Zofia Wichacz Adds Fire To Kasia's Grief
This episode is sponsored by Viking Viking offers. An all new custom-built ocean fleet designed to bring the traveler closer to the destination with all Verandah state rooms and assure excursion included in every port. Viking by river and by C. Learn more at Viking cruises dot com. I'm Jay Sleigh COBB and you're listening to masterpiece studio in a shaky prewar Warsaw. Caution Tomasco. Mary's her foolhardy British boyfriend. Harry Chase only to throw her baby brother. Yon On the departing train to save him. Take care of him. Okay Albion if you love me you will take on later. Caution puts her life on the line joins the Polish resistance fighting to keep her invaded country. Safe from the Nazis. Hey I've asked you a question Let her go. She doesn't want to answer. Your question. Perhaps should just think virgin so it wouldn't really understand her so Zofia V. Guac knew. She was taking on tough roll when she read. Peter bowker scripts for world on fire. But it's a challenge. She readily embraced particularly for the opportunity. To bring to life Poland's often untold story in the greater drama of World War Two. It's freedom dignity. Everything's taken away from her. So she really. She's fighting to win those things back. We spoke with the up and coming Polish about prewar. Poland swing dancing with Gina Howard King and what further troubles await her Kasha? This week we are joined by world on fire star Zofia Vegan. Yes or Viet Lee. So I do WANNA ask What was your initial. Take on the character of Kasha when you first auditioned for the role. Yeah well I only got the casting process. It was fairly long like right now. I just remember it was like the longest and the most challenging casting process. I've ever been to and then I think I read the just the first episode or the first episode. So I already knew that this girl is interesting. I mean by the end of the episode. One the scene at the train station kind of over the defines the character. You know that she's not putting herself I she. She's the kind of person that she cares deeply about her family. And that's why she. She does what she does on the train at the train station and then in the episode to she goes through hell basically and then. She joins the resistance. So when I was casting for this part I already knew well. Great 'cause maybe maybe on the casting is just the scenes with Harry and you know from the beginning where they're in love and it's all about the romance and and and being young and happy and but then wow there are so many emotional scenes and such journey to this character so I thought to myself. Oh Wow okay I wanna I wanNA play her. I definitely WANNA play her. It gets dark. Yes it's dark it gets sorry. Yes Peter Bowker in the script. Doesn't overtly described Kasha in the first episode. She's a young woman Did that give you the opportunity to infuse your own? Inspirations into developing this early prewar version of the character that we see at the beginning. Yes for sure I really felt like I had so much space in terms of creating her own in their world. For example I found this great Jewish Polish poet from that time I mean she wrote this beautiful very modern at that time in my opinion poetry very feminine and very Funny as well. Her name is Zan Tonka and I tried to create this world of Culture. Like for example. I learned about Warsaw that time. What was it like? What what what kind of city was where would cash take Harry for for a date or you know all the cafes and theaters and Places where you could go and see a cabaret or a show or there were plenty of a war so was full of such places before the war so it was a very vivid city and also that was something also that I felt like I could really I can just do my own research and really create her world. Just I had this great space. You know I like doing that. Creating my own worlds for my characters. It's funny you mention the the Warsaw that we see in the first episode. It's very different from what most Americans associated were saw. Its vibrant. It's beautiful. It's full of using art. And what research did you do in terms of prewar Warsaw and the sort of cosmopolitan city that it was yes? Well I watch documentaries. I read about the city itself and I knew a lot about Warsaw from my other research that I did for a first feature film I ever did was nineteen forty four and this film tells the story of Warsaw uprising in nineteen forty four so I already knew the story of the city which in nineteen forty four was basically a destroyed in ninety something percent so I remembered some stuff from the research. I did a few years ago for that movie. And then I did additional research in terms of things like you mentioned like a music or places with Thaad or Idaho museums or cafes or stuff like this when we first see cash at the beginning episode one. She herself seemed so full of hope. And Life Much more saw itself for the war How do these first? Two episodes of world on fire change her as a character. Oh has those. Two first episodes change her completely. 'cause I always saw Kasha as a fighter you know I of course. She joins the Polish resistance. So she yes. She's a fighter in terms of fighting for her country and for her freedom but her goal doesn't have to be necessarily surviving at some point because she's so dead inside at some point in the series. It's about winning back some things that she's lost or some people that she still loves. Who are out there somewhere. And she can still somehow hug. Get them back in her life. So it's freedom dignity. Everything's taken away from her. So she really. She's fighting to win those things back when I think about the family photograph With Harry cautious seems to be blissfully. Happy don't say what what did he say that. It's a Leica german-made when it clicks the shutter. Perhaps we should all doc. It's a moment of pure happiness that all of these people are captured in amber. What does Harry Represent to Kasha? What does he mean to her? Well I think I always thought of cash as does vary Ahead of her times character. A little like she's independent. She's working as a waitress in Warsaw. 'cause it's summer and probably she's dreaming of studying and maybe abroad so when she meets. Harry a thing she probably saw in him kind of maybe a chance to go somewhere and see a different culture and different country and of course back then traveling. Wasn't that easy and wasn't that office. I think also for people she's in love with Harry and I think she's very passionate about going somewhere and learning about different cultures and countries. So that's very interesting for her in him as well but they have a real connection thing and as we always talked about their relationships in rehearsals or something. We always thought that yeah. They probably met somewhere probably at the cafe where she's where she works or somewhere. In Warsaw engages had the greatest summer of their lives just falling in love and in the summer and were when the city is so fiber. And like you said and vivid and with the family catcher has. He's very grounded I think with. She's got a great family. Supportive Dad and two brothers and mom. Who's a bit afraid of everything I guess but she's just Very vulnerable probably but Kasha. I think she loves her family deeply. So that's why we can see her in the scene. We can see this pure happiness and I think I really wanted to to do it for the audience to see that because it's the only moment in the series probably see only moment where we can see how this great place in her life that she's right now in in this great place and it's all GonNa go away in the second. I do love the fact that we get to see a happy Harry and Kasha in verse episode. Yes the dancing in the episode in particular to me shows how in love these two are. I love that you liken it to summer. Romance the two because it does seem very carefree and Blyth Despite the fact that Harry has a girlfriend Britain. Well cash doesn't know that she doesn't have What did you make of the the dance scene in that first episode and of their relationship there As I said like with the scene with the photograph it was again. The scene with the dens saying it was really important to establish in those very first seconds their relationship and we had so much fun on sat when I remember now I- filming of the scene and preparing for the scene because we took some dance classes like we. It was so much fun and I already knew that okay. This is like one of those two or three scenes where she can be truly happy carefree in love and I personally I wanted to have fun on set and to really enjoy that too because I knew that after this. It's just going to be tougher. Did you shoot that early on yet? Dancing Oh yes I remember. We should that in November already. It was so hot like in. We were in Czech Republic but I all over Europe. It was two. We're heat wave or something and I'm just wearing a shirt and skirt in the scene and we were filming in the evening and it was still pretty okay for me to. I wasn't freezing and it was November. But it was pretty unusual for November in Europe To be that worm so we had so much fun and the weather was perfect and filming. This was truly truly amazing immediately. After the bombing Harry's thrown through the window into the CAFE AND PROPOSES MARRIAGE TO KASHA HUMOR. Make there's a sense of desperation to the scene but also unexpected humor. What did you what was your take on this sequence in the the sort of comedic element to it? It is quite a funny scene. Yes it is because Kasha. I'm sure she doesn't take him seriously at the very first second and then she's like what you're serious probably after the scene. Oh there is a scene you know right after the word they talk and it's suddenly serious but the moment where there was an explosion and he proposed she. Of course it's funny and maybe she would say yes when you know it so unbelievable weird They've known each other probably for. I know three months or something so yeah but it is good. I loved filming this as well because again. It's this rare moment where the humor might be so it was nice to little glimpse just a tiny glimpse of it yet. Harry describes his proposal as an English solution. She can leave with him and then they can get her family out later and Kasha hesitates and what's behind her hesitation there and does she know that leaving would mean their deaths. Well I think so. The Situation Looks. Looks like this For cash haired Dad and her brother. They're already in dense cake fighting. She doesn't know yet that there might be dead. They might be. They might survived. She doesn't know she cannot get any information from anywhere and then there is her mom who's not in. She's not well she's just terribly afraid of her husband and her son and there is the brother so cash escaping with Harry she hesitates. Because it's obviously it's like. Oh so I don't care about them and I'm going to leave the rest of my family in Warsaw which is like probably going to be bombed even more and Yeah Yeah I'll go and be happy with my husband. No I guess yeah she she has the really thing about it and and I think she does know until the very last moment she of course she would love to go and be safe and be with the man she loves but then is her family. It's hair family versus men. She loves but she sh- I duNno. She's in love with him for a few months so she feels like she has to stay in protect her family before this next question. A brief word from our sponsors won't castles and Cathedrals Vineyards and vistas. Viking is dedicated to bringing the traveler closer to the destination along the great rivers of Europe offering a small ship experience but the shore excursion included in every port learn more at Viking cruises dot com. I do love the twist at the end of the first episode Instead of getting on the train with Harry Kasha puts her brother. Yan on the train with him at the last second Was this premeditated. Did she know ahead of time that she was gonNA put John on the train? Is that why she has the very small suitcase And Win exactly. Did she decide that she was going to make the swap? Yeah well yes so I knew as an I think I mean cut knows a bit earlier. She but we don't see it as an audience that's why it's a big twists. Yes and but then. There's this little seen where ketchup packs a suitcase. It lasts probably just one little moment where she packs a suitcase and I as an actress playing cash. I knew already that. She's packing a suitcase for her brother so she already made the decision but of course. She's she feels so bad about this. 'cause she's GonNa say goodbye to the men. She loves probably for the rest of her life. She doesn't know but the APP. She's made the decision. It's not she. She doesn't Decide on the at the train station. It's before a few hours before I think in the span of episode. Kasha goes from a carefree girl to an adult who sacrifices her way out for her younger brother. Is this moment loss of innocence for her or a manifestation of her love for young. Well I think I'm sure it's a it's a manifestation of her love for her brother and her family 'cause she's about to stay with her mom she has to protect her mum who's not stable so Yeah it's it's her choosing her family instead of her own. Happiness or yeah. The script reads cautious stance on the platform. Watching the train pull away. She surrounded by other people waving passengers off but she is completely alone as an actor. How did you want to show that sense of isolation of being completely alone? It's always about the rights focus and I think even though there are hundreds of extras standing next to you and you're filming a big scene which is like we filmed the scene for the whole day like and I think there were even more takes more angles that they wanted to do. But we didn't have time so for an actor. I think it's really important to stay in your zone or in your head and just remember. Always remember what what what you have to do here. What is what is the the goal and the purpose and leave right emotions and everything and the and the extras or people on sad or the setting. You know the big train station or whatever it cannot distract you know no it. Shouldn't I mean it's it's hard sometimes because then it's it's stress and it's you know lack of time and we're running late. You know all those things that are normal to filming and then you just have to remember yes you just said goodbye to the man you love and your little brother and that's this is all that matters. There's nothing more for you. You don't see anything else in that moment as bad as that is episode to even more brutal for Casa yet. She survives a hellish bombing which turns Warsaw into rubble How traumatic was it to shoot the scene where Maria is killed in cautious arms? The Griffith has driven her manned. Where are you going? And where the bump certain falling? The poems won't be falling by tomorrow also has surrendered and live will be. What did he say? I said if what side it was it was very yeah. It was very challenging. But I think we did it in two takes or yeah to take a 'cause I prefer to be always ready and one hundred percent Prepared you know for a take and especially in terms of such scenes. I prefer to do it in one or two takes. Just give it everything I have to do it. I remember that filming of the scene. We filmed everything until the moment of the shooting. You know that the killing and then we had a separate angle for me. When because Maria has to fall down and I have to fold down with her and then the camera was on the floor somewhere and we had to shoot it separately so that was a big help from the production and from the director that I could see that we filmed the dialogue with them. The whole scene with Germans and then I could only focus on this very last but most important moment so that was that was great. Kasha defense her fellow Server Lena when she's being hassled by German officers about whether she's Jewish which results in Kashan being slapped and then punched by German officer Jewish Polish. When that's not what else is it. I'm Polish go with poza juice I don't know what you mean. Hey I've asked you a question. Let's go she doesn't want to answer your question? Perhaps she just thinks surgeon so you wouldn't really understand her and so is this the moment where she decided she won't cower or she won't be afraid she's going to fight back I'm not. I'm not sure if if if this is like rational decision finot or or like a moment of irrational thinking. I guess is just. She cannot stand the situation. She's seeing an especially after that's the day after Maria was killed so Kasha has so much rage in resolving sadness and grief and shock and and so much just that I guess She feels in that very moment that she has to do it. And it's the right thing to do and whatever the consequences are 'cause he can be killed there. Maybe she once said maybe some part of her once killed because like she's been through that horror and maybe she doesn't WanNa live. She does seem to have a death wish at times. Yes yes she's drawn to that. Yes yes well. I will add some pretty. I think understandable you know as But I of course I thought about that too and I read a lot about from the psychological point of view. You know when you grieve so much and when things like this happen to you what's going on inside your head. How can you possibly cope with such experiences? So Yeah my research was also about the psychology of morning and losing people that you love and through grief. I Dunno looking for revenge or wanting to die may be. Oh Yeah it's all in Kasha. She so complex definitely heading that way by the end of this episode made the Marina's murder standing up for a Lena. Seeing her brother again very briefly yeah she goes on A. What's almost a suicide mission to kill the German Or She would have anyway. Had Tomas snot stopped her. Yeah But it does seem as though she's either out for revenge or suicide at this point And trying to take anyone with her Has she gotten to this place? Where reprisal is sort of the only option available to her that she can either die or she can kill as many Germans as possible. Yes I think it's. It's for sure in cash is in that place in the serious somewhere you know in it. I'm sure she accepts to to do what she does. With the Germans because everything that happened to her basically so yes for sure she. Yeah and into Mosley Turpitude Polish resistance which she joins us. She pledges her oath mean. Is this finally a sense of purpose for for Kasha in a world? That seems Sir totally chaotic to she finally now have a mission organization a reason for living. Yeah Yeah I think it was always for me. It wasn't survival for cash as character. I didn't always think of her as like like to survive was her. You know the goal for for the series or something no. I always thought that she's trying to win. Something back always and I. It's with cash. I think it's also about the power. 'cause when she decides she will seduce and kill the the Nazis then also. It's about winning the feeling that being empowered in the situation and I think it's a very strong 'cause when you lose pretty much everything then how can you feel that you have some kind of power over your life? How can you do that? How can you and she? She needs that feeling she in order to survive into one to live so yes I think it was. She decides to do that to do all those things in their resistance because she needs this feeling that she she's in charge somehow she decides she can. She can be killed. She can die but she was. It was her decision and she was in this place of some kind of power. So what can you tell us about what lies ahead for? Kasha this season on world on fire. Yes so Yes it it does get darker so it for cash. The killing becomes a certain she does it. She's getting better in it and she. It's less human for her. She thinks she becomes this. Like some part in her is already dead but also her the whole the vulnerable part and the girl that we see in the in the first episode very joyful and happy girl. She's now she's Dad. Likes the cash has different so it gets darker in the sense. That cash loses her innocence. Her it's just so much I think she fights and she kills because there is so much grief and sadness insider that she cannot cope with this in any any other way. I think so. Yeah we we see a lot of Seducing and killing in the next episode but also just being hurt and being She's missing her family and hairy for sure. Zafir v Watch. Thank you so very much. Thank you so much as the war. In Central Europe heats up in Great Britain jumps into the fray. They're real drama. World on fire is only just beginning. I mean the intention. Is that each series reps in the year of the war and obviously the Pacific. We'll start to open up in season. Three season to North Africa provides a lot of Michael military action. We'll speak with world on fire series Creator and writer. Peter Bowker here on the podcast next week. April nineteenth masterpiece studio is hosted by me. Jas LACOB and produced by Nick Anderson Lee Chaba. Youtube is our editor. Rebecca Eaton is the executive producer at large if the executive producer of masterpiece Suzanne Simpson sponsors for masterpiece on. Pbs Are Viking Cruises Ramen. James and the masterpiece trust.