Rosa Montero remembers her most surreal interview: “I did it lying on a carpet” | Leisure and culture

Rosa Montero remembers her most surreal interview: “I did it lying on a carpet” | Leisure and culture
Rosa Montero remembers her most surreal interview: “I did it lying on a carpet” | Leisure and culture

With more than two thousand interviews behind her, Rosa Montero has asked difficult and compromising questions to actors, politicians, musicians, and even dictators. Pioneer and example of many women who came after her, the journalist and columnist of ‘El País’ united her two countries, journalism and literature, during the five decades that her professional career has lasted.

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This Thursday, Rosa Montero sits down with Lara Siscar to review in ‘En Primicia’ some of the most representative moments of her long professional career. Childhood friends, professional colleagues, and even some of her interviewees, such as the Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska, come together to talk about Montero’s human quality, her inexhaustible curiosity and her positivity and courage. extreme of it.

The writer, novelist and essayist came to ‘El País’ to revolutionize the newsroom. With her own style, Montero managed to change the masthead’s style book so that the interviews stopped following the classic question-answer structure. “It’s something I’m proud of,” admits the journalist. It was precisely these long talks with personalities of all kinds that boosted her profile. Rosa Montero recognizes that the “need and pleasure of traveling to others” was what motivated her interest in doing interviews. “I love people. I’m interested in knowing what they think,” she adds.

‘The most ridiculous interview’

One of the most surreal interviews that the chronicler has had to face was with Ayatollah Khomeini, shortly before the Revolution triumphed in Iran. The interview took place in a town a few hundred kilometers from Paris, when the Shah had already been kicked out. “They forced me to cover my head with a veil, but not just my head, my eyebrows too,” says Montero.

The journalist remembers in detail how they asked her during the interview to keep her head below that of the Ayatollah. “It was really complicated because Khomeini was an old man, very small, who was also sitting on the floor,” Montero describes with a laugh. “It’s the most ridiculous interview I’ve ever done in my life. I had to do it practically lying on the carpet,” she explains to Lara Siscar, while she imitates the posture she had to adopt before the Ayatollah.

The interview with the Iranian leader cost Rosa Montero some criticism from the left, since she had no shame in questioning the Ayatollah. “Khomeini was a character who created expectations, that we thought he was going to be a liberator. But Rosa was able to portray him as he was,” says journalist and friend of Montero, Nativel Preciado. Shortly after the interview, Khomeini returned to Iran and the first public executions in stadiums began to be known. “Rosa is quite visionary,” highlights Preciado.

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