News from the Locarno Festival

Echegui: "I Get Involved With A Project Only If It Scares Me"

Member of the Jury – Pardi di domani

Echegui: "I Get Involved With A Project Only If It Scares Me"



“Let's talk, a lot, about every movie. We have a fantastic president, Sabine Azéma, who immediately told us: we do this work seriously and respectfully. We discuss each film in depth. It's tiring, but it's a privilege. And I take a lot of notes, I learn from the artists we judge." Verónica Echegui smiles and lights up everything, chameleon interpreter of comedies and dramas, of genre films and auteur, one of the last creative influences of Bigas Luna and a few weeks ago on the set for a TV series for Danny Boyle, capable of a duet as few others with Toni Servillo. But she's also a courageous lead for young filmmakers, independent projects and ambitious beginnings. Like the Pardi di domani, in whose jury, in fact, there is also the Spanish actress.

Veronica, can you tell us about your debut?

At the age of 9 I realized that I would be an actress: I was suffering from things I invented, I imagined, I told. I would put them on stage, perhaps imitating the telenovelas that my mother watched, like Esmeralda or Topazio. But it's with Yo Soy la Juani di Bigas Luna, with that freedom and beauty that I breathed on that set, that I realized it would be my life. Bigas chose young people who wanted to fly. And we flew. I miss him, for three years I remember every day of him: he left me a mark, inside, he turned my life, my head, he was an old visionary child.

You always change genre, tone, roles. Why?

Because I need the adrenaline, I need the risk, I get involved with a project only if it scares me. Only when I have that feeling, I understand that a movie, a show, will give me something.

How do you work on set?

Firstly, I joke. And I learn. When there is a great actor, I watch, I try to learn but I know that you have to create a special understanding, as with a person with whom you dance. I remember that with Toni Servillo in Lasciati andare I decided to be my character 24 hours a day, to tease him and enjoy his reactions. We sniffed each other out, we liked each other and a friendship was born. For me it's important that whoever works with me is well and it is essential to have fun. In the TV series Trust with Donald Sutherland the same thing is happening: it's a set full of masters, but in the end the importance is... to play. You have to be serious - I am very self-critical - but don't take it too seriously.

Have you spoken about your anxiety about talking? Are you thinking about direction?

Yes, not because I has the ambition to become a great filmmaker, but because at home I have dozens of notepads full of ideas, we live in this world where we tell of worlds, lives and sometimes you feel the frustration of not doing it as you would like. I had a surrealist project, 15 characters in the wilderness, which Bigas should have done, but I think I'll start with something more autobiographical than what I'm ending now. It would be great to bring it here, to the Pardi di domani.

What would you advise to those who contribute to Pardi di domani?

"Flow like water", as Bruce Lee said. Flow like water, without expectations, looking for the naturalness and joy in your work. Think about what you have, do what you can, don't think about what you want. It's the route that counts, not where it arrives.

Which actresses represent your model?

Gena Rowlands: she always amazes me; I always want to know all of her characters. And Jeanne Moreau and Marlene Dietrich.

And who would you like to work with?
With writers with a strong vision: Luc Besson, Gaspar Noé, Julio Medem, Carlos Reygadas, Ken Loach. For me directing is to give a personal, different and strong point of view. Reality does not exist, everything is subjective. I love those who put me in their head.

Boris Sollazzo

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