In a sad and delicate moment, Benjamin Vicuna he takes refuge and finds containment in the world of theater, the primordial space of his training as an actor. From Wednesday to Sunday he stars “The Gronholm Method” beside Laurita Fernandez, Rafael Ferro and Julian Cabrerain the Paseo La Plaza.

    On the day of the interview with NOTICIAS, he cannot hide his pride and joy at the visit of his son Bautista, who will come to see the play for the second time, this time accompanied by a group of friends. A pampering and important support from a son to his father, who needs the hug of that teenager more than ever. Professional, with a frank, easy and spontaneous smile, he gives himself over to dialogue and his face lights up when he can expand on his work.

    He exhibits a contagious and overflowing passion. Sagittarius through and through, a born seducer who handles time and distance, he shares the talk with NEWS before having to give it his all on stage.

    News: After you made so many people suffer with “The First of Us,” did you decide now was a good time for comedy?

    Benjamin Vicuna: Indeed (laughs). I don’t know if we made them suffer, but we talked about a necessary topic such as friendship, containment and solidarity at a critical moment for a person such as illness, they seemed to me relevant issues to address on open television. and now power making a healthy, liberating comedy makes me very happy. Because of what is generated on stage and what the public returns as well.

    News: His character in the play, Fernando Auget, was defined in some critics as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Do you agree with that?

    Vicuna: It’s a nice illustration. Fernando is a man with great ambition disguised as a good guy, but hungry to achieve whatever it takes to reach power, in this case to occupy a high executive position. Clearly a metaphor for how the system is today, how cruel and savage everything is. And these four executives are capable of stepping on each other’s heads to get what they want. It tells you a little about the labor crisis, the Human Resources departments… and in that sense, the empathy that the work achieves with the public is impressive. They identify themselves because they all have a boss or a colleague who is bad vibes or good vibes or a superior bastard, so it’s very funny to see what happens in the audience.

    News: This work is directed by Ciro Zorzoli and you are very involved in physical comedy, one of the characteristics that distinguishes this director. Did it involve a lot of rehearsal and coordination?

    Vicuna: For me, working with Ciro was a discovery and at the same time a reunion with my training as an actor. Having had a time of experimentation to explore certain dramatic resources, the ability to play, improvisation, all of this was reconnecting with my university self, with the man of the theater, and it is good to return to that capacity for astonishment, that claw and that physical theater which I love. I am always interested in putting the body to the word. That it has a certain gesticulation and a way that implies another register than that of television and cinema. Only the stage gives you the chance to do that and directors like Ciro Daniel Veroneses with whom we did two plays or Marcial di Fonzo who directed me in “Eva”, give you that opportunity to approach from the physical.

    News: You just mentioned Eva, who is an ever-present character but is now revalued by the “Santa Evita” series. What was it like doing Copi’s Eva at the time?

    Vicuna: I look back and say, how crazy I was to take on such a provocative challenge! Also on the part of the director, choosing a Copi material that is transgressive in essence and installing a place to understand the transvestite of the possibility and the proposal that a Chilean man plays such a character. The season at the Cervantes was spectacular and then we toured France and other places in Europe. The icing on the dessert was Pedro Almodóvar sitting in row five in the middle in Madrid, at the Spanish Theater applauding. He didn’t go to see us but Copi.

    News: Every week he travels to Chile to see his father, who is in a delicate state of health, and returns to do “The Grönholm Method” (ed: his father died a few days after this interview), is the theater a refuge?

    Vicuna: Of course, theater heals. It is a place of refuge, of reunion with certain ideals, with the actor by definition and also with a group of divine companions who perform, who accompany, who share a live show, that unique and magical experience that is the theater. Only the four of us who are there live it and know how we accompany each other. But of course I am in a moment affected by that fatigue and that pain, it is impossible not to reflect on my career, on the demands of the actor and how I should leave my mind and my biography in the dressing room that I have filled with photos and memories to upload here and be able to fly. Abstract myself, resignify the word, the gestures. The truth is that I deeply love theater and what I do.

    News: You may be used to it, but does it bother you that many times people talk more about your life than about your work?

    Vicuna: Even if it sucks, it’s not a choice, unfortunately. It is a condition that I accepted and accept, no one puts a gun to my head, I take it for better or for worse as part of my job, obviously distinguishing certain things of good taste from some that are excesses. But I do not consider myself a victim at all, quite the opposite. I dedicate myself to this, I live as an actor, I feel recognized, loved, respected, I am not a persecuted. Sometimes it catches people’s attention, like when you’re eating a pizza in a bowling alley they ask you for a photo and your friend tells you “Hey, how they break your eggs!” and the truth is that yes, but at the same time I also like it. And if I can chat with the person who tells me: “Did you know that that character you played in ‘The First of Us’ marked me because I have a family member who is going through something similar?”, With that you made my night. Call it meaning, mission of what I do, narcissism, or all of the above, but that fills me deeply. With the press I think I can handle it, it’s not something that bothers me.

    News: In Chile you did a version of Los Simuladores, you played Gabriel Medina. Are you aware that the movie is coming now…

    Vicuna: Yes, it was Medina! (laughs) I want to see the creation of Szifrón and that group of wonderful actors who became benchmarks, with perhaps the most important series in Argentine history that is also a regional phenomenon. It was very beautiful and transcendent what they achieved.

    News: Is it in the plans that they call you for something?

    Vicuna: I am ready for whatever you need! (laughs) As an extra, for some tiny character… who do I have to call?

    News: To Szifrón I guess…

    Vicuna: You know it’s not a bad idea, if it turns out I’ll give you credit, get the phone.

    News: The other day you said “I am 43 years old very well lived”. What is missing? Working in Hollywood, filming with Almodóvar?

    Vicuna: Now there is a Chilean actor, Pedro Pascal, who is working on a short film with Almodóvar. The truth is that if you tell me what the kid’s dream is, that could be one. Leo Sbaraglia did it, he is a great actor, friend and benchmark in the trade. But if you let me dream, I would like a rocket to go out from here to the world, to do something Made in Argentina or Made in Chile tomorrow that conquers hearts and opens minds. I would like to discover something, I have been lucky enough to participate in beautiful things, successes and failures, but I would like to be part of something big, beautiful, transcendent. I would love to have a bilateral relationship with the Argentine public. I grew up with literature, rock and Argentine cinema, but here only an elite knows Chilean cultural production and I would like there to be more back and forth. All artists want to transcend, I have the nose and the feeling that the years bring many more possibilities for that to appear.

    by Leonardo Martinelli

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