnings?
We worked with great affection and love. Today, everything is different. When somebody gets the job with Kusturica, he is the least happy for getting that job because he really loves it, the reason for happiness is vanity, complexes, money. I really loved the times when everything was done by film cameras only. Everything seemed more natural, and it was reflected on screen too. I am totally against the electronic technology.”
Perhan as the destiny

The character of Perhan, have brought you the most awards?
Perhan came as a destiny to me in order to get the leading part after the movie “When father was away for business”. Perhan is a cult that symbolizes something gypsy and it will continue to be the same for the next 200 years.

Many people claim that “The time of the Gypsies” is the best Kusturica’s movie. Can you say for yourself that you are an artist?
All kinds of people consider themselves to be artists and I feel kind of goofy to talk about it. According to things that I’ve made, it would be stupid to say that I’m not an artist. I don’t know anyone from the former Yugoslavia who was nominated for Oscar but me. I think that someone who was among five top actors in Europe can be considered as an artist. For me, it’s some sort of rock’n roll. I’m capable of doing all kinds of jobs and they will end up having artistic value. Whatever I do, I try to keep it simple.

Your parts are considered as the acting tasks that are more difficult. How difficult it is to create those characters and how much do you “lend” your ideas and yourself to that character?
I got the great deal of parts through the arrangement with the director. That arrangement creates enough space for me to work. I don’t think that acting is some kind of a philosophy. It’s more of a feeling, chemistry. The script is like “skeleton” which has to be respected and 99 percent of stuff in front of the cameras is my own ideas in cooperation with the director. In the TV series “Top lista nadrealista”, that “skeleton” existed, but everything was allowed. Many times, it happened that the cameras are on and no one knows what I’ll say.

I read and listen to the statements of the actors on how they prepare their parts, how it is a great transformation to “enter the character” and if they listen to that, people might think that the actors are suffering. The theatre is something else. I can read the script and imagine how it should approximately look like. Just when I get to the stage, put the costume on, the chemistry starts to work. The script is somewhere in the subconscious and what needs to be done is the most ordinary thing in the film. Though, I didn’t have a chance to play in science fiction movie yet.

You also had opportunity to work in the theatre in Sarajevo
Mladen Materic and I have created the “Moon play” in Sarajevo. That play was without any lines and we played it in Edinburgh and in IC theatre in London. This is the same theatre for which Jack Nicholson stated that he is honored to play in. In that theatre, as in London, I got the excellent critics which had been copied and shown at the Academy in Sarajevo. That was the play which was totally different than all the rest.

Have you tried to re-enter the Academy?
I haven’t. Sometimes I say, as a joke that I would attend the Academy only if I was to teach there. I don’t think I really had the necessity to attend the Academy, because I wanted to stay in movie business until I get bored, until the audience and cameras are sick of me. As a matter of fact, I never intended to be an actor. It seemed kind of foolish to enter the Academy after 800 hours in front of camera and after the movies with Kusturica.”
Kusta-the teacher

Who do you consider to be your teacher?
It’s absolutely Emir Kusturica. We know each other for 15 years. Besides shooting movies together, lived in the same apartment and the shooting of his movies lasts for more than a year each. Even when we didn’t work, we were together, all this time until the war started. I also learned a lot from cameraman, Vilko Filac, who did all Kusturica’s movies. Kusta was like a head of class to all of us

Does the character you’re preparing and playing; sometimes “walk into” your private life?
I was lucky to learn acting in front of cameras, from the moment that camera is on. While shooting the movie “Band of Brothers”, the director tried to explain a certain scene to me, but Nele interrupted him and told him to let me do as I think I should. After that scene, Nele burst laughing. That scene will be on tape of the “Band of Brothers”.

How was the character Muta created?
Nele and I are the only old Sarajevo aerialists in Belgrade. Two and a half years ago we talked about the series, hypothetically and Nele started writing the script. We have chosen this character because, when I played in “Top lista nadrealista”, I played a character who gets upset in the factory for production of “nothing”. Then we decided that I should be a nervous guy with moustaches who doesn’t have a clue about anything.

What are the reactions on that character?
After everything I played, I got used to being praised, being spit on, provoked… On positive reactions, I react positively, and on negative – indifferent. Many people want to get in touch with me no matter what it takes. Many do not know how to do it, so they start with provoking and stupid approaches, while others, approach me in very normal way, asking for autographs. I’m aware that this is the price of fame.

Recently, the “nadrealisti” that stayed in Sarajevo, created their own “Top lista nadrealista”. What do you think about it?
It’s created under the bad war and political conditions. That crew went through all kinds of political pressures. They made something similar to the previous “nadrealists”. It must have been difficult for them to do that, because it happened that during the shooting of the show, the bombing starts and then they had to remove the cameras, lights and it’s supposed to be a comedy. Those people managed to go through all that. As politics is concerned, they stayed neutral. I’m giving them a high grade for what they did, taking into account the conditions they’ve worked in and one thing that is really important-in their show, there’s no hate towards anyone.

Many people think that in the TV series “Band of Borothers” a person that was missing was Branko Djuric-Djura?
People forget that the time doesn’t stand still. Djuro is in Slovenia and he currently works at the TV station there. He would surely be a great asset to the “Band of Brothers” but not as much as people might think. It is a completely different show from the “TLN”.

How would you describe yourself?
I don’t know, I can’t answer that. That is something that is usually said by others. “Rich and handsome as an actor”

I asked you that question because the audience is very often identifying the actor with the character that he plays, and I’m pretty sure that you aren’t and that you don’t want to be like Perhan or Mute?
People are very peculiar creatures. After every movie or series, the first thing that crosses their minds is the character that I played but if they continue watching me a bit longer, I’m sure they would see me as Davor. I got used to it, but I know that I’ll not stay Mute till the rest of my life, since Perhan now seems to be disappearing a bit…”

What is your vision of future, what are your plans…
It’s a complicated issue, especially for me since I’ve lost my city. I don’t have any specific plans and I don’t think I should have them for a while. I’m waiting for this situation to calm down. Nowadays, on TV you can see the shows beneath every level, no criteria at all. I’m waiting for that to stop and I’m thinking to myself: let them be, let all of them take their shots and then something good will start again, I guess… They know that I’m a good actor, but… I’m waiting for the entire universe to calm down. Optimist with a reason.

What kind of music do you like?
The simplest answer is – rock’n roll and reggae. That’s the music I respect, appreciate and listen to. I also like local rock’n roll, of course, YU nostalgia. Reggae artist that I love is – Bob Marley, and rock – The Stones, Police. And as for the local rock, it has its own story…

Are you an optimistic person?
Usually, I am, especially when something depends on me. Then I can be optimistic with a good reason. I believe in myself.

What is your life motto?

What are you wishing for …money, destiny?
I don’t believe in destiny, voodoos and zodiac. I’m a double Virgo in zodiac, and many people are disgusted by that. I read some horoscopes and I don’t find myself in it. I think of destiny as more of a coincidence because the faith is a religious form

Love. How much love do you have in you and how much do you get from it?
I suppose I’m an emotional person. Love, good or bad, has a great influence on me. I can’t really say that everything depends on love but it is enough to change my mood. My definition of love is: love happens by chance and only on difficult occasions you can realize how strong it is.

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