25 June 2022

Saturday, 11:54


Melek ABASZADE on the set of a new television series based on one of the five poems of Khamsah by Nizami Ganjavi



Filming of the new television series Khosrov and Shirin is over. It is a tribute to the 880th anniversary of the classic of the Azerbaijani literature, Nizami Ganjavi. Authors of the series jointly produced by Azerbaijanfilm and Ictimai TV (ITV) with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan are directors Khayyam Abdullazade and Elmeddin Aliyev.

The plot of this classic piece of literature is well known. The second of five poems included in Khamsah is a story of love between Khosrov, the ruler of Persia from the Sassanid dynasty and Shirin, Princess of Barda. It was a marriage of convenience. But Maryam, the daughter of the Roman emperor, passionately loves Khosrov, while Khosrov is in love with Shirin. However, this does not prevent him from leading a very frivolous lifestyle. Authors of the film did not go beyond the plot of the poem, but manage to immerse their characters in modern life. After all, even today human passions are still the same as they were back in the 12th century. Despite changes in technology, fashion, and natural landscapes, only we, the humans, remain invariable psychological constants with all our sins.

We will see to what extent the plot of the film correlates with our reality after the premiere of the film on ITV. The series was filmed in the suburbs of Baku, the villages of Mashtagha, Shuvalan, and Mardakan

Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan, Melek ABASZADE, plays the role of Maryam, the wife of Khosrov played by Rustam Jabrayilov. In her interview with R+, the actress shared her views of the filming process.


“What did the directors do to modernise the plot of the 12th century?! Did they change the costumes of that century to modern ones? Changed interiors and furniture?”

“It is better to watch the movie, because it is important to catch every detail of both human relations and the general ambience. As to the artistic design of filming sets, they have been made at the highest level.”

“What can you tell us about your character, Maryam?”

“She passionately loves Khosrov. This love brings Maryam both happiness and grief.”

“What do you mean?”

“Her father agreed to marry her off to Khosrov without thinking about his daughter's feelings. It was just a good deal for him. But the whole tragedy of this woman is that she really loves Khosrov: with all the typical ardour and passion inherent to a woman soul.”

“Even though he does not love her back?”

“Exactly. She loves him, despite the numerous betrayals of her husband.”

“Is this okay?”

“That’s how she loves. And this feeling of love is sacred to her. Also, this is love gives her a chance to live in full force, because every moment of her life is coloured by vivid human emotions and feelings. Love guides her and governs her actions. Everything she does is driven by love. The power of this human passion is so great that pushes my character to making mistakes.”

“Was it interesting for you to master this world of female passions as an acctress?”

“It was a very interesting experience indeed! In each of the 12 episodes of the film my character goes through situations that require her to manifest her feminine essence. It was necessary not only to plunge into the circumstances and reasons causing the state of her mind and heart, but also to justify the whole plethora of passions and emotions. It was exciting and interesting! I am glad that I accepted the proposal and added Maryam as another asset of my professional practice. This was a wonderful professional experience.”

“Have you had a similar experience on a theatrical stage?”

“Emotionally similar roles were the ones of Joan of Arc in The Lark and Woman in The Human Voice...”

“What can you tell us about the TV series?”

“I think the audience will have a say about the series. I can just add that the creative ambience on the filming set set the tone for the entire filming process and the relationships between all the team members, both the actors and the erst of the crew.”

“What is the value of this professional experience for you?”

“I came into contact with the aesthetics that is expected in cinema. The crew paid close attention to all the details from mise en scenes to the state of mind of each character. Nothing was overlooked forgotten. It is often a valuable and a rare quality to be able to create an atmosphere of creative search and professional trust on the filming set, coupled with kind and warm feelings between all the crew members. This also shows the professionalism of directors. I am glad that I was part of this team.” 

At that moment, she was as sincere and open as possible. Melek Abaszade is a veteran actress with many successful roles in cinema and theatre, with many heroines of different characters and emotional completeness. She is very successful in playing the roles of dramatic and distinguishing characters. Maryam is a new facet of her professional career, which will likely reveal her professional potential in performing the characters with tragic destiny. Because during the filming of scenes with Maryam, everyone on the set, according to the producer, applauded the actress, as a tribute to her professional excellence.

Actors, if they were born for this profession, cannot live outside of it. So much so that seldom stage and film appearances can be detrimental to their health. During the pandemic, this became especially noticeable: actors cannot live without stage and their audience. Fortunately, there was a chance to play in movies. Fortunately, actors can express themselves professionally in this genre of art. All this can be summed up as respect for the chosen vocation, dedication and commitment to the traditions of the Russian theatre school based on the truth of life and psychology. A graduate of VGIK (Alexei Batalov’s department), Melek Abaszade has long looked for herself both in life and in profession. But life set its own accents, having rewarded her with the happiness and torments of acting. Isn't it happiness to open yourself to the world and discover the whole world in yourself?

This summer Melek Abaszade starred in Vagif Mustafayev’s film with intriguing title Life is still beautiful. But this is a completely different story...