A talk with Adél Jordán

The Owl and the Pussycat has been an undiminished success of the Orlai Production. Why is so likeable? 

Adél Jordán : It is a very nice story and it is about love, accepting others and undertaking openly who we are. At the beginning both characters hide behind a mask. The writer hides behind the mask of a superior intellectual and the girl played by me decides to play to be stupid not wanting to show how much she wants. Actually she is a pusillanimous woman. At the end things get unravelled and they dare to confess their weaknesses. This is how they can start a new life which is based on the truth.  

 So the audience likes it. How about the actor?

 AJ: I like plays that do not stop working after the premiere but keeps changing with us. We have added a lot to The Owl and the Pussycat since the beginning. We get on very well with Tamás Szabó Kimmel, we react on each other very well and it is enough to look at each other to understand what the other wants. Good improvisations are born. This is really inspiring and I always like it. And of course so does the audience.  

The owl and the pussycat in the title are two very different people by nature. Which character is closer to you?

AJ: I have been asked many times in my theatre, Katona, which one I am, because in my case it is not obvious. Actually it is hard to decide. I can be an owl but at the same time I can be like Doris, the character in our story who is a pussycat. I mean I dare to represent my thoughts even though it may sound strange what I mean. I like the character of Doris. In the theatre I don’t play this kind of girl but in films I often do, though these are small roles, just flashes. Here I have one and a half hours to show this character. I am a bit old to play this figure who seems to be silly but is likeable...we worked a lot on this, we had time to invent this and show the different sides of it. All her weaknesses and fears come from her silliness or better to say lack of self-confidence. She is a girl who claims to be an actress but makes her living by sleeping with men. Although she denies it, she defines it in an unusual way,...she is a free human being , she is liberal, even sexually. This is why she gets interested in this man who is so closed in this matter, sees everything through his brain and is led by it. She would like to get to know him. The man resists for a while but then he gives up. That leads to conflicts as the man is unable to understand intellectually what instincts and desires mean as so far he has always overcome them.

You are characterized by having an outstanding sense of humour and that even in your most tragic roles you can show the other side of the coin. Is it an advantage or disadvantage to show the world through more mirrors?

AJ: Oh, yes, I can observe things from different angles; sometimes I would like to give instructions to others when we are in a situation to say it faster or things like that. It is a disadvantage that I almost tend to direct. It used to be worse in the past but I am getting more humble and relaxed in that matter. Since I had a child I have become more tolerant with myself and others. For a long time I felt I had to control everything but I have realised that if I can let things go I will become a better actor.

You travel abroad a lot with Katona but with the Orlai Production you travel to the country. What is the audience like in the country?

AJ: It depends. I don’t know whether on counties or north to south. Obviously we are keen on to perform the same. We already have fixed points in the story where we know that ok, if the viewers do not react to this we also know where they will laugh. We already know a non-verbal code and we can sense when the audience starts being with us till the end.