Gesha Kozadoev from the Diamond Hand. Photo tests
When Leonid Gaidai took up the film under the working title “Smuggler” (namely, Slobodskaya and Kostyukovsky called their screenplay), no one doubted who would play the main positive role - the script was originally written under Nikulin. Another thing a couple of hapless swindlers under the nicknames of Count and Mechanic (I think you understand that we are talking about Geshe and Lyolik)
Here there was no definitive solution. On the one hand, it was easier for the director to work with the "actors from the clip" already tested in previous films. But on the other hand, they are already followed by a train of already played roles and images.
About the one who could play Lyolika, we'll talk sometime later. Today, I propose to look at how Gesha Kozodoyev, nicknamed "The Count" (I don’t remember that it was mentioned in the film at least once, apparently it was only in the script) performed by other actors.
And the actors invited to the photo tests were wonderful
Here, for example, in the image of the "Count" Valery Nosik. Gaidai tried it for the role of Shurik in “Operation Y.” But he played there, as you remember, the student cardmaker
And this is the “Graf” performed by Mikhail Pugovkin, who also played before in Gaidai’s in “Operation Y”
But Rudolf Rudin was not filmed by Gaidai, but he was familiar to the viewer as a Himalayan pan from “Zucchini” 13 chairs ”
But Nosik and Rudin the Arts Council killed right away with the wording “Do not fit”
Gaidai himself was inclined towards two other candidates - Gergiy Vitsin (whom he had already managed to make in five films by that time)
And the new actor - Andrei Mironov
It was from these that the Arts Council was to be chosen at the final meeting. Here are excerpts from this meeting.
"Vitsin or Mironov? Everything depends on the plan. If in the old tradition - then Vitsin, if in a new way - Mironov. Vitsin - not a new role, but a repetition of the character previously played ..."
"I really liked the samples. Nikulin is good, Papanov is good. We must take the role of Count Mironov - he is very convincing ..."
"I like Mordyukov. Papanov is a busy actor, but I am completely for him. Mironov is a brilliant person for this role ..."
"Compared with Vitsin Mironov on horseback.But Mironov does not seem to me 100% hit. He is still grimacing. I can’t finally say yes to Mironov ... "
"The count - Mironov I liked. Here, it seems to me, a sniper hit. With Nikulin, he surprisingly co-opted. Absolutely accurate! .."
"Mironov is not lucky at the cinema. I am convinced that Gaidai will make a comedian out of him ..."
As you can see, overwhelmingly, the Arts Council was for Mironov
I do not know how Kozadoev from Vitsin would have turned out, and Georgy Mikhailovich was a remarkable versatile actor.