Doncha love this kind of showbiz story? “Indiana Jones And the Kingdom Of the Crystal Skull” was filming on the Yale campus in New Haven. The scene involved a fight between our hero, Harrison Ford and “the Russian heavy” as played by actor Dimitri Diatchenko who was signed for a 10-day stint in the pic. Diatchenko had beefed himself up to 250 pounds to look more menacing for the role. The two battled–Harrison (inadvertedtly) clipped Dimitri on the chin. He (Dimitri) didn’t lose his cool. “I would’t hit an American idol,” he laughingly told me. Steven Spielberg looked at the take in the monitor, called over George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy to see what he saw. They agreed–and Dimitri continued in scenes with Harrison Ford –in Hawaii, on giant sets in stages at Universal, Sony, Paramount and Warners–in a giant hangar in Downey –all as Cate Blanchette’s Russian right hand man–for threee months. Like I said, the original deal for Dimitri was for 10 days. They liked his added comedic touch to the mayhem.
San Francisco-born Diatchenko, grew up in Newton Mass. and Deland, Florida. He got his Masters from Florida State and moved to L.A. where his acting career segued from drama to comedy as he utilized his ability to both imitate-and speak Russian and Slavic accents. In the comedy vein, he joined stars Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway in the bigscreen version of “Get Smart.” In the WWII film, “Miriam” he played the leading role of KGB agent Alexi Mironov who falls in love with a Jewess in war-torn Europe. In the”Call Of Duty 3″ video game, he’s the voice of “a Stalinesque” character and he’s also menacing in the “James Bond-6” game. He again uses a Czech-like-accent playing an outrageous porno film director in “Remarkable Power.” Apart from all the action–both comedic and dramatic, Diatchenko is a master classical guitarist and has four CD’s in release. His “Tango en Paraiso” is on the soundtrack of his film, “Remarkable Power” and published in Mel Bay Publications ‘ “Master Anthology of New Classic Guitar solos, Vol.1.” I asked the versatile Dimitri Diachenko if he thought of changing his name? “Did Arnold?” he laughingly answered.