Meryl Streep a Antonio Banderas: "Nobody does anything in Hollywood if they don’t see a lot of money"

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Account Antonio Banderas that the time he saw more closely Meryl Streep He was nervous, tired and very afraid. It wasn’t so much that he imposed the figure of the actress on him, but perhaps also, like jet lag. At the same time he was rolling Philadelphia alongside Tom Hanks, they called him to play Pedro in The House of Spirits, Bille August’s film based on Isabel Allende’s novel. During a break in filming, she got on the plane, crossed the ocean and with hardly any time for anything else, she entered a set where Jeremy Irons and, in fact, Meryl Streep were waiting for her, script in hand. “Really? I had no idea you were filming,” says the latter, attentive as she is to her colleague’s story. It is not clear whether Banderas seeks forgiveness or repentance. Or both things. But as an anecdote it works. And how.

The memory appears halfway through the almost intimate conversation (if we ignore the terrible sound and the crowded stalls) that the two had at half past seven in the afternoon at the Oviedo Congress Palace. made in Calatrava. The reason, needless to remember, is the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts that she receives tomorrow and, who knows, the formal candidacy for his next one. Be that as it may, the talk-meeting that lasted for just over an hour served for the two of them together to remember things from the past, to be frightened by some issue of the present and, for that matter, to even conspire for a hopeful future. Often happens.

From the past tense, she was the one who counted the most. After all, she, once again, was the protagonist. And what she told left us, honestly, with doubt. “When did you decide to be an actress?” he asked like someone asking about the weather in the elevator. And then she remembered that it all started in high school, in a musical, that at the age of 15 they made her play a robot (“It was all a premonition of what we were going to end up in,” she joked), which was going out on stage and feeling transported. , and the applause did come. Nice try. In the morning, her answer to an identical question and in front of young students from Asturias was that she had everything clear since she was three years old. And if you look at her biography, it appears that the epiphany happened during a visit to the United Nations headquarters with her mother and that when she saw the interpreters at work she said to herself: «I want to be like them; “I want to communicate directly with people.”. Does not matter. All versions are valid and none are valid. Childhood is confusing.

What she did make clear is that she started late, that she first wanted to be an environmental lawyer and that the family environment was decisive: «My father liked the piano and wrote his own music. He came back from work and was transformed. My mother would wake us up from time to time and she would tell us, “This is your day and you’re not going to school.” And with them we went to New York to see a musical. “My mother’s love was theater.” She then took classes, even preparing to be an opera singer, and so on until in the turbulent 60s and 70s she ended up in a hippie and theater commune in Vermont. What times! But not everything was certainties and awards like the one now: «I had a push-pull relationship with acting. When I was young I thought it was all a matter of vanity. It was difficult for me to realize that there was something important in my job that was nothing frivolous.

Banderas said nothing about its beginnings. Yes, he spoke at length, about his mother’s New York travels and Streep’s first steps as a singer, about how musicals are organized in the United States and even explained that public theater there has nothing to do with what we understand by public here. . A talk that, despite being irrelevant, was finished off by his colleague with a careful x-ray of the American way of life: «The United States is a polyglot country and no one agrees on anything. It is impossible to seek union for something like a national theater. Everything is driven by the profit motive. The idea of ​​a state something would need a government subsidy and the Government doesn’t even work.. It is clear.

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