Photography: David Sagasta Mora.
He likes the jasmine, the geraniums, the cats on the rooftops and the gold medallions of the great-great grandmothers. When he was 3 years old his father put on headphones larger than his head and began to prick vinyl. All these characteristics obey Aixa Villagrán, we don't know if any of them has to do with what he saw Leticia Dolera in it for play Esther in Perfect life, the revelation series of Movistar +, who plays with him today highest number of nominations in the Feroz 2020 Awards.
The actress of Sevillian origin competes with her cast partner, Celia Freijeiro, in the category Best supporting actress of a series. However, even though the awards come now, Aixa Villagrán has spent his entire life dedicated to interpretation. In fact, in our talk for More Culture, recognizes that he never conceived of being something else. Well, it is also true that he tells us that his father proposed him to study Mandarin Chinese, that he did have exits …
Esther, his character, nobody asks how he is. We try not to make that mistake with Aixa.
Your character is my favorite in the series, but not because of the comic and superficial part but because the series is spent worrying about others and nobody notices her. So if you think so, we start there: How are you?
How cool that you ask me that question as the first question, that's how nice it is. I am, above all, very grateful. That's how I feel lately. Thanks for asking.
You have been in the world of interpretation since the age of 20 but it seems that until one has no place in a platform or mass format one is not recognized. Is this bad or is it part of the rules of the game?
Spain is full of bright actors and actresses who do not have the opportunity to work in audiovisual for a widespread fear that a project will fail if faces are not known. I would very much like this idea to change since I use American and English fiction as an example, the quality of a product does not depend on whether the cast is famous or unknown.
I refer to the facts with series like Transparent, Girls, Breaking bad, Fleabag… we need to refresh fiction and give opportunities to talented new people. Movistar does not seem to me a mass platform precisely, on the contrary, it bets on new faces and projects that give visibility to less common topics
Do you consider yourself an old man, a teenager or neither?
I consider myself adult with teenage soul. I try to mature and be a better person to have healthy and beautiful relationships … in those, I tend to romanticism and nostalgia, it is part of my idiosyncrasy.
We just saw you in Perfect life. It is a very careful series but sometimes it happens with comedy. Have things come up in the filming that have later been incorporated?
It has totally happened. Leti directs us giving us full freedom when investigating and creating the character. He let us improvise from the rehearsals and this enriched not only the script but also the chemistry that we had between us when it came to acting.
«You are in the hands of someone who trusts you and who wants you to add your free creativity»
There are things about improvisations that stayed in script and that is a privilege because you are in the hands of someone who trusts you blindly and who wants you to add your free creativity, without pressure.
Your character contains a very interesting reflection about the world of social networks and the interpretation of art. Do you observe this in your day to day in the field of interpretation?
The world of networks is a subject with which I still have my more and less.
I am in a process of trying to understand the mechanism without fighting that being there means being part of capitalism, of try to like, of the try to be cool and show that everything is going better than good.
There is something that seems playful, fun and necessary because thanks to them there is more communication. What I don't like is the excessive egos in social networks, we get lost there, and when they are used to harm.
Are existential crises better overcome with references like Esther?
I think Esther is an example that going against the system does not have to be at odds with happiness.
We follow established patterns to achieve what society tells us is a model life but look, she is a very free and hedonistic person.
«Leti and Burque are suspicious of their meetings at the time of writing»
She is an aunt who enjoys despite not fulfilling all those requirements and just begins to go into a drill at the moment she feels judged and conditioned by her own environment.
This to me it has made me wonder to what extent we lack freedom and our own decision to be happy and feel satisfied with what we have and not with what we lack or what we have not achieved.
There will be a second season, can anything be advanced?
There will be a second season, yes and I can't advance anything because Leti and Burque are suspicious of their meetings at the time of writing. I try to get him out and he just says "we are in it".
You have worked in film, series and theater. Does something change in you when you face one project or another?
It changes a lot, yes. Each project is a world and each character is a different universe.
«I feel passion for music, if it reaches me or I do not make disgust to any genre»
I am in love with my work and I believe that if they have something in common all the projects that I do is that I thank each one infinitely to be able to be in it and each one gives me different experiences from which to learn.
I have read out there that your Andalusian roots and your contact with “Lorquian” characters make comedy already come to the ground…
I am largely that tragicomic universe that Andalusia has, is able to laugh with acidity of misfortunes to heal wounds.
«My father called me one day and told me that I had to study Mandarin Chinese, that I had many possibilities»
My family is from Cadiz and I do recognize in them a very special mood that is intelligent and assertive, surreal, caustic and fine. I really like Andalusian folklore, I love Lorca.
I like jasmine, geraniums, cats on rooftops, gold medallions of great-great-grandmothers, clothes hanging, the passion with which we talk about things …
The music he listens to says a lot about an artist, gossiping around there I see that you select French music, psychedelia and tear pop How do you explain this?
When I was 3 years old, my father put on headphones bigger than my head and began to prick my vinyl. He played the guitar and we sang songs.
This was coupled with the fact that in Seville there is a lot of musical culture and my brother or friends who were older than me passed me records and cassette tapes with international groups that were not commercial at all.
There were many bands that played and many concerts in Seville and I had the great luck that my parents taught me to love and value music. I have a passion for music, if it reaches me or I do not disgust any genre.
Your first memory related to interpretation?
At home, at dinner and at parties. Julián (Villagrán) and I used to dress up and play theaters and then with 11 years I started a compulsory subject in my school called dramatization in which we recited the old romance and the gypsy and we made the hors d'oeuvres of Cervantes, Yerma, Divine words. It was happiness.
What would you have been if you had not been an actress?
I said I wanted to be an actress since I was 10 years old, so I never considered anything else.
I entered the university to study philology but it lasted a month. At 25, when I saw that I was not working as an actress, my father called me one day and told me that I had to study Mandarin Chinese that had many possibilities and, although it seemed an absurd idea, I came to think about it. But the idea lasted 24 hours. Yes I would like to write and direct.
Can we talk about the next projects where we will see you?
I have two film projects. Tomorrow I start the first one and I am very happy. I can't tell anything yet, but they are very pretty characters.
Many people will have met you for the series Perfect life, but for all those who are not so lucky, we like that our interviewees recommend us talent from any area of culture.
You have to read if you have occasion a book called Old voice by Elisa Víctoria, watch a movie of Elena Martin that it's called Julia ist, to see one play in the CDN called Man up and another one that has just been in the Spanish that hopefully returns that is called Never seen and listen to a boy called Hate confetti.
More Culture and less than what?
Less gentrification and less burdening the spirit of cities based on exploiting housing for tourism. Less extreme right. More listen and stop. More welcome to refugees, less animal abuse. More solidarity and less umbilicism and I will stop because if not here I am until I learn Mandarin Chinese.
Reading it is a pleasure, but to see it, you can go through some movie titles like Kiki, love is made or Maria and the others, series like Madrid burns or Shame. Even in the odd video clip like Monterrosa's.