Gloria is a movie that has been lighting up the festival circuit all year and Paulina Garcia’s central performance has been whipping up a frenzy with the critics; she has already picked up a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for her performance.
We caught up with Paulina Garcia to chat about the new role, working with director Sebastian Lelio for the first time and what lies ahead.
- Gloria is the new film, so can you tell me a little bit about it?
Gloria is a fifty eight year old woman who is searching for what life is going to give her, now that she is almost sixty. She is trying to find a chance for love again.
- You take on the title role in the film so what was it about the script and the character that drew you to this project?
They invited me to be part of this project from the very beginning. I didn’t know anything about the character back then because there wasn’t a script to read at that point.
The day that Sebastian Lelio and Gonzalo Maza decided to write a script about a woman at this stage of her life, they decided to put me in the main character immediately.
I went to Gonzalo’s home and spent a very nice evening with them talking about the film and what they wanted to do; however, there was not a single line written at that point.
- This is a movie about the a woman's look for love and the loneliness that she feels, So can you tell me a bit about Gloria and how she develops throughout the film?
You are going to see those things that you have mentioned. You are going to see her looking for love and you are also going to see a lot of loneliness; many women at that age today are lonely.
You are also going to see how a human being is resilient; Gloria is about resilience and it was wonderful to see that in this character.
- This a very few moments in this film where you are not present on screen and there is not scene that does not look at how this character is feeling. So how challenging was that for you as an actor to star in a film that is all about the leading role?
It is always difficult, it is really tough work. To put life into a character is a challenge. When I am working I am just understand if I am giving life to the character or not. When we were shooting the film, every day I was very insecure about whether I was giving something special to the scene.
I tried to work thinking in the character and not in the pressure. However, I didn’t really feel any pressure because I was just trying to do the best that I could and trying to do something that was close to what director Sebastian Lelio wanted.
The challenge was to build a good and real connection with Sebastian. The film is not about great events in Gloria’s life, but is more about her feelings and her moods.
It was about getting close to Sebastian to understand each other, to be awake in what we were feeling and the changes in those feelings and those moods when we were shooting the film.
It was very important for both of us to feel that we were doing what we wanted and feel that what I was doing was good for him, and what he wanted for the character was what I was doing.
- You have mentioned Sebastian a couple of times and he is in the director’s chair for the film so how did you find working with him?
It was really amazing to work with him. He tried to create a very atmosphere during the shoot and he is always creating an excellent standard of work. There was also a very good relationship with all of the crew that was working on the film and so it was a nice climate in which to work.
We built a relationship and that was really important for this film; it is always important to have a good relationship with your director, but on this film it was especially so.
- Can you talk a bit about the rehearsal period and he sorts of things that you and Sebastian worked on as you were developing this character?
That period was the period where we built the relationship between Sebastian and myself. The challenge was creating the mood of the film, understating the mood and the pair of us being on the same page with this element of the film. That time that we spent together before shooting the film was very important for us.
We were in touch every day and rehearsing every day - we weren’t always rehearsing as we would be talking together, reading together, watching a film or talking about certain scenes and trying to understand what was going on with her.
We also spent some time looking at photos of his family and my family as we tried to get closer and closer to each other, as we knew that this was a very delicate film.
- You have already picked up the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for your performance, so how are you finding the response to the film so far?
It has been great. A Silver Bear, for every actor in the world, is an amazing award. For the film, it is a very good achievement and it is very important for the film; it is an award for the film as it is for me.
- Finally, what is next for you?
I am working in Chile on a TV series about the dictatorship; we are working on the second season. We did the first season a couple of years ago and that went really well.
I am starting some conversations about some international films. I hope I can do them. I am also going to be doing a play in Chile and I am really interested in going back to the stage. So, a lot of work.
Gloria is out now.