He fights in an interpretive duel (and in a theatrical key) with Ernesto Alterio in the film that hits theaters today.
Intuition and passion, the one that you must never lose sight of for many years that you have been in this, underpin the career of Clara Lago (Madrid, 1990), the actress who undertook Carol’s Journey with Imanol Uribe when she had barely completed 11 years. Almost two decades traveled by the hand of directors such as Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, Emilio Martínez Lázaro or Juan José Campanella in which she has not stopped growing. Chronicle of a storm encloses two characters within four walls who base the strength of the plot in their dialogues.
Although it is cinema, it is very theatrical, but you are not a theater actress … Why did you decide to ‘undress’ like that in a film like this?
This film unites the best of cinema and the best of theater. I’ve done little of the latter because it requires a strong commitment and it has to excite me. I accepted Chronicle of a storm for the same reason that 7 years ago I chose La Venus de las skins [the play adapted by the director of Football Days or The Other Side of the Bed, David Serrano]: for its long dialogues and by the complexity of sustaining the dramatic tension ‘naked’.
Did it influence the decision that your partner was Alterio, with whom you agreed in Who Killed Bambi?
Knowing it put me at ease. Working with a great actor always makes you a better actress.
Since your debut in the series Compañeros and your Goya nomination for your first protagonist (El viaje de Carol, Imanol Uribe, 2002), do you consider that your career has progressed adequately?
It is difficult to know which projects to say yes to and which to reject. I have had firm pillars, my parents and my representative, Antonio Rubial, who have made my career what it is. As he always says, a career is built more with ‘no’s’ than with ‘yes’. I’ve never been in a hurry to get there, the scripts don’t pile up on the table, but I’m not afraid to say ‘no’ even if I don’t have a joker. When I was little, my parents only let me make one movie a year because they wanted me to do that, girl. I am aware that it is not normal, but I have had the privilege of being able to choose.
Something you wanted to choose and it couldn’t be?
I did three tests with Almodóvar to be the daughter of Penélope Cruz in Volver. I wish I could one day live that dream! And work with Bayona, or with Rodrigo Cortés. Superfan from Almighty.
Any turning point in your career?
Various. But the great lesson came with La Venus de las skins, where I discovered the freedom to interpret from the place you choose. I learned that this is a game, and that if you are enjoying it, the viewer will too. The actors are pathological insecure and during my career I have entered into crisis many times. There was a time when the insecurity that I felt, that kind of impostor syndrome, made the moments of greatest enjoyment on a set were those of the sandwich cut. He suffered, he felt that he was not doing anything right.
The year of that liberation you speak of was the same as Eight Basque surnames. How did you experience that success?
It was a social phenomenon, with her I felt the communion between the public and the cinema, I felt I was part of something historical. It didn’t make the scripts rain on me, but it marked a before and after personally and professionally. The insecurity was there, and more as a comic actress surrounded by monsters like Dani (Rovira), Carmen (Machi) and Karra (Elejalde). Now, with more years of experience and therapy, I know how to use my resources better. If I did it again, I would not give it so much importance, it would go lighter.
How far will those resources go?
Until I have the memory to learn the texts.
This article appears published in the issue of PHOTOGRAMS for May 2021.