‘One of the nicest bits when working with actors is finding the fine balance between silence and words. When we read the script together we often spoke about the small gestures which go along with them. Gestures are ambivalent, elusive, at times revealing deeper emotions. We wanted them to be perceived as natural, familiar and both, brave but also namby-pamby, as often words can also be when we keep quiet, as if wanting to protect someone. However there are times, when let loose, when they can hurt those who were simply trying to protect us. At every rehearsal there was a pervasive question cropping up: how to live one’s life and also manage that unconditional love that startles us so.
To reach the right tone it was necessary to carefully measure each gesture, each silence and word since both mother and daughter find it hard to be sincere lest they’d worry or let the other one down. We wanted to build up a climate which was very tender, filled with complicity but also loaded with white lies and awkwardness which would prevent mutual overprotection. That implied working in two directions. The actors had to get deeply involved with the most intimate emotions of the characters and explore them to the utmost but also, minimize them downright to pretend nothing was going on.’
First rehearsal of Celia Rico with Lola Dueñas and Ana Castillo
‘This was our first rehearsal together. The first time I heard the dialogues with their own voices. One of the most moving instances: when the characters begin to be alive.’