Maribel Verdú is not interested in Hollywood
By now she must be swimming in the crystal-blue waters off one of the archipelago’s 7,100 islands.
Spanish actress Maribel Verdú, whose character in Alfonso Cuaron’s “Y Tu Mama Tambien” embarked on a search for a mythical, beautiful beach with two frisky boys, is a self-confessed sun worshipper.
She often visits Mexico’s beaches. “I love Mexico. It’s a great country. I will discover the Philippines’ beaches tomorrow morning. I hope to enjoy my stay,” she told the Inquirer on Friday.
She was in town to meet with the press and the audience at the Friday screenings of two of her films “Felices 140” and “Blancanieves,” which are part of the annual Pelikula/Pelicula: Manila Spanish Film Festival, currently ongoing at Greenbelt 3 in Makati until Oct. 18.
For “Blancanieves,” where she played the cruel stepmother/witch in Pablo Berger’s retelling of the fairy tale “Snow White,” she won best actress at the Goya Awards in 2013, her second win. Her first Goya best actress came in 2008 for Gracia Querejeta’s “Siete mesas de billar frances.”
Querejeta also directed “Felices 140,” where Verdú plays a woman who wins 140 million euros in a continent-wide lottery.
Speaking of which, what would she do if she won the lottery in real life?
“Uy cariño,” she quipped. “Now, I only do movies I deeply believe in. But if I won… I would be… more exclusive. I will only work with my friends, like Fernando Trueba and Gracia Querejeta.”
She will also venture into producing “my own stories… with the directors I want. I will also live life as if there is no tomorrow,” she quipped. “I will share my money with many, many people. What I like most in life is to give presents, to help people. I want to help more.”
She is not keen on publicizing her charity work, adding that “no matter how much you give… it is never enough. I will be a major donor if I won the lottery.”
Unlike her “Tambien” costars Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, she never really answered the call of Hollywood, although she worked with Francis Ford Coppola in “Tetro” (2009).
She has “small ambitions,” she admitted. “I only dream of a happy personal life. I am not interested in that world [of glitz and glamour], only in interesting films.”
She related that she often receives offers to do formula films. “But I am not interested in mainstream movies. I prefer interesting films… projects that take me to different parts of the world. I love traveling.”
She would make the jump to Hollywood for one particular filmmaking pair, though. “Unless the Coen brothers call me… I’ll be there,” she said, laughing heartily.
She said she is drawn to projects with “a good script, a very good director and coactors.”
In her three-decade career that includes 70 movies, Verdú, who started at age 13, considers herself fortunate that she was able to work with the best filmmakers in the world: Trueba (“Belle Epoque”), Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth) and Coppola.
“I learned many things from them,” she said. “It was an absolutely amazing experience to work with great directors.”
She considers Trueba “one of my best friends… my mentor.”
With Cuaron and del Toro, “I owe almost everything to them. People abroad know me because of their films.”
She recounted that “it was an incredible experience to spend four months with Coppola. I lived in his home in Buenos Aires during the one-month rehearsal period. It was crazy… he films everything, with different kinds of lenses… from every single corner and angle.”
She recently saw Sean Ellis’ “Metro Manila” via Amazon. “It was an incredible film. I loved it. So touching and amazing. Before coming over, I wanted to see a film on the Philippines.”
Upon her return to Spain, she is set to do a TV series, a crime thriller called “La Verdad,” before reuniting with “Blancanieves” director Berger in June.
“The film is called ‘Abracadabra,’ a comedy, and I play a character I’ve never done before,” she said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.