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Jiri Madl: from Czech teen idol to serious actor

2008-12-16

At the age of 22, Jiri Madl has become of the most promising and talented Czech actors of the young generation.

His performance as an oddball loser in the Czech movie Night Owls brought him a prestigious Crystal globe for best actor at the Karlovy Vary film festival and recognition at the many international festivals where the film from director Michaela Pavlatova has been screened. The same week, Madl caught the audience's attention as a youn monk, the only comic character in the world premiere of Juraj Jakubisko´s big-budget coproduction Bathory.

But Night Owls and Bathory are by far not the first movies of Jiri Madl, a former hockey player from South Bohemia. At the age of 18, Madl and his co-star Vojtech Kotek became overnight Czech teen stars thanks to director Karel Janak´s comedy The Snowboarders. The story of a two high school students who set out to loose their virginity during their winter holiday is often compared to Hollywood's American Pie by Czech critics, and reached record admissions of 550,000 viewers in the Czech Republic in 2004 and sales of almost CZK 65 million.

With Kotek, Madl starred in two other popular comedies by Janak- Two Guys on the Raft (2005) and Year of the Rock Subversion (2006), as well as some family comedies.

But while Kotek continued on the path of teenage stardom, Madl decided to work on his acting career and performances, concentrating on more demanding projects, and carefully choosing the vehicles to showcase his talents.

He succeeded in shedding his teen image with Night Owls and his portrayal of a grimy, unattractive, garbage-collecting slacker.

Madl is currently at work on the Czech-Slovak coproduction The Lucky Failure by Emmy- winning director Matej Minac and considering both other film offers and the possibility of studying abroad.

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