Konstantin Yurievich Khabensky, PAR (Russian: Константин Юрьевич Хабенский; born 11 January 1972) is a Russian actor of stage and film, director and philanthropist.
From 1997 he was part of the Saint Petersburg Lensoviet Theatre cast until 2000, after which he transferred to the Moscow Art Theatre in 2002 where he is still active. Khabensky's first lead roles in cinema were in Women's Property (1999) and in the film In Motion (2002). Among the Russian audience he gained recognition with the TV series Deadly Force (2002-2005), while his international breakthrough came with the films Night Watch (2004) and Day Watch (2006) as the protagonist, Anton Gorodetsky.
Other notable films with him in the lead role include Poor Relatives (2005), The Irony of Fate 2 (2007), Collector (2016), TV series Pyotr Leschenko. Everything That Was... (2013), The Method (2015) and Trotsky (2017).
One of the most acclaimed actors in Russia, Khabensky has earned numerous awards, including two Nika Awards for The Admiral (2008) and The Geographer Drank His Globe Away (2013). He has also won three Golden Eagle Awards for Best Actor, three Kinotavr Awards and the Russian Guild of Film Critics Award.
Based on the data of the website KinoPoisk, Konstantin Khabensky was declared to be the most popular actor in Russia in the first 15 years of the 21st century.
Khabensky made his directorial debut in 2018 with the Holocaust drama Sobibor where he also played the role of Alexander Pechersky.
Alongside his work in cinema, Khabensky is a philanthropist, in 2008 he established the Konstantin Khabensky Charitable Foundation which provides assistance to children with oncological and other serious brain afflictions.
Konstantin Khabensky was born in Leningrad to Yuri Aronovich Khabensky and Tatiana Gennadievna Khabenskaya (née Nikulina). Both of his parents were engineers, his mother also worked as a mathematics teacher. He has an older sister, Natalia Khabenskaya.
In 1981, he together with his family moved to Nizhnevartovsk, where Konstantin lived over the period of four years. In 1985 the family returned to Leningrad. After finishing eight classes of secondary school No. 486, Konstantin entered the Technical College of Aviation Instrument Engineering and Automation, but after studying there for three years he realized that this profession was not for him. He tried many jobs including as a janitor, cleaner, street musician, and then was hired as a lighting technician at the theatre studio "Subbota" where he later performed for the first time. In 1990 Khabensky entered the Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinema (course of Veniamin Filshtinsky), where his classmates were Mikhail Porechenkov, Andrei Zibrov and Mikhail Trukhin. For the final exam Konstantin performed as Estragon in the play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, his graduation was in 1995.
Early roles (1994 — 2003)
Khabensky's cinematic debut was in the 1994 comedy film To whom will God send where he appeared in a minor role of a pedestrian.
In 1995, after graduating from the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts, Konstantin worked at the Perekriostok Experimental Theater where he served for one year. At the same time he acted in the Lensoviet Theatre in Saint Petersburg.
Konstantin Khabensky moved to Moscow in 1996 to become a stage actor in Satyricon Theatre where he performed in background roles. He worked there for only a few months and returned to the Saint Petersburg Lensoviet Theatre.
Between 1995–1996, he worked as presenter of regional TV in the department of music and information programs.
In 1998, he acted in three pictures at once. In the satiric romantic drama directed by Dmitry Meskhiev, Women's Property, Khabensky played the lead role of Andrei Kalinin, a young aspiring actor who decides to seduce the aging actress and professor of a teaching institute Elizaveta Kaminskaya, played by Yelena Safonova. For the role he received the Best Male Actor award at the Gatchina Literature and Cinema Film Festival. Khabensky also starred in the Russian-Hungarian criminal fantasy melodrama of Tomas Toth Natasha and had an uncredited role of a musician in the social drama of Aleksei German, Khrustalyov, My Car!.
The actor said that he got his first roles by chance. The role in Natasha went to the actor after a meeting with the Hungarian director Tomas Toth. "We talked, recalls Konstantin, he asked: "Will you act?" - I said: "I will!" Then we drank vodka. And so began work in the cinema." He was cast in the picture Women's Property in a similar way. The actor recalls: "I go downstairs to the studio, some man rises up, comes across and looks at me: "Somehow I do not know you!" - I answer: "I do not know you either!" - and we parted. And then people came up to me and said that it was director Dima Meskhiev and that I was approved for the role in his new film Women's Property.
The following year, Konstantin played a small role in Nikolai Lebedev's thriller The Admirer (1999). The next notable work in the cinema was the main role in the drama of Vladimir Fokin's House for the Rich (2000). Next year he played in another film by Dmitry Meskhiev, comedy-drama Mechanical Suite.
Khabensky received wide recognition among Russian television viewers after he was cast as investigator Igor Plakhov in the crime procedural comedy-drama series Deadly Force (2000-2005).
Another important role was of Sasha Guriev in the picture In Motion (2002), directorial debut of Filipp Yankovsky. The film was about a successful and charming journalist who suddenly realizes that he has found compromising evidence on his politician friend. For the role he received the Best Male Actor award at the Vivat, Russian Cinema festival.
In 2003 he played musician Kostya, similar in looks to John Lennon, in the television series Lines of Fate directed by Dmitry Meskhiev. In the same year, he had the supporting role of journalist Gosha in comedy Peculiarities of National Politics, also by the aforementioned director.
Since 2003, Khabensky has been a member of Moscow Art Theatre stage cast, and a lead actor in Alexander Vampilov's Duck Hunting (Zilov), Mikhail Bulgakov's The White Guard (Alexey Turbin) and Hamlet (Claudius).
Night Watch and breakthrough
After starring as magician Anton Gorodetsky in the blockbuster fantasy films Night Watch (2004) and Day Watch (2005) directed by Timur Bekmambetov, Khabensky became famous worldwide. The films are about the struggle between respective supernatural forces that control daytime and nighttime — Light Others and Dark Others. Both films became box office successes, with the duology grossing $73 million internationally. Bekmambetov described that he needed an actor for the role of Gorodetsky who was handsome, slightly naive, slightly cunning and that "his eyes must show that he has a conscience". The character of the film Anton Gorodetsky became one of his most well-known roles and the success of these films in Russia and abroad has made Khabensky one of the best-known Russian actors in the West.
Khabensky reunited with Meskhiev for the fifth time in Our Own (2004), a World War II drama film where he played political commissar Livshitz. In the same year he also had a supporting role in Goddess: How I fell in Love by Renata Litvinova.
In 2005, he played in Filipp Yankovsky's historical mystery film The State Counsellor, adaptation of the novel of the same name by Boris Akunin. His character in the film was Green (Grigory Grinberg), a revolutionary who attempts to murder the governor of Moscow. For this role, he received his first Golden Eagle Award, as best supporting actor.
In the same year, he acted in two works by Pavel Lungin — comedy film Poor Relatives about a grifter and TV miniseries The Case of "Dead Souls" loosely based on various stories by Nikolai Gogol, including Dead Souls. Leslie Felperin from Variety wrote in her review of Poor Relatives — "Although largely an ensemble piece, thesp Khabensky, a ubiquitous presence in Russian films these days, steals the show with his shambling, sleazeball Letov, demonstrating excellent, previously underexposed comic timing as well as a knack for deadpan and slapstick." Khabensky received the Best Male Actor award from Kinotavr and Russian Guild of Film Critics (Golden Aries).
Khabensky had a supporting role as Leon Trotsky in the miniseries Yesenin, which told the conspiracy version of the death of the Russian poet Sergei Yesenin, played by Sergei Bezrukov. Konstantin would later revisit the character in the 2018 biographical series. Also in 2005, Khabensky appeared in the television series The Fall of the Empire and Female Novel.
In 2006, the actor starred in the film Rush Hour directed by Oleg Fesenko and based on the novel by Jerzy Stawiński. In the same year aired the television series Filipp's Bay, in which Khabensky was filmed in parallel with the shooting of Day Watch.
In 2007, Khabensky played Kostya Lukashin opposite Elizaveta Boyarskaya in Timur Bekmambetov's romantic-comedy The Irony of Fate 2, sequel to 1976 Soviet classic The Irony of Fate. Its plot centered around the grown-up children of Evgeniy Lukashin and Nadezhda Sheveleva who have managed to get into the same situation as their parents many years ago. The film made $55 million against a $5 million budget, with $49 million coming from the Russian box-office alone. For the film he earned the Best Comedy Actor prize at the MTV Russia Movie Awards.
Also in 2007, he appeared as Denis Maltsev in thriller The Russian Triangle by Aleko Tsabadze which was about two brothers who survive brutal torture and Chechen captivity.
In 2008, Khabensky reunited with Elizaveta Boyarskaya to film the 2008 biographical movie The Admiral by Andrei Kravchuk. He portrayed Alexander Kolchak, vice-admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy and leader of the anti-communist White Movement during the Russian Civil War. The film earned $38 million at the box-office. Khabensky was recognized as best actor at the MTV Russia Movie Awards and Golden Eagle Awards.
In the same year, he played Anton Prachenko in suspense film The Ghost by Karen Oganesyan. The picture was about a crime novelist in a creative crisis who becomes an unwitting witness to a murder and whose fate becomes linked with the hired killer who committed it, played by Vladimir Mashkov.
2009 — 2014
In 2010, he played Vyacheslav Kolotilov in the comedy Lucky Trouble which co-starred Milla Jovovich and was directed by Levan Gabriadze. The film was about a school teacher traveling to Moscow to get married but who on his way there is mistaken for a football coach which puts him in danger of missing his own wedding.
In the supernatural courtroom drama series Heavenly Court made in 2011, he played the character of Andrei who dies and becomes a prosecutor in the afterlife. He also appeared in children's film Fairytale.Is and historical picture Raspoutine during the same year.
The following year, he played the role of Alexei Turbin in the miniseries The White Guard, based on the novel of the same name by Mikhail Bulgakov.
Konstantin played alcoholic geography teacher Victor Sluzhkin in the 2013 adventure drama The Geographer Drank His Globe Away directed by Alexander Veledinsky. It was based on the eponymous novel by Alexei Ivanov. His acting received considerable praise in Russia and abroad. Ronnie Scheib from Variety wrote that "thanks to Konstantin Khabensky’s charismatic, sardonic performance as Victor, even personal deterioration proves fascinating and consistently entertaining". Khabensky won the Best Actor prize at Kinotavr, Russian Guild of Film Critics Awards, Nika Awards and the Golden Eagle Awards.
In the same year, he portrayed singer Pyotr Leschenko in the biographical musical television series Pyotr Leschenko. Everything That Was.... Konstantin Khabensky took singing classes to prepare for the shooting, and performed all the songs himself in the series.
He starred opposite Svetlana Khodchenkova in the 2014 movie The Adventurers about underwater diving treasure hunters. Konstantin Khabensky did scuba diving for many years, but during one scene his gas cylinder was not filled with air by crew members which caused the actor to almost drown.
Also in 2014, Khabensky appeared as officer of the Tsarist army in Yolki 1914. The picture was part of the comedy anthology film series Yolki, where he has served as narrator in all installments.
2015 — present
In 2015, Khabensky was cast as police investigator Rodion Meglin who doubles as a vigilante in the crime drama series The Method directed by Yuri Bykov and produced by Sreda. For the role he received the TEFI award as best actor of a television series.
In 2016, he played an employee of a collecting firm in the thriller Collector directed by Alexey Krasovsky where he was the only actor on screen. Russian edition of The Hollywood Reporter described the film as "a brilliant solo performance with one of the best Russian actors of our time". For the film he received the Best Actor award at Kinotavr and at the Prague Independent Film Festival.
In the same year, he did a turn as the protagonist's eccentric father in the teen comedy The Good Boy by Oksana Karas. He also appeared in the Austrian film Fly Away Home, based on the biographical novel of the same name by Christine Nöstlinger. For the German speaking role of Cohn, he had to learn his lines phonetically.
Konstantin starred in another Sreda production in 2018 — he portrayed revolutionary Leon Trotsky in the biographical miniseries Trotsky, directed by Alexander Kott and Konstantin Statsky. For the role he received the Best Male Actor award from the Association of Film and Television Producers in Russia.
Also in 2018, he starred in a dual role in Selfie, based on the novel Soulless of the 21st century. Selfie by Sergey Minaev. The film tells the story of a popular writer and TV presenter Vladimir Bogdanov who is suddenly replaced with an absolute double.
Konstantin Khabensky's directorial debut Sobibor, where he also plays the lead role of Alexander Pechersky was released in 2018. The film is a World War II drama about the only successful uprising in a Nazi death camp. It also stars Christopher Lambert. The film was selected in 2018 as the Russian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.
He took part in several American movies such as Wanted (2008), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), World War Z (2013) and Black Sea (2014).
In World War Z, Konstantin's role as Russian soldier was cut due to re-shooting of the 30 Minutes of the ending.
Khabensky has admitted that the language barrier stopped him from taking on serious roles in Hollywood.
Konstantin Khabensky was married to radio-journalist Anastasiya Khabenskaya from 12 January 2000, until her death at age 33 from a brain tumor on 3 December 2008. He has one son by her, Ivan, who was born in Moscow on 25 September 2007. In Russia he lives in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In 2013 Khabensky married actress Olga Litvinova and on the 3rd of June, 2016, she gave birth to their daughter.
He avoids discussing his personal life and has said that he does not see the need to demonstrate it to the press.
In 2008, he established the Konstantin Khabensky Charitable Foundation (Russian: Благотворительный Фонд Константина Хабенского, translit. Blagotvoritelny Fond Konstantina Khabenskogo) which provides assistance to children with oncological and other serious brain afflictions.
Since 2010, Khabensky has been opening non-profit studios of creative development throughout Russia. Once a year Konstantin conducts a festival with all participants of the studios under the name "Operenie".
In the media
GQ Russia magazine chose him as Actor of the Year in 2003 and 2016.
In 2017, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center named Khabensky together with Sergei Bezrukov, as the most popular actor in Russia.
According to the detailed analytical review of Russian cinema by Yandex in 2017 based on the data of the website KinoPoisk, Konstantin Khabensky was declared to be the most popular actor in Russia in the first 15 years of the 21st century.
For a number of years, he was cited as a sex symbol by various media outlets in Russia.
Awards and nominations
|Saint-Petersburg Independent Actor Award named after Vladislav Strzhelchik||1999||"Actors' Ensemble" (together with Mikhail Porechenkov, Mikhail Trukhin and Andrei Zibrov)||Waiting for Godot (staged by Yuri Butusov at the Lensoviet Theater)||Won|
|Gatchina Literature and Cinema Film Festival||Best Actor||Women's Property||Won|
|XI Festival "Vivat, Russian Cinema"||2002||In Motion||Won|
|GQ Russia||2003||Actor of the Year||N/A||Won|
|Kinotavr||2005||Best Actor||Poor Relatives||Won|
|Theatrical Award "Seagull"||Best Performer of the Antagonist Role||Hamlet (staged by Yuri Butusov for the Moscow Art Theater)||Won|
|Golden Eagle Award||Best Supporting Actor||The State Counsellor||Won|
|The Stanislavsky Prize (theatrical season 2006-2007) at the 12th International Stanislavsky Theater Festival in Moscow||2007||"Mastery of an Actor" ("Best Actor")||"For the Totality of Merits" in the Moscow Art Theater||Won|
|MTV Russia Movie Awards||2008||Best Comedy Actor||The Irony of Fate 2||Won|
|VI International Festival named after People's Artist of the USSR Yuri Ozerov||Golden Sword||The Admiral||Won|
|Nika Award||Best Male Actor||Nominated|
|MTV Russia Movie Awards||Won|
|Kinotavr||2013||The Geographer Drank His Globe Away||Won|
|Golden Eagle Award||Won|
|Russian Guild of Film Critics||Won|
|XXII Festival "Vivat, Cinema of Russia!"||Special Jury Prize||Won|
|The Stanislavsky Prize (theatrical season 2013-2014) at the XIX International Theater Festival "Stanislavsky Season" in Moscow||2014||Special Prize||The charity theater project "Generation of Mowgli" (MTS Company together with the Charitable Foundation of Konstantin Khabensky)||Won|
|The "Impulse of Good" Award||2016||Special Prize "for contribution to the development and promotion of social entrepreneurship in Russia"||Won|
|GQ Russia||Actor of the Year||N/A||Won|
|TEFI||Best Male Actor||The Method||Won|
|Golden Eagle Award||Collector||Nominated|
|Prague Independent Film Festival||2017||Won|
|Association of Film and Television Producers||2018||Best Male Actor||Trotsky||Won|
|Prague Independent Film Festival||Special Prize||Honorary award for achievements in cinema||Won|
|To whom will God send||1994||Yes||pedestrian with glasses|
|Natasha||1997||Yes||Ferenc, a student|
|Khrustalyov, My Car!||1997||Yes||the conductor|
|Women's Property||1999||Yes||Andrei Kalinin|
|House for the Rich||2000||Yes||Yuri Sapozhnikov|
|The Tale of Fedot-Archer||2001||Yes||the peasant-accordionist|
|Peculiarities of National Politics||2003||Yes||Gosha|
|Goddess: How I fell in Love||2004||Yes||Polosuev|
|Our Own||2004||Yes||Political Instructor Livshits|
|Night Watch||2004||Yes||Anton Gorodetsky|
|The State Counsellor||2005||Yes||Green|
|Rush Hour||2006||Yes||Konstantin Arkhipov|
|Day Watch||2006||Yes||Anton Gorodetsky|
|The Russian Triangle||2007||Yes||Denis Maltsev|
|The Irony of Fate 2||2008||Yes||Kostya Lukashin|
|The Ghost||2008||Yes||Anton Prachenko|
|Admiral||2008||Yes||Admiral Alexander Kolchak|
|The Miracle||2009||Yes||Nikolay Artemyev|
|Lucky Trouble||2011||Yes||Vyacheslav "Slava" Kolotilov|
|Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy||2011||Yes||Polyakov|
|The Geographer Drank His Globe Away||2013||Yes||Viktor Sluzhkin, the geography teacher|
|World War Z||2013||Yes||Russian fighter||Cut from the final version|
|Yolki 1914||2014||Yes||officer of the tsarist army|
|The Good Boy||2016||Yes||Kolya's father|
|Fly Away Home||2016||Yes||Cohn|
|The Age of Pioneers||2017||Yes||Pavel Belyayev|
|National Security Agent||2000||Rashid||TNT||2 episodes|
|Empire under Attack||2000||Grigory Gershuni||C1R||6 episodes|
|Deadly Force||2000-2005||Igor Plakhov||C1R||6 seasons|
|Lines of Fate||2003||Kostya||RTR||24 episodes|
|The Case of "Dead Souls"||2005||Chichikov||NTV||8 episodes|
|Yesenin||2005||Leon Trotsky||C1R||5 episodes|
|The Fall of the Empire||2005||Boris Lozovsky||RTR||Episode: "Japanese wood pigeon"|
|Filipp's Bay||2006||Filipp Ronin||RTR||8 episodes|
|Heavenly Court||2011, 2014||Andrei||STB||8 Episodes|
|The White Guard||2012||Dr. Turbin||RTR||12 Episodes|
|Pyotr Leschenko. Everything That Was...||2013||Pyotr Leshchenko||C1R||8 Episodes|
|Evenings of Science with Konstantin Khabensky||2014–present||Host||Discovery Channel|
|The Method||2015-present||Rodion Meglin||C1R||16 episodes|
|Trotsky||2017||Leon Trotsky||C1R||8 episodes|
|Moscow is speaking||2018||Yuri Levitan||TBA|
- 1995–1998 – Timon & Pumbaa as Timon
- 1997 – Tom and Jerry Pokemon Show as Tom
- 1999 – Bringing Out the Dead as Noel
- 2000 – Final Destination as Carter Horton
- 2002 – The Cuckoo as Veikko
- 2005, 2008, 2012 – Madagascar 1, 2, 3 as Alex
- 2009 – 9 as 9, scientist
- 2015 – Hardcore Henry as Slick Dmitry
- 2015 – The Little Prince as Fox
- 2016 – Voyage of Time – narrator
- 2017 – Loving Vincent – Dr Gachet
Russian language films
- 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 – Christmas Trees 1, 2, 3, 1914, 5, 6 – narrator
- 2015 – A Warrior's Tail as Anggee
- 2017 – Fantastic Journey to OZ as Urfin Jus
- 2017 – Kikoriki as father
|2007||"Esli u vas netu tyoti"||The Irony of Fate 2|
|2013||Pyotr Leschenko. Everything That Was...|
|2012||"Dom khrustalniy" (Vladimir Vysotsky)|
|2012||"Moskva — Odessa" (Vladimir Vysotsky)|
Theater on the Kryukov Channel
- The Road based on the script of Federico Fellini (student work) - rope walker Matto
- Jokes of Chekhov (student work); director Veniamin Filshtinsky - "Lomov"
- Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov (student work); director Veniamin Filshtinsky - Chebutykin
- 1994 - Vysotsky's Time (student work); director Veniamin Filshtinsky - several roles
- 1996 - Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett; director Yuri Butusov - Estragon
"Satyricon" Theatre named after Arkady Raikin
- 1996 - The Threepenny Opera by Bertold Brecht; director Vladimir Mashkov
- 1996 - Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
Theater of Farce
- 1998 - Hamlet by William Shakespeare; director Victor Kramer - Horatio
Saint Petersburg Lensoviet Theatre
- 1997 - Woyzeck by Georg Büchner; director Yuri Butusov - Karl the fool
- 1997 - Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett; director Yuri Butusov - Estragon
- 1997 - King, Queen, Knave by Vladimir Nabokov; director Vladislav Pazi - mannequin / waiter / sanitary officer
- 1998 - Caligula by Albert Camus; director Yuri Butusov - Caligula
- 1998 - Brother Rabbit in the Wild West based on the play by Eduard Gaidai; director Vladislav Pazi - Brother Opossum
- 2000 - The Bedbug by Vladimir Mayakovsky, director Yuri Butusov
- 2000 - You Never Can Tell by George Bernard Shaw; director Vladislav Pazi - Valentine
- 2001 - The Death of Tarelkin by Aleksandr Sukhovo-Kobylin; director Yuri Butusov - Varravin
Moscow Art Theater named after Anton Chekhov
- 2002 - Duck Hunting by Alexander Vampilov; director Alexander Marin) - Zilov
- 2004 - The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov; director Sergei Zhenovach) - Alexei Turbin
- 2005 - Hamlet by William Shakespeare; director Yuri Butusov - Claudius
- 2009 - The Threepenny Opera by Bertold Brecht; director Kirill Serebrennikov - Mack the Knife
- 2014 - Der Kontrabaß by Patrick Süskind; director Gleb Cherepanov - one-man play