barbara lennie oriol paulo the crooked lines of god film shooting

    She has had no interest in announcing her pregnancy, so she has waited for her body to physically express the obvious to talk about it naturally. “The whole revolution has been going on for a long time and it’s more intense than I expected,” she says. In fact, when Barbara Lennie (Madrid, 1984) during his visit to the San Sebastian Festival, where he has presented two films (Waterby Elena López Riera, in the Zabaltegi section, and ‘The crooked lines of God’, by Oriol Paulo, in Perlas) was already more than eight months old. “I live full of uncertainty…”, she says between laughs, but it seems that she is not doing badly.

    In recent years he has not stopped shooting or doing theater, chaining one project after another and in 2022 he has maintained the same rhythm. The adaptation of the well-known novel by Torcuato Luca de Tena began to take shape during confinement, when he received a call from Oriol Paulo, with whom he had worked a few years ago on Setback (2016). “We all like to be thought of, that is, to be the chosen ones,” says Lennie. Oryol told me: I have this story, which comes from a novel and I still don’t know very well how to tell it, but the only thing I know for sure is that I want you to do it. And you see, in the end narcissism is a relentless thing, so I said yes.”

    Warner Bros.

    Who is Alice Gould?

    It was not easy for me to find out. She is a woman with an apparently well-to-do and comfortable life. Someone very intelligent, very capable… and also quite the opposite. In her life, everything seems luxurious and colorful, but intimately, she is deeply divided.

    I understand that this is the first time you have used a coach to prepare a paper.

    It had only happened to me once in Buenos Aires, where I went to record ‘A Species of Family’, but in Spain it was the first time and Gerard Oms has helped me a lot. Keep in mind that she has several faces that could be summed up in three: when she is alone, when she is with others and when she is with the other one. We even had to make diagrams to be clear at what moment, and in what personality, Alice is at each time.

    I think that the film in general has something very special with language… I had never spoken so much in front of a camera.

    What is Alice Gould’s diagnosis?

    Depends on who you ask. We talk about a paranoid multiple personality, and this is very interesting because multiple personalities don’t know each other.

    What has been your favorite scene from ‘The crooked lines of God’?

    I was very amused by the sequences with the psychiatrist who is half in love with her. I love all those dialectic games in which Alice measures herself with the character and puts herself above him. In fact, I think that the film in general has something very special with language… she had never spoken so much in front of a camera.

    barbara lennie the crooked lines of god movie character

    Warner Bros.

    And what was it like doing the fire scene in the psychiatric hospital?

    A real hell. It is that in cinema when you see in the script: Exterior. Night. Rain and… on top of that you add fire, you’re screwed. It’s always a mess. It’s cold, you’re wet for hours and hours. So it’s one of those scenes that you like to watch, but not do. And to top it off I had an accident. At the beginning of the sequence where she runs out the door, I fell and had to take three days off. So both Uri (Oriol Paulo) and I have taken a bit of dislike to that scene.

    The thousand faces of the (own) identity

    One of the main characteristics of Alice Gould is her beauty. She is a fundamental part of her personality.


    And that is something he shares with her. How does she relate to being seen and perceived that way?

    It is not something that I have in mind or that I am very aware of. Moreover, it has taken me a long time of my life and my maturity to understand how beauty played in my relationship with the world. It seems like a very basic thing, but no… Since it has never been something important educationally or vitally, it has been difficult for me to give it value. Not even in my career has it been very decisive because I have rarely played ‘the beautiful one’. I have often made a very stripped-down cinema where they haven’t even put on makeup. That’s why I haven’t been very aware of it either, until I’ve been understanding it and I’ve said to myself: ‘Okay, if that’s the case, we’re going to take advantage of it’.

    Not so much now, but for many years I have been deeply frightened by madness.

    barbara lennie the crooked lines of god character

    Warner Bros.

    Have you ever been close to mental illness?

    In what sense?

    If you have had people around you…

    Yes, yes, of course… and it is not easy to carry. That is why it seems to me that all this thing that is so fashionable now, of talking about mental illnesses and stopping whitewashing situations of anguish, is important… Not so much now, but for many years madness has scared me deeply.

    fall into it?

    Yes or that others fall and not understand what happens.

    The actor’s haven

    He often says that in his roles he always comes close to the abyss. What kind of abyss is he referring to?

    Well, to that thing of not knowing very well where to hold on. To a kind of internal precipice, as if you were digging and suddenly spaces open up inside you that you have no idea where they will take you. And then there is also the daily abyss of the stage. What it has to go out there every day and make you poop… At least in one type of theater, which is what I like to do. A theater that I love and suffer. When I’m immersed in that abyss I tell myself I’m not going to do it anymore, but then I always fall back.

    I guess he’s referring to works like ‘Sisters’ or ‘The closure of love’, by Pascal Rambert. His texts are a real barbarity.

    Totally. I love them, although now I have given myself a little break after the Three Announcements, which are three monologues by three actresses: an Italian, a French and me. I did it in France and Italy, and now in February I think we’re going to Paris, but it hasn’t been released in Spain.

    When I am immersed in that abyss I tell myself that I will never do it again, but then I always fall back

    barbara lennie the crooked lines of god character movie

    Warner Bros.

    If you had to choose a moment to remember from those you lived with Pascal Rambert, what would it be?

    The first time we met in Paris, Israel (Elejalde) and I met him in a café in front of his house and he agreed to direct us in ‘La clausura del amor’. I remember how nervous I was, how shy I was and the immediate fascination I developed for him and his work.

    Actors, by the very nature of their profession, are usually immersed in great instability. How do you manage to keep your balance?

    With therapy, of course (laughs). And also with routines. I look for spaces of tranquility and solitude. I need them. Also, I surround myself with people I love and who love me. I guess, like everyone else, I do what I can. Right now for example (points to her pregnant body) I am full of uncertainty because I don’t know what is going to happen. I have no idea if I’m going to be able to do what I have planned, I don’t know what my new life is going to be like, or how I’m going to be or how I’m going to combine…

    beautiful uncertainty

    How is the pregnancy going? How does it feel?

    Fortunately, very well. In fact, I’ve been doing theater for the first six months, rehearsing and doing the performances of ‘Los farsantes’ until June. Later, until mid-July I have shot a film directed by Itsaso Arana and I am going to San Sebastián shortly.

    Will you have it at home?

    nooo! I want a delivery that is as natural and calm as possible, respected, but I prefer to be in a place where I know that if anything happens I will be taken care of.

    barbara lennie pregnant actress

    Rafa Gallar for PHOTOGRAMS

    For years she has lived with the daughters of her partner, Diego Postigo, who lost their mother when Bimba Bosé died. Did she feel like a mother to her before becoming pregnant?

    Yes of course, I have two daughters. It’s a different bond, but my life stopped being just mine six years ago. I go to bed, read stories, get up, educate and organize my whole life around my family.

    Have you accompanied Dora Postigo in her work as the protagonist of ‘Rainbow’?

    All that has left me. Dora is very happy with her role in Paco León’s film. Imagine: she is happy. And I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. I preferred to wait and see it in Donosti on the big screen, with people…

    Did he give you any advice?

    I probably gave him more than one, but I try not to be intrusive at all, and I was there for what he needed, understanding his schedules, with the logistics and feeding him.

    And what does he cook?

    Of everything! I cook a lot. Lately a lot of Ottolenghi, who is an Israeli chef that I love and has a book called ‘Simple’.

    In July, he was filming the first feature film by Itsaso Arana –partner of Jonás Trueba, who was in turn Bárbara Lennie’s boyfriend from the ages of 15 to 25–, ‘The girls are fine’. How was the experience?

    Itsaso has been an unexpected friend and a great discovery. She strikes me as a unique and intelligent woman. The shooting has been beautiful, two isolated weeks in a mill… It is an apparently simple film, but with a lot of soul.

    Do you see yourself directing too?

    Yes, I `d love to. I know I’m going to do it. I need a little more time, the time has not yet come, but I really like seeing that there are friends who have already taken the step.

    Having children in the world we live in seems like an exercise in courage.

    What is the bravest thing you have done in your life?

    Get pregnant? Having children in the world we live in seems like an exercise in courage.

    And the wildest?

    The same (laughs). In addition to being brave, he is something very wild.

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    This interview is published in the October 2022 issue of FOTOGRAMAS

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