Beautiful Czech film actress Jana Brejchova
Born 20 January 1940 in Prague, Jana Brejchova is one of the biggest stars of post-war cinema who played in about 70 films. Married three times. First, to the director Milos Forman (1958-1962), then actor Vlastimil Brodsky (1964-1980) and then, German director Ulrich Thein. Awarded a medal for merit of the II degree (2004) and the Czech Lion prize (2010) by the Czech Film Academy for her many years of contribution to the development of cinematography.
According to Brejchova, she became a movie actress quite accidentally, in 1953, at the age of thirteen. However, not for long, and just for one movie. One day a young man came to the school where she studied, Ladislav Helge (now a well-known Czech film director). He was looking for a girl for the film “Leaded Bread” by Jiri Sequens, and his choice fell on Jana.
In 1954, the released film surprised everyone, and in particular, the role of Pidyalka, a poor girl from the suburbs of old Prague. Jana Brejchova, a lanky teenager with lean, ridiculous pigtails played the role with enviable skill, showing her clearly talent.
Meanwhile, about three years passed. Jana managed to finish school and worked as a typist at one of the Prague enterprises. Suddenly, the invitation from the film studio “Barrandov” changed her life. After the first “adult” role in the film “The Fault of Vladimir Olmer” followed the new ones. In particular, Maria in the “Golden Spider”, the frivolous student Markova in the “Puppies” … Noteworthy, the film by Jiri Weiss “The Wolf’s Pit”, won in Venice at the 1958 film festival, and brought Jana Brejchova wide popularity. Critics, however, shook their heads: photogenic, sincerity is, of course, good; Jana is sweet and direct, she has undoubted abilities, but still she is not a professional artist. What will happen to her next? Jana readily agreed to enroll in special acting courses.
According to Jana, “a difficult but fascinating study started”. And then again movies. Now she is already an artist with experience: she played more than seventy roles, such a solid list.
One of the most remembered films of her youth became “May stars” by S. Rostotsky (1959). In the lyric novel about spring, the first day of peace and a short meeting of two young people, she played a young teacher, almost a girl, shy and slightly mischievous. The image remained in memory for a long time, it was not either complex or deep. Nevertheless, it captivated others: the naive charm of an immature, just beginning to live a soul, a sweet wickedness, tenderness, and kindness, glowing in the eyes. The premonition of love, the sadness of parting – all fascinated with their fleetingness.
And next, we saw Jana Brejchova in the film “The Highest Principle” (1960) – one of the most significant works of contemporary Czechoslovak cinema. This is a film about the war, staged by the wonderful director Jiri Krejchik on the story of Jan Drda. The film is courageous, restrained and angry. With external modesty, plot and graphic, it possesses inner energy, an indifferent glance of attention, precision of characters. The actress did not face the danger of causing emotion. The sober style of the film made it possible to find out what was covered in the “May Stars” by the poetic veil: ordinary, human mediocrity, pretty, young, and touchingly defenseless heroine.
Unoubtedly, Czechs are proud of the film by Jiri Krejchik. Shown in many countries with success, demonstrated at international film festivals, the film received the award of the International Film Federation in Locarno (1960). Besides, Jana received the highest award – “Silver Sail” – “for the naturalness of the image she created”.
However, the best roles of Jana are those where she can be herself. The “Aspiration” by Vojtech Jasny, “Doomed for Life” and “The Heart Labyrinth” by Jiri Krejchik, “The Adventures of Baron Prashil” by Karel Zeman gave the actress a grateful opportunity to work in different genres.
In fact, she is good in any genre, dramatic or comedic, bringing joy to the attentive viewer’s eyes. Just look closely, and you will see in her game a variety of shades, feel the purity and succumb to the charm of her spiritual modesty and kindness.
Beautiful Czech film actress Jana Brejchova
Magazine Actors of foreign cinema, 1974