ANA ASENSIO

Actress, Writer, Film Director  ANA ASENSIO   Photography OGATA   Art Direction  SABRINA ZIOMI   Styling  Nadia Rath

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ACTRESS, WRITER,FILMDIRECTOR, ANA ASENSIO MAKES HER DIRECTIORIAL DEBUT FILM WITH “MOSTBEAUTIFUL ISLAND”, WHICH PREMIERED IN EUROPE AT SITGES AFTER WINNING THE GRAND JURY PRIZE AT SXSW. ALSO NOMINATED FOR THE JOHN CASSAVETES SPIRIT AWARD. ASENSIO, THE DIRECTOR, UNDERLINES IN THE SCREENPLAY MANY OF HER FEARS AND ANXIETITS LIVED AND SUFFERED FIRSTHAND WHEN SHE WAS AN IMMIGRANT IN A NOT-SO-WELCOMING COUNTRY. THOUGH IT’S SET AGAINST A BRIGHT-LIGHTS, BIG-CITY BACKDROP, THE MOVIE OFFERS AN ILLICIT COCKROACH’S-EYE VIEW OF NEW YORK, IN WHICH NEARLY ALL THE CHARACTERS SCURRY ABOUT WARY OF BEING CRUSHED BY ANYONE WITH THE POWER TO ENFORCE THEIR ARREST OR DEPORTATION.

 

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TALENT ANA ASENSIO, ART DIRECTION AND, MAKE-UP SABRINA ZIOMI, STYLING NADIA RATH, HAIR WILL BLAKE

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Question: YOU HAVE RECENTLY STARRED AND DIRECTED A FILM THAT WAS WELL RECEIVED BY THE CRITICS, BUT YOUR CAREER AS AN ACTOR GOES BACK A LONG WAY, WHEN DID YOU START ACTING ? AND WHY ? Answer: PROFESSIONALLY, I STARTED WORKING AS AN ACTRESS WHEN I WAS ABOUT 19 YEARS OLD, IN MADRID, MY HOMETOWN. I DISCOVERED THAT I HAD A PASSION FOR ACTING WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, THROUGH THE PLAYS THAT I WAS PART OF. Question: WHERE DID YOU TRAIN ? Answer: I TRAINED FIRST IN MADRID, AT A PRIVATE AND VERY SMALL ACTING SCHOOL CALLED KARPAS TEATRO. LATER ON, I STUDIED WITH SOME SPANISH THEATER COMPANIES AND WHEN I MOVED TO NYC I SPENT A FEW YEARS TRAINING IN DIFFERENT SCHOOLS AND METHODS. Question: WHAT WHERE YOUR DREAMS ? Answer: I WANTED TO BE AN ACTOR, BE IN PLAYS AND IN FILMS, Question: YOU ARE FROM MADRID, SO YOU ARE CLOSE TO OTHER EUROPEAN CAPITALS, WHY DID YOU WANT TO COME TO NEW YORK INSTEAD ? Answer: IT WAS A ROMANTIC-IDEALISTIC IDEA.. WHILE AT THE ACTING SCHOOL, I READ THE BOOK OF THE ACTOR’S STUDIO IN NYC AND THAT WAS VERY INSPIRING TO ME. I WANTED TO SEE THE PLACE WHERE ELIA KAZAN AND MARLON BRANDO STARTED. Question: WAS NEW YORK HOW YOU IMAGINED ? Answer: THE NEW YORK I HAD IMAGINED WAS BASED ON ICONIC FILMS FROM THE 70’S ACTUALLY. AND I WAS VERY IMPULSIVE IN MY DECISION, I WENT TO NEW YORK WITHOUT DOING MUCH RESERCH OR PREPARATION FOR SUCH AN ADVENTURE. Question: HOW WAS LIFE AS AN ACTOR IN NY AT THE BEGINNING ? Answer: I DIDN’T KNOW ANYONE, I DIDN’T KNOW THE SYSTEM, BUT MOSTLY, MY ENGLISH WAS PRETTY BAD, EVEN AFTER A YEAR LIVING HERE. HOWEVER, I WAS SO HUNGRY TO ACT IN FILMS AND PLAYS AND I WAS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES THAT I WOULD FIND ON A NEWSPAPER, BACK THEN, CALLED BACKSTAGE. THROUGH THIS NEWSPAPER, EVEN IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE AN AGENT, I COULD SOMEHOW STILL FIND OUT ABOUT PROJECTS AND SOMETIMES AUDITION FOR THEM. Question: YOU STARRED IN A ONE-WOMAN SHOW THAT PLAYED OFF BROADWAY. THE ROLE WAS PHYSICAL, DRAMATIC AND COMEDIC AT THE SAME TIME. WHAT MAKES YOU CHOOSE ONE PART VERSUS ANOTHER ? WHAT TYPE OF CHARACTER INTERESTS YOU THE MOST ? Answer: WHEN I DECIDED TO CREATE MY OWN OPPORTUNITIES AS AN ACTOR, IT WAS THROUGH ONE-WOMAN SHOWS THAT I PRODUCED, AND I CHOOSE THOSE CHARACTERS BECAUSE THEY ALLOWED ME TO EXPAND MYSELF AS AN ACTRESS IN WAYS THAT I DIDN’T HAVE THE CHANCE TO EXPLORE WITH THE ROLES THAT WHERE BEING OFFERED TO ME. Question: HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR A ROLE ? Answer: I WORK FROM SCRATCH. I TRY TO NOT RUSH MY DECISIONS, WHICH IS SO TEMPTING WHEN YOU FIRST READING A SCRIPT OR A PLAY. I WORK FROM MY INSTINCT AND I RARELY RELY ON MY INTELLECT TO EXPLAIN WHY A CHARACTER FEELS ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. I LIKE TO GO ABOUT MY DAY AND DO MY ERRANDS THINKING THAT I AM THE CHARACTER, EVEN IF WHAT I DO IN MY DAILY LIFE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE STORY THAT I AM PREPARING FOR. BUT IT’S MY WAY TO DIG DEEPER INTO THE ROLE. Question: TALKING OF CHARACTERS, I HAVE TO ASK, YOUR MOVIE “MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND” WAS A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A YOUNG WOMAN WHO MOVED TO NY FROM SPAIN. IS THE CHARACTER OF LUCIANA AUTOBIOGRAPHIC ? Answer: THE FILM IS LOOSELY INSPIRED IN MY OWN LIFE WHEN I FIRST MOVED TO NYC. HOWEVER, THE TRAGIC INCIDENT THAT BRINGS LUCIANA TO THIS COUNTRY WAS FICTIONAL, AS WELL AS MOST OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND PART OF THE FILM.

 

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Question: YOU WROTE STARRED AND DIRECTED THIS MOVIE. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO WRITE YOUR OWN MOVIE ? Answer: IT WAS A NATURAL TRANSITION FOR ME. I FIRST WAS AN ACTOR AND PRODUCER OF MY OWN SHOWS, AND FINALLY I MOVED INTO WRITING MY OWN STORY AND DIRECT IT. I WROTE THIS STORY BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WAS AN EXCITING STORY THAT I HADN’T SEEN BEFORE. I ALSO WAS VERY EXCITED ABOUT CREATING MY OWN ROLE IN IT, A PART THAT I HAD NEVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY BEFORE. Question: WHY DIRECTING IT YOURSELF ? Answer: “MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND” IS A PERSONAL FILM, I WAS TOO INVOLVED EMOTIONALLY TO LET ANYONE ELSE DIRECT IT. I HAD A CLEAR VISION ON HOW THE STORY HAD TO BE TOLD BASED ON MY SCRIPT. Question: I HEARD THAT YOU WERE PREGNANT WITH YOU FIRST CHILD DURING THE MAKING OF “MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND” WHY DIDN’T YOU POSTPONE THE SHOOT ? Answer: I HAD AN INITIAL SHOOT OF THE FILM, BUT THERE WAS A PROBLEM DURING THE SHOOT THAT I TRIED TO SOLVE IN THE EDITING ROOM, BUT IT WASN’T POSSIBLE, SO I HAD TO ORGANIZE ANOTHER 4 DAYS OF PICK UP SHOOT. I WENT ON WITH MY LIFE IN THE MEANTIME, AND AT THAT POINT I HAD DECIDED TO BECOME A MOTHER, WHENEVER AND IF EVER WOULD HAPPENED. IT HAPPENED MUCH SOONER THAN I EXPECTED, AND BY THE TIME I HAD THE MONEY TO DO THAT 4 DAYS PICK UP SHOOT I WAS ALMOST 4 MONTHS PREGNANT. I KNEW I NEEDED THOSE DAYS TO COMPLETE THE FILM THE WAY THE FILM DESERVED. AND I WAS EAGER TO GET INTO THE EDITING ROOM AGAIN AND FINISHING THE FILM. SO I WENT FOR IT. I DIDN’T TELL THE CREW THAT I WAS PREGNANT, SO THEY WOULDN’T TREAT ME IN A DIFFERENT WAY. Question: WHAT DID YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT DIRECTING ? Answer: I LOVE EVERY BIT OF DIRECTING. Question: HOW DO YOU COMPARE ACTING VERSUS DIRECTING ? Answer: AS AN ACTOR, YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IT’S TO MAKE SURE YOU DELIVER YOUR BEST PERFORMANCE. AS DIRECTOR, NOT ONLY YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE YOU DO YOUR JOB, BUT YOU ALSO HAVE TO OVERSEE EVERYONE’S ELSE’S WORK IN THE FILM. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO COMPOSE THE ENTIRE PUZZLE WITH YOUR VISION. QUESTION: ARE YOU EAGER TO DIRECT AGAIN ? ANSWER: YES, I CAN’T WAIT TO DIRECT MY NEXT FILM. Question: IS THERE A DIRECTOR WHOM YOU ADMIRE THE MOST AND WITH WHOM YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITH AS AN ACTRESS ? Answer: I ADMIRE MANY WITH WHOM I WOULD LOVE TO WORK, ANDREA ARNOLD, THE DARDENNE BROTHERS OR ARONOVSKI JUST TO NAME A FEW… Question: IS THERE AN ACTOR OR ACTRESS WHOM YOU REALLY ADMIRE AND WOULD LIKE TO DIRECT IN A MOVIE ? Answer: JULIETTE BINOCHE Question: YOU STUCK ME AS A STRONG AND DETERMINED WOMEN, WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE ? WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IT ALL GO FROM HERE ? Answer: WELL, THANK YOU. I WOULD LIKE TO BE PART OF GREAT PROJECTS AS AN ACTOR AND CONTINUE WRITING AND DIRECTING MY OWN PROJECTS.



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