Carmen Maura: ‘I enjoy acting, I don’t see it as a job’


“I like not to have too much responsibility, which is why I would never direct a movie,” said the actress, who will receive the Platinum Honor Award from Ibero-American Cinema on May 1.

A Palme d’Or, four goyas, two prizes from the European Film Academy, a Silver Shell, a César… “When you start reading what I’ve done, I get tired and prefer not to think about it”, says Carmen Maura amusedly (Madrid, age 76). The actress is responding to the compliments of Enrique Cerezo, executive chairman of the Platino Awards for Ibero-American Cinema. The institution announced yesterday that the prize would go to the main character of ‘Women on the brink of a nervous breakdown’. The award ceremony will take place on May 1 at the Ifema Municipal Conference Center in Madrid, but the “beautiful” statuette, in Maura’s words, presided over the hall of the Cervantes Institute on Wednesday, in which the actress held a news conference. “I’m very comfortable with this award and I think it’s good that they’re giving it to me,” he explained simply, complicit in the laughter of all those present. “I’ve made a lot of movies in Latin America, I’ve visited practically every country, and one of my frustrations is that there are a lot of them that haven’t been seen here and that makes me very sad. I’ve done things I’ve loved, I’ve had wonderful moments and also fear because sometimes I went there without even knowing the director because they couldn’t come because they didn’t have a visa,” explained Maura, who has assured that she has come to make copies of the tapes for their friends to see.

Gifted with a contagious smile, it doesn’t take many questions for the Madeiran to let go and build the career of someone who has been everything in the Spanish audiovisual industry. Maura says there are two elements that have brought her to where she is today. The first is luck. “One of the things that makes this profession ungrateful is that it’s not enough to do it right, it has its secret but it’s also not that complicated. You have to be lucky, at the right time and in the right place to be. …”. The actress knows a lot about that, she has “made a lot of substitutions because they didn’t have the ideal actress and they finally caught me,” she says with a mischievous look.

It happened to him with ‘Extramuros’ (Miguel Picazo, 1985). “Picazo had tested all of Madrid, except me. Finally he calls me up and says, ‘You’re not the actress I was looking for, you don’t have the look or the hands I wanted, but since you’re capable of anything, I’m going to give it to you.’ I’ve been told that many times,” he admits. It happened with “Ay, Carmela!” (Carlos Saura, 1990) Over lunch, the filmmaker from Huesca confessed that he would never have called her for the film, but that her connection with the audience made her ideal for the character. had to work with him,” he laughs. In the end it was one of the movies I enjoyed making the most. Saura was great on set, he sang, he was very funny and everyone said he was very different than other movies And with Pajares and Gabino it was a joy because we were like a family».

With over 150 films behind her, Maura still maintains that look overflowing with enthusiasm and love for what she does. “It’s that I have a lot of fun, it’s like someone who likes video games. That is why I will continue to work for the time being, although I am sometimes lazy. In a way it’s like going to the gym, it helps me a lot and I don’t have to put in the effort to get excited about playing any role. I want to work less if possible and be able to do things I really want, but I don’t see it as a job,” he says. There are things that make him “painful”, like getting up at 5 in the morning to go to a shoot, or “when your whole body hurts, which happens at this age,” he assumes. “Anyway, every time I go to a shoot, I say, ladies, gentlemen, I’m 76 years old and has to take care of myself like an old lady.”

And he had to be a bit careful with Álex de la Iglesia. She met the director from Bilbao at a French festival and they agreed to do something together. Some time later, the person responsible for ‘The Day of the Beast’ appeared with a project under his arm. “I have a script for a man, but if you do it, I will turn him into a woman,” he told the Madrid woman. Maura didn’t hesitate for a moment. And so his character was forged in ‘The Community’. It was not an easy shoot. «At Álex it is customary to see you with water up to your neck -he laughs-. I always ask that the order I have to do is done by someone before me, and every host has given a few… It’s that Áles is like playing with an electric train, he completely loses control, he starts to play and There may be moments of shock, but since I already know him… When I finished ‘The community’, of course there wasn’t a single part of my body that wasn’t purple».

In that sense, she’s not much in favor of leaving her skin for a role. “You will not see me enter a sanatorium to play sick, nor will I gain weight or lose twenty pounds; I have a calling, but a limited calling,” says one who is hesitant to offer advice to anyone thinking of making a living from acting. “First of all, be good at it, you don’t have to be a genius either, but if you’re having a hard time, you can be really bad at it,” he says. Second, “It’s very important not to have too many ambitions and not to think too much about how far you want to go, because it doesn’t depend on you.” Someone who started in this job says a little to forget the difficult life he led: “For me it was like going to Disneyland, like a game,” he says. Third: “Be generous and don’t think about whether I will be fat or ugly or whether the other person’s character is better.” Finally, «learn everything, because anything can be used in a movie».

When asked about some of the key moments that have shaken her professional career, the actress recalled that one of the good decisions she made at a time was to stop having reps in a year when she’d had three. “When I started they said it was not convenient for me to make short films and of course if it had been up to them I would never have worked with Almodóvar because everyone told me it was ‘dangerous’ for my career , ” he says. Doing theater was when Maura met de Manchego. “I realized he was a really smart guy and he made me laugh a lot too and I did with him what he asked me to from starting with Super8 to everything else,” he says.

In this regard, he assures that one of the things he likes most about cinema is that “once you do what the director wants or a little bit more, they adore you”, whereas in other areas of life “I’ve always thought It’s very hard to please the people you love He also says he really likes “not having too much responsibility”, that’s why “he would never direct a movie”. “I love being being an actress is super comfortable. It rains? Not my problem; That the elephant hasn’t arrived? I don’t care,” he shoots.

The actress, who hails from acting in France, assures her that she doesn’t care about making comedy or drama as long as it’s well written. «For me, the boss, that is, the director, counts, who can make me more or less happy. The smarter I am, the better I have it.” He admits, yes, that he really enjoys “making people laugh”. that when I was shooting something funny and the team wasn’t laughing, but then there was laughter in the room. I know exactly where that is, but it’s like a secret,” he explains. At the same time, he affirms that playing dramatic roles “isn’t bad because you’re blowing off steam and letting off steam. Then I like the bad roles, like the last one I did with Paco León, where I’m a witch who doesn’t have a guilt complex».

About the future, the actress says that she does not feel like doing anything special. “I’m more attracted to easy things than difficult things and there’s no character I look forward to and that makes me very relaxed,” she concludes.

Source: La Verdad


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