Interview with Lukáš Vaculík




Interview with Lukáš Vaculík (Lead character)

What was crucial for you to accept the offer to play the lead role in Methanol?
I really liked the scenario, mainly because it's based on reality. It wasn't that someone gets an idea and tries to make it more attractive. The scriptwriters know everything about the case. Even when I asked who, when and how many liters my character had taken, they knew the answer. Another reason for me was director Tereza Kopáčová, with whom I had worked, and it was a pleasant experience.

Do you remember how you perceived the case when it was real?
Surprisingly, I was pretty cool, because I wasn't concerned anymore, I didn't drink any alcohol at the time. So I wasn't afraid to take a shot somewhere and then go blind or die. I just had a bad feeling when one of my colleagues came to the theater and announced that he had some amazing slivovitz, which was of course prepared somewhere in Moravia and was without a stamp. They all took a shot and I was afraid whether we would all gather in the theater for a week to play another show. I know there was some partial prohibition at that time and no hard alcohol was allowed to be served. But, as I say, I missed it because I have been abstaining for several years.

Did you follow the investigation? After all, it was the biggest judicial case of modern history in the Czech Republic…
I watched some TV and thought I knew quite a bit about the case. I understood the basics. Of course, what I did not know was the fate of the people. Those were the things that fascinated me and stopped me when I learned about them while working on Methanol.

What do you think triggered the whole incident?
I think it was one man's desire to make money. He then decided to dabble in the craft of someone who was handling large quantities of alcohol, and who, if he knew what it was all going to do, would rather give the person the money to prevent it. So it can be said that such banality led to a terrible disaster.

Did you meet case investigators who were available to you during the filming?
Yes, one of them told me "I would definitely not lie to you." For a whole team of criminologists who worked on the case, it must have been a terrible period of stress. At that time people were actually dying. I think those guys spent many sleepless weeks and the pressure on them was enormous from many sides. From the scenario, I understood who was mixing it and where it was, quite early.

Did you shoot in places directly related to the case, how did it affect you?
Here in Prague it all seemed to us that this was happening somewhere else and that it wasn't really about us. But when we were filming in Zilina, I found that almost everyone you met there, had a personal connection to the case. Some knew the perpetrators who were mixing or selling.

Courtesy of Czech Television

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