Rodrigo García: “The work of my father, Gabo, can only be filmed in Spanish” | Culture

Rodrigo García (Bogotá, 61 years old) has been established in the world audiovisual world for decades, where he went from being “the son of Gabriel García Márquez” to becoming “the director of Glenn Close”, due to the close collaboration he maintains with the actress. Together they did Things I would say just by looking at her (2000), Nine lives (2005) and Albert Nobbs (2011), while, alone, he has directed Mothers and daughters (2009) o Last days in the desert (2015); not to mention his enormous work in series as a producer, screenwriter or director in Six feet underground, In therapy, Christine, Carnivàle, Lauren, Susanna, The Affair O Blue, among other.

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As if he were the director of a circus with three tracks, García is now in Buenos Aires, where he directs, for Disney +, the series Santa Evita, adaptation of the novel by Tomás Eloy Martínez about the disappearance of Eva Perón’s corpse. Meanwhile, promote Four days, which opens in Spain on Friday, May 7, and which illustrates the relationship between a mother (Glenn Close) and a drug-dependent daughter (Mila Kunis), who returns to the family home to try to quit her addiction for the fourteenth time. In parallel, he watches, as executive producer, the adaptation of News of a kidnapping, his father’s book, directed by Andrés Wood for Amazon Prime Video; and the Netflix version of One hundred years of solitude. “As a primary condition,” he said online last Wednesday, “it is always that they are made in Spanish and, if possible, they are shot in Colombia.” And for that same reason he is in Argentina with Santa Evita, “An exciting journey that, in addition to the novelization of Tomás Eloy Martínez’s book, has a lot of real information.”

Of these four projects, three are born from reality to become fiction. García explains: “Tomás Eloy and my father were very friends, mutual admirers, and both played with pleasure jumping over that blurred line that separates reality and fiction, a very interesting field for art. The same happens with Four days, born from a newspaper report [se basa en un artículo en The Washington Post del ganador del Pulitzer Eli Saslow] with two real women. I visited them in Detroit, I got to know the streets where Amanda, the daughter, lived badly for years, and then Saslow and I wrote with four hands to make it work on screen ”.

“Everything is quite privileged in safeguarding my father’s work. There is, of course, to take care of it, but to say that it is a burden would be obscene

In fact, he points out, Saslow made a long series of reports “on the opioid epidemic” that plagues the United States, and therefore knew many details that added credibility to what was narrated. “For years it was the worst disease in the United States, caused by pharmaceutical companies producing an enormous quantity of opioid pills, and they incentivized doctors to prescribe them and make them very accessible. This is how this wave of addiction was born, and until today all the lawsuits filed against the companies have been won in court ”, he explains. In Amanda’s case, a sprain in her teens led to drug addiction. “It was a pandemic caused by pure business, and in the United States there is still a terrible conception of treating the addict as a criminal and not as a sick person. This is seen in its reflection in the prison system ”, he deepens.

Latin American actors

Does the audiovisual format matter a lot to you? “By length and structure, series and movies are different. But deep down they tell stories. It is a good moment of series production … although that there are many does not mean that all are good. I’m a lover of miniseries, like the ones I’m directing and producing right now, and I usually feel like they get too long. ” Against that vice, García has come to do Blue, “That had seven-minute episodes.” For this reason, his father’s work, he believes, works best for series. “Already in Gabo’s life, it was thought about News of a kidnapping for a movie. However, it does not seem to me that it can be constrained in two hours. When I was allowed to produce it on local stages and in Spanish, I approached the Chilean Andrés Wood for his ability to tell personal stories in national and political settings. I also thought that a non-Colombian director would bring a different perspective that would explain the Colombian context for non-Colombian audiences. My father’s work can only be filmed in Spanish ”. When the shootings of Santa Evita Y News of a kidnapping, García is watching the material recorded in his country from a distance. “And I am very happy.”

“By length and structure, series and movies are different. But deep down they tell stories

The rise of platforms has increased pressure on the rights to adapt García Márquez’s work. “What helps is that for me it is imperative that you show as Santa Evita O News… are done in Spanish. I would never do them in English. It is more, in Santa Evita I am the only non-Argentine in the production team ”. And how will it be One hundred years of loneliness? “The same, the commitment with Netflix is ​​to shoot it in Spanish and film it in Colombia whenever possible, yes, with Latin American actors. We are working on it ”. A laugh escapes García when he is told about the responsibility of safeguarding his father’s work. “Man, everything is quite privileged. There is, of course, to take care of, but to say that it is a burden would be obscene.

Before finishing, she explains her relationship with her favorite interpreter: “Working with Glenn is very simple, because she is a very good actress. Like any creator, he has his process to understand and build his character. Arrived at the filming, it is very easy ”. And what did he think when he saw her doing a perreo at the Oscars? That’s the real Glenn. When the dance was over, she gave a great laugh and that’s very hers. She is aware that she is seen as a serious and veteran actress, and against that she loves to express her irreverent humor ”.

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