Danila Vega and Fransico Reyes A Fantastic Woman Interview

Nominated - Best Motion Picture (Foreign Language) - 2018 Golden Globe Awards

Cast: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Genre: Drama
Rated: M
Running Time: 104 minutes

Synopsis: Marina and Orlando are in love and planning for the future.

Marina is a young waitress and aspiring singer. Orlando is 20 years older than her, and owns a printing company.

After celebrating Marina's birthday one evening, Orlando falls seriously ill. Marina rushes him to the emergency room, but he passes away just after arriving at the hospital.

Instead of being able to mourn her lover, suddenly Marina is treated with suspicion. The doctors and Orlando's family don't trust her. A woman detective investigates Marina to see if she was involved in his death. Orlando's ex-wife forbids her from attending the funeral. And to make matters worse, Orlando's son threatens to throw Marina out of the flat she shared with Orlando.

Marina is a trans woman and for most of Orlando's family, her sexual identity is an aberration, a perversion.

So Marina struggles for the right to be herself. She battles the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now – a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic woman.

A Fantastic Woman
Release Date: February 22nd, 2018


Director's Notes 

I see A Fantastic Woman as a film of aesthetic splendor, narrative vigor, tension and emotion. Polytonal, multi-experiential, multi-emotional. It's a film that is both a celebration and examination of its main character: Marina Vidal. What will the viewers see when they see Marina? A woman, a man, or the sum of both? They will see a human being who constantly changes before their eyes, who flows, vibrates, and modifies herself. But what they are seeing isn't precisely what they are seeing, and this condition turns Marina into a vortex that attracts the viewer's fantasy and desire, inviting them to explore the limits of their own empathy.
-Sebastián Lelio

Interview with Danila Vega 


Question: Who is Marina?

Danila Vega: Marina Vidal is a 27-year-old waitress and singer. She is Orlando's partner, with whom she has an adult, loving, and committed relationship, in spite of their differences in age and social class. Marina, though far from being perfect, is a resilient woman who has quite an impressive level of compromise with her own life. She loves deeply, and this gives her the opportunity of loving herself and overcoming any adversity. She's a brave fighter who doesn't falter when the world puts her to the test. She has a vital force that is capable of carrying her through life, against all odds. Today, while all of us are somehow standing on the edge of a precipice, she doesn't even look at it, and searches for beauty instead. She understands that even Orlando's death, or what her being transgender means to everyone else, will not keep her from pushing forward.

Question: What did playing Marina mean to you?

Danila Vega: It was, by far, one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life. It was very complex on an emotional level because of the way in which I began to go deeper into the role, and the way in which I began converting all of my emotions in order to give the character a life of her own. On the other hand, it's been one of the most gratifying experiences. It's been a tremendous honor to be directed by Sebastian, who I admire greatly. I am also proud to be part of a team in which all us of, including production, art, camera, wardrobe, sound, photography, etc., feel very close and special for having participated in this project. A special mention goes out to my fellow cast members, especially to Francisco Reyes. I'd like to thank all of them for the experience and affection.

Question: What do you hope to happen with the film? What would you like for people to take away?

Danila Vega: I would like for lots of people to watch it, and to see their reactions and discover the way in which we understand relationships and affection. As well as the way in which we conceive love.

Interview with Fransico Reyes

Question: What is the story between Orlando and Marina?

Fransico Reyes: It's a story of true love: Marina and Orlando simply love each other, and after meeting, they have discovered a refuge in one another. To them, the differences in their ages and sexual cultures are not barriers. It's inspiring to see how two beings whose intimacies are unknown to us, and whose lives we could prejudge maliciously, surrender themselves without hesitation, without fear, and without fuss. A relationship in which judgments on good and evil, on what's correct and what's incorrect, what's normal and abnormal, simply aren't issues. Where a space for love is simply made evident and recognised.

Question: Who is Marina to him? Who is Orlando to her?

Fransico Reyes: To Orlando, Marina is an inspiring being that gives him new wings with which to enjoy life, that connects him to his love for what is honest, and allows him to find peace, affection, and company in her. Although he appears to be a regular man, he possesses a great internal strength, freedom, and courage that allows him to see Marina and recognize her as an extraordinary and kind being. For her part, Marina, whose life is a constant struggle to live harmoniously within her social setting, recognises in Orlando the simplicity and authenticity of this mature man, and discovers a refuge in him: a true and calm love. The two are bound together in their courage and in the conscious or unconscious search for what is beautiful and authentic.

Question: What context does Orlando have to face, and how does he defend the relationship?

Fransico Reyes: Orlando has broken away from his family. With the exception of his brother, who admires him greatly. He has neither his ex-wife's nor his son's comprehension, nor that of the rest of the family, whom after his death, unleash all of the violence provoked by ignorance and vulnerability of the unknown onto Marina. But this is not an issue for him, and he surrenders to his relationship without considering anybody's opinion or stance. He doesn't question himself over whether the person he loves is a man, a woman, or a transgender person. This honest and authentic attitude surrounds him with a natural aura that prevents other people from interfering with him. There's no intellectual or ideological defense of his relationship with Marina. His great defense is the authentic love that he feels for her.

A Fantastic Woman
Release Date: February 22nd, 2018


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