Before the end of WWII, Forman’s brother Pavel worked as a set designer for the East Bohemian Operetta and took Forman for his first theatrical experience. Forman spent the evening in the ladies’ dressing room, equating them with goddesses, and watching the flurry of activity unfold. Particularly, he observed how these goddesses all paid attention to one man, a sort of “super god.” His brother informed him that he was the director, and Forman decided on the spot that he wanted to be a theater director. To become a theater director, Forman planned on attending the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Prague; however, he was not accepted. During his entrance exams, he was asked to direct the struggle for world peace, but his mind went blank. He was so sure that he would get into the program that he had no backup plan. In order to dodge military service if he were not in school, he applied to the only departments of schools still accepting applications―mining and engineering, law, and film. He took the entrance exams for the film academy and was accepted into the screenwriting program. This fork in the road would lead him to becoming one of the most renowned film directors in the world.
Photo courtesy of Oldřich Škácha