How Spain got great
by Antonio Pezzuto
- Speaks Eduardo Noriega, an actor that symbolizes the rebirth of Spanish cinema, screened at Pesaro Film Festival
Eduardo Noriega, born in Santandar on August 1, twenty-eight years ago, is now the heartthrob of the Spanish silver screen. But above all, he boasts the qualities of perseverance and intelligence. He has starred in films by Alejandro Amenabar (Tesis, Abre los ojos), as well as Guillermo Del Toro´s El espinazo del diablo. Noriega is now in Italy to promote the program that the Pesaro Festival is dedicating to Spanish cinema.
How did you start out in cinema?
When I moved to Madrid to study theatrical arts I met Amenabar, with whom I began working immediately appearing in his short subjects. Before long, we made Tesis, after which other work came about with other directors, like Mateo Gil, Miguel Santasmases...
Over recent years we have seen a sort of renaissance of Spanish cinema, with highly diversified and original films. This is an enviable situation for an actor to find himself in... Over the past ten years the prospects for cinema have certainly improved considerably, but we have had to modify our objectives, aim at a different public, and target young people between fifteen and thirty-five years old. Guillermo Del Toro´s films, for example, are excellent examples of a combination of commercial and artistic intentions. These new filmmakers are all very different people, and this offers the possibility of telling different stories, and having very different roles to play. For actors, this is the best of all possible worlds.
For Del Toro you did El espinazo del diablo. What kind of experience was it?
Making this film was exhausting for me, I needed to concentrate very hard in order to work up the energy to express the latent anger of this young, embittered man with an animalistic side, marked by loneliness. I am very happy with this film, and I am very happy with the preparatory work I did for my role in it. We studied lots, trying to define the different faces that this fellow could have had.
El espinazo del diablo presents themes that are very similar to Amenabar´s latest film, The Others, which starred Nicole Kidman...
The similarities between these two films is just a coincidence. I think its a question of the world we live in: we are afraid, we don´t know how to deal with the changes brought about by the new millennium, we feel like prisoners of what we have become, and obviously, at first glance, stories can seem similar.
Talking about similarities, you made Abre los ojos with Amenabar, the movie that Cameron Crowe and Tom Cruise remade as Vanilla Sky.
Abre los ojos was born of a series of conversations among friends sitting in a bar. Then we worked very hard on this idea. Vanilla Sky seemed much more like a commercial project where they added a stupendous soundtrack. They just remade the film, having nothing really new to say, simply copying entire sequences with the same camera positions, the same cuts and splicing. I saw it at the cinema, and while I was watching it I couldn´t help but see two films at the same time: ours and the one that was being projected on the screen. But I think it is very flattering that Hollywood chose our film. It was a compliment for us, as well as an opportunity to familiarize more people with our work.
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