Elena Anaya: “Art should not have gender or skin color … We must fight for equality, but without quotas”

Elena Anaya: “Art should not have gender or skin color … We must fight for equality, but without quotas”

The actress takes over from Penélope Cruz and becomes the second Spanish actress to work with Woody Allen at 'Rifkin's Festival', which opens the San Sebastian Festival

Elena Anaya:

His is the privilege and the condemnation. On the one hand, the dream of every actor or actress to meet a director with whom they have grown up, trained and learned everything, including love. On the other, the painful work of becoming collateral damage of the controversy that persecutes that same director. Elena Anaya (Palencia, 1975) has been the star of the San Sebastián Festival since Friday. And it is because she is the heir to the witness of Penélope Cruz after 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona '. Her role in 'Rifkin's Festival' is that of a doctor who suffers from both the heavyweight of the protagonist and lovesickness. Off-screen, he continues to suffer the penance of clarifying again and again the reasons that led him to accept a job that would be rejected (and, in fact, have rejected) by a large number of his colleagues. Remember, after Ronan, Allen's son, unearthed the accusation of abuse against his sister Dylan, Allen himself published this same year the biography 'About nothing' in which he offers his detailed version of what happened.

What does it mean to be in a Woody Allen film for someone who is a professional filmmaker? Woody Allen is a part of the life of anyone with the slightest interest in film. Working with him has been a very distant dream that has suddenly come true. And by surprise. When he called me and offered me the film, the first thing I felt was sorry for not being able to tell my parents something like that. They would be very proud. Is any moment in Allen's long filmography especially relevant to you? Sorry I'm not original. Without a doubt, every moment of 'Annie Hall ' is almost sacred to me. Then, more recently, Cate Blanchett's work on 'Blue Jasmine ' is almost miraculous to me. You leave the screen with that character so close to Blanche DuBois from 'A Streetcar Named Desire'; a desperate, neurotic character, out of his mind … Javier Bardem used to say that working with Woody Allen is like working with a man who passes by, who is disconcerting that he never says anything or gives any order to the actors … it is just the opposite. He told me everything. They are always extremely brilliant annotations, although not always very friendly. You have to fit them. You cannot sink. When he wants to, he is very beast and if you fall, you may not get up for the rest of your career. It is very direct. Of course, he says everything in a polite way and clarifying very well the reason for what he wants and where you have to go. Sometimes he would like to approve a shot and then ask you to do the exact opposite. He could change his mind in the middle of the shoot. I no longer wanted what he had planned in the script. Have you read his autobiography 'About Nothing'? I'm on it. I would like the days to have five days inside to finish it as soon as possible. But he does not give me life for more. What I have read is absolutely brilliant and makes it very clear what it is like. It is a perfect introduction for those who do not know him. What do you think of the hardest chapters? Are you convinced by her version of events about her daughter's abuse and her relationship with Mia Farrow? Has your opinion of him changed after reading something so harsh? I haven't gotten to it yet. I'm in the part that talks about his childhood. I have only 50 pages. For the rest, I have always believed in Justice. His case has been reviewed twice and has been dismissed. What else do I have to think about? What do you think of the reaction of some of your colleagues such as Timothée Chalamet who even returned the salary for his work in 'Rainy Day in New York' or Natalie Portman who publicly disowned him? Heart in hand, I have no social networks and I don't know much about the gossip. I don't know what Chalamet or Natalie Portman did, whom I deeply admire. I respect the opinion of each colleague and that each one makes their opinion public … But I don't understand that obsession with telling everything at all times. Hopefully these means would serve to do something really useful for the climate, for example. Donald Trump just said that fires have nothing to do with climate change … We should all be more constructive instead of destroying so much. You had no doubts when they called you and offered the job with Woody Allen despite the media storm? My American agents called me and asked: “Would you work with Woody Allen?” And, honestly, I did not understand the question. And then, with more reflection, I think the only thing that can be said about it is that I am not going to put myself in front of the Justice. .. Of course, I demanded to read the script. If the proposal came from Roman Polanski would I accept the same? I just hope that Roman Polanski never calls me to work with him. It would give me such a fright! So? I go back to the same thing. Polanski has been tried and is in search and capture. Well no, I don't even want to have coffee with a person who is in your situation. But I don't know your case that well either. It doesn't give me life for so long. If I go to page 50 of Allen's biography, is the Hollywood Academy's latest decision to make Oscar nominations conditional on meeting a series of requirements to combat discrimination? I mean what is disparagingly called “quota policy”. The question puts me against a rock and a hard place. Honestly, I believe that art should not be gender or skin color. But I am convinced that there must be more presence of female filmmakers. We have to give more visibility to discriminated people. It cannot be that every time a black appears he is the bad guy. And the same thing happens a lot with women. We must all be there supporting each other and fighting for equality, but without quotas . But it is complicated. In any case, I am involved, I am in three academies and I want to be there to do my bit and so that there is more multiculturalism. You have to think big.

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