"I have come across actors who right up to the end could not bring themselves to trust completely in my reading of their role; for some reason they kept straining to direct their own parts, taking them out of the context of the film. I regard that kind of actor as less than professional. My idea of the real screen actor is someone capable of accepting whatever rules of the game are put to him, easily and naturally, with no sign of strain; to remain spontaneous in his reactions to any improvised situation. I am not interested in working with any other kind of actor, for he will never play anything beyond more or less simplified commonplaces. In this connection, what a brilliant actor the late Anatoly Solonitsyn was, and how I miss him now."

"Anatoly Solonitsyn was a born film actor, highly strung and suggestible. It was so easy to infect him with emotions, to achieve the right mood. It is terribly important that the film actor should never ask those questions that are traditional and perfectly appropriate in theatre (and almost statutory in the USSR where theatre actors to a man are brought up on Stanislavsky)—‘Why? What for? What is the key to the image? What is the underlying idea? It was my great good fortune that Tolya Solonitsyn never asked questions like that—which to me are patently absurd—for he knew the difference between theatre and cinema."

"As a rule I never know in advance what actors I shall use—with the one exception of Solonitsyn; he was in all my films, and I had an almost superstitious regard for him. The script for Nostalghia was written with him in mind, and it seems symbolic that the actor’s death as it were cut my life in two parts: the first part in Russia, and the rest—all that has happened and will happen since I left Russia.” — Andrei Tarkovsky

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