He’s known across the globe for his shirtless horseriding, judo prowess, and strong man image — but now Russian President Vladimir Putin has also been unveiled as a former Soviet stunt actor.
Putin was invited to work with the Lenfilm movie studios in the 1970s by his judo coach, Anatoli Rakhlin, Russia’s independent Dozhd television station reported Thursday. Rakhlin himself claims to have appeared in more than 100 films throughout his career.
The future president worked alongside his sparring partner and energy tycoon Arcady Rotenburg on three patriotic Soviet blockbusters, including Blockade (Blokada) and the Ingrian Battalion (Izhorskiy Batalion).
Former Duma deputy Vasily Shestakov, who also worked alongside Putin, said that as students, the novice performers had made “good money” from their days on set.
Shestakov also said that the group had played the roles of both German and Soviet soldiers, but “it was all the same” to them.