“We are all touched by pain”. Benjamin Vicuna is very clear in explaining why the public identified so much with the first of usthe series of phone which is also available in Paramount+, and whose last chapter will be broadcast tonight. The fiction tells the story of a group of friends, all affected by different problems, who are moved when Santiago (Vicuña) receives the worst diagnosis: she has a brain tumor. And in the time she has left, she will seek to settle many pending accounts.
The story challenges the reader in his deepest emotions: who has not felt pain up close? For these the initial words of Benjamin are not said in passing, pronounced by a man who since 2012 must face the absence of a daughter: White He left when he was six years old. Far from falling into a low blow, Vicuña speaks cautiously and with great respect, for the pain of others and for his own. And in the end, in the same way the drama was approached in fiction.
“Going back to the pandemic, we were all in a very difficult situation, not only at work, but also personally. What we all experience: the uncertainty, being on the surface, that open wound, that fear of the unknown… And this script appears, which after 20 years I feel that it is something different, unusual, risky. She seemed very powerful to me and that it made sense to tell her today, ”says the actor in dialogue with teleshowremembering the moment in which the proposal was approached.
But of course, the process was not easy at all: there is not one but several tools when it comes to composing such a committed character. “It is something that we work with a lot of respect, with a lot of affection, with the authors and directors. Everyone had something to say because everyone, from somewhere, The topic of cancer touches us, whether from a friend, brother, family member… Then I was looking for, knowing, listening to different experiences, anecdotes and ways of living such a process, so difficult and so painful, but at the same time so luminous”, points out Vicuna.
Did you contact anyone in particular who has been through a similar experience?
-Yes, I did it privately, but the person in question asks me not to reveal who he is. It is a work that I also did with Lili Popovitch, who is the coach I work with for several projects. We composed this character side by side, working on each scene, taking care of each silence, each look… With the material, the scripts, the team, this story that fills me with pride was put together.
Benjamín is convinced that this series provided its own to deal with this type of issues before the general public. “Open television can still do much more for the debate, the conversation of topics that are still considered taboo. And I think that without a doubt it was a contribution, I see it in the returns of the people, in the street and in the networks. I understand that still They are topics that generate a degree of discomfort, and that there are people who prefer to deny, block or not look at it. But that’s part of the freedom of the viewer. But we are super proud and happy”.
“I humbly believe that it is part of the mission that television should have: not only should it be entertainment and information, but it should also be reflection and debate, help a society to reflect and feel identified,” he maintains. More than one approached me and said: ‘Do you know that my father… my brother…?’”.
—Is this the first time you’ve received so many positive reviews for a job?
—There is a level of return that is fantastic and very nice, but also because today the contents are traveling more and have a greater impact, through platforms and networks. I am privileged and lucky to choose my projects, which generate this kind of conversation. And we were looking for this: that the series can generate empathy, move people and transmit certain values. It sounds pretentious, but beyond this mission, I am very happy that I can accompany many people who are experiencing this and that it is a gesture of dramatizing something that is very complex to accept and assume, such as the disease…
—Yes. Finitude. Even to give you an interview I try to avoid something that we should say with all its letters because it is part of life. It was a beautiful, luminous process, in which the character, and this was on purpose, was lucky enough to close stages. Ultimately, it is the summary of what this story wants to tell: how life goes on, how there is a life after life and how friendship is the great support, the true family. Time is the great protagonist of this series. Also, if we understand the concept of finitude and the present, we take care of our problems, such as links. This is the case of the father (who interprets Daniel Fanego), which is a bond that was broken, and even going head-on and not necessarily with a classic novel redemption, where the guy ends up being the father’s best friend. That was broken: he was a bad father and it is part of his history. But it is the reflection of what happens when someone receives this news and how he manages his time.
—Do you feel that, unlike other actors and because of everything you experienced in your personal life, you have other tools when it comes to interpreting this type of character?
-I believe that with my biography, it’s a must. Every actor, in some way, offers and works with his biographical capital, with his sensitivity, with his way of seeing life. Effectively, for me it was a recognizable theme: they are textures that I know, silences that I have already addressed at some point. And I think that could be one of the elements for which this type of material enriches me, I feel that I can also contribute.. There is a resonance both in me and I see also in the public with this type of material.
– Is it therapeutic to you to touch this type of subjects?
—I have a tendency to choose this type of projects that move me, provoke me and invite me to investigate, to dive into areas that hurt. It’s strange, because finishing the project, it’s no coincidence that today I’m doing theater and a comedy. I think that inevitably one seeks to qualify, to compensate. I don’t think I can live forever making characters of this magnitude, of this depth, because I don’t know if there is a body that can resist it. But I am proud to have taken the risk, to have lived it with all the commitment and affection for history, and to pay a small tribute to life, and to all the brave people who live day by day fighting against an illness.
—”He understood something that I still don’t, it’s hard for me”, says the character of Rocio Gomez Wlosko, umathe daughter of Santiago. Is there something to that, to make people understand death as part of life?
—As it is. It is that: it is to understand a dimension, to make friends with something. In the daughter’s eyes we see frustration, anger and finally acceptance. I remember the scene perfectly and you don’t know how much I appreciated and enjoyed the work of my colleagues. Comparing it to other experiences, I don’t remember that much of watching a show that I’ve already done, and enjoying it and crying. I see this and I get emotional, as well as thousands of people who see it and can understand it, reflect and also have fun, because it is a drama mixed with comedy. At times, to de-dramatize and decompress certain stories, I like to incorporate humor, it is an element that gives the story originality and that manages to avoid certain commonplaces.
—Who are you going to see the final chapter with?
—What a good question… This is strange: the forms of consumption of the series changed. Many people already wrote to me because they saw the ending. One is used to getting together with people to see it. I think I’m going to see it in a calm environment, as the series invites, with my partner. with my eldest son (Baptistaged 14, of his relationship with pampita), maybe… Speaking of my children, the other day he sent me a message and said: “Dad, I haven’t seen you smoke in a long time.” I don’t smoke that much, maybe a bit, but I’m not smoking anymore. Bauti, you are right. “Well, dad, I congratulate you. Love you”. They are things that one says… How the kids receive, perceive everything and know perfectly what life is about. I want you to see it yes or yes. He has seen part of the series and I am going to invite him to see the end.