What did you think of Stalin?
I think in this film as he only plays a bit of a small part that they had the look of Stalin possibly, but maybe not his ruthlessness. Of course, to find the perfect Stalin you would have to match the look, megalomanic and pyschopath, which is hard to find in the actor genre, since they are paid to be emotional. The other characters in the movie definitely ring true especially Beria, Zhukov and Khrushchev. As you can see below this actor isn't especially good looking and doesn't have the extreme parts of the personality. Of course, to play this type of historical figure would be extreme. How would you get in part for a guy responsible for 20-25 million civilian deaths in the USSR?
How well played did you find Beria?
Did they capture the fear elsewhere?
What did you think of Khruschchev?
Another great way of capturing the fear is how arbitrary the arrests by Beria and later shootings of former allies of the person that just fell from favor. We have NKVD shot, former leaders arrested and other random people shot. Even the mourners of Stalin coming from the suburbs by trains are shot by the NKVD.
How did you find the Field Marshal Zhukov?
What would you change in the movie?
Well, the movie simplifies some of the scenes like how Khrushchev seizes power and the actually death of Stalin. In reality, when Stalin has a head hemorrhage, many of the leaders especially Beria. Beria would swoon from cussing out Stalin in hatred when he thought he was dying and then singing Stalin's praises when it appeared he would recover. This was lost in the movie, which would have cemented how crazy the government they all lived in. The seizure of power with the army vs. the NKVD was done well, but I think if they had much broader street signs, you would have shown how much power these leaders had while they vied for the ultimate power grab after Stalin died. I think some of the simplification in the movie made sense as you can only cover so much. Plus the director is balancing the need to make a satire vs the grim reality, which may have been too horrible to watch, such as actually showing the sexual depravity of Beria vs. merely hinting at it.
Do you have art related to Stalin era?
The one painting that is close to the Stalin era is based on the Khrushchev era immediately following. Beria had created the nuclear program in the 1940s while Khushchev really took the Cold War to the maximize in nuclear weapons race with the US. In 1961, the USSR successively tested the largest nuclear bomb called Tsar Bomba with 50 Megatons of power being seen 100 miles away. This bomb mushroomed above the clouds into space and left the earth scorched black nearest the site in Northern Artic island of Novaya Zemlya. Right after its testing both countries moved onto ICBM technology. Nowadays, we are restarting the nuclear race between the US, USSR, North Korea and others. Now even the Saudis are building 20 nuclear plants, so the final WWIII war may be soon upon us starting in the Middle East.