The new series “Knee-Deep” – love, ambition and strength of character
Finding a non-banal plot for the series is not easy: sometimes it seems that all the stories have already been told.
However, the authors of the Knee-Deep series, which appeared on the IVI online cinema on March 4, managed to find a truly original idea. The protagonist of the comedy-lyrical story – Sasha Gribov – comes to Moscow, tries to build an acting career and win the girl’s heart. What is unusual here? And the thing is that Sasha’s height is only 135 centimeters. And the story of a small man in a very big city sounds really new and unexpected. The director of the ten-episode series was Alexander Abdullaev, known as a screenwriter and producer of the TV series The Big Game.
The protagonist was played by Ivan Filippov, a long-time kvnschik and host of events from Tyumen. A few years ago, the creative producer of the TV series Knee-Deep, Alexander Vyalykh, met him, who remembered Ivan: “I was struck by his cheerfulness and active lifestyle that he leads, despite his small stature. Then the authors and I came up with the idea of the series, a story was born about how the hero comes to Moscow and falls in love.
Ivan Filippov notes that his hero at the beginning of the story tries to be as inconspicuous as possible, but everyone pays attention to him. As a result, Sasha has to overcome the complexes and plunge headlong into active Moscow life. Which, however, is the same for everyone: “This series tells how people of small stature live, and shows that they are absolutely no different from ordinary people," Ivan Filippov emphasizes.
Sasha’s beloved, a young actress named Alena, was played by Anastasia Ukolova, known for the films "Speakerphone", "Feedback" and others. She was very pleased with the work on the series: “During the filming, I met many actors, they are such cool guys, kind, sincere. We have a very fun company. We play novice actors, and it was necessary to imitate how we behave on the set. It turns out that I play myself – an actress, but my character is very different from me.
Many actors played themselves in the project: for example, the heroes of the story were Zoya Berber and Yan Tsapnik, who find themselves on the set along with novice actors along the way. Jan Tsapnik, however, noted: “I play myself, but not quite, this is such a “starred” Tsapnik. The script contains features that I don’t have in my life, for example, my hero appears drunk on the set, but I don’t behave like that.
Maxim Lagashkin appeared in one of the episodes as an actor who invites the main character as an animator. Angelina Strechina did not play an actress in the series, but she also knows the role: her heroine is a casting director who helps Sasha Gribov and becomes his first friend in the world of cinema. The audience will also see Agatha Muceniece, Igor Ugolnikov, Stanislav Agafonov, Sergey Zhigunov and others.
Speaking about the filming, creative producer Alexander Vyalykh noted that the series served as a kind of "meeting place" for the actors of small stature. Most of them are well acquainted with each other and gladly joined the team. Among other things, the audience will see Artem Bobtsov, one of the actors of the House Arrest project, the star of the Great Moscow Circus and also a kvnschik. The series also starred Kirill Kruglov, popular as a stand-up comedian, Olympia Ivleva, a participant in the Little Big project, and others. Artem Bobtsov, for whom this is not the first film, notes that the project is unique: in fact, it reflects exactly what happens every day to a small person who has a strong character. And Alexander Vyalykh notes that this story is still understandable to everyone: “This is a universal story about love and how a guy conquers a big city. We all loved, everyone knows how hard it is to win a girl’s heart. But against the background of Sanya, people can see that their problems are not so big. If he fights, then they shouldn’t give up."
Photo: personal archive of Ivan Filippov