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BOURDO, SACHA : Western

FROM RUSSIA WITH BOOTS ON.
He's a new star in the making, a pint-sized Russian comic delight who is living in Paris and making a considerable name for himself. Now wowing audience in the off-beat road movie Western, Sacha Bourdo spoke to PAUL FISCHER during a recent visit to Australia.

While Western might be the first film featuring petite Russian actor Sacha Bourdo, he says that for him, growing up in Russia, acting was a natural pursuit. "When I was young, I was naturally pulled towards acrobats, dancing, piano, music and singing. So from the age of six, my mother put me into a 'house of culture' where they teach young people to do all these things." It may not have seemed the kind of ambition to hold seriously, but Bourdo never thought of that. "I always loved to be amongst people, to be the centre of attraction. I loved to make people laugh and be the class clown." Now, the young Russian, who moved to France after meeting and falling in love with a Parisian, has hit the big screen, and in perfect time. "For good things there's always a good time."

"I believe that's what I am: a positive person."

Western is a quirky road pic that revolves around an oddball relationship. Transplanted Spaniard, Catalonian Paco (Sergi Lopez) is a travelling salesman for a shoe manufacturer. When he stops to pick up diminutive male hitchhiker Nino (Bourdo), a Russian who came to France two years earlier for a failed marriage, Paco soon finds himself stranded on the side of the road with his car, shoe samples and luggage stolen from under him. Local gift shop owner Marinette (Elisabeth Vitali) gives the stocky, virile Spaniard a lift. Their mutual attraction manifests itself quickly, and Paco, who was fired over the stolen-car episode, hangs around. When he happens to spot Nino in the same town, he beats up the scrawny Russian, who lands in the hospital. Oddly enough, this marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and a unique road trip.

Bourdo found it easy to relate to this character. "Like me, he moves on without asking too many questions. Even in the worst situations, his philosophy is to always look at the positive side of life, accept what's given and make the most of it. And I believe that's what I am: a positive person. Life is already too complicated; we don't have to complicate it more." Western is a film about friendship, and that's what I love about it." he adds.

Still married to the Parisian [a school teacher] for the past seven years, Bourdo aspires to "improve my English so that I can work with Woody Allen." As he says, "For good things there's always a good time." Exactement!

WESTERN OPENS NATIONALLY ON MAY 21, 1998

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Bourdo is pictured at right with co-star Sergi Lopez

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