After talking to TRAUMA director Lucio A. Rojas some weeks ago, it’s up to Ximena del Solar, who plays one of the main characters in the movie.
Also, since it is her birthday today, we send our congratulations to her.
Thrill & Kill: What were your first thoughts, when you read the script of TRAUMA?
Well, I have been Lucio’s intellectual collaborator for many years, therefore I did not find a finished script to know this story, on the contrary!, I am familiar with it since it was a little idea spinning in his head and I saw it grow and grow as the writing process progressed. Without a doubt “Trauma” is the most violent work that, as a team, we have worked to date and I imagine that is the reason for the question.
I think that in Lucio’s mind there was always a particular need to approach a story from the graphic of violence and its most extreme consequences. I thought it was almost cathartic that he devoted himself to this work with such concentration. About me. Well, it always seemed to me that it was a risky script, complex to carry out, but I think that is why it is very attractive as an experience, a challenge impossible to reject. I saw it as a great test of acting development too.
Thrill & Kill: Was there anything before or during the shoot, that you didn’t want to do?
In general, no. There was no situation raised by the script with which I felt in conflict as an actress. What did happen to me was that it seemed emotionally complex to approach. The group work was fundamental, since we depended on a complete context to obtain that certain emotions were unleashed. And that was achieved. It is strange, even ironic to say it, but finally we could feel proud and happy because we managed to cross the threshold of horror all together. I feel very proud of the work accomplished and the objectives met. Maybe there was a particular situation that I was not sure to accept when Lucio told me, an idea that he intended to incorporate into the script (I mean a certain cannibal act that is performed against Magdalena’s character during the attack on the girls inside the house ) …. but hey!, you know who won the argument. I thought it was too much maybe. The terrible thing is, that as a result of that, we talked a lot about the subject and finally we came to the conclusion that reality always surprises us with something more brutal. Just check the press or watch a newscast. It’s sad.
Thrill & Kill: There are some very brutal scenes in TRAUMA.
What did you do to get in your role and maybe more important, what did you do to get back to being yourself?
My way of approaching it is to create the character’s backstory to have something more than what appears in the script. Work about the way this character, Julia, behaves and thinks before this story raised by the script is developed in her existence. Then, we were lucky to have a very chronological shoot, which allowed me to add real life experiences of the character to the mental composition I had of her. During the previous script reading processes, we review and discuss in a group real reports of abuse (in political, as well as isolated contexts) and we also shared personal stories in a framework of trust and respect. All that helped us to know how to approach what the story demanded. Then, in shooting, under the “action” order, there are moments in which you are so committed to the project that simply lives it as if it were a reality. At least that was what happened to me. I felt true terror in some moments. Then you hear “cut” order and you can finally calm dawn. I think the acting experience is a privilege. To live realities so different from yours and then recover calm. That’s wonderful. What makes me suffer terribly is to be aware that many of the atrocious things that we can represent in front of a camera could be happening at that same moment somewhere in the real world. That thought annihilates me inside sometimes.
Thrill & Kill: After seeing the finished movie, what do you think about it and about your part? Is there anything you would like to do differently, if you could go back?
Well, in general terms I like the movie a lot, although I think there is a descend in the rhythm when the surviving girls start the entrance to the villain’s lair. Fortunately that is recomposed towards the end, when the emotional links between them are retaken. I would have eliminated that girl who explodes, I think it was unnecessary to use her as bait. On the other hand, one of my favorite sequences, along with the beginning (the origin of the young Juan`s trauma) is the parallel montage between the night of the girls party, with Julia`s dance, and what happens in the domains of the villain, which unveils a completely anomalous famility structure where, despite all the bizarre of the situation, there seems to be an imitation of affection between the members that make up this nucleus. There is great courage on the part of the cast and the director in digging into this kind of reality.Making independent movies in Chile is very very difficult. I feel there was a tremendous achievement in being able to carry out a project like Trauma. For me, this film has been an absolute source of learning (in various areas, both artistic and technical). At this point I could not change anything, but I appreciate all the knowledge that has given me and that serves me so much for the development of new projects to come. Theres is no other way to improve than just doing.
Thrill & Kill: You also played in some other films of Lucio Rojas. What is your special connection? And will you do more projects together?
That is true!. Trauma is my first big role in a Lucio´s project, but not the first one. I’ve known him for the last 18 years. We became friends while both, college students, were very enthusiastic about genre and horror movies (maybe it is useful to point out that I studied Linguistics, while he studied Political Sciences).
We dreamed about making movies, but it was just a dream that we knew very complex to carry out. Finally, some years later, he decided to channel his life clearly towards the fulfillment of this objective. I was living in Spain during that period and was, at the same time, trying to develop some acting skills. Then we met again in Chile and since then we have formed a creative team that is nourished by the very different sensibility that each one of us has.Nowadays, we are about to shoot a short film that we have created and written together (episode „CONTAGIUM“ of the international anthology ILL) and we are developing, also together, the theoretical lines (the story) to build an ambitious fantasy film. The title is LAMIAE (script is still in process)…
There is also another project, a feature film entitled FASCINARE, which deals with the subject of pedophilia, written entirely by Lucio, where he invited me to join as an actress.
You can find Ximena on Instragram: @ximedelsolar
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