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​I wasn't afraid that he would be called a jumped-up nobody - Olena Zelenska about election campaign of the husband

Wife of Volodymyr Zelensky revealed some secrets of her family life

Wife of Volodymyr Zelensky revealed some secrets of her family life Фото:

OLENA ZELENSKA agreed to the interview with "Apostrophe" journalist on the night of the first round at the campaign office of her husband, presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky. Olena kept her promise and met with our journalist in the main office of the Studio "Kvartal 95". The future first lady told to "Apostrophe" why she was against the presidency of her husband, what motive was decisive for Zelensky when choosing between show business and running the country, and what helped the couple to save a strong relationship.

- How do you react to such close attention from the public to you, how comfortable are you?

- To be honest, it's uncomfortable. I was never public person, once I had opportunity together with Vova to do something to do on scene, but I decided, that somebody needed to remain in the shadows. And now it is necessary to weather this role.

- Have you already prepared internally for the possibility of becoming the first lady, in fact, the first woman in the country?

- This role is difficult. I am still preparing.

- What helps you to psych up? Perhaps you read about someone else's experience? The US, for example, has many examples of successful first ladies.

- I do not much delve into this issue for now. The most important issue I needed to find out right was all about the appearance, which should correspond to etiquette. I saw one story about me, about my appearance, and I then took into account the deficiencies that were outlined. But it's not very difficult, you just need to have information about it.

- Did you ever wonder what sphere you would be engaged in?

- Initially, I would like to continue to do what I do in life. I don't really want to go into politics. And my husband gives me this opportunity, nobody drags me anywhere, I can do what I was doing before. But on the other hand, I understand that this is an opportunity to draw attention to important things in all areas — from helping sick children to other problems. And, probably, it will be cynical to refuse such opportunity. But so far it is difficult for me to navigate, because this is a serious occupation. One devotes the name, the reputation completely to some project, it is a huge responsibility. So if I decide to do something, I will weigh the pros and cons for a very attentively. And if I can take that responsibility, of course I will.

- How seriously are you involved in the work of the "Kvartal" now?

- I'm one of the writers of the "Quarter" with the rest of the guys.

- There was the information that you were one of the writers of the series "Servant of The people", is it true?

- It's not true. We have a number of different artistic fields: television, cinema. Series are written by other people, and we write television projects.

- Still, for you was it a surprise that Volodymyr went to the presidency?

- Is it an internal civil position, even if it sounds pathetic, but it is really so. It's sad to see where we're all marching together. But the most insulting thing for me in this situation is that my husband was not afraid that he would be called a jumped-up nobody, an idiot, say "what he thinks of himself"; he went into it, and now he gets outcomes every day. And that won't change, I guess, just we'll grow a shell. But for the time being I need to wean myself to read comments in social networks.

- Do you still read them?

- I can't help myself. We tried not to read Facebook before going to bed. We had an agreement that before going to bed and immediately after waking up we don’t read it. We lasted about a week (Olena laughs). Then one day he came in and asked me what I was reading, and I told him: a book (Olena laughs). But we must somehow, of course, refrain from this, because the nerves are not made from iron.

- Does Volodymyr discuss political issues with you?

- Even if he would not want to, he still has to. This is life that brings new challenges every day, they need to be experienced and spoken out, because even at the emotional level, such things cannot be kept inside.

- Does Volodymyr ask for your advice? In the interview with Dmytro Gordon, he said that you have a great influence on him, and your opinion is important to him.

- I was very pleased, of course, it sounded complimentary. But, in general, he decides what to do and what - not to do. Perhaps, if he doubts, then he can consult with me. I'm not so far from all his issued and problems, I'm always aware of them, but there are some points that come as a surprise to me. I ask him later, "Could I have been prepared?" He usually replies that he just forgot to tell me. So you can't say I'm an advisor or a gray cardinal.

- You said in a recent interview that you were aggressive against his presidency, why? This is the issue of publicity and the load or something?

- Do you see what's happening now? Of course, I was expecting something similar, but all this is very difficult to experience emotionally. At the same time, we should still work and not to forget about our basic duties, about the children. We count the days and hours when this is all over, but I understand that even if he wins, this is only the beginning.

- Now the topic of debates of Zelensky and Poroshenko is being actively discussed and some people are very critical of Volodymyr's oratorical abilities, especially against the backdrop of the current President. Being the person who is so close to him, what can you say about how much he is able to resist Poroshenko in this debate?

- He is definitely able. Of course, anyone can fall into a stupor or not pick up the right word in time when a person is nervous or in a crisis situation. Moreover, our current President is a very experienced speaker. And, of course, this struggle of experience with inexperience can play a cruel joke, but it seems to me that he will succeed. He is actively preparing now. It seems to me, the most important issue in it is that he didn't try to play a politician during all the election program, he was the way the is. And all the public statements, all the interviews, all the videos were unprepared. Therefore, there may have been some shortcomings, words that were picked incorrectly, or he scratched himself (smiles). But debate is public speech, and he's good at it.

- And in your opinion, in general - does he need to debate, after all the electorate supports Volodymyr Zelensky even without debate?

- It is a debatable question, as a matter of fact, we speak much about it. But on the other hand, some plans and information were not fully set out during the election campaign, and something probably needs to be told additionally. There are many interesting moments, it is the possibility to show what you have already understood and what you are going to do.

Supporters will not turn away, but there are still people who do not understand who he is. And they oppose only because they think that this figure is worth nothing: neither the team nor the action plan. Such people can be tried to convince, and it seems to me that there is a chance of it.

- Did not advise him to go to the journalists? Now there are a lot of grievances that he is hiding from the press.

- I did not advise him to go to the journalists. Even without that, in fact, there are a lot of events, someone gets rejections, but many others – do no. It is unrealistic to have time for everything. One of the grievances is that he does not have enough experience, but knowledge and experience is what is accumulated. He has been doing this for the last few months, he has been consulting with experts all the days long and it is a difficult process, it is not even a study, it is a job. He has to understand virtually everything - and this cannot happen in one minute. He now externally passes a course of the young fighter, and it seems to me, he is doing it successfully.

- And how do you feel about the "black" campaign, which was launched against him and the accusations that he is a drug addict?

- It is just nonsense, it never happened, there is just fatigue from all this. Our friends feel this fatigue, our acquaintances feel it, and even those who at first was silent though, we pull up nobody in our ranks. We do not appeal to singers, artists who have known us for many years with a request to support us. But sometimes, they do not stand it, and it's nice. In this situation it is a pity for parents who begin to worry, but parents with a smile treat it because there is nothing to worry about. They see it as just another mess, that's all. We have all learned to take it with humor. And the sport saves - no matter what happens, every day we do sport, and it unloads the head.

- Do your children already realize that their father, perhaps, is the future President?

- The daughter was very worried in the beginning. She is 14 years old, she goes to school. She sobbed and said, “How will I go to school, what will they tell me? But thank God that the school situation was just normal, there were weak jokes on this subject, but that was it. And the younger kid is not informed yet, he is 6 years old and he will only go to school. Of course, some rumors reach him, but we do not pay much attention to it. First, it can scare him, dad is always very busy even without it, and he is at home only when the children go to bed and in the morning when we have breakfast. So telling them that his dad might be President is telling the kids that they won't see their father at all. We have a deadline — April 21. And then we will think what to do.

- I have read that you can criticize Volodymyr and very sharply make fun of him. What are these jokes about?

- Anything. In fact, we have a very friendly relationship and, apparently, there is some reflex: when you work every day to create something funny, it is already reflexively transferred both inside the team and inside the family. And when I think he's wrong, of course I can tell him about it. Sometimes we have to hold back, of course, because if it's not constructive criticism, and you do not change anything, you may just spoil the mood of the person. I sometimes even say to myself, “well, be silent, stop,” but sometimes it is impossible to restrain (she smiles).

- Is he offended?

- Not always he gets offended. He can get angry when out in the left field, but he says it once. He treats everything with humor. He criticizes me too. We criticize each other, we have such a tandem.

- Are you satisfied with his election campaign at all?

- I think it turned the idea of the election campaign upside down, because it is completely different. And most importantly, it is truly based entirely on altruism. No one among the campaign staff works for the money. Of course, there are technical positions, there are separate expenses, and they are paid for. But the guys who sit in the call center, lawyers, consultants – they all came for the idea, it is visible, and it's great. I have great respect for these people. I do not know which of them will find a place in politics in the future, but now no one even asks such questions.

It is true, there were some mistakes, in my opinion, perhaps not everything was done correctly, but it has already passed.

- How often do you see Volodymyr now?

- Every day. In the morning and in the evening. We went to France not long ago, he suggested to come with him, at least there was a possibility to exhale for one day. But in the matter of fact we did not have such a possibility (she smiles). We walked a bit, went to the Louvre, and got distracted.

- In general, how do you like to relax?

- We love outdoor activities. Right now, when he started to get very tired, we didn't start sightseeing from the first day. We like to find interesting guides to tell us more about the place where we come. If this is a resort, we take sports equipment, swim somewhere, go to the places that are interesting in terms of history and culture, we walk a lot with children.

- Do you have any favorite countries, a place where you like to go back?

- We have just came from France and again we are convinced what a cool country it is. In winter, too, we were in France, skiing... Everybody in the family, except me, likes to ski, and for me every winter is hard labor (she smiles). I mean, they're skating and having fun, and I'm waiting for them.

- If we speak about your relations with Volodymyr, you seem like a very balanced couple. What helped to keep such a close relationship during so many years?

- There are no secrets. Relationships change over time as we change. Relationship now, and when I was 18 years is different. At some point, someone has to suffer. There was a time when he had to put up with my jokes. Then there was a period when I had to stand aside, wait for a share of attention, because the person gained momentum, and he did not have a minute. He was always a workaholic. And when it's creative work, and there are a lot of interesting people around, and you realize that maybe now you are less interesting to him than you would like to be, but let's wait, what will happen next. Thank God that he and I had enough patience, and somehow everything went smoothly enough. I can't say that we have any rules that we have worked out for each other, we just got used to, probably. Children connect us strongly. For me, it is very important how a man treats his children and, thank God, I am lucky. But all our friends, acquaintances adore their children, they are crazy dads in a good sense of the word. This does not mean that they change diapers and go to the decree instead of their wives, but it is always a very gentle attitude towards children. And Vova in this respect can also be an example, because his adoration is impossible... At the same time someone has to be strict, and when I start to arrange the educational process, he is outraged.

In addition, we were pulled together due the difficult moments in life that we have passed, there is gratitude to each other. And we are lucky, probably, that we generally treat each other well (smiles). We're probably just right for each other.

- You said you are still friends...

- There were different moments in life. There were situations when I having looked around understood that near me there was always one real friend – Vova.

- Is he a romantic person? Does he like to prepare surprises?

- I don't much like pink romance - to have a bath with rose petals, for example. And I don't like surprises, I'm afraid of them, because his imagination is limitless (she laughs). I like to plan everything. It is now a difficult period, we will have "Women's Kvartal" in Turkey, we have to write it. And the girls-actresses are in the rehearsal period, and I don't know if I'm going there or not, because it will be at the end of April. So I'm waiting for a few days, and then I'll ask questions (she smiles).

- And what are the accomplishments of Volodymyr and what are his shortcomings, in your opinion?

- Now I'm going to praise. First, honesty. He is always honest, first of all, with himself. In our business it is difficult to have a good reputation despite the fact that there are financial and image issues. It is very difficult to achieve the goal, to defend your point of view and at the same time not to offend anyone, but he somehow always manages to do it correctly. Many creative people envy him because they are trying to show that they are creative and not for money, and I think that this is hypocrisy, because in Hollywood, for example, everybody is creative and everybody is for money. If you want to give people jobs, you have to be responsible for them, provide them with jobs, contracts, new ideas. He always did it well – he can always combine creativity and business, while not abandoning his principles, without cheating. He has integrity. I can't imagine him hurting a woman, being rude to her. He has special relationships with women, he never raised his voice towards me. And when I suddenly see someone like that – for me it's a shock, because in our family it's a taboo. If I raised my voice to the child, I would have problems she smiles). It is clear that he won't scold me, but his suffering will be obvious. He's worried that the kid might get scared. "You were noisy at him, have you seen what his eyes were like at that moment?" he asks me. And maybe that's his romance. In the matter of fact, everything that he tries to show in election campaign is the truth. And it would be easier if we could lie, advertise ourselves more, probably, but we didn't want to. The only thing I'm worried about is that he's going to have a hard time with that decency.

- What about disadvantages?

- Household things. He can be distracted. Sometimes, a lot of things are planned, maybe a dozen meetings for one day and he tried to manage to be everywhere although it is physically impossible. He's also a workaholic. He does not know how to relax, it only seems that he is so cheerful, a joker, but when we go on vacation, he lets go only on the third day third, and he can look around and not be in a tense state. In everyday life he is absent-minded, he does not know where everything is, he is always looking for everything. Previously, he did not have keys to the apartment, and only last year we gave them to him, because he came late - in order not to ring the doorbell (laughs). And now he's looking for these keys every day.

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