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They have just released 42 Segundos, a film that narrates the historical passage of the Spanish water polo team through the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. 42 Segundos, delicacy to narrate the change in the history of Spanish water polo.

A true story that had all the elements to become a movie. This is how Jaime Lorente and Álvaro Cervantes speak of the great feat achieved by the Spanish water polo team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Many believed that the team led by Manel Estiarte had no options, and yet they took silver -and his first Olympic medal- in a heart-stopping final against Italy. Now, the story has been told again on the big screen through 42 Segundos, in theaters from September 2.

The film, directed by Àlex Murrull and Dani de la Orden, and with a script by Carlos Franco, tells the story of our country’s water polo dream team. How lifelong Catalan players got together with a group of new promises from Madrid and, under the harsh guidelines of Croatian coach Dragan Matutinović, prepared for the Games in which they would end up making history.

“The film recounts that journey. The sports journey, the emotional journey and how the two come together in the pool”, explains Jaime Lorente from the Old Estrella Damm Factory. The interpreter, who plays Pedro García Aguado in the film, shares the spotlight -and now table- with Álvaro Cervantes, who puts himself in the shoes of Manel Estiarte.

At the time of this interview, the film has not yet been released. In fact, there are only a few hours left for the preview, and nerves and emotion are sensed in equal parts. From what is said, because there has been involvement of some of the protagonists of the original story and because for a large part of the film’s team, this project that began to take shape in 2017 with Àlex Murrull and Cristian Valencia -producer and interpreter of Jesús Rollán on film- has been the biggest challenge to date. “I had vertigo”, admits Álvaro.

Like many young people born in the 1990s, the two-time Goya nominee for El Juego del Ahorcado (2007) and Adú (2020) only vaguely knew the story: “I did know about this selection that was mythical, but I didn’t know the ins and outs of it at all and what it had really meant. When I read the script, I was surprised that it hadn’t been told earlier”. “There are all the elements. That strange element that comes from outside, the common goal, the impediments…”, Jaime agrees.

“They gave me the script on a Friday afternoon and I devoured it. I knew I was going to do that character because I couldn’t say no. But over the weekend I was pondering what that was going to mean, that starting Monday my life I was going to change for a few months. It was such a big, titanic challenge, the fact of getting even closer to the idea of ​​an elite athlete…”, assures the Catalan actor without being able to hide the passion that, like his partner, he feels for the project.

From actors to Olympic athletes: the training sessions carried out by the cast.
The team of actors that make up the main cast of 42 Segundos also had to become a water polo team. A transformation that required almost five months of training in which they not only had to learn to play, but also to move in the water like a player of this sport.

“We had to learn to float, to swim, to breathe in the water… and to play water polo. We have had to learn many things and everything is ours”, the Murcian actor makes clear. “We can say that we have not had doubles”, Álvaro also comments proudly. And it is not for less: the Bernat Picornell Pools, which hosted the grand finale that August 92, have also been the setting in which Jaime, Álvaro and company went out of their way to recreate history.

Despite the fact that both have worked on historical projects that required physical effort, they say that 42 Segundos has been another level. “The first day we were in the water… I knew that Jaime had done an incredible job in El Cid and I had done Carlos, Rey Emperador, which for me had been the biggest challenge. But at that moment, in the water, I remember that we looked at each other and I told him: “I thought that after El Cid and Carlos a challenge like this was not going to come. It has arrived”, reveals the interpreter from Barcelona.

But 42 Segundos has not only required an added physical effort. It has also meant playing real people who were going to see the end result. Players, ‘Toto’ and Estiarte, whom these actors consider “so iconic and so good”, who lived through some years as intense as they were hard. And whose personal stories have lights and shadows.

Both Pedro -who even makes a ‘cameo’ in the film- and Estiarte have devoted themselves to the project, answering questions from both interpreters and, ultimately, helping them to understand their respective characters more. The involvement of the former players, they say, has been “absolute”.

“There has been a predisposition from both Manel and Pedro and other colleagues to let fiction make its way. It was very complicated, but they have understood very well how cinema works. How we have needed to put together things that perhaps happened in years in a period of time of six months. And they have been for us at all times. They have given us everything they are so that we can make them the best possible”, says the actor of La Casa de Papel. “The ultimate goal was for them to like it. That when Manel saw the film he would identify with it, recognize himself in some way, get excited and be calm. I would have been very screwed if it hadn’t been like that”, confesses Álvaro.

Sometimes it is talked about how an actor manages to ‘make his own’ a character. But is that possible when the character exists and is present in the project? “I had an acting teacher who talked about the obligations as an actor. If in a scene I read: ‘A girl enters the scene with a red dress’. What is mandatory for the scene to happen? That the girl wears a red dress. What obligations do I have as an actor for the character to be Pedro? And later, when these obligations are fulfilled, I can take some licenses. But the essence has to be there”, explains Jaime.

“When an actor imposes himself on the story, for me it is an erroneous way of approaching the work. You cannot tell yourself before the character. You have to withdraw as much as possible for the character to appear, although obviously this is also born of you and your experience”, adds the interpreter of the former captain of the national team.

42 Segundos has not only been the greatest challenge at an interpretive level but, in Jaime’s words, it has been “the most beautiful journey” to date. “For many reasons. Because of the character, because of the story, because of the team, because of my main ‘partner’ [points to Álvaro]. And because magical things have something that you can’t explain… It makes my hair stand on end”, reveals showing the arm. “It’s like this had to happen. And I tell many colleagues for whom it was their first project, that it’s a gift but it’s also a bitch, because you don’t know how difficult it is for it to happen again”, he says.

The best thing about this whole trip? That from a project that was born from the love that the filmmaker Àlex Murrull felt from the beginning for the original story -Álvaro confesses- a family has emerged. “The human team that has been created is the soul of the film. All the actors have left their lives even if they only had a few minutes (…). There was so much involvement that any gesture raised the film. There are moments of each partner that are brilliant because they are truly nourished”.

It was the first time that Jaime and Álvaro have coincided on the same project and, despite the fact that they recognize that they are very different and have different ways of working, the complicity between the two is palpable inside and outside the film. “I have a feeling that on several occasions when we were recording together, when they said ‘action!’ the moment became something sacred. Without doing anything special; it went without saying. We were there breathing another reality together, creating it”, recalls the Barcelonan.

“There is a photo in which we are on the same trip. We are listening to the director, but we are already preparing ourselves… There is something in the look of the two that indicates that we are on the same thing. It has been a perfect tandem. From some very good characters writings”, continues Álvaro. His co-star supports him: “We only discussed it later. I have never felt such a fine line between me and my character… I have been what is on screen during filming. That is acting, cinema”.

Source : mundodeportivo.com






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