We interview Isabela Merced, protagonist of the movie Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down | Director: Hannah Marks | Screenplay: Elizabeth Berger, Isaac Aptaker

Isabella Merced He is young, 22 years old but full of experience, and an incredibly promising future. As a child and teenager, she forged her career as part of Nickelodeonbut he also knew how to shine in films like Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018), Dora and the lost city (2019) or Madame Web (2024), among many other productions. If we look forward, we will be able to see it in The Last of Us, superman and Alien: Romuluslike little.

Turtles All the Way Down (a thousand times forever2024) is a film that will soon arrive in our country through Max, next May 2. In her, Isabella Merced plays Aza Holmes, a 17-year-old teenager who suffers from anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Clearly, it is not easy to be her, but Isabela carries each facet of this character with height, while she tries to be a good daughter, a good friend and a good student. A story that exposes themes such as love, happiness, friendship and hope, without leaving aside mental health.

We invite you to watch our video interview or read a transcript below.

From Damn Nerds | Infobae had the opportunity to speak with Isabela Merced, the actress who plays Aza Holmes in the movie ‘Turtles All the Way Down’. This story is an adaptation of the successful book of the same name by John Green, the author behind ‘Paper Towns’ and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’.

-Hello isabela. How are you?

Isabela Merced: -Well well.

—Ana Mason, from Damned Nerds | Infobae, from Argentina. I love being able to talk to you in Spanish.

Isabela Merced: -Yeah. What a thrill. This is going to be my first time talking about the film in Spanish. So forgive me if there are mistakes, or something like that.

-Oh really? Wow. No, don’t worry. Hey, Isabela, I saw the movie last night and the truth is that it blew my mind. It’s a great adaptation, very emotional and your character is very good. You had to compose a teenager who is going through obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and a lot of new problems and feelings that already come with being a teenager. How did you compose this character who is so complex and at the same time so lovable?

Isabela Merced: —Well, I feel very grateful that you were able to see the movie and that you loved it, but really, I read this script in 2018, I think before reading the book, but I loved it immediately, truly and with love. . It was all there then and I also felt a connection like never before, with any character that has been in the past. So I didn’t have much work with that side of anxiety that she suffers from, because I also suffered from anxiety, but that obsessive compulsive I don’t… I don’t have that no… I don’t have obsessive compulsive, so this was like I had I had to study a little, but at that time in my life, in 2018, I was also studying psychology at a university in Ohio, so that gave me more like… more than reading, there was more resources where I can study and all that, so I felt like Aza and I have a lot in common, but just… the only difference is that I’m not an introvert, I’m an extrovert as an actress and I think that was my only challenge, that it was a little difficult not to change the way I… my body. Like I move. She moves a little less because she feels like all her energy is here, it’s here in her mind. And I have my earrings because she has all of them. spirals. John Green was also a producer and so I felt like there was a guide on the set.

Turtles All the Way Down | Director: Hannah Marks | Screenplay: Elizabeth Berger, Isaac Aptaker

—Yes, John Green had great film adaptations before and I was wondering if you had seen or read his work before coming to this project.

Isabela Merced: —Yes, I remember that whole experience of The Fault in Our Stars for the first time in 2012 or 2013, it was before the movie, it was just before the movie and its premiere, because I felt it was very curious and I wanted to know. Oy! What is this book about?”, because everyone is talking on Tumblr about this book, because that Tumblr community, they all love John Green. Now we have BookTalk too, which is another community that just survived all that chaos on Tik Tok. But I think that experience was very special for me, because John Green had an ability to write characters, specifically teenage women, and he understands, I don’t know how, but he understands our mind and mentality as young people and women. I don’t know how, but he has that special talent. And I love how he writes, because… and after reading that book, you have that connection with that book. Now it was very easy to have a connection with him. I thought I already knew him because I had books and that connection was immediate.

-Clear. How old were you at the time when The Fault in Our Stars came out?

Isabela Merced: —11… I think. What year did the movie come out? When was the premiere? I don’t know.

—Yes, it was quite a while ago…

Isabela Merced: —Then I think 11 or 12.

Turtles All the Way Down | Director: Hannah Marks | Screenplay: Elizabeth Berger, Isaac Aptaker

—So yes, it was like you already knew him in some way. And one of the first reviews of the book Isa says that you don’t need to have suffered like Aza to be able to empathize with her. You just need to be human. Do you agree with that?

Isabela Merced: —Yes, totally, totally. And I also believe that if someone has someone, suffers from that, from that specific problem of anxiety, compulsive obsession, I believe that these sufferings are not the same, they have differences, they have varieties of things, no, it does not seem the same. It is different for each person who suffers from that. So while you may not have the same type of anxiety or obsessive compulsiveness, you can see parts of your suffering in Aza and her story. And also if you don’t have… my mom says that she doesn’t suffer from any mental health problems, but she saw the movie and she looked at me and said: “Hey, now I understand, now I understand what you were trying to explain to me years before.” and now… now I see your batch.”

—So on a personal level for you it also helped you process that and be able to show it to others.

Isabela Merced: -Yeah.

-How nice. More than the love story that is always in John Green’s books, there is also his story of friendship and your chemistry with Cree was excellent. Did you already know each other before?

Isabela Merced: —Yes, well, we were both part of Nickelodeon series. I did a series called “100 Things to Do Before High School” and she did a series called “Game Shakers” and we met in that era of Nickelodeon and it was like an immediate connection and that’s why I think we already They feel like a chemistry when they see the movie, because the first time we did a scene together was not the first time we met, and that’s it. And this movie was an opportunity to grow closer and also build more of a connection. Yes, and we still have a very nice connection and friendship.

Turtles All the Way Down | Director: Hannah Marks | Screenplay: Elizabeth Berger, Isaac Aptaker

—Of course, yes, and that was reflected on the screen. Finally, Isabela, what would you like people to tell you about your work as Aza when the film comes out or even many years from now, when they see it again?

Isabela Merced: -Maybe. Well, thank you for representing this side of my suffering in a genuine way. No? That’s what I want to hear. That I have helped someone. Someone young or maybe my age. Well, I’m young, but 22 years old compared to her and 17, like Aza. But I would like to hear that she has helped someone. And I also want to mention that I hope that Latinos and all of Latin America feel like now this can open a conversation among our mental health community, because I think it’s very “shh shh” that no one wants to talk about it.

I remember when I was younger, there was always maybe one member of our family who suffered… who was suffering from something, but they called him something different because they didn’t want to talk about the illness and he didn’t want to say the name of his illness. . And I think that is very important because what can reach someone who is suffering, this is community, family and we have to come together and support each other.

-As it is. Thank you very much Isabela for so much. And well, congratulations on the movie, See you next time.

Isabela Merced: —Thank you Ana. Greetings to Argentina.

-Thank you!

 
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