MACARENA GÓMEZ ACTRESS
By Guillermo Ortiz, film critic
A succubus is a demon in the shape of a female, sent to Earth to seduce humans and offer them a walk on the wild side. That is the perfect definition for Macarena Gómez: she can be a little, innocent demon in comedy films, a powerful yet refrained demon in drama; a very, very angry demon when playing a horror character and a perfectly sober one when elegance and pause are required. As actor and director Zoe Berriartúa puts it: “If you don’t have a good screenplay, don’t know how to direct actors, don’t have enough budget for FX or you simply want to get the job done, call Macarena, she’ll do the rest”.
Benito Zambrano must have thought so, when he chose her for his TV series “Padre Coraje” (2002) offering her the role of “la Susi”, an addict prostitute easily misled. The same applies to Eduardo Chapero-Jackson, who wanted her to star “Contracuerpo” (2005), his first and multi-awarded short film that deals with the topic of anorexia in an unusual fashion. Besides “pushed to the limit” characters, Macarena tested her skills in comedy as an 80’s naïve rockstar in “El Calentito” (2005), coped with rhyme and history in “La dama boba” (2006), getting her the award for best actress in a secondary role in the Festival of Málaga, and she shone in the skin of a posh serial killer when starring “Sexykiller” (2007), winning her the Best Actress award in the Festival of Porto. Not to mention one of her best and most prestigious characters- the protagonist of “Para entrar a vivir”, Jaume Balagueró’s thriller.
This variety in her performances makes director Paco Cabezas define her as “chamaleonic”, and, more than an adjective, it seems a way of understanding her profession: “No other actress would dare dealing with so many different characters with such brutal strength, conviction and chemistry before the camera, which is what great actors are made of and is impossible to learn”, he adds.
Manolo Ibarra sets the rules of the game straight: “Macarena takes part of that group of actresses that are fancied, the so-called imaginative, eccentric actresses… We may differ in our tastes, but when I say “action”, that actress with whom I’m supposed to have nothing in common does things that simply break my heart”.
As any other demon, Macarena has had to train a lot before getting her little horns and her trident. A succubus may have to seduce dancing, consequently, she has a classic ballet degree; a succubus needs to know how to move freely on stage and that’s why she earned her degree in the prestigious Rose Brudford College of Speech and Drama, in London. If her daring, sometimes playful glance weren’t enough, she can flirt with you in French or in English, a language she perfectly speaks.
That’s not the end of it: acting means taking risks. Acting is jumping from an aircraft without knowing if the parachute will eventually open or not. That’s why Macarena is a graduate parachutist. That’s why Macarena is a diving expert. That’s why Macarena knows everything about armed and disarmed combat. Fencing and personal defense (krav maga). Sowing and sowing in order to reap: in only a few years she has conquered television, has won endless awards for different short films and has taken part in some of the most appealing Spanish films of late.
Obviously, she is not going to stop now. If something makes Macarena disturbing, if something dazzles us in her look is precisely its intensity, in front of and behind the cameras. What should we expect from her? We have two options: either we look the other way or we maintain, daringly, her glance. If we choose the first option, we will possibly regret it forever after. If we choose the second one, we perfectly know what will happen: she will do with us whatever she wants to. That is, basically, what she was sent for.