Just a month ago Verónica Forqué recognized in an interview with EFE that, after almost 50 years dedicated to cinema, theater and television, he did not know how to “do anything else”. “That is not that I do it very well either, but I do not know how to do better,” he added, modestly. However, behind those words is someone who has won four Goya Awards after working with great Spanish filmmakers and with a long career in theater, both on stage and director. The goodbye of the versatile artist, who this Monday was found dead in her home at the age of 66, is also a loss for the world of culture.
‘Kika’, ‘Get off the Moor’, ‘La vida Alegre’ and other films to remember Verónica Forqué
Training runs in the family. She is the daughter of the director and producer José María Forqué and the writer Carmen Vázquez-Vigo, but also the granddaughter of the musician and composer José Vázquez Vigo, a pioneer in the musicalization of films in Argentine cinema. And his brother Álvaro Forqué, who died in 1995, was also a filmmaker, screenwriter and received a Goya from the Academy for his entire work.
Forqué made his film debut with a small uncredited role in My dear lady (1972), by Jaime de Armiñán. Years later, he was under his father’s command in three films: A couple … different (1974), Madrid, Costa Fleming (1976) and The second power (1976). “Having a film director dad whom everyone called ‘boss’ enchanted me, it seemed the most. I wanted to dedicate myself to that, I wanted to be like Conchita Velasco,” says the actress in the aforementioned interview. His father was initially reluctant to follow in his footsteps in the seventh art, since he considered that the precariousness of the sector could hinder his future, and that is why he asked him to study another career. However, although he started psychology, he never finished it.
His first Goya was obtained in 1986 for The year of lights film directed by Fernando Trueba and set in a hospital for children with tuberculosis shortly after the Spanish Civil War. With her, he won the big head for Best Supporting Actress, and shared the screen with interpreters of the stature of Jorge Sanz and Maribel Verdú. A gala later was a double winner: Best Leading Actress for her role in Joyful life, by Fernando Colomo, and Best Supporting Actress for Moors and Christiansby Luis García Berlanga. She was the first actress to win two Goyas in the same ceremony, setting a milestone that would not be repeated until 2017 with Emma Suárez.
With only 32 years and three Goyas under his arm, Forqué became one of the best-known faces of the Spanish film industry. This served him for years to attract the attention of another of the great heavyweights of the national cinema: Pedro Almodóvar. The director from La Mancha counted on her to What have I done to deserve this? (1984), Bullfighter (1986) and as the protagonist of Kika (1993), film that over the years has become a cult film. With this work she got her fourth big head at the Academy, also becoming the actress who has achieved the most Goya behind Carmen Maura. Still, she never stopped feeling “a great privilege” for having been able to dedicate herself to the profession she dreamed of since childhood.
Another of the elementary directors in his filmography is Manuel Gómez Pereira from Madrid, precisely a collaborator in feature films of other filmmakers such as the aforementioned Fernando Colomo. With him, Forqué exploited his humorous side through comedies such as Pink sauce (1992), Why what do they call love when they mean sex? (1993) Y Queens (2005). Forqué’s appearances on the big screen are not over yet. There are still two films to be released: A thousand kilometers from Christmas, directed by Álvaro Fernández; and mirror, mirror, by Marc Crehuet when we have the information.
But the impact of Forqué is not only national. In 2019 he participated in the film Remember me, by Martín Rosete, in which he shared a cast with Bruce Dern and Brian Cox. He also made his way through the world of dubbing, although not without controversy: he is remembered (not always on good terms) for voicing Shelley Duvall in the film of The glow directed by Stanley Kubrik Likewise, it made its mark on television, with series such as Ramón y Cajal, Broken plates, The one that looms or, more recently, until reality shows What Masterchef.
On the stage and behind it
Despite the fact that both the seventh art and television were recognized homes for Forqué, the actress recognized that where she was best was not exactly in front of the cameras. “The theater is the place where I have felt the happiest and freest,” he said in an interview with EFE. “In the theater you can fix what you spoiled the day before. In the cinema there is no longer any fix. That is why I prefer not to watch what I have done, because you can no longer do anything. But the theater depends more on you, on your will, of your intuition and that of your colleagues and each day is a slightly different test, “he added.
For the actress, perseverance and will was “more important than talent”, but she ended up bringing together all three qualities. He has participated in more than 40 films and a score of plays. His first play was Divine words, with 20 years. Already then he dared to participate in a show based on one of the best-known texts of Valle-Inclán, but this would only be the beginning. He has also interpreted texts by Federico García Lorca, Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams or José Sanchis Sinesterra, among others.
However, Forqué had to wait until 2020 to win a Max award for Best Actress for The things that I know are true written by Andrew Bovell and directed by Julián Fuentes. The interpreter disputed the award with Irene Escolar and Rebeca Valls, but won the award and also took the opportunity to convey a claim to the gala. She went up to pick it up with a printed dress with nipples and vulvas in a geometric shape and a band crossed across the chest on which the following could be read: “How visible are racialized people in Spanish industry?”
As director, her last production was in 2020 with Spanish, Franco is dead, where she also took the opportunity to vindicate the role of women throughout Spanish history and how the transition from dictatorship to democracy was insufficient in terms of equality. Because, whether as an actress, playwright or director, Forqué’s mark in the field of culture is and will be indelible.