Krystyna Janda

Krystyna Janda

One of Poland's most popular theatre and film actresses. A director of theatre productions and films. Janda is perhaps the only actress in Poland to enjoy star status. She owes her status to both powerful performances and a strong character that shines through in every role she undertakes.

She debuted on the professional stage in 1976 at Warsaw's Athenaeum Theatre in Aleksander Fredro's MAIDENS' VOWS directed by Jan Swiderski. In 1974, still a student, she was cast in Aleksander Bardini's legendary television theatre production of Anton Chekhov's THE THREE SISTERS. Her Masha marked the beginning of her career in Polish Television Theatre, where she would go on to appear in several dozen more productions.

Her film career developed in parallel. Janda debuted very successfully in Andrzej Wajda's MAN OF MARBLE, in which she played a film student who strives to reveal the truth about former leading laborer Mateusz Birkut (Jerzy Radziwilowicz). This duo appeared once more in MAN OF IRON (1981).

Janda worked with Wajda on several more occasions. She played in his ROUGH TREATMENT and in THE CONDUCTOR in which she played a young violinist, fascinated by an older conductor, portrayed by John Gielgud.

One of her significant international successes came with her appearance in Istvan Szabo's Oscar-winning MEPHISTO, in which Janda played alongside Klaus Maria Brandauer. But her greatest screen performance was in Ryszard Bugajski's INTERROGATION. This performance gained Janda numerous awards, including a Best Actress distinction at the Cannes Film Festival.

Through 1987 Janda was a member of the ensemble at Warsaw's Athenaeum Theatre where she worked with a number of exceptional directors (i.e. Andrzej Lapicki, Janusz Warminski, Agnieszka Holland, Ryszard Peryt).

Janda continued to appear in films, her successful streak carrying over into such productions as Radoslaw Piwowarski's MY MOTHER'S LOVERS and Krzysztof Kieslowski's DECALOGUE: TWO or Krzysztof Zanussi's INVENTORY.

In 1988 Janda became a member of the ensemble at the Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw. During her tenure at the Powszechny, she performed a number of successful starring roles (MEDEA, SHIRLEY VALENTINE, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, DEATH AND THE MAIDEN, A WOMAN SCORNED or MARIA CALLAS - A SINGING LESSON, PHAEDRE).

The 90s also marked the beginning of Janda's career as both a film and theatre director. She directed the film CORE and a number of productions for Polish Television Theatre, including Henry Ibsen's HEDDA GABLER.

In 2003 Janda celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of her career in acting. To mark the occasion, Warsaw's Studio Theatre mounted a production of Chekhov's THE SEAGULL directed by Zbigniew. As has been the case in many previous instances, the premiere of the production ended in a standing ovation.

In 2005 Krystyna Janda has opened a private Theatre Polonia in Warsaw.