Звание: People's Artist of Russia, Russia State Prize Laureate
Andrey was born in Podolsk (Moscow Region) on November 24, !958 into the family of a mechanic and a teacher of physics and mathematics.
In spite of the school concerts and reciting competitions that helped Andrey reveal his artistic talent he dreamt of entering the 2-nd Moscow Medical School because, among other reasons, they had a good volleyball team. He had always been keen on volleyball and had even played for the Moscow Region team. However, he came across an advertisement in a newspaper that knocked him off track – the Shchukin Drama School was recruiting students. Andrey applied, and soon became a student.
Two years later his lifeline made a sharp turn when Konstantin Raikin, an actor of the Sovremennik Theatre and Oleg Tabakov’s assistant in his Studio Theatre, appeared in the Shchukin Drama School. He was looking for an actor for the part of Mowgli in his production “Farewell, Mowgli!”. He chose Smolyakov. Thus Andrey found himself in the cellar on Chaplygin Street, and soon made a transfer to Oleg Tabakov’s class in the State Drama School (GITIS). The part of Mowgli is still one of the most distinctive parts in his career.
In 1978 the young actor first appeared in movies, in a Sergey Nikonenko film “The Dawns Kissing”.
Today Andrey is one of the most popular movie actors with over 100 parts in his filmography. Of his early parts, he particularly values “Andrey and the Mean Magician”, “Parents aren’t to be Chosen” and “The State Boarder. 1941”.
But it was the TV-serial “Bourgeois’ Birthday” (1999) that made him famous overnight. Of the recent parts, the films “Vysotsky. Thanks for Being Alive”, “Mosgas”, “Stalingrad”, “Grigory R.”, “The Star” and “The Slaughterer” are of particular interest.
But in 1980, when Andrey graduated from the Drama School, Fortune turned its back on him: firstly, despite his and his classmates’ hopes to work with O. Tabakov, his new theatre wasn’t authorized. Secondly, he had to join the Gogol Theatre, where he was given only a few small parts in matinees. It didn’t suit him, so he decided to leave, and informed the theatre administration about it in a cable sent right from the filming set where Rodion Nakhapetov was shooting his movie “About You”.
In the years that followed, he appeared in films and taught in Oleg Tabakov’s new class. In 1986 he joined the Satiricon Theatre, that had just moved from Leningrad, and very soon got a call from Tabakov, who offered him to join his newly-authorized theatre.
During the first decade in the Tabakov Theatre, Andrey played the parts that were significant not only for the Theatre, but also for theatrical Moscow: Lyapkin-Tyapkin in “The Inspector General”, Black Clown in “The Death Defying Act”, Voinitsev in “An Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano”, Alexander in “The Last Ones” and Robert Horn in “Camera Obscura”. Besides, he appeared in more than a dozen productions, and in 1995 was awarded Honored Artist of Russia.
In the end of the 1990-s – the beginning of the 2000-s he played two parts of the сlassical repertoire: Сaptain of Cavalry in “The Father” by A. Strindberg and Actor in “The Lower Depths” by M. Gorky, both parts being strongly appreciated by both the public and critics. The part of Bruscon in “The Histrionic” staged by Mindaugas Karbauskis, that Smolyakov has been playing for already 15 years, is also of great value.
He has created vivid parts in other theatres of Moscow – the Praktika Theatre and the Moscow Art Theatre, where he, among other parts, has played two Chekhov characters: Ivanov in the same-name production of Yury Butusov and Lopakhin in “The Cherry Orchard” staged by Adolf Shapiro.
In 2004, the actor was awarded People’s Artist of Russia and the State Prize.