- Cinema Javier Bardem and Penlope Cruz: 30 years of love and a milestone at the Oscars
- Craziness Johnny Depp’s bodyguards drag him out of the hotel
The first time that Javier Bardem (53) sat down with Conxita Casanovas (59) to speak on the program goes to the movies RNE was amazed. “He was very worried because he didn’t know if they would give him a job because of his physical build, he wasn’t very sure.“, assures the veteran journalist who turns 40 in front of this program whose motto is ‘that the cinema is seen on the radio’. Today, Bardem is one of the best actors in the world with four Oscar nominations and a golden statuette in Maribel Verd (51) also shocked him when he presented the year of lights (1986): “She was about 15 years old and she came accompanied by her mother” and she is very fond of Vernica Forqu: “as they had arranged to meet us at a very strange hour, she invited me to eat and then we chatted”, she admits.
Conxita is the voice of cinema on RNE. She is at the head of the most veteran program on Spanish radio created by Argemiro Lozano with several peculiarities: it is the only one that has a version in Spanish (RNE5) and another in Catalan (RNE4), the voice of the mask has been provided by great interpreters such as José Sacristán, Jordi Boixaderas or Mercedes Sampietro, the sections they are like a Rubik’s cube since they are removable and… They have never been awarded the Ondas!. That the organizers take note because the tributes must be made in life.
This veteran of the airwaves loves being on the street “and I am very sorry that today’s journalism has stopped being done there”, but she continues to visit Cannes, Berlin, Los Angeles, Venice, San Sebastian, Malaga , Sitges… Hardly any city with a major film festival can resist it. He tells a curious anecdote: “In Cannes, on the occasion of the presentation of Pan’s Labyrinth, I wanted to interview Geraldine Chaplin because she is one of the actresses who has visited the Festival the most times. We met at the Barrire Le Majestic hotel and they kicked us out of the hotel.” hall because they told us that interviews were not done there. Instead of arguing, she asked me to go up to her room, she had things like we all have when we are in a hotel, her husband was there and it was tremendously delicious and fun”.
“In Cannes they give you everything, chocolates, flowers, drinks… but if the film you present doesn’t work, you almost have to hitchhike back”, he laughed. He also assures that Monica Bellucci is happy, Ricardo Darn is to eat it and Penlope Cruz is a love. He has always had one thing clear: “the program and the team establish complicity” and he adds: “the audience is very participatory because we have always had the role of putting the people who make the cinema in contact with those who consume it. We are like some tour guides for those who still go to theaters”.
- Which performer has disappointed you the most?
- Sincerely, Harrison Ford. And a lot. There is a preconceived image of it and then it does not respond to the expectations created. He has a humor that I found very difficult to connect with. I fulfilled the procedure and that’s it. With Hugh Grant, on the other hand, we were blown away by how funny he was. He has a very special and surreal sense of humor, but I have rarely laughed so much with someone. When he told the anecdotes of his Japanese fans we fell apart…
- The most surreal situation?
- It happened at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona when I went to interview the director of The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Wes Anderson. When I arrived I found him lying on a divan, he wouldn’t get up, I decided to wait… I don’t know if he was relaxed or not feeling well, so I also stretched out and we did the interview.
- You have had occasion to treat Johnny Depp several times, how is he at short distances?
- I first interviewed him twenty-seven years ago when he came to Barcelona to promote Who Loves Gilbert Grape? At that time it was already said that he destroyed hotel rooms (smiles). And last year, when he came to the Barcelona-Sant Jordi International Film Festival, I reminded him. He is loving, tremendously polite, very friendly, a good conversationalist and he only has one flaw, punctuality. He is systematically late everywhere, ha ha. During dinner the first thing he asked me was where there was a good bookstore in the city.
- Sometimes, the big stars surprise by their naturalness and spontaneity, do you remember any anecdote that has touched your soul?
- In San Sebastian I was lucky enough to interview Jessica Chastain – this year she won her first Oscar for The Eyes of Tammy Faye – who kept telling me what the most beautiful earrings she was wearing. I almost gave them to you! She was very fond of bluish Majorica pearls. She is one of the kindest women I have ever met. When it was over, she saw the sound technician so overwhelmed that she offered to help him pick up the wires. Can you imagine it? She is the heir to the elegance and glamor of the stars of yore.
- Something very funny happened to Robert Duvall…
- (Laughter). He knows Spanish very well because he is married to Argentine actress and filmmaker Luciana Pedraza. When I finished my interview at the San Sebastian Film Festival, another colleague from El Peridico de Catalunya came in and when the actor asked her where she was from and she replied that she was from Barcelona, Duvall told him: “My goodness, what a Catalan accent she had.” another journalist. I loved it, what a funny comment.
- The oldest character you’ve dealt with?
- The Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira who was already a centenarian. I ate with him at the Els Pescadors restaurant in the Poblenou neighborhood in Barcelona because the producer Luis Miarro had invited me. He really wanted to be by Oliveira’s side because he wanted to know what he would eat for his longevity. He told me to eat soup every day, have a glass of wine and also coffee. And besides, he was very gallant. He looked at wonder women. He died at the age of 106.
For four years, Conxita Casanovas is also director of the BCN Film Festwhich to date has brought great figures from the seventh art such as Johnny Depp, Isabelle Huppert, Mike Newell, Jeremy Irons, Oliver Stone… “and we promise more surprises. The balance so far is very good because we have shown that Barcelona can have a festival with international projection, but the City Council has to believe it. We need your support”. A direct dart for Colau. He deserves it.
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