Agata Kulesza

Agata Kulesza

Born in Szczecin, Poland (the capital city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship, along the Baltic Sea), Agata Kulesza spent her formative years taking singing and ballet lessons at the local community center, and upon deciding as a teenager to become an actress, she set her sights on the famed Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art, then the National Higher Theatre School. Although the Academy is notoriously difficult to get into, Kylesza was accepted based off her first application. While still matriculating at the Academy, she made her small screen debut in 1992 with the TV movie "Goodbye Rockefeller," and in 1993, made her film debut as Anna, the lead role, in "Man Of " based on the novel by Jaroslaw Lindenberg.In 1994, she joined Warsaw's Dramatyczny Theatre, a theatre company founded in 1949 known for performing intellectual, contemporary plays that challenged the status quo and fluctuating censorship laws. (She stayed there until 2011, after which she transferred her talents over to the nearby Ateneum Theatre, winning the Warsaw Feliks Award for playing Ina in Nikolai Kolada's "Merylin Mongoł.") During her time at Dramatyczny Theatre, she graced screens in Poland and Germany not only with television episodes-her breakout came in 2000 with "My Roasted Chickens"-but also with filmed theatrical productions, including "O, Beri Beri" (1994) and Andrzej Domalik's "Don Quixote" (1995). In the world of film, Kulesza appeared in Poznań '56 (1996), about the workers' rights protests of 1956, and the 2001 adaptation of Stefan Żeromsk's 1925 novel "The Spring to Come" (released as both a film and a five-hour miniseries) before appearing on the eighth season of "Taniec z Gwiazdami," the Polish equivalent of "Dancing With the Stars." Beating out the likes of singer Natalia Lesz and actress Marta Żmuda Trzebiatowska (of "Teraz albo nigdy!" fame), she won the grand prize on November 30, 2008. She was the first contestant to donate her winnings to charity. In 2011, she starred as Róza Kwiatkowska in Wojchiech Smarzowski's "Rose," which told the story of a Masurian war widow who must defend herself and her homestead from the incoming German soldiers. For her performance, she won the 2012 Polish Film Award for Best Actress. Later, she was featured in 2011's "Suicide Room" as well as 2013's "Traffic Department," which competed in the 35th Moscow International Film Festival. Audiences could also hear her provide voices for the Polish dubs of a number of animated films, such as Studio Ghibli's "Howl's Moving Castle" (2004), Dreamworks' "Shrek the Third" (2007), and Disney's "Meet the Robinsons" (2007). 2013 would bring Kulesza her greatest acting success so far in the form of "Ida," directed by expatriate Pawel Pawlikowski. A stark, black-and-white period piece about a novitiate nun (Agata Trzebuchowska) in 1960s Poland who, upon learning that she was born Jewish, sets out with her hard-living Communist aunt Wanda (Kulesza) to find the mystery of her parents' disappearance, "Ida" was a harrowing two-character study of the wounds of WWII and the complications of faith in the modern era. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Academy Awards.


Guest Appearances