"OK!" ╧42/2007
By Tatiana Saburenkova

Lately, we don't hear much about Evgeni Plushenko's new program or a super difficult element he did. Everybody is asking about his recent divorce - why couldn't they get along, who was wrong, who was right? That's why Plushenko doesn't give interviews at all - it's more peaceful this way. Our meeting was moved about 8 to 10 times. We were going to meet in his hometown, St. Petersburg, then in Germany where he was finishing the treatment for his foot, then in Spain where he's been practicing for about 10 years. Finally, he called my cell phone last Saturday, "If you want to talk so much, let's meet in some nice and quiet little restaurant. You name the place, you know Moscow better."

Q: Zhenya, you are getting invited to parties more and more. I recently saw you present an award at Russia Music Awards. You have to agree that the athletes in Russia weren't as...social just five or six years ago. Does it bother you?

A: Why should it bother me? By the way, in the West, that's been going on for a hundred years - a football or hockey player is more interesting for the people than an actor or a singer. I know countries where athletes are number one stars. This is great that we finally woke up and realized that a really great athletes should be loved and invited everywhere. However, we'll be coming only to some places and not all the time.

Q: It looks like a black list - I'll go here, I don't want to go there...

A: In a way. You don't go to every party you are invited to. When will you sleep, work, meet your friends? Of course, you have to see the limits - we know very well that some characters are in every show and every magazine. People are getting nauseous, and they still give and give interviews.

Q: Financially, do you feel any benefits from being social? I remember you were in the tea commercial recently...

A: I can't say that my bank account is just cracking [because of huge amounts of money there]. In the future, I would like to pick one cool contract - expensive and prestigious, and that would be it. I have a lot of offers on the table now, I look at them, but I don't like anything.

Q: Recently, OK! wrote about your new project, www.yatalant.ru. Are you making money from it or is that for something else?

A: Absolutely something else, this is a charity project. People of any age from any town can go to the site, place their work, and producers can go to the same site and pick if they like someone. I won't get a penny from it, but it's not the point. Not all the talented people would go to "star academy" or competitions. People either are shy or don't have the chance to go to Moscow and try out. It's not right....

Q: Good. Why did you go into politics? Is that ambition, wanting to have the power, financial interests? Couple of years ago you were saying you wanted to be a coach and teach children how to skate....

A: I went there because it seemed to me that I could do something good. Figure skating is not for the whole life. I have a lot of good ideas, and I work with the people who are adequate. Of course, when we just joined "Fair Russia" party, they gave Anton Sikharulidze and me the look and were bothered by it - you jumped your toe loops, so keep doing that. Word by word, people realized we'll make sense. I have two ideas that I want to realize, but of course not right away and not on my own... It's not fair that the skaters still receive lower fees than football or tennis players. Can that be changed? Yes, our salaries went up in the last two years. One of the things I'm working on now is about skating. Why our ballet stars can retire at 35, but skaters at 55? What, do we do less for our country, do we not bring medals? My second project is for communities. We have to make the drivers who don't stop when the pedestrians cross the street pay the big fines. Our roads are nightmare. Very often the drivers curse the pedestrians, like why are they walking... Get off your butt and walk! In Europe, the pedestrians feel safe and wonderful, and it's like that in many countries.

Q: It sounds beautiful, but do you really think that people who don't care for others can be changed? In Europe, not only drivers behave like that, if you get pushed in the store, you get a hundred apologies. The culture is different, isn't that right?

A: We have to do something to start the change. Would it make sense to play the pessimist?

Q: We all remember how you jumped with joy when Sochi was named the Olympic Host for 2014. The people of Sochi aren't too happy as they are afraid that the millions that were allocated for the Olympic preparations would go towards a different path...

A: Tell it how it is. You mean they would get stolen. Of course, you have to watch where the money goes, our country is like that. I think controlling everything is realistic. Sochi's victory is a superb possibility for the athletes, the town, and the country. It's a perfect place for the athletes - the mountains, the sea. I understand why many people from Sochi are in shock: they are afraid their homes will be demolished, the new construction will go there, and they'll be moved who knows where and on which conditions. Everything has to be done by the law.

Q: It▓s no secret that your party benefits a lot from your popularity - people trust you and love you. Do you often encounter the other side of popularity? How do you manage the constant pressure from the media?

A: I don▓t complain even though there is a trend among the famous people to complain about the reporters. I like being the center of attention, I was never afraid of it, just like I wasn▓t afraid of anything new. I experimented on ice so much! People insisted that nobody can do a certain jump for example. And I did. What you▓ve been saying about the tabloids and attention is business as usual. Of course, when people are getting in my business too much, I try softly changing the subject. If it doesn▓t happen softly, it▓s not my fault.

Q: Is that a hint about you not wanting to talk about your personal life? As any famous person, you should be ready that you can▓t escape certain questions. For example, nobody really knows what happened between you and your wife, why the sudden decision to divorce┘

A: Nobody knows because that▓s what I wanted. It wasn▓t "sudden". It was becoming gradually clear that we can▓t be together, something is going wrong┘

Q: It seems you are talking about it so calmly. Is it easier now?

A: You can say that┘ My good friend told me before the wedding, "Don▓t worry too much if it doesn▓t work out for you and Masha. Look, I was married several times, I have kids┘ There is nothing scary about divorcing". True, I have a lot of friends who were married more than once or twice, got divorced, and that▓s nothing.

Q: Too many girls were attracted to you, wrote letters, called, and you were constantly on the road - did it affect your relationship with your wife?

A: I can say I am very jealous, and that was never good. However, we both felt the relationship is not working out. It▓s not about cheating and attraction. Maybe it▓s hard to believe, but I don▓t like to lie and I▓m telling it how it is.

Q: Would you lie if one of your actor friends would ask you if you like his movie, and the movie wasn▓t good?

A: I went to see "Apocalypses Code" yesterday. The idea is if you ask me something about that move, I▓m supposed to say something good. And I can▓t, I didn▓t like it. I expected more from the special effects and the plot. In short, like you say, it wasn▓t good.

Q: Then, tell us honestly about your new girlfriend. Your admirers would lie to know who she is. There are so many rumors.

A: The same friend that I mentioned before, who warned me about divorce before the wedding, told me something else, "Don▓t make the mistakes after the divorce, don▓t rush to make it official, don▓t rush with the marriage." So I▓m not in a hurry, I can▓t even talk about the new relationship. My girlfriend is very beautiful and well-known. She is beautiful, smart, she is a great┘We▓ve been dating for about a year, but it wouldn▓t be good if I tell you who she is.

Q: Did you learn anything from your divorce, like realized what you really need from your other half, what can you never live with?

A: Important is that I feel no regrets about us meeting each other and whatever happened after that. I▓m grateful to Masha because I know have a wonderful son. I thought about many things when we lived together. Sometimes the practice would get messed up because I would go on ice and think "Hell, why did she say that? What did she mean?" Of course you can▓t live like that. I never had the idea of the perfect woman - all people have their own personality traits that aren▓t good, I have enough of them, so my girl can have them too. Some times, a woman is beautiful and smart, but talking with her is unpleasant, and that▓s it. In any case, I won▓t rush to marry again. And I am very busy now, so getting enough sleep is the happiness, but it▓s a pity to waste the time for sleep. I want to go to the movies, party with my friends, and I▓m not even talking about work.

Q: Speaking about your job. There were rumors that you are leaving the sport and having another surgery. On the other hand, you mentioned at RMA that you are getting ready to skate and working on your next program. What should we believe?

A: I▓m not going anywhere. I had so many surgeries already┘ , six on one knee. I have to go under the knife again, but I▓m postponing that. I▓ll prepare the program, and we▓ll see. It hurt so much during the last surgery, I told my friends I lost about two kilograms in couple of hours. So, I would remind the parents who dream about putting their child into pro sport that this is not a healthy feature.

Q: Would that be logical to assume that you wouldn▓t put your son in sport?

A: I have the male logic. Of course, I▓ll put him in. The sport makes your personality stronger, and gives you a lot of chances in life. Of course you have to pay for it all, but isn▓t that like that everywhere? I▓m not sure I want to see my son in figure skating. Football or tennis is another story.

Q: Is that true that you and your ex-wife hadn▓t decided yet who will your son be staying with - you or her?

A: I don▓t want to talk about it. I see my son on rare occasions, and I▓m not happy with it. It won▓t be like that for long. I promise that to me and Egor.

Translated by Trinity



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