“I came to Spain without knowing what to expect,” he tells us from Madrid. Lelé Guillén, before the premiere of ‘La Fortuna’ by Oscar winner Alejandro Amenábar. The Peruvian is part of the miniseries that is presented at the San Sebastián Festival. “It has cost me a lot, there has also been, I think, divine grace. And you have to fight with the thousands of ‘no’ that you receive every day ”.
The miniseries has six chapters and It is based on a comic about the Odyssey case, about how Spain recovers the treasure from a ship that sinks in 1804. “It is a proposal to sow hope. It has quite an amazing background. I believe that sowing hope and joy is also a political position, defending dreams is a political act ”.
With ‘La Fortuna’, Amenábar (from the Sea Inside) makes his series debut. The actress followed her career from the university classrooms for the film Thesis. “Working with him was a very big leap. I didn’t know it, but I am the first Peruvian actress to work with Alejandro, and it was a surprise that they called me for this audition, I was freaking out, but it was a very loving process ”.
Amenábar has won his first and only Oscar, so far, for the film ‘All about my mother’. Photo: broadcast
Produced by AMC (‘The Walking Dead’) and Movistar +, the miniseries was recorded in two languages. “Although my character – of which I cannot give details – does not appear in all the chapters, it is the first time that I act in English and Spanish. Alejandro as a director is very friendly. I remember the first time I went to a rehearsal with him, it was like ‘beautiful, let’s record!’. I thought he was going to tell me something (smiles), but I immediately realized that he was trusting. Why shouldn’t I trust myself? (laughs) “.
The actress had done several plays in Peru, more independent projects and volunteering. “Over time I understood that I had in my hands a tool for social transformation. Now I feel that as an actress, a migrant woman in Spain, I have to represent the migrant collective ”.
‘La Fortuna’ features African-American actor Clark Peters, with whom Lelé spoke during filming. “He is a very top size, but he is very humble and close. I had very deep conversations with him about racialization. I shared how difficult it had been for me to know who I was now in Spain. Your privileges change. In Peru I did not feel like a racialized actress, here I do, I feel that I am defined through my skin color. And Clark Peters has a very mystical mission in life. He told me that he trusted God, that when he felt lost – regardless of the way you think – he would close his eyes and say: ‘I trust’. Fortunately, I have not made racialized characters, because, whether we like it or not, what we see in fiction has a deep responsibility in the collective subconscious ”.
In that sense, he turns his gaze to stereotypes in Peruvian cinema. “The time has come to say the things we need. So we could be more drastic, because sometimes we underestimate the public. There is a commitment to make. Private companies have a weight that I understand is strong, because that’s where the money comes from, but I think it can be improved and more so in a country as diverse as ours. We are in the bicentennial, who does not want us to see that reality?