Inside Timo Fllokos’ World

Character / October 19, 2011

Ky postim ekziston gjithashtu në Vesionin Shqip

Everybody dreams of fame as a child. Smart kids usually want to be actors or lawyers. Everybody has an early-childhood dream about saving the world. When he was a child, Timo Flloko couldn’t be aware about his dream of becoming an actor. He was dreaming of becoming a pilot. He was born in Peja/Kosovo. His father was a doctor from Gjirokastra, his mother came from Montenegro. Timo’s father had studied in the Sorbonne. He fell in love far away from his home during the Second World War as he was fighting the Germans in Kosovo. The passing of time holds strange realities; taken together they mould the human being. Timo was born and moulded in Peja, a small town in the Rugova valley, that is known for its good climate. He used to watch a lot of movies in Peja, mostly American movies…that was all he needed for building up a dream.
When he was eight years old Timo’s family moved to Vlora, in Albania. Timo started to learn Albanian only after his 8th year of age. He started to develop a close relationship with literature, especially with poetry. At that time he didn’t know he would become an actor. Upon playing a role in Vlora, he was singled out for his talent. He had the right stuff for the job: talent, expressivity, engagement. Timo went on to compete for an actor’s job, and he won. He started out his acting career that brought him far away from literature. His father lost hope he would become a doctor. Yet for Timo acting became a profession. His father had the pleasure to see him act, yet he passed away long before Timo became the great artist that he is…


Timo Flloko has played highly prominent roles. It’s hard for him to distinguish between a leading and a support role. Asked by the Sky Magazine, to what extent he can identify himself with his role, Timo responds by a light nod: no actor ever forgets the role he’s playing. What average movie fans would consider a “total merger with the role” might just be a good interpretation from a good actor. We’ll never forget Timo in the role of Luan, the teacher of literature in “Poppy seeds on the walls”, and his declamation of the poem “On the riversides”, that resounds of pain, indignation and rebellion. Of course that role would be the ruin of an average actor. Nobody will ever forget Timo’s performance of Çerçiz Topulli in the movie “Freedom or Death”, his play of Mato Gruda in “The man with a cannon”, of the Russian protagonist in “Face to Face”, or Agron in the “Death of the Horse”.
Timo Flloko has been away from the theatre’s stage until a couple of years ago when he performed in Arthur Miller’s “A view from the Bridge”. The play was sold out over and again. It’s a stated fact that every man’s biggest struggle is the one against himself, yet it seems like Timo Flloko has passed well over that. Many factor have influenced his formation, his wife, the well-known director Vera Grabocka, the first of them all. As a fellow artist, she has always stood by his side with her advice. Literature ahs also played a big role in his life, same as America, the great country. After his return from the States, Timo Flloko revealed to the public his hidden, poetic part. He has always written poetry, but of course, publishing was not in his immediate plans. We should be grateful to Timo for contributing with his poems to the texts of many Albanian songs. Among his most famous texts we can mention “My heart stopped beating”, “Haphazard”, “Here I am”, and “Sometimes”. In the year 2004 he published his first poetry book under the title “Slave to the manias”. Still Timo Flloko does not consider himself a genuine poet. He looks at his poetry as an inspiration. This December he will publish his second poetry book. He hasn’t yet a title for it. He simply knows he will come back to his engagement with poetry as soon as he’s done with his numerous obligations, hoping that he’ll have the book ready for Christmas.

In Timo’s Life

He’s an ageless sort of person, maybe he’s just signed some secret deal that keeps him forever young. He’s not easy to grasp, he’s communication style is rather complex, and his eyes are always scrutinising something. Yet Timo knows to open him self up. He cherishes human dignity and personality, especially the role of the women at all times and in all societies. He recognizes the contribution of the Albanian women in the modern society. “A woman will always steer her man” he says, “the woman is able to get her family to emigrate, a woman is able to change everything, whilst a man can’t do everything so simply”. He speaks about his relation with his wife, Vera, whom he replies as “honey” on the phone. She says she has always been his strongest support, a woman who has always shown him the way, even in situations that seemed to be without an exit. Whilst giving the interview for this article, Timo was preparing himself for the show “The Witches of Salem” that will be staged in the upcoming season. Timo reads and writes a lot, he translates and he teaches in the Academy of Fine Arts (I’m convinced this detail with embellish plenty of CVs of future actors). Recently a book titled “Spirit” by the American psychiatrist Brian L. Wais was published, translated by Timo Flloko. It’s about the history of a woman patient, who speaks under hypnosis about her 86 former reincarnations. Regardless of the amount of faith Timo puts in reincarnation, he has “incarnated” a whole lot of roles and characters, for which we owe him gratitude and respect.

The Making of… “Çerçiz Topulli”

Timo has nice memories from the making of the movie “Freedom or death”. He remembers the film stage that was placed at the centre of the town of Gjirokastra. At that time, the Communist regime would force people to cut their hair if too long. Timo remembers the incident with a group of foreign tourists whose hair had been declared too long and promptly cut off at the border cross point. Upon arriving at the film stage at the town centre, the tourists saw Timo and her long-haired fellow actors playing a scene drawn from the nineteenth century. Somehow the tourists did not notice the shooting cameras, the film director and his crew, so they burst in the middle of the scene asking for explanations on why “those guys – pointing at the actors” hadn’t gotten their long hair cut too! Upon explaining to the tourist their role – as actors, the real actors had a group photo with the real tourists. One of the tourists sent to Timo the picture many years after “the incident”. Timo remembers the costumes they used for that movie: they were fantastic

Ky postim ekziston gjithashtu në Vesionin Shqip

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Irena Shabani
Is an Albanian freelance journalist and human rights activist specialising in investigative journalism. She co-founded Panorama, the leading newspaper in Albania, where she served as managing editor from 2002 to 2003. Prior to Panorama she was a journalist at Shekulli and Gazeta Shqiptare and has been part of the Albanian Human Rights Group from its beginning. She has collaborated on programmes for the International Research and Exchanges Board, investigating topics involving crime and political corruption and continues to collaborates with foreign organisations and local media focused on social problems and minority rights.

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