Jana Paulová and Václav Vydra: Love at an advanced age should not be taboo

Václav: What I like about it is that it is about life and from life. I was attracted to the fact that it takes place over a large period of time, and of course I enjoyed its unusual form. There are six characters in it, but all of them can be played by two actors. It is perfect to experience several destinies on stage that gradually intertwine.

Ivana Chýlková talked about her vacation. In summer, they generally do not go to the sea

What will the audience think when they go home after the show?
Václav: That he has to see it again. (laughter)

Can this game resonate with them so much that they decide to contact their old love?
Jana: It would be nice if they said to themselves: “Look, I missed it that time!” And they would want to try it again. I like this idea.

Václav: So that they don’t cause more problems in the end.

Jana: To myself and in other families.

A production of the play It’s Never Too Late:

The author of the play revealed that the idea of ​​60-year-old lovers kissing in public is ridiculous for young people. Dare you say why young people see it this way?
Václav: Because they are young. Let them laugh and it will pass with age.

But it is probably good to show that youth is not eternal. And even though it seems far away, suddenly it’s here.
Václav: Only Lenin is “in Ječný”. (Ječná street in Prague, editor’s note) The youth is the most in Žitný. (Žitná street in Prague, editor’s note) And they will soon lose that, too, when they stand there in columns towards Karlovo náměstí. (laughter)

Jana: You can’t explain it to young people anyway. It takes a little imagination and a lot of tolerance for them to be tolerant of old age and even imagine that grandma and grandpa still have “something” together. They will really understand some things when they are that age themselves. In my twenties, forty-year-old people seemed ancient to me, and those who were my current age already seemed to me to be close to death.

Were you forever young? Or are you still?
Václav: Youth is a relative term. What is youth?

Jana: It’s a matter of whether a person is trying to look young, or if he is young in his own head and is honestly surprised when he looks at his passport. In those 20s, I thought that when I was as old as I am now, I would feel different, but I still feel the same. I’m still learning, I’m still wondering, I’m still expecting something. I can just put the unimportant things behind me, I’m more calm and I appreciate everything more. But I still feel like I’m young, just for a long time.

Jana Krausová in the beauty salon.

Jana Krausová does not look her age. She inherited good genes from her mother

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So your recommendation is: Do not look at the ID card.
Václav: You can look wherever you want, it doesn’t matter at all. We just find out that we are sixty-five, seventy… But as long as a person has something that he enjoys, a goal or a purpose in life, he does not feel that he is fundamentally aging.

Jana: But it’s actually quite funny when you look at yourself as you age. I quite often look down on all this crowding, including myself, and I find it quite funny how criticism changes and how certain demands shift. I remember very well how I used to watch women at swimming pools with my 20-year-old lens, now I see myself and think: “It’s already here!” (laughs)

Václav: It’s also very dependent on how our body and head work. As soon as the head works and the body stops working, it’s already a problem. And vice versa too. You just don’t know that your head stops working.

Do you think that the topics that your production touches on can be perceived as taboo by society?
Jana: I don’t really know how it is, but a few years ago at the spa, the masseuse kindly warned me not to hold hands with the “gentleman” in public, that people were talking to each other. And that these things are normal there, but they are done in secret, and above all, I am well-known and at an advanced age. So I told her that thanks for the warning, but that the “gentleman” we are making out with in public has been my husband for forty years.

Václav: I don’t think that the topic of our production should be taboo for anyone. Maybe only in a certain segment of society, among some young people for example, I don’t know… My mom went through a similar story to the one of our heroes after my dad’s death, and I really wished her the same. I saw him only positively.

It may not be easy for the elderly to enter a love relationship. Why?
Jana: It’s logical, because a person physically descends from the first or second league, just like anyone (laughs), to the division or district championship. So if someone in their 20s or 30s pulls in their stomach, pulls in their pectoral muscles, then in their 60s they basically couldn’t think about anything other than how to pull it in for good. Václav: I actually feel that I am already the technical director of the club. (laughter)

Can it be that much harder to have a late-life relationship if you’re the one left behind?
Jana: Definitely. I discovered that people will tell me absolutely everything about themselves. I get to know absolutely everything about all the craftsmen and everyone who walks through our house.

Václav: You are such a willowy lady…

Jana: (laughs) So, thanks to this, I know that those who were abandoned, and above all those who had to cope with a setback, have a hard time. When someone tells you outright that they fell in love yesterday and needs time, and a month later tells you that it’s serious, it’s different than when you suddenly find out that your partner has had a second family for three years. There are also such cases, and then trust in other people is significantly limited. But for both of us, this topic is hypothetical because we haven’t been through this. So now we’re theorizing goddamn. Fortunately.

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Monika Absolonová is satisfied.

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Do you think that people needlessly throw flint into the rye when they are alone for a long time?
Jana: I think that flint should not be thrown into the rye at all. With nothing and never. Because you don’t know what awaits you, even if, for example, someone doesn’t have a great impression on you at “first meeting”. Because we all live in models that he should look like this, she should have such degrees, schools, wealth, etc. And in the end you will find a great treasure even though the person in question has nothing of what you wanted from your dream partner.

Václav: But it can also happen that someone does not need to live as a couple. That someone can start to like being alone.

A man named Bud, who you play, Václav, does not give up. You win your love Molly despite her multiple rejections. Is that right? Shouldn’t a man run away from a fight right away?
Václav: I don’t know if it’s right, but that’s what I did, I sped! When I was told it was unnecessary, I did stop, but I kept showing up until I was “showing up”. (laughs) Suddenly the situation changed and I happened to be in a good place at a good time and I caught up with that.

Did you allow yourself to be conquered, Jana?
Jana: I wasn’t conquered at all. I made up Svoboda (Milan Svoboda, Jana Paulová’s husband, editor’s note). And it was! He had no chance at all. (laughter)

Do you consider yourself lucky that you both met the loves of your life in time and didn’t have to label the years spent by your partner’s side as wasted years like Molly?
Václav: But I think that it is never wasted time. It’s a certain experience. One could live life better or differently. But if he doesn’t have the strength and will to change it or circumstances arise that he can’t even change it, then he shouldn’t throw a flint in the rye, be desperate about it, but should move on. But again, he must not be fooled. If it starts to really crush him, it is better to run away from such a relationship.

When you play in such a game, do you realize your partner’s happiness all the more? Because someone is looking for the right one all their life. You have been with your partners for a long time, so you can talk about them as the loves of your life.
Václav: Probably yes. If it’s been taking this long, you could tell.

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Jana: The longer we are together, the more we realize how lucky we are that we met and that it lasted. I have my best friend by my side, my partner, someone I can rely on, whom I simply love.

Petra Nesvačilová.

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How has your love changed, developed over time?
Jana: We fell in love with each other and we are still drawing from that crucible. Actually, not much will change. Svoboda went through a make-up shop, turned gray and lost his hair… Just like I went through certain changes. As we say in our play: “An old, shriveled peach and something is hanging somewhere, etc.”, but we see each other, we still perceive each other the same way. That’s it. Nothing changes about love itself. It’s just a surprise here and there: “Ah, so you’re seventy now.” I mean! You’re getting really big now.” (laughs)

The game It’s Never Too Late is about the fact that even when you don’t hope for anything anymore, something groundbreaking can come and bring you to your knees. What was the last time you had it?
Jana: I’ve always yawned terribly at women who became grandmothers and “sparked” others by talking about their grandchildren. I have two daughters who are far apart in age, so I always said: “I’ve had small children for a long time, I’ve already enjoyed it… how about a new baby.” And now I was surprised that my granddaughter opened my heart again. I am surprised that it arouses such love in me.

Václav: Basically, life always flows positively. I’ve been living a lot with animals for the last few decades, I’m very dedicated to it, which opens up various other horizons and corners of my life. Sometimes in a positive way, sometimes in a hopeless view of the future. And unfortunately, I have such a gray view of this, even when it comes to people. I don’t know what will happen next. But while we’re here, we should do everything we can to preserve life as it ran on this planet for millions of years before us. There are a lot of us, we are terribly expansive and push everything else away. If the Earth was flat, we’d be alone here because we threw everything down.

You have already performed several shows in the theater and now you are playing on the summer stage in Žižkov. Are you happy that you can meet again in a theater project?
Jana: I’m excited!

Václav: Certainly. Moreover, Jana partly invented it, and I am very happy that we met in the theater. In a film it depends on what the director says, but on stage we can at least have a little say in it. (laughter)

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