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Stars of Russian Tzar film to miss premiere over safety fears: director

Stars of Russian Tzar film to miss premiere over safety fears: director
From Reuters - October 12, 2017

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The two lead actors in Russian movie Matilda, which religious conservatives have condemned as blasphemous, have declined to travel to Russia for the premiere because they fear for their safety, the films director said.

Matilda, to be released internationally in late October, tells the tale of the late-19th century romance between Nicholas II, before he became Russias last tzar, and half-Polish dancer Matilda Kshesinskaya.

Opponents say it besmirches the reputation of the tzar, who was killed by Bolshevik revolutionaries and is widely revered in Russia. The director, Alexei Uchitel, said he had received threats of violence, and several cinema chains have chosen not to screen the movie.

Uchitel told a news conference that Polish actress Michalina Olszanska, who plays Kshesinskaya, and German actor Lars Eidinger, who plays the future tzar, did not want to come for the Oct. 23 premiere in St Petersburg and the Moscow premiere the following day.

Uchitel said: They are afraid and thats why they are refusing. They are worried first and foremost about security. I am still trying to change their minds.

He said that Eidinger had received threats and he is afraid of some kind of physical attacks.

The director said that two other non-Russian actors in the film, Luise Wolfram and Thomas Ostermeier, also did not want to attend the premiere for the same reasons.

A Berlin-based agent for Eidinger, Gabriele Czypionka, said Uchitels comments about the actors security concerns, and receiving threats, were correct.

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