There are three words whose meaning horrifies the Valladolid actress Concha Velasco, born in 1939: survive, sacrifice and resignation. “I would remove them from the dictionary,” acknowledges the actress – excellent, unrepeatable, unbeatable. She tells the following: “‘I’m surviving,’ a friend told me one day, and I exclaimed, ‘How horrible!’ What a horrible word whose meaning we should not allow. What you have to do is live, not survive. Their eyes have lived as if they had the obligation to illuminate themselves, to calm them, the sadness of all those who feel alone, lost or left over.. And he continues to have, despite everything, the happiest laugh in the world, that laugh that has accompanied him around the world, serving him as food and as bells that announced his presence; that laugh that, when it turns into tears, leaves her crushed.
That same laugh that entered him when, blessed be the day, he said to the mother of his soul: “Mom, I want to be an artist”. Now, at the age of 81, he has embarked on a long tour throughout Spain with the monologue ‘María’s room’, written by his son, Manuel Martínez Velasco, and produced with great care by Jesús Cimarro. She plays the famous and agoraphobic writer Isabel Chacón, who has been confined for 43 years on the 47th floor of a Madrid skyscraper that she has turned into her fortress. One day, a devastating fire breaks out.
– What would you like to talk about?
– That there are also very good people in this world. Look, during the time I was doing the show at the Reina Victoria in Madrid, in case I didn’t have enough problems already, because I’m very handicapped, I was also caught by the huge snowfall that there was. One day the driver and I stayed in the car, unable to go forward or backward from the ice that was there. Then some Muslim boys came out of a restaurant and came towards us. I don’t have a mania for anyone, but when I saw them coming, and I was there trapped in the ice with the other man, I said to myself: ‘You’ll see!’ And it turns out these guys were wonderful. You have to talk about good people, because of all those other people, who are very many, who like to kill or screw up their neighbor’s life, they talk all the time. Now I have a wonderful Muslim lady with me, who already helped me at home when my children were small, who cannot imagine how well she takes care of me and accompanies me. I am already for that [ríe].
– And to continue doing theater.
– Yes, a wonderful monologue in the middle of a spectacular scenery. I fell in the bathroom at home and hit my head. Three hours I was without knowledge. I had to go to the hospital and now I still have one eye through which I can’t see anything, the same one in which I already had a retinal detachment; I hit myself in the same eye! But I continue to do the role that Manuel has written me, a funny, dramatic, sensitive text …; That does not mean that from time to time they hit him with some horrible sticks just for being my son. And he does not deserve to be criticized so much, because the child writes very well, otherwise we would not premiere the show, nor would we fill the theaters. Everywhere we go, the show is a success; I, suddenly, make things up and, of course, Manuel comes next and scolds me.
“Maybe Marsó wasn’t so bad”
– Are you still talking to the audience from the stage when the show ends?
– Sure, the other day I spoke to the public about the prophets and their importance. Muhammad learned from Jesus, who in turn learned from … what is the name of the fat guy with the lettuce? The Chinese, what is his name? Because this one was born from a lettuce.
– That, Buddha, which was born from a lettuce.
– What has been the best?
– Oh, my son. I am 81 years old and still working. My grandson has turned 12, suddenly he has become a man, and they do not let me see him because of the fear of being infected. Even a dog that I had, Lúa, the only animal I have had since my canary Pepe died, who died of depression the day my father died, they took her and I only see her once, when they bring her to the house. poor … with a mask! My son Paquito has turned 42 years old and it was recently the birthday of [Paco] Marsó, whom I remember more and more fondly because, since he did not give me a good life, at the end of the day I did not give it to him either. I don’t want to die with that thing of saying ‘how bad was Paco Marsó’, because maybe he wasn’t so bad. It’s that being with me is a bit heavy, because you have to take my coat [ríe]. To everyone who is next to me, the first thing I give is my coat and bag. And, of course, not everyone likes that.
– Are you afraid?
– I am not afraid, because I am 81 years old. What I don’t want is to nag people. And be calm, I do not see it possible. I had already told you that Manuel’s biological father is Fernando Arribas, right? We got together as a family and decided to go public now. Poor Fernando, he was also a bit of a womanizer and that’s why I didn’t marry him. The last time he married was with a young girl from Peru, where they went to live. But we were still having a relationship. When the girl abandoned him, we brought him to Madrid. Last Christmas he spent with us. He was so cute, so handsome!
– One day you told me: “I am a poor woman.”
– And so I am. It’s that I don’t want to be Conchita Velasco; I want to be either Conchita Velasco’s father, or Conchita Velasco’s husband, or Conchita Velasco’s son, but what I don’t want to be is Conchita Velasco because Conchita Velasco is a poor woman who has spent her life working like a mule. And thank goodness I like my job! Tell me what my life has been: to work, to work and to work, all my life working without stopping. So, every time I see those who do not pay the Treasury, I get on my nerves, because here I am paying as I can, because I always have a small debt. But, as I tell you, if I didn’t like my job I would have jumped off a balcony, right? How was that about Escarlata O’Hara that I told him once in an interview and Marsó got very angry, poor man?
Like Scarlet O’Hara
– «I am as endearing as Scarlet O’Hara, poor thing, for an impossible love the nonsense that the poor woman did».
– That hit Marsó like a shot. And it is true that he has been the man of my life, because I have never had a man again. Since Paco died, I decided that it was over. If when Fernando returned from Peru he still wanted us to go out together [ríe]. I told him that he was very old, and we are the same age! He and Marsó treated each other with great respect and affection. Every time someone spoke ill of Paco Marsó, he got on his nerves.
– He also assured: “I am a woman who always runs after someone.”
– Not that anymore. Now I am a poor woman, who continues to fill the theaters but who needs physical help, and that makes me very nervous. Manuel does not want to be seen in a wheelchair, but sometimes I need it to save time. I’ve even thought about buying one with a motor, but it won’t let me! [Ríe] Now, those who rule my life are my children. They are good guys, the truth is that they are giving me back all that I have given them. They are now my life, because I was already telling you that I have never had a boyfriend or a lover …; I have managed with myself as I have been able since it ended with Marsó. In this life you have to give a little if you want something back.
– Do you continue to proclaim yourself Catholic, Socialist and Spanish?
– Of course I am still a socialist, what happens is that I do not militate because I do not like, in general, the politicians that there are at the moment. It cannot be that, with what is happening, those of the PP are all day blaming everything on [Pedro] Sánchez, and Sánchez to those of the PP. My ideology is still socialist, but if I am a socialist before Felipe González, by God! The Calviño [Nadia Calviño, vicepresidenta de Asuntos Económicos]She is a friend of mine, and every time she goes to see me at the theater everyone gets very nervous because they tell me: ‘The minister is here!’ No, there is my friend, whom I have known for many years. And Carmen [Calvo] She is my lifelong friend. He always wants to give me a prize, and the poor thing doesn’t get it. The most important prizes have been given to me by the PP, and he has given them to me for my work; I as a socialist do not have any prize. The Great Cross of Alfonso X the Wise gave it to me [Mariano] Rajoy, and I have the photo in my house. And of course I am Catholic, that this Palm Sunday not having been able to go for my olive branch has been fatal. I am a practicing Catholic, practicing socialist and practicing Spanish. Although you already know what the saying goes, ‘politics and religion is a bad solution’ [no me suena de nada este refrán, pero paso palabra]. Praying an Our Father comforts me a lot, I do it every night of my life.
Book of Saint Teresa
– What books do you have on hand?
– The ‘Book of Life’ by Santa Teresa de Jesús, the ‘Meditations’ by Marco Aurelio, and writings by Carmen Martín Gaite; All three say the same thing! Those are my bedside books.
– His character in ‘Maria’s room’ says that he misses the loved ones who have already left a lot, and affirms: “I keep holding on, I have one chapter left to finish.” In your case, what chapter?
– What remains for me is to die without nagging. I ask the Lord not to have Alzheimer’s. It also saddens me a lot that the people I love are dying. Antón García Abril has died, and Gerardo Vera died suddenly, almost talking to me on the phone. He called to tell me that he had bought for me the rights to a Tennessee Williams text that Vanessa Redgrave, my favorite actress, was doing. I told him that I had to be with this role for three years now. When they told me he was dead, I thought: ‘But I was talking to him five minutes ago.’ Well you can see.
– Do you regret anything?
– And what good would that do now? Not me, nobody has forced me to do anything, I have done what I wanted or what I could or what I thought was the best. Then, time passes and it is inevitable to think about what would have happened to your life if instead of such a thing you had done the opposite. I do not know.
– What are you still thinking?
– That, many times, it is the thirst for revenge and hatred that keep us alive, alert. That is the reality, as it is also that making the other suffer, despise him, ignore him, abuse him, is a practice that human beings carry out with great success.
– Will we end up loading the planet?
– Have you read the prophecies of Saint Malachy?
– I haven’t had the taste.
-Well, read it to him, because he was a very boring guy.
#left #die #nagging