Juan Carrasco returns, the most embarrassing politician in Spain, and he does so with a third and final season, ‘Venga Juan’, brilliant, full of humor and so realistic that it gives modesty. The series will premiere on November 28 on HBO Max. Behind the character, a Javier Cámara (Albelda de Iregua, La Rioja, 1967) so in favor of the work that he directs, for the second time, one of the chapters.
-What is it like to bring Juan Carrasco back to life in a third season? Is it the closest thing an actor has to going back to the office?
-No no no. We have never wanted that. We wanted to turn Juan Carrasco around and finish him off. The idea was that people feel satisfied with this third season. If there were not more, I would be very proud. If HBO has a super success with the series abroad, we do another. A ‘Welcome Carrasco’, but we are very happy. It was a very desired season and it rounds everything out a bit and it is true that we were wishing that he had a fall into hell, that Juan would face his past, that he would return to him from Logroño, and above all I really liked the knowing that Juan had been guilty, that he had smeared his hands.
-Former Minister of Agriculture, has already crossed the revolving door, with hair and in an energy company, until an investigation shakes his quiet world. The sequence of events is so real and plausible that it scares, right?
-Yes, yes, there is a politician now, specifically, who also has great hair. But hey we thought about it before he made that decision. I think that several people in this country are going to feel very identified because there are some papers in which a certain J. Carrasco appears, but it is not me (laughs).
-It is also played with the idea that behind corruption there are no great heads.
-Sometimes it gives the feeling, as Hannah Arendt said about Nazism, that behind it there was nothing, there was no theory, there was absolute ignorance, that this is the most terrifying thing. Sometimes you get the feeling that behind the politicians is Juan Carrasco, who is nothing, a man with excessive ambition but deep down very small, who wants to have a driver who will go for the pizzas and have to a lady to sleep with from time to time while his wife is in Logroño with her daughter. It is an ambition as a creeping one. Spanish corruption has a very specific typology, there is something like vulgar in all this, it is all perpetrated in a very clumsy way. You listen to the conversations of people making deals on the phone and you blush.
-Do you think that the fact that in Spain we laugh so much at our miseries, at the corruption problems so linked to our society, makes us get used to it, and the denunciation that all satire implies is less forceful?
-No, I think not. Hopefully not. I believe that it is true that citizens should go out to the streets much more. Right now, with the electric thing, we should be on the street but now. We cannot stand still with many things and it is true that I am envious of France, which take to the streets en masse because they are still more aware that their democracy is based on what society and citizens have done. Here it seems that what society and citizens have done has been done by politicians, the King, the offices, as if we are mere puppets.
-How do you get along with politics? Are you as tense and polarized as much of society, or do you take it with resignation, pessimism and boredom?
– I do not know, I do not know what relationship I have with politics and note that it is a logical question considering that it is a series about politics, but I do not know … There is something depressing in all this. And already the issue of politics mixed with social networks seems frightening to me, the insult has become widespread. Trump opened the door to a Pandora’s box full of shit and he has spread it around the world and there is something that scares you and then there are people who confront it and also give you hope. I am not about to make generalist value judgments, such as talking about the disbelieving youth or the political thief, but it is true that I hope that we go out to the streets more, that we unite more, citizens have to hit the table.
“I would like my opinion not to count because I am very illiterate in many things and a microphone is put in front of me and many times I have no idea what I am talking about”
-Do you notice that the world of culture is increasingly required to position itself?
-It is that we have a microphone and you ask us, but I am not the world of culture, I am Javier Cámara giving my opinion. And then Javier Cámara comes out giving his opinion and some say: «The actors are here». And you prefer to shut up. When they take for granted that if an actor thinks in such a way, it means that we all think the same, because the journalist’s thinking seems just as fragile. Do you know what happens? If you ask me about politics, I will always be hanging around because what I say now, I will surely tell you tomorrow that it is the opposite. Now when you get the headline, I’ll say, “Did I say that?” Yes, I am very ambivalent. I don’t have a political party that thinks like I think, I vote for the one that leaves me closest to the subway station from my house. There are parties that cover me five stations and others that cover me seven, because I vote for the one that covers me seven. No one is going to fulfill everything I want, no matter how much they promise you. Culture has always been reviled, by the left and by the right. I hope they give it the value it has, but I also hope for an education law on which everyone agrees. I find it disastrous that they have not been able to agree on the most basic things. I do not ask for myself, but for those who will be educated. You see other education laws in other countries and you are envious. I would like my opinion not to count because I am very illiterate in many things and a microphone is put in front of me and many times I have no idea what I am talking about.
-There are really uncomfortable moments in the series for the viewer, like someone else’s embarrassment, do you suffer both filming them and watching them?
-What’s going, what’s going on, I defend Juan Carrasco to the death. It is what a Spanish and Berlanguiano and Mediterranean politician are eager to do, we get the spark.
-Being such an acid criticism, have you received feedback from the political class in recent years?
-Look, in the first season, it was the most satirical and the one that most sought comedy, a type of I don’t remember which party told us that we had made a documentary instead of a series. And I was very scared because that means that we are commanded by no one, it knocked me out. Anyway, they keep letting me enter Logroño and there are people there who have seen the series and pee, people have a lot of setbacks too.
«In the first season, which was the most satirical and the one that most sought comedy, a type of I don’t remember which party told us that we had done a documentary instead of a series. And I was very scared because that means that we are commanded by no one »
-Go back behind the cameras in a sensational and very theatrical fourth chapter: a stage and two characters.
-Eduardo Blanco had two days to prepare it because the other actor who was going to do the chapter fell ill with covid two days before filming it and we could not wait. But Eduardo gives it a tenderness and a very pathetic and very beautiful story; that fatigue, that weight. We had been preparing that chapter for a long time, really. It is also written by Pablo Remón, who is this year’s National Dramaturgy Award, like the one I directed last year. Diego San José surrounds himself with very nice people to write.
– It is the second chapter that directs. What weaknesses and what strengths have you seen this time?
-This time I was a little scared because it was the last chapter we shot. The season has been very short of time. We shot everything about the covid in full covid, there was a lot of tension, tests and surveillance. If HBO did something, it was to protect us a lot with the coronavirus and do a lot of isolation and that was hard for everyone. What I did like a lot about directing this episode, which for me was like starting from scratch, is that we have prepared it much more, we talked a lot. The first time I took it more, not in a joke, but it was like good, that nobody was going to see it, but this time it was a very beautiful chapter, it involved more risks, there were two characters talking all the time and I have had a great time. It is also a bubble chapter because the season is very thriller, it goes at a very strong pace and suddenly it stops in that chapter, to spend an intimate night with those two characters. The script already gave you a style and a way of how to tell the story.
-What has directing brought you?
I have recommended to many actors and actresses: “Don’t miss this.” Do not miss directing if you have the confidence. It’s true that now any director can say: “Hey bastard, get into your job and leave us alone.” But I mean the experience of sitting with an editor in a fitting room. I have sat down with them and I have not learned more about the role of actor than in that master’s degree that they have given me. How necessary it is to know what is valid and what is not valid for a job! All that continuity, all the efforts of the script, you see that they are not in vain, they are very necessary and that is pure technique and it is something that must be controlled.
“I have recommended to many actors and actresses not to miss the opportunity to direct and the experience of sitting with an editor in a cutting room. I have not learned more about the role of actor than in that master that they have given me »
-Do you consider directing more things?
-With Diego, at the end of the world. We have had a lot of trust together, it has been a very nice process and he made me direct these two episodes. If you are in an environment where you are filming, you talk to everyone and your shits accept them and when you have failed the text they laugh, if you have that security mattress with the team, then you embark on the adventure of not having a fucking idea And to screw it up and have the cinematographer tell you: “No, no, Javier, you can’t put the camera there.” In the end it is a team effort, but I want to continue being an actor fundamentally.