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Teresa López, actress of ‘Gordas’: “In class they never let me be Julieta because of the ‘reality principle'”

Maria Teresa Lopez He has spent practically his entire life on stage. Since he went to his first theater class at the age of four, he never wanted to drop out again. After many years of training and work, she landed her first leading role in Fat (Luchana Theater in Madrid). The play (a play written and directed by Carlos Mesa and co-starring Mara Jimenez) has had the ‘sold out’ sign hanging for more than a year and a half.

Part of the success of this irreverent comedy that deals with topics such as fame, religion, love, friendship or the physique lies in the fact that it arrived at the perfect moment: when the fatphobia that exists in society is finally being talked about. And the thing is, not even Teresa herself – Maritere to her friends – could have imagined a work like this, which would so accurately and humorously reflect the situations that fat people too often face.

Isabel VerdúCarlos Mesa and I, who are the three partners of the production company Blessed Innocence, we wanted to tell a story, but we didn’t know which one. We only knew that we wanted to give our message to the world,” says Teresa López in conversation with magasIN.

“One day, suddenly, Carlos came out of the shower and said: ‘Maritere, I already have it. We’re going to talk about you, we’re going to talk about fat women.’ And I, but how are we going to talk about fat women? Like , what are you going to say? And he answered me: ‘You trust.’ He locked himself up for a month, literally, and when he came out and gave me the work I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it was so good and that someone had finally written about it. I thought, ‘It doesn’t make any sense that a skinny straight cis man wrote it! But he is wonderful, he has brutal empathy,” he says with the same emotion as that first day.

Her joy and surprise at a work that talked about fat women without falling into stereotypes or dirty jokes had a reason. She herself had been fighting for years to find a place for herself as an actress and had experienced firsthand that not all bodies fit the vision of scriptwriters and directors and that, For fat people, the roles they can access are still very limited.

Poster for ‘Gordas’, starring Teresa López and Mara Jiménez.

Some stereotypes that are often marked by the interpretation schools themselves. “For example, in class they never let me be Juliet. They never gave me the opportunity to interpret Romeo and Juliet or any scene that was ‘boy falls in love with girl'”remember.

“Years later I talked to a teacher about it and I asked her why. And she said: ‘Why do I give it to you? Are you ever going to do it?’ It was like a knife. She explained to me: ‘I try to make the beginning of realityjust as very rarely a student comes to me with a pen and I give him a piece of paper. heterobasic, because they are not going to give them the opportunity. “I prefer to prepare you for what you are going to work on than to let you dream and interpret things that will never leave you.”

Teresa herself affirms that it is still common in the world of acting and that Fat He has been able to move forward because his group has created the project. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t have made a single casting“he points out.

The problem, he adds, is that when creating, not all people are willing to break stereotypes. “Carlos Mesa was with me at school. He was studying to be an actor, but now he is the one who dedicates himself to making projects. He has already done 3 plays, and if you sell him that it is because he is a very bright guy and has his own criteria. But if you tell an 18-year-old boy: fat girls do this, faggots do this, very small and thin girls do this… It is very difficult for roles to be broken. A Carlos Mesa has to appear, but how many are there? “One in every 100,000”.

Even she herself reflects on her relationship with humor and whether the origin is the ‘pressure’ of not having a normative body and the cliché of “fat and funny.” “Am I funny because I was ‘born’ in quotes with the gift of knowing how to tell stories in a way that makes people laugh, or did I really do it so I could compensate for the fact that my body wasn’t enough?” she asks herself. “I don’t have the answer to this day, honestly.”

And he adds: “That stereotype of fat and funnyIn my case it is like that. Because then I have fellow activists who are rude and I love them because they say it all the time: no, I’m not funny. I am an edge and I am empowered by it, I do not have to compensate my existence with humor. “But in her case she is clear:” I feel very comfortable with humor, “I’m amazed that people laugh with me, I’m addicted to laughter.”.

The arrival of Mara Jiménez

When thinking about who would be the co-star, Teresa quickly came up with a name: Mara Jiménez. Although they did not know each other in person, they had been in contact for years through social networks and had a lot in common: both had studied dramatic art (Mara in Barcelona and Teresa in Madrid), they were activists against fatphobia and “we shared the same fightalso being actresses.”

“If you get into our first conversations you will see my 2016 self crying and saying: ‘I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to leave the world of acting, they don’t give me opportunities in what castings…’, and Mara answering: ‘No aunt, keep fighting because you can…’. And the next one is her saying the same thing as me and I answering: ‘No, auntie, come on, start, it’s all a matter of patience, our time will come…'”.

Thus, once the script was made Fat, they called Mara, gave her a test and fell in love with her talent. “We told her that she was preparing three roles as a fat woman and, well, her mouth was on the floor. She is very good, brutal. I have no words to describe the talent, the professionalism and the poltergeist she has when she goes on stage. She completely conquered us” .

The success of ‘Gordas’

Mara moved from Murcia to Madrid, specifically to Teresa’s couch, and they began rehearsing in a cultural center “because we didn’t have money to pay for rehearsal rooms.” After months of effort, the work saw the light and has not stopped since: more than a year with tickets sold out and 100 performances performed.

Although Teresa herself is still amazed by the success of the work (“it’s very crazy!” she exclaims during the conversation), she is not afraid to admit that it is deserved and it is because they have done many things well.

“It may seem a little arrogant, but I don’t care: we’ve had all the tickets sold out for a year now. Nobody is doing that in Madrid, in Spain. Why did it happen? It’s a bunch of successes. In the end, It is time to talk about fatphobia, people are interested; We are two professionals like a castle, our work and our training shows and Carlos as a director is brutal. On we have followers on networks. Well, Molotov cocktail. There you have the key to success: many successes in a row,” she maintains.

His first book

For the moment, you can continue enjoying Fat until the end of February 2023, although they constantly update dates because the Madrid theater continues to fill up. At the same time, Teresa López works on a multitude of different projects.

Because, as she introduces herself at the beginning of the interview, it is “actress, journalist, beautiful and smart”but it is much more: also content creator on social networks (he accumulates more than 750 thousand followers on TikTok and more than 100 thousand on Instagram) and, now, writer.

Next February 8th it will publish his first book I will always be me despite you (Essence, Planet), a romantic novel, but, as she herself assures, “for women of the 21st century.” “It’s a romantic comedy because you’re going to laugh throughout the book, but it’s still a ‘boy with another girl’ story,” she explains.

The cover of ‘I will always be me despite you’.

“She goes from deconstructed, from ‘I don’t need anyone’, from ‘fuck it, I don’t want more love’… Until a straight man obviously appears (laughs), they fall in love, they have a brutal and passionate romance. She She is fat, he truly loves her, as she is. For the first time she is empowered in her own body, she discovers what she is really like in bed when she feels free, she feels safe, she feels confident and she can do what she wants. win,” he says.

Although not everything is real, the story is based on his personal experiences and has a special importance of friendship (he assures that Roberto’s character is the union of the personalities of his four best friends). Furthermore, he takes great care to ensure that there is a “dose of reality” throughout the novel.

“When any sex scene comes, then there is a reflection on why. I say: let’s stop and reflect on the reason for this story, why this sex scene. Because then when you maybe have a relationship with any guy expecting what you read in the book to happen to you, it doesn’t happen. And the doubts are already beginning as to why it doesn’t happen to you,” he muses.

Likewise, we can also find her, together with her partners, in the Bendita Inocencia project and the La Bendita schoolwhich in addition to being a theater school will be “a safe place for personal growth, learning acting technique and the possibility (almost obligation) to make mistakes as many times as necessary.”

“We want to continue growing and do more theater projects. For next year, I cross my fingers, but we hope that things will come. If everything goes as we hope, we have a long future ahead of us,” she concludes excitedly.

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