"The same chemistry after all this time"
by Carlo D'Ursi
- The daughter of a conservative politician, international film star Carmen Maura was an icon of the "movida madrilena" before turning into one of the symbols of Spanish film
Cineuropa: What was like working with Pedro Almodóvar after 19 years?
Carmen Maura: I was very happy. It was a very interesting reunion and a very powerful experience, nearly stronger than the film itself. My biggest surprise was discovering that Pedro and I had the same chemistry after all this time. On a personal level, I saw a very different Pedro; more serene, more mature. I have also changed quite a lot. Life sends bad experiences your way and you learn from them. I have no regrets about the past and the problems with Pedro have been solved to work together again. We both evolved in our careers and this is apparent. However, we still have that same affection between us as 20 years ago. This is surprising and the experience was very pleasant.
Was it hard to play a such a borderline character?
As a matter of fact, it was very complicated. In the beginning, I thought she was a very neutral character, but as I had already played women on the verge of a nervous breakdown with Pedro, I could give more depth to this character and create a wonderful mother. The rehearsal period was fundamental to enhancing this idyll between director and actress, which we already knew was strong, and which became even stronger after Volver. Actually, there was one thing that really made me nervous. I have been to many festivals, international premieres and press conferences in my life. However, I have never been as nervous as during the world premiere of Volver in Pedro's hometown, Puertollano, in La Mancha. It was such a big thrill. La Mancha was there to support Pedro, it was an amazing display of tenderness.