Pawel B. Szajda
January 13, 1982
Pawel B. Szajda (Polish: Paweł Szajda [ˈpavɛw ˈʂajda]; born January 13, 1982) is an American screen and stage actor. He is best known for his roles in Under the Tuscan Sun, Generation Kill and Tatarak.
Early life and education
Szajda's maternal great-grandfather left Poland for Chicago in 1912, two years prior to the outbreak of World War I. He married Szajda's Polish grandmother, had children, and, after the war ended, moved to Poland. In 1964, the family moved back to the United States, which is where Szajda's mother graduated from college and then returned with the family to Poland. In Poland, she met Szajda's father, and they had Szajda's older sister, Barbara, and two older brothers, Marcin and Adam. Following the introduction of martial law in Poland in 1981, Szajda's family relocated to the United States. Szajda also has a younger brother, Phil.
Growing up in the United States, his family spoke Polish and sent Pawel and his siblings to Polish-language school every Saturday. "I thought my parents' decision to send me to Polish-language classes every Saturday ruined my childhood, but it's actually been my stepping stone into acting," Szajda said. He was a Polish Boy Scout.
Szajda graduated from Farmington High School in 1999. During his time at the school he participated in track and field, was a state champion wrestler, played trumpet and was the marching band drum major. He also played the title role in the play The Foreigner by Larry Shue.
Szajda's acting career started with a commercial for the 1996 Olympics.
In 2002, he won a role in Under the Tuscan Sun. Director Audrey Wells had wanted to use an actor from Poland, but due to visa issues, she was forced to look elsewhere and chose Szajda. Szajda plays a Polish immigrant handyman named Pawel, disapproved of by his Italian girlfriend's father.
After filming completed on Under the Tuscan Sun, Szajda returned from Italy to finish his studies in English literature and economics. He spent a year at Bridgewater State College before moving to New York City to attend Fordham University at the Lincoln Center campus.
He continued to act on screen and on stage while pursuing his education. He appeared in an episode of Hope and Faith (2004), Venom (2005), The Infliction of Cruelty (2006), and Death Without Consent (2007).
In the 2009 movie, Tatarak (Sweet Rush in English) by Academy Award winner Andrzej Wajda, Szajda made his Polish film debut in the leading role of Boguś. The film was a competitor in the 59th Berlin International Film Festival.
Szajda's interests include traveling, photography, drawing, and playing the trumpet. "When we were filming Tatarak in Grudziądz, I took some wonderful photos of the sky—it’s amazing there! Maybe that’s why I’d like to act more in Poland—to be able to visit the country."
- 2018: Dynasty, as Nikolai Dimitrov in season 2 episode 1: "Twenty-Three Skidoo"
- 2016: Imperium
- 2016: Our Kind of Traitor
- 2015: Agent Carter, as Ovechkin in season 1 episode 7: "Snafu"
- 2011: Oliver Linovsky, Wygrany (The Winner)
- 2011: Sergei Sokoloff, Blue Bloods
- 2009: Boguś, Tatarak (Sweet Rush [English title])
- 2008: Cpl. Walt Hasser, Generation Kill (TV miniseries)
- 2007: Sean, Death Without Consent
- 2005: Ricky, Venom
- 2004: College Guy, "Do I Look Frat in This?" (episode #36), Hope and Faith (TV series)
- 2003: Under the Tuscan Sun- Character named Pawel
- 1996: Pablow, An Olympic commercial in the United States
- 1996: Furby Commercial
- 2006: The Infliction of Cruelty by Sean McManus and Andrew Unterberg at the 10th Annual New York International Fringe Festival, August 18–26
- 1990s: Charlie Baker, The Foreigner by Larry Shue, at Farmington High School
- "Tatarak — Sweet Rush the movie — CAST OF CHARACTERS". Akson Studio. Archived from the original on 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- Grabowska, Katarzyna (2009-02-13). "Interview with actor Paweł Szajda: 'I was used to a kind of dictatorship on the set'". Translated by Marysia Amribd; Agnes Emri; Ole Skambraks. cafebabel.com. Archived from the original on 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "Biography for Pawel Szajda". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- Martin, Reed (September 2003). "Pawel Szajda: how many poles does it take to heat up a movie? All you need is this one". Interview. Retrieved 2009-03-29.[dead link]
- Audrey Wells (commentary). Under the Tuscan Sun (DVD). Touchstone Home Entertainment.
- "Pawel Szajda". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- Associated Press (2009-02-13). "Für Wajda sind Berlinale-Einladungen Glücksfälle" (in German). Epoch Times Europe GmbH. Retrieved 2009-03-29. External link in
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- "Pawel Szajda". IMDb Pro. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- Fitzgerald, TJ (2006-08-10). "A Chat with Tuscan Sun's Szajda, Appearing at the Fringe". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2009-03-29.