Ivan Okhlobystin

Ivan Ivanovich Okhlobystin (Russian: Ива́н Ива́нович Охлобы́стин; born  22 July 1966) is a Russian Orthodox priest, actor, director and screenwriter. By his own choice, he is temporarily suspended as priest from the ministry of the Russian Orthodox Church.[1][2] He is the creative director of the company Baon.[3]

Ivan Okhlobystin
Ivan Ivanovich Okhlobystin

OccupationActor, director, screenwriter, playwright, journalist and writer, TV presenter
Years active1983–present
Spouse(s)Oksana Okhlobystina

Early life

Ivan Ivanovich Okhlobystin was born on 22 July 1966 in the recreation center "Polenovo" (Zaoksky District of the Tula Oblast), where his father who at that time was 62 years old, worked as the head physician. Mother of Ivan was then a 19 year old student; later she became an engineer-economist.

Father - Ivan Ivanovich Okhlobystin,[4][5] military doctor, a participant in the Great Patriotic War. Mother - Albina Ivanovna Stavitskaya[4][5] (Okhlobystina by her first marriage) (maiden name Belyaeva), engineer-economist, the mother married for the second time to Anatoly Stavitsky, Ivan had a brother Stanislav Stavitsky, and there is also a nephew called Ivan.[4][5]

For some time the family lived in a village near Maloyaroslavets in the Kaluga Oblast, afterwards they all moved to Moscow.[4][5]

After graduation, he entered the directing faculty at VGIK. Ivan studied on the same course with many future luminaries of Russian cinema: Tigran Keosayan, Bakhtiyar Khudoynazarov, Fyodor Bondarchuk, Aleksandr Bashirov, Rashid Nugmanov and others. On the parallel course (at the screenwriting faculty) Renata Litvinova, Roman Kachanov and others were studying at that time. Subsequently, Ivan continued the friendship and cooperation which began at the institute with many of them.[4][5]

Without graduating, he was drafted into the army. After serving in the rocket forces in Rostov-on-Don, he reinstated himself at the institute.[4][5] There he completely immersed himself in public work and was elected secretary of the Union of Cinematographers of the USSR. In 1992 he graduated from the directing department of VGIK (workshop of Igor Talankin).[4][5]


Success in the 1990s — present day

Okhlobystin's career began with the picture "The Leg" by Nikita Tyagunov, which was released on the screens in 1991, he received the prize as best actor at the festival "Molodost-1991" (because of superstitious reasons he was credited under the pseudonym of Ivan Chuzhoy).[4][5] The first script written by Ivan Okhlobystin - for the film "The Freak" directed by Roman Kachanov - was nominated for the prestigious award "Green Apple, Gold Leaf". The first full-length director's work of Okhlobystin - "Arbiter" with a soundtrack featuring the bands Piknik and "Obermaneken" - was awarded the Kinotavr award in the category "Films for the Elect". In 1997, Okhlobystin acted in the movie Mama Don't Cry in an episodic role of a bandit.

At the same time Okhlobystin took part in theatrical productions. On February 16, 1996 in the Moscow Art Theater premiered a theatre piece based on his play "The Villain, or Cry of the Dolphin" staged by Mikhail Efremov. In the same Moscow Art Theater, a second theatre piece of Okhlobystin was staged: "Maximilian the Stylite", in 1999 the director Roman Kachanov adapted the play about the new-born seer for film and released it under the title of "Maximilian". In the late 1990s, Ivan wrote for the magazine "Stolitsa" but soon left the publication, because as he said, it turned into a "brothel",[6] then worked in the staff of the weekly "Vesti".

In 1999 Ivan Okhlobystin acted in the popular crime-comedy 8 ½ $ directed by Grigori Konstantinopolsky together with Fyodor Bondarchuk.

Work in the cinema continued in 2000 with the cult film Demobbed, the script to which Okhlobystin wrote in co-authorship with the film's director Kachanov; the plot of the film was partly based on Okhlobystin's own memories of service in the army.[4][5] In 2001, based on his own screenplay, the same director shot one more comedy - Down House.

In addition, he was the screenwriter of the philosophical drama Garbage Man (2001) directed by Georgi Shengelia.

Between 2010-2016 he played the cynical head of the therapy department Andrey Bykov, in the medical sitcom Interns which aired on TNT.

In 2017 he starred in comedy-drama Bird about a rock musician who becomes friends with a girl suffering from tuberculosis.

Political and religious views

Okhlobystin became popular in the late 1990s but, following a religious conversion, withdrew to a monastery and became a Russian Orthodox priest. Patriarch Kirill removed Okhlobystin from the priesthood on February 2010, banned him wearing priestly vestments and priestly cross.[1][2] In early 2010, Ivan resumed his entertainment career. Later that year he was named the creative director of Euroset, Russia's largest handset retailer.[7]

Okhlobystin plays the head of the therapy department in the medical sitcom Interny. On 5 September 2011 he announced that he would run for President of Russia in 2012 through the "Sky Coalition", but later gave up the idea, citing the opinion of the Russian Orthodox Church.[8]

Appearing in RTVi's (Echo Moskvy's) Without Fools broadcast on 2 December 2012, Okhlobystin declared himself to be a "national-patriot" and claimed to "know" that "in the year when the head of State and the head of Church in Russia will both die", he will become the next President of the new Russian Empire. Saying "the Russian people will vote for me, and the Russian Church will anoint me," he stated that he would immediately put up a new Iron Wall around Russia and start a campaign of "cleansing" in order to "rebuild the Russian nation."[9]

Okhlobystin is known for his homophobic views. In December 2013, he said that he wanted to "burn homosexuals alive," describing them as a "constant threat to his children," and that he could not watch this "Sodom and Gomorrah" any longer.[10][11]

In July 2014, a "creative evening" with Okhlobystin in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv was cancelled "due to anti-Ukrainian statements by Okhlobystin."[12] In November 2014, Okhlobystin visited Donetsk and declared his support for Novorussia.[13] He said he was banned entry to Ukraine but considered Donetsk to be part of Novorussia.[14] He is also banned from entering Latvia and Estonia and all films and TV series which feature him are banned in Ukraine.[13]

Personal life

He is married since 1995 to actress Oksana Okhlobystina (née Arbuzova) and has six children.

Selected filmography

This film-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

As actor

Voice roles

As director

  • Moscow, I love you! (2010)

As screenwriter


  1. "Патриарх Кирилл запретил актеру и священнику Ивану Охлобыстину служить в церкви". Komsomolskaya Pravda.
  2. "Иван Охлобыстин. Начистоту". pravmir.ru.
  3. "Охлобыстин переходит на работу в Baon". TASS.
  4. "Охлобыстин Иван Иванович". Argumenty i Fakty.
  5. "Биография Ивана Охлобыстина". RIA Novosti.
  6. Kirill Sorokin. "Иван Охлобыстин. Отче наш". Rolling Stone.
  7. "Иван Охлобыстин покреативит для «Евросети»" [Ivan Okhlobystin creative director for Euroset]. Kommersant.ru (in Russian). 1 December 2010.
  8. "Priest Okhlobystin heads up a Just Cause supreme council". Interfax-Religion. 14 August 2012.
  9. Without fools, Echo Moskvy/RTVi, 2 December 2012
  10. Kozlov, Vladimir (13 December 2013). "Russian Actor Ivan Okhlobystin: 'I Would Put All the Gays Alive Into an Oven'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  11. "Актер и бывший православный священник Иван Охлобыстин предложил сжигать геев в печах" [Actor and former Orthodox priest Ivan Okhlobystin recommended to burn gays in ovens] (in Russian). Newsru.com. 13 December 2013.
  12. Ksenz, Vladislav (1 August 2014). "Концерт Охлобыстина в Харькове отменили из-за его антиукраинских высказываний" [Okhlobystin's concert in Kharkiv cancelled due to his anti-Ukrainian rhetoric]. Status Quo (in Russian).
  13. Kozlov, Vladimir (10 December 2014). "Ukraine Bans Films Featuring a Russian Actor Who Supported Separatists". The Hollywood Reporter.
  14. Ivan Okhlobystin visited Donetsk 30/11/14, Novorossia.TV
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