Today I was privileged to meet the young man who played Karol Wojtlya in the movie (now on DVD) Karol A Man Who Became Pope; The Pope, the Man. Piotr Admaczyk is in Toronto for what -- in a sense -- is the premiere of this film on Imax screen. The movie will show in English Saturday night, March 31 at Ontario Place in Toronto. It is showing in Polish--but that viewing is sold out already. On Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM it will be shown in Italian.
One of the announcers at the station "Radio Maria" -- a Catholic radio station here in Toronto--invited us Daughters of St. Paul to come to the station to meet Piotr who is in town for the premiere. Frank Ruffolo conducted an interview on radio. Before the radio program began Omni News, a multi-lingual television service, sent their camera man Hugh to film Piotr who spoke in English, Italian and Polish. The actor was still feeling jet lag having arrived in Canada only a few hours before.
The DVD of Karol is in English and Italian dialogue. Apparently the film was first shown on teloevision as a mini-series.
Piotr, who turned 35 on March 21, said he felt honored to play the role of the Pope. He recalled one of the scenes which took place in Poland where 600 extras portrayed Poles who were forced to flee their homes when the Nazis invaded their country. The actor said that despite cold and wet conditions the people did their part quietly and seriously. He felt they realized they were walking in the footsteps of their ancestors who actually suffered displacement and hardship in the war years. He said too that even as a child of seven, when John Paul visited Poland as Pope for the first time, he knew that things were going to change. The grown ups were talking about it and he sensed the greatness of this man from Poland. Another moment which struck the actor as especially poignant was the scene in St. Peter's Square which re-enacted the attempt of John Paul's life by Ali Acca. He was dressed in the white cassock which then was stained with blood. The square was filled with pilgrims from all over. Yet one woman close to the filming site spoke aloud: "I will never forget that moment...". Then it was that Adamczyk realized that this is a film that would touch the emotions of people around the world.
I am looking forward to seeing it. One of our Sisters who has seen all of the John Paul II movies says that this portrayal is by far the best.
In the photo you will see Frank Ruffolo interviewing Piotr Admaczyk for Omni TV; myself and Antonietta Ferlitto, an Annunciationist. She too is a member of the Pauline Family--a vowed member of our feminine secular Institute of Our Lady of the Annunciation.