“We trans people are the new minority to be denigrated”

The Spanish actress from Alcobendas has become the true revelation of the festival for her double performance (as a man and a woman) in ‘Emilia Pérez’, the narco-musical by Jacques Audiard

Alcobendas has a new goddess. And there are two. TO Penelope Cruz, the greatest actress of Spanish cinema of all time, we must now add Karla Sofía Gascón, 52 years old. Until the projection of Emilia Perez Last Saturday it was not clear if she was Mexican, where she has lived for many years, or Spanish, where she was born. In truth, of course, what is said clearly, the only thing there was was her dazzling interpretation as delicate and tender as it was brutal and wild. As overwhelming as it is tenuous. «I am Spanish, from Alcobendas. In some places it appears that I am Andalusian and I am not. My parents come from Andalusia, not me,” he says just after recognizing, without much effort, that what is happening to him right now is the closest thing to a dream.

He mentions all the great actresses he has met on the red carpet in a rush, takes a breath, remembers his wife and his daughter, and continues with the list. «I still don’t believe it, especially because the most difficult thing I have experienced lately has not been playing this character, but getting out of it. I have been with him for so long and so intensely that I had to undergo a real exorcism in order to continue my life,” he says.

To take us back to 2018, Karla It was Carlos. It was around then that he published the distantly autobiographical novel Karsia. An extraordinary story and whose signature is on behalf of the one who was. “It was my way of saying goodbye to him,” she admitted in an interview. Before, he started acting in the 80s and it is not difficult to trace his name in such popular series as Isabel and El super where he was between 1996 and 1999. He later emigrated to Mexico and, after participating in several soap operas, recognition would come with We the noble (2013), one of the highest-grossing films in the country. It was at that moment, and thanks to the stability achieved, when she decided to “do what she had always dreamed of since she was a child.”

On paper, Emilia Perez It has little to do with her. The figure of the drug dealer who, suddenly, decides to change his sex seems too far away not only from Karla but from any mortal. And yet, there is something: «I remember very early on that we were discussing with the director about the true motivation of the character. He wants to change sex to camouflage himself and simply be able to escape or is that what he really wants from him. Thank God we opted for the second, which is the right decision,” she says proudly just before explaining what is the other reason she is so proud of: “Initially, the role of Handyman Another actor was going to do it. I would only do Emilia’s. But I begged the director to leave it to me. I had to convince him. It was a wonderful thing to be able to return to the world of freedom that man enjoys in our society. An hour and a half of makeup and then…

– I don’t understand, freedom, you say?

– Yes, being a woman in this society is a real waste of time. For a ceremony like that of Cannes, There are hours of hair, makeup, tests… And that’s not to mention the bathroom queues. It is very complicated to be a woman. The world of men is much calmer because the world, in general, is made to suit them.

– Is the change worth it to you then?

– Despite everything, there we are. It is very fun to be able to live as you want to complete the circle of being human. We should all do this.

Karla speaks from euphoria, but does not hide her wounds. And she even teaches them. «You put the word trans on social networks right now and the only thing that appears is insults and pornography. Society systematically persecutes people who are different. First it was women who joined the world of work, then people of color, then gays because they aspired to get married… Humanity always finds a someone to blame of all evils, who to mock or who to crush. Pause. «We live in a very bastard society. And in our Western society we can move and, at the very least, protest. In any other part of the world it is much worse. Being a transsexual person right now is being the new minority that everyone denigrates, to whom everyone blames everything that happens. Where tradition is very present, for many families it is better to have a delinquent son than a faggot,” he says, takes a second and links it to the film which, after all, is what it is about. “That is indeed the case of my character. No matter how much power he has, he will never have enough to declare himself gay because the garbage that surrounds him prevents him from doing so.

He says that the first time he received the script he didn’t believe it. It’s not that it wasn’t believed that a director like Audiard had remembered her, he simply couldn’t believe what he read: “a transsexual drug dealer who sings and dances… But what madness is this.” For now, the madness has only just begun. From Alcobendas to Cannes.

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