The James Dean of Polish Cinema
"It is a well-known anecdote told by Wajda that Cybulski came to the set on the first day dressed in his own jeans, jacket, and dark sunglasses ... and insisted on playing in his own clothes, much against the script's historical accuracy" (Bingham 2011, p. 15).
Rising to fame through his notorious role as a resistance fighter in Andrzej Wajda's Ashes and Diamonds (1958), Zbigniew Cybulski remained in obscurity for the remainder of his short-lived acting career and untimely death. Apparently his role in Wajda's film was so impressive that he was constantly being measured against his character of Maciek and struggled to adapt to new personas. Today Cybulski is still referred to by critics as the Polish James Dean and compared to the likes of Marlon Brando and Marcello Mastroianni.