Vicky Luengo (Palma de Mallorca, 1990) has presented two films at the Malaga Festival, ‘El substitute’ and ‘Chavalas’, while she continues on a theatrical tour with ‘Principiantes’, directed by Andrés Lima. The protagonist of ‘Anti-riot’, the series that has brought her popularity, has a long career despite her youth and at the age of 14 she was already working on a musical. The comedy ‘Chavalas’, Carol Rodríguez Colás’ debut, makes her an artistic photographer who has no choice but to leave Barcelona fashion where she tries to make a name for herself by not having a euro and returning to Cornellá, the neighborhood of the suburbs where he grew up. Ashamed of her origins and without a class conscience, thanks to her parents and her longtime friends, she will reconcile with the neighborhood. The film opens in theaters on September 3.
-Are you from the neighborhood?
– From Cornellá, as in the movie, no. I have lived all my life in Barcelona, in Sagrada Familia. It is not the suburbs, but I know what a house like the one in the movie is. I lived on a mezzanine floor, with my two Andalusian grandparents, my mother and my brother. There were five of us at home. I have those roots.
-‘Chavalas’ says that even if we want to flee the neighborhood, it is still within us. We cannot deny our origins.
-That’s. The main message is identity, accept who you are in order to live happily. It is impossible to flee from your family, from your origins, because you are going to live with your back to your reality.
– Now send the Instagram posture, we show that we have a great social life.
-Yes. Social networks demand a successful image from us, we have to constantly show that we are doing well. It is an absurd paradox, we all know that what we put there is not our reality. You know that you do not expose your real life, but of others you believe what you see, their continued success. Absurd. You have to try to live according to the present and the truth that surrounds you. It is dangerous to place yourself in that bubble of expectations: the more you project of your life on the networks, the more you disconnect from yourself.
-There is a political dimension to the film: the protagonist’s lack of class consciousness. Being from a working-class family has no place in the Instagram world.
-It seems that this was not successful, it is not a reason to feel proud. That’s why I like ‘Chicks’ so much. From Cornellá there is a bus that goes directly to Pedralbes, a rich neighborhood in Barcelona: so that the people who work in the houses go quickly. That builds an identity for you, the place where you were born and grew up and the opinion that others have of that place. Not all of us are from Pedralbes.
-We are used to seeing these neighborhoods as the scene of other stories of crimes, drug addiction, unemployment …
-Here the neighborhood is shown without stigmatizing it. It is the house of the protagonists. I wanted to participate in a film that showed it without violence or crime. I have worked for TV-3 for a long time and had to take the metro from Sagrada Familia to Sant Ildefons, which is where ‘Chavalas’ is filmed. I was going at five in the morning and nothing ever happened to me.
-The sisterhood between the protagonists is important, one of the great themes of this festival.
-Of course. There are not many Spanish movies with a female friendship story. Above all, do it without falling into rivalries between the protagonists. And without a love story involved.
-There are no men in the plot.
– It is that we have to begin to change in our head. In the worst moments of my life, the one who has saved me has been my emotional network of friends. We have very hierarchical romantic love, it seems that it has to be at the top of everything, it is what we long for. And my friends have supported me.
-At 10 years old, he asked his mother to sign him up for drama classes. That is to be clear about it.
-It’s funny, if you ask me when I decided to be an actress, I would answer that I don’t remember. Nobody in my family was dedicated to this. My mother signed me up for extracurricular activities because she worked long hours and couldn’t be with me in the afternoon. At the age of 8 he was already in the theater and at 10 I told him to sign up for a professional school. I expected Saturday to arrive like May water, it went from ten in the morning to two in the afternoon. It was my favorite day of the week. I was happy doing those works about legends, it’s as if being an actress had come in my DNA.
-When was the first time you felt like a real actress?
-In 2013. He represented a performance, ‘Una historia catalana’, at the National Theater of Catalonia to which he had gone so many times with the school. My classmates threw pieces of paper on the stage and I made them shut up. When I saw my mother standing up clapping, I said to myself: I’m an actress! At the age of 31, I have more than fulfilled the expectations I had regarding my job. I have worked with wonderful people and I am deeply amused by my profession. Hopefully that doesn’t change.
-He has shot a French film without speaking the language …
-Yes. I lied to the director. It gave me two months to learn French. I spent five hours a day studying like crazy and on the first day of filming I realized that I still didn’t understand anything. I was 20 years old. The director trusted me and it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.
-Is there any danger in being ‘the actress of the moment’?
-I don’t like that title. Being the actress of the moment means that one day it will stop being your moment. My attention is on continuing to work, I have been a little ant that I have gone little by little. Now I reap what I have sown. I feel privileged and I hope that perseverance and love for my job will allow me to continue.
-What scares you in your profession?
-I love being scared. To instability, to stop calling me one day, to stop being brave, to accept jobs that don’t go with me … And above all to lose love for my job. You can have more or less luck and talent, but love cannot be lacking.
-You are not representative of the failure that threatens the millennial generation, who were sold that they would fulfill all their dreams. That is also what ‘Chicks’ talks about.
-We were promised everything and after studying five careers there are people who are still unable to work. Or they go abroad because the opportunities are there.
-Is there a before and after ‘Anti-riot’ in your life?
Of course. The series has given me a visibility that I did not have. I learned a lot, I took great friends with me and I am very grateful to Rodrigo Sorogoyen for trusting me. I am the same actress as before, but ‘Riot Control’ has placed me in front of the eyes of the people. It has changed my life.