The Spanish Carmen Maura returns to the French theater 30 years later with “La golondrina”

Thirty years after her last theatrical performance in France, the Spanish actress Carmen Maura returns with “La Golondrina”, a work that has had great public success in Madrid and that now takes up in another language, an unusual and “terrifying” work. assures AFP.

“It’s a crazy idea that I came up with, and I hadn’t realized that to what extent it would be a terrifying job. I had it all in my head … in Spanish. And to find you a different set, a different style .. . “he explained in a telephone interview with AFP in Paris.

Because of the omicron, Maura (76 years old) takes the utmost precautions and admits that she barely leaves her Parisian apartment, just enough time to rehearse.

“La Golondrina”, which opens this Tuesday at the Hebertot theater in Paris, was the play with which Maura professionally weathered the gale of covid-19 in Madrid, one of the few European cities that decided to quickly reopen its theater shows.

The work, by the award-winning Catalan author Guillem Clua, narrates the meeting between a mother, a singing teacher, who has just lost her son, and a young man who knew him and who has things to tell him about that boy that she might not want to know .

Actress and director Anne Bouvier directs Maura and Grégori Baquet in this one-act play.

“The director understood the problem I had of suddenly switching to French after having done it for so long (time) in Spanish. She gave me the guidelines that she thought I should have. And I found a character that she wanted, which was very different from what I did in Spain, but I liked it. And above all, I usually listen to directors a lot and when I put myself in the hands of someone I try to do what they want, “said Maura.

– An “Almodóvar girl” –

Carmen Maura began in the mid-1970s doing amateur theater, and she achieved her rise to fame in the cinema, under the command of a director of great character: Pedro Almodóvar, equally admired and awarded in France.

Maura was one of the “Almodóvar girls”, but her professional curiosity took her in other directions, even to Latin America. Twenty years were without contact, until the direct from La Mancha called her back to “Volver” in 2006.

“Looking back the only thing I remember are the good moments, because when you get older, you see things differently. I have had wonderful moments working with him. He has given me great characters,” he said.

Maura acknowledges that their careers diverged again after “Volver” (2006), a film full of female stars, which won a collective award for acting at the Cannes Film Festival.

“We have no relationship, he has his things, I have mine” he explains.

Carmen Maura learned French at school and was even a translator before becoming an actress.

Like Rossy de Palma or Verónica Abril, he knew how to make the professional leap to France. It assumes that it is representative of a generation that opened frontiers to Spanish cinema. “France is a very difficult country to conquer because it costs them, but when they accept you it is a very faithful country. I feel very recognized,” she declares.

Maura won a César (the French Oscar) in 2012 for her role in “Les femmes du 6ème étage” (The Girls on the Sixth Floor) released in 2011.

That same year he received the Great Medal of the City of Paris, a city that he adores.

“My frustration is enormous, because I really like to go for a walk. Sometimes I would go to the cinema here, I would see two movies in a row, but now I can’t do anything, I don’t even go shopping,” he explains uneasily.

Rehearsing “La Golondrina” “has been an enormous effort, and to think that I would have to cut it if I got infected … no, it can’t be,” he adds.

jz / rev

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