The real deal

Paulina García on playing Gloria

by Richard Mowe

Late blooming love for Paulina García and Sergio Hernandez in Gloria
Late blooming love for Paulina García and Sergio Hernandez in Gloria
How did Chilean actress Paulina García come to grips with the omnipresent role of Gloria in Sebastián Lelio’s new film about a middle-aged woman who finds romance? She told a media gathering in Locarno that the only way was to "demonstrate complete commitment".

Locarno Film Festival star of Gloria, Paulina García - an acrobat on a thin line
Locarno Film Festival star of Gloria, Paulina García - an acrobat on a thin line
"I had to be ready to work continuously with the director: we had to become complementary. Gloria did not only need a characterisation; it was necessary to build a woman in all her aspects and complexity, especially showing what one tends to hide in life."

She did not think of her as a role model. "Women like her are here and all over the world, even if their independence and strength are often ignored. We wanted to describe a female model which is pretty widespread but also denied by everyone. It is not feminism, but reality observation."

On the subject of Hollywood's obsession with younger women she said: "Cinema is female, theatre is male. The first one travels paths that, I think, are closer to female sensitivity, while the second one especially answers to male questions. But the point is that such roles, such scripts are difficult to find not because of the gender, but the season of life which is represented: scripts like that are achievable neither by actors, nor by actresses.

"This story, these themes created a fruitful dialogue on the set, also with the other actors. It was good for the film, it gave us the opportunity to improvise: this kind of collective work helped me very much in some difficult moments, when I felt alone, when I was thinking about myself like an acrobat who has to walk on a thin line carrying a beam with two big masses. A wrong detail is enough to make your acting dull or academic. I want instead to give reality back to the audience."

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