Interview Adriano Luz
Adriano is one of the most well-known faces of the public, in theatre, cinema and television. You currently combine your profession as an actor with that of Artistic Director of SP Televisão. How do you reconcile these two lives?
My matrix is being an actor, but I think that one is inseparable from the other, that is, if I wasn't an actor it would be difficult for me to become the Artistic Director that I am today. If a few years ago, when I was invited for the first time to this position, I would have locked myself up in an office, I think I would have emptied myself completely. Artistic direction is something dynamic, transversal, and I do it in a collegial way, with production, with the coordination of each project, with the direction of the actors, in order to create consensus. From my point of view, I can only do artistic direction if I continue to know the reality of the directors, the actors, the directors of photography and of art, and this happens because I am an actor and continue to work as such. I couldn't do it any other way.
As Artistic Director, how important is it to participate in SP Televisão projects as an actor?
At the moment, and at the request of SIC, I am recording the telenovela Sangue Oculto, where I play one of the characters in the story. This is one of the ways I have of being inserted in that recording environment, where I become more aware of what is happening there. But a telenovela is a project played by countless hands and it is not always easy to coordinate because it involves so many people. Making telenovelas is an extraordinary school because you need a great capacity for reasoning and speed in resolving issues, and this is where I think the Artistic Director wins if the plateau is not something distant. It's on the plateau that the success of a project is decided... not only there, but also.
What is your daily life like? Especially at times when you are recording a soap opera, a film, a series or even doing a play?
Leisure is more stressful for me than work, that's why I always say that holidays are the worst thing for my health because I usually do a lot of stupid things then. When people say that they come better from their holidays, I say that I always come worse. But I used to say that when I have a lot of work I am extremely disciplined, because I manage to find time to do several things at work level, as well as going to the gym, and I make a point of reducing as much as possible anything that might tire me.
Adriano is also a director. What's the big difference between directing a play and artistically directing a television project?
They're very different jobs, in the sense that if I direct a play or a short film there's always my point of view, but in a telenovela things don't work like that, and neither does artistic direction. In the latter, an exercise is made in delegating competencies to people we choose to work on that project. If I fail to choose these people, deep down I'm sabotaging my own work.
As Artistic Director you are responsible for casting the projects. Explain to us a little about how this choice is made.
I am very collegial and I never make these choices alone, so I make sure that I am joined by the author of the telenovela, the project coordinator, the actors' director and Isabel Pereira, who was responsible for the casting department. With the story of the telenovela already outlined, based on an initial casting proposal that I ask the casting department for, I forward it to all the people I have already mentioned here and ask each one of them to add their proposal as well. And from here on, amongst all of them, we choose the actors to integrate the cast of a telenovela, although at the limit I have the power to veto a name because I think it may not be the most suitable person for a particular role. But I confess that this is very rare. After our proposal, the channel is the one who makes the final decision about the cast.
What do you think it takes to become a great actor? What advice would you give to younger people and those who dream of being an actor?
What I think it takes to be a great actor is great talent, basically this is it, which is not the same thing as being successful. Nowadays, to be successful, you need to have great communication skills on social networks, be emotionally intelligent, have good career management, but this has nothing to do with the talent you need to be a great actor. I would say that these two worlds don't always meet, because to be successful implies having a business vision of the thing and to be a great actor you need to have talent. The advice I can give to those who dream of being an actor is to study because it will certainly give them the tools to exercise their talent.
What is the role you have played during your career of over 40 years that has moved you the most? And which has given you the most pleasure?
In the cinema, it was certainly my character in the film Mysteries of Lisbon. Father Dinis was an extraordinary character, but mainly because I had the privilege of meeting and working with the filmmaker Raúl Ruiz, although it was sadly because it was his last film and he was very ill. But for me it was a great source of learning and I have never met anyone who was so touched by his genius as he was, Raúl had something magical about him.
Is it difficult to disconnect from a character at the end of the day? How do you divide reality from fiction?
The expression "taking the character home" to me seems like an abuse of language because, honestly, I don't believe that there is any actor who takes the character home. In truth, what you take home is the emotional load and the physical wear and tear, as happens in any other job.
What role do you have left to play?
I have no idea... I think I've done a bit of everything in terms of characters. If you ask me what I'd like to do, I'll tell you that I'd really like to do Tchekhov, because I haven't done it for a long time. I did it when I was very young and I really liked Tchekhov's universe.