Tigran Nersisyan: “The velvet in spring symbolizes our love”

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Let us agree that birthdays and birth anniversaries always give us something to think about. It seems as though they are a reflection of the years that we have lived. As we reminisce, we think about what we have done and not done and the days that have passed.

On 31 March, Merited Artists of the Republic of Armenia Tigran Nersisyan and Nelly Kheranyan presented a unique report on their lives as they marked their 50th birthday and 30th anniversary of their careers during an event held at Gabriel Sundukyan National Academic Theater.

In an interview with Hayern Aysor following the event, Tigran Nersisyan not only summed up his impressions of the event, but also talked about his family and career.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Nersisyan, how long had you been preparing for this event? What memorable episodes can you recall?

Tigran Nersisyan: The anniversary event was scheduled to be held earlier, but it was postponed for a while. We were waiting for the renovation and rearmament of the Gabriel Sundukyan National Academic Theater to end and then for the first act of the play “Pepo”. I think the event was held in a warm and sincere atmosphere, and evidence of this are the heartfelt words that our friends, relatives, co-workers and the audience have been expressing to this day.

We had many surprises. For instance, in spite of her absence, Merited Artist of the Republic of Armenia Jenya Avetisyan conveyed her greetings, and our daughters performed a danced flashmob. Although we knew they were going to perform a flashmob, we didn’t know the format. There were pleasant surprise one after another, and they lifted our spirits even more.

Hayern Aysor: If we sum up the past 50 years of your life with your wife and the 30 years of your careers, what will we get?

Tigran Nersisyan: It is hard for me to give a self-evaluation. The audience and our fans can give you the answer to that question. The event was like a special report. The people in the audience were introduced to our lives and careers and even received information that they were probably receiving for the first time ever.

On that day, I told everyone that Charles Aznavour and my mother were grandchildren of their paternal uncles. I had only told narrow circles about that in the past.

Hayern Aysor: You have been famous and recognized since your prime. Was it easy to resist the glory?

Tigran Nersisyan: In my case, I have never been under a negative influence simply because I have never seen my father, renowned actor, People’s Artist of the USSR Babken Nersisyan vainglorious. He was famous and beloved and always received warm rounds of applause, but he was never euphoric.

I would like to recall a story. Years ago, my mother had come to watch the first act of the play “Old Gods”, but she never came back again because I didn’t want her to. Years later, she said she had missed watching my performances and asked to come one more time, and of course, I agreed. I didn’t her to come because even one word or exclamation from a familiar person can disturb an actor.

My father was the same. He had strictly prohibited all the members of our extended family to give him flowers on stage or make any exclamation from the audience.

Hayern Aysor: Have you ever thought about “the price” you have paid for being famous?

Tigran Nersisyan: I have paid a very high price for doing what I love to do, not for being famous. The success achieved throughout the years wasn’t given to me on a silver platter.

In many cases, people don’t notice it. It seems to them that everything is given to us on a silver platter and that we have always received flowers and rounds of applause. However, we have worked hard, suffered, spent sleepless nights and received blows from behind, and this has made us stronger. I have told all the jealous people that I will achieve greater heights in spite of their behavior and am now grateful to them.

Add to that my God-given talent that I have fully shown. Not using that talent would be a sin and ungodly.

The job of an actor is to be unconditionally devoted to the theater and his audience. The fact that a stranger approaches me on the street, thanks me and leaves, says it all. Very often I don’t get to ask the person why he thanked me.

Hayern Aysor: You guessed my next question. I wanted to know what your secret and Mrs. Nersisyan’s secret of being beloved and highly appreciated is.

Tigran Nersisyan: You should never think about that, especially on the job since it is part of your profession. An actor should be loved and respected by the society, but this doesn’t condition the ultimate goal that he aspires to achieve. On stage and in films, the mission of an actor is to work and create. The rest are the effects of all that.

Hayern Aysor: In one of her interviews, Mrs. Nersisyan said she expressed her love by biting your finger. It’s interesting to know what you felt at that moment.

Tigran Nersisyan: Biting my finger was the outburst of Nelly’s soul. This instilled in me hope that everything was more than serious. We were very young at the time and were enjoying student life that still seems like a fairy tale. We liked each other a lot. I had immediately noticed Nelly because it was impossible not to notice her.

Hayern Aysor: Which season is dominant in your relationship?

Tigran Nersisyan: I think the month of May (the month of our birthdays) is the month of our love (Tigran Nersisyan was born on May 7th, and Nelly Kheranyan-on May 10th-ed.). It is my beloved velvety spring season and the month of glorious victories. Our love characterizes the velvety green in spring. However, this doesn’t mean that there are no cold winters and autumn storms, but all this is contained in the month of May.

In general, I love the month of May, which brings with it joy and tranquility.

Hayern Aysor: Which day was the happiest day of your lives?

Tigran Nersisyan: I immediately recalled the tenth birthday of our younger daughter, Maneh. We really wanted to make it a day to remember. This comes from my childhood. I remember my tenth birthday as if it was yesterday. It was really fun. I had decided to celebrate my daughter’s tenth birthday the way I had celebrated it, and that was the case. Maneh was surrounded by beloved people and her family members. I am certain that she will have bright memories of that day all her life.

Hayern Aysor: Let’s talk about your daughters.

Tigran Nersisyan: Ani studied at Yerevan State Institute of Theater and Cinema, but preferred to become a pedagogue. We had noticed her talent in teaching. Nelly’s mother was also a teacher, and perhaps she is becoming her worthy follower.

Maneh is still small and hasn’t chosen a profession yet, but she is active, attends lessons at TUMO Center for Creative Technologies with great motivation and works on improving herself.

Hayern Aysor: Is it easy to get along with three women in the house and follow their whims and preferences?

Tigran Nersisyan: Of course, it is not that easy. They have their demands and expectations that I must meet. This is what love is about. It doesn’t come easy.

I think if you make your loved ones happy with pleasure and willingness, there can be no alternative.

For instance, Nelly has a great fear of wind blowing from two sides, and she is becoming more and more afraid. It has already become a problem for us, and I have already adapted to it. We accept our loved ones the way they are.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Nersisyan, do you manage to leave the work at theater in the theater when you are at home?

Tigran Nersisyan: We try to do just that, but it doesn’t work out very often. Theater “comes” home, and we have debates and discussions.

In any case, I am an actor who doesn’t stay “under” the character and live my life when the curtain comes down and everything ends.

Hayern Aysor: What dreams do you have at this point in your life?

Tigran Nersisyan: You always have to dream. I don’t think a person exists without dreams. You simply need to move forward and fulfill your dreams that are related to your family, friends, relatives, country and compatriots, and I am one of those people.

Interview by Gevorg Chichyan