The actress, with an extensive career, achieves an international breakthrough playing Marta, the woman who conquers the heart of tough Mike (Clint Eastwood) in Cry Macho (2021), the latest film made by the Hollywood legend.
When did you know you wanted to be an actress?
I think I became aware of it in high school, there, in my time, from the typewriter, there were shorthand typing, drawing and theater workshops, I didn’t like the first one, and I went to theater, where I discovered my inclination towards the artistic, because I originally wanted to study law, international relations, something else, and what we did is that once the teacher sent us to a contest, we adapted a work by Mario Benedetti and won several prizes and I think it was from there that I discovered my emotions, how easy it was for me to modify by the text itself and everything that was received in return.
Did the family accompany you?
Yes, totally, my father is a great accomplice, in fact I started studying law, but I spent my time in the theater at the University doing plays, and with those plays everything became almost a job. One day I said, I’m going with both, but it was impossible. I started in Mexico at the Center for Theater Studies, which no longer exists, but since I am very orthodox, I did not understand why they did not explain a technique to me and one day I came across the Strasberg book in the studio, conversations with Lee Strasberg, and It lit up, it was one of the best things that happened to me and I also found it in a used bookstore. After that I went to Los Angeles, three years to study the Strasberg Methods, I am specialized, and I came back and I have been teaching theater classes at the National University for almost 30 years, and also specialization techniques courses, besides I continued studying many other things, I love it, it fascinates me.
Do you feel more comfortable working in any particular medium?
I love being in front of the camera, I find cinema delicious, series are now made like cinema, I think I like it more because the camera becomes an accomplice, it’s like a great voyeur, but an accomplice, you know it’s following you , who is looking at you, but enters the scene, goes to the situation and the space, I like it a lot, in cinema we do a dance with the camera. I like theater a lot, I’ve done about 35 plays, but the time it takes for a montage is eternal, the camera is faster. I love all three, and teaching, but I think I really like dancing with the camera.
Is there a role that you like more than another that you embodied?
I’ve been lucky to play great characters. Like for example, the mother I did in Trade (2007), a strong, brutal theme, but I liked her emotional journey a lot, and I also really enjoy a psychic that I recently played. I like to be invited to do various things, even comedy. I like Marta a lot, that she is the last one I did, and the character of Trade also.
How did you get to Cry Macho?
By audition, self-video, at home, saved, in a pandemic, and my representative sends me the scenes, I really liked that Marta was going to allow me to speak in English and Spanish, but the character said that she was 60 or 70 years old, then she they changed. I sent the video and after three weeks they told me that they were going to present the material to Eastwood, they told me the dates, at first I said no because in a pandemic it hadn’t even come out, but I said yes, and a week later the confirmation came that it was going To do it. I sent it like so many other auditions, and it was the first time everything happened so quickly.
Was it difficult to create Marta?
She felt very comfortable, first because she was Mexican and second because Eastwood told me that we would play a lot, the space where she moved also helped, her construction was from there and from being land and a containing woman, with a mixture of strength and femininity , self-sufficient, but romantic, who somehow allows herself to be violated, and when they meet, they both meet, although she is not as lost as he is.
In general, in these films, the female characters are secondary, but here they are strong. How do you see it?
I celebrate it and in her films the women are integrated, feminine and strong, with feminine strength, I really like that Marta has been written like that, that she is a reference of the Mexican culture of the border, in charge of her granddaughters, a world very feminine, but also very strong.
How was it working with him? What did you detect in Eastwood different from others and helping you create the character?
I think what helped me the most was the beautiful professional relationship we had, he puts the human being first, he does not come as an icon, but as a scene partner, everything was very fluid, he makes jokes, and the relationship helped me a lot, they ask me how I saw, and of course, he is gorgeous, he has an impressive personality, he also used that, Marta’s joy in meeting him, in doing what he did. He and I never sat down and he told me how the character had to be, only on one occasion when I used more force did he mark it for me, and with that single indication I understood the character, everything else was doing. He makes everything lighter, warmer, it was like going to play and seeing the interaction that happened with him.
How do you live the moment of Cry Macho touring the world?
I find it fascinating, because I also spent a year without being able to say anything, and I left it in a state of latency, and now I live it with great joy, stopping and focusing on interviews, uploading something to the networks, listening to the beautiful comments about the character, who had an impact on the public and is back, and fortunately I have the time to do it, because in Mexico everything is stopped, and I relive the experience with these exchanges. Now I enjoy it more, now it is giving me things from the human and it changes my life from that place.
Do you have any work pending release or completion?
No, the pandemic started when I returned from shooting Soulmates, an Amazon series, then I shot cry maleYes, I am with a lot of classes, at the University and my acting workshop, and that is a wonderful exercise for me, and hopefully soon I can talk about other jobs.
We wish to give thanks to the author of this article for this remarkable content
Natalia Traven tells how she conquered Clint Eastwood in “Cry Macho” | WritingCinema
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