Thursday, December 1

Anna Castillo: “The system has normalized toxic masculinities”

The naturalness of Anna Castillo is overwhelming. It doesn’t matter what movie she makes, everything in it rings true, like a phrase you might hear from a friend from the neighborhood. Precisely to the neighborhood, to which she lived, is to which she returns with wild sunflowers, the new film by Jaime Rosales that can already be seen in theaters and in which the director investigates toxic masculinity through the character of Julia, played by Anna Castillo, a young mother who faces three types of men. Each of them shows a patriarchal prototype: from the abuser to the absent father, going through the false ally.

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A demanding role, which has Castillo in almost every shot of the film, and which places her in an auteur cinema where she had not been so lavished. She wins the challenge before jumping to the next one: the premiere of the adaptation of the novel by Cristina Morales easy reading, that Anna R. Costa has made and that Movistar+ will premiere shortly. A role that, for the first time, has made him fearful of its difficulty. Although a decade has passed since he debuted, his freshness, which is also maintained in the interviews, is still intact.

How do you get to this movie? Jaime Rosales is not an author who shoots a lot. Were you interested in his movies?

Yes, auteur cinema interests me because in the end there is something there. Jaime has a very romantic way of doing it, dedicating all the time in the world to it. In each movie he puts his eye in a different place, and there is something about that that I find interesting. I really wanted to work with him. Petra I like it a lot, Loneliness also… Jaime has his process of casting concrete. He gave me a very strange interview from which I left saying “it is impossible for this man to want to work with me because we are basically the opposite”, but he liked something about me. Later, I started to do text tests with it and then the script came to me, and then the script changed… It has been a long, long, long process.

How was the shooting? Because I don’t know if he has done it here, but he plays a lot with improvisation.

There was a one-week rehearsal process with each of the boys, intensive. There we took the text, we read it, then we left it, we improvised… and in those improvisations it was where the atmosphere, the character and the relationship with the other character were created. Then we got to set and the first thing we did was a ‘little theater’ to more or less understand how we saw the scene. There was a lot of room for improvisation, but especially beforehand. Then we already knew more or less where we were going to go.

I think the neighborhood you see in the movie is yours.

I was born in Nou Barris, a neighborhood in Barcelona, ​​which has other neighborhoods in it and we shot in one of them. In fact, there is a moment that I spend with the car in front of my lifelong school. There was something there that made me very excited.

Was it in the script or was it changed when it came into the project?

I was already. My parents lived there and there is a scene of a date that I have with the character of Oriol Pla, at the beginning, sitting on a bench, and my mother came to see me because we were next to her house.

Normally when I read a script, if it makes me dizzy it’s because I want to do it

Anna Castillo

Have you met many women like the ones you play in that neighborhood?

There I met many women like Julia, but we have also met them all, because in the end Julia is a girl who navigates between toxic masculinities. The system has normalized and automated everything from an absent father to an abusive boyfriend. There is another thing that is very interesting to me and that is that I know many mothers who go through that, because it has to do with being a young mother, with few economic and emotional resources, and the mental burden that motherhood in general entails. Until recently, although it still is now but less and less, motherhood has always been one of the most affected by machismo. Julia is the consequence of this.

He has said that about the normalization of the toxic and precisely, the first date that his character and that of Oriol have is similar to the date that you would see in a romantic movie because they repeat the pattern that they have seen, in what they have been educated.

In fact, I’ve been asked a lot if I think Julia is immature. But it’s not her fault. Julia has grown up in a system, and if there is one thing that society and the system perpetuate, it is toxicity. It is normal for people to say things like ‘I want to save you’. Why is Julia immature if all she wants is to be loved or if she may not have the tools to see the red flags? I see them now, but in my teens I didn’t see them.

For me, the three men who appear have red flags huge but I think the movie saves the last male character.

I never save him.

That’s why I wanted to ask you if you think there are three toxic masculinities, including the last one, which could be what is called a false ally.

I think all three are toxic masculinities. The only good thing about this character, Álex, is that he takes a step as if to ask for forgiveness, to criticize himself a little. That is the only thing I give you. Anyway, I don’t think the ending is happy, far from it. I think Julia is satisfied because in the end it’s like the worst, the least bad. There is something very real about all this. There are many times when there is not much choice. Suddenly, she considers that this is better for her mental health, for her children and for her life in general. She believes that with Álex, at least, there are many things that are good, but that does not mean that masculinities continue to be toxic, because even the boyfriends we have, who are wonderful and very good people, have very integrated behaviors, very attached.

It is an intense role. You are the absolute protagonist who is in almost all the shots… Was it difficult for you to disconnect from the character and from a film that talks about such hard topics?

It happened to me with this film that has been special for me because for me it was a beautiful emotional process and it was an emotional and physical challenge. He is a leading character with a lot of responsibility. It was hard for me to detach myself from the project a bit, I see it now. I was nostalgic for a few weeks, but I had a great time shooting. I enjoyed it very much.

Also launching soon Easy, the adaptation of the novel by Cristina Morales. These are two projects with a lot of risk. I don’t know if you measure that risk or if you are foolish when choosing the papers.

With wild sunflowers I was not foolish. I think the folly was to live up to the project and live up to the level of interpretation, but I worked hard. In Easy yes, there are many other things that scared me from the beginning and a lot of insecurity. very much. I think it has been the project where I have had the most insecurity because it is about playing a character with a disability. But I trust, respect and admire Anna Costa so much that I, to death with her. Yes, a little foolish perhaps too.

And that insecurity is usually given only with papers that matter a lot?

The insecurity that gave me Easy he hadn’t given me before. And it has something to do with the fact that I was browsing something that I do not know, that is not mine and that is not my own. That makes me dizzy and scared but normally, when I read a script, if it makes me dizzy it’s because I want to do it. That vertigo, that thing, that respect, I always like it.