"Directing has changed the way I see the profession"

Mario Casas took advantage of the pandemic shutdown to write the script for Mi soledad tiene alas, a film that arrived in theaters yesterday and marks his debut as a director.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
25 August 2023 Friday 11:05
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"Directing has changed the way I see the profession"

Mario Casas took advantage of the pandemic shutdown to write the script for Mi soledad tiene alas, a film that arrived in theaters yesterday and marks his debut as a director. He thought up the story so that his brother Óscar would star in the role of Dan, a young man with an artist streak who survives in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Barcelona by attacking jewelry stores with his friends Vio (Candela González) and Reno (Farid Bechara) . When her grandmother dies and her father is released from prison, her world crumbles and old demons come to light.

The film surprises above all for the freshness and spontaneity conveyed by the cast of this story of overcoming with autobiographical touches, although the director confesses to La Vanguardia that "everything was quite measured. Where we have played a lot has been in rehearsals and casting. There they have flown and flown, but there has been little room for improvisation". Casas, who 17 years ago made his debut as an actor under the direction of Antonio Banderas in El camino de los ingleses, was "very clear" how he wanted to make the film, "with non-professional actors, the only one Oscar , and immerse him in a custom world. I wanted to follow the boys with the camera on my shoulder, without missing anything."

The Goya winner for best actor for No matarás has set the film in Barcelona, ​​the city where he lived between the ages of 5 and 18. "I know the periphery very well because it is where I grew up. I have breathed the neighborhood and history has a lot to do with me. I have taken words and emotions and put them on paper. The character of Oscar has another family, it has nothing to do with me, but his fears and the search to find who he is and what he wants to do are things that happened to me at his age, also before he went - I'm going to Madrid. They make this trip to Madrid towards maturity, they know that they will never be able to return to the neighborhood and will have to take the reins of their lives."

Directing his brother "has been wonderful. I already knew the talent he has as an actor, but the truth is that he surprised me, because he left his soul." He told her that they would gradually build the character, that she should not be in a hurry. "I asked him to lose weight - it's been eight kilos - and to shave. His is a character who has to show everything with his eyes and you don't quite know where he is, what he really wants. He is a tormented boy and in the end he ends up exploding."

Mi soledad tiene alas talks about Dan's fears and insecurities, but also about friendship, art and family. "He is an adult character, but at the same time a child". Óscar, 24 years old, explains that at first he "didn't see me on paper and thought Mario was wrong to choose me. After conversations and rehearsals and understanding who Dan really is and his sensibility, I gained more confidence and began to understand that there are no barriers as an actor. That with truth and sensitivity you can get there".

The title of the film is a reference by Casas to his dream of flying and also "to that loneliness that we all live and that I experienced at 18 when I went to Madrid to find my life as an actor. It is the moment when I had to make my own decisions and spread my wings, fight to achieve my dream”. Casting to find the co-stars lasted a year and a half. "It is one of the processes that I liked the most. I fell in love with Candela. At first she arrived very shy and after several tests I took her to Madrid and I saw her chemistry with Farid, too." The young woman from Málaga comes from the world of music and says that "I had never considered being an actress, and now that I've experienced it, it seems like a wonderful profession". He points out that Mario "has awakened in me a confidence that I didn't have before" and that his Vio is "a girl who is trying to find her place and it is not easy at all".

Mario Casas refers to his first opera as "a small film about young boys, and what I would love as a director is for people to appreciate all the actors, because they have done a beautiful job". He admits that both he and the whole team have learned to solve things with patience during filming. "I have had a lot of support and it has been a beautiful experience. The most beautiful thing is that it has changed the way I see the profession. And I have discovered and the relationship with my brother has strengthened much more".