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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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The two actors play the medalists Manel Estiarte and Pedro García Aguado in the film 42 Segundos, which revives the legendary Spanish team that made history in the Olympic Games from Barcelona 92.

On the day of the (virtual) interview, a couple of weeks ago, Jaime Lorente (Murcia, 1991) greets the camera with a still sleepy face: he has slept an hour, he says, after finishing the filming of Cristo y Rey, the series he portrays the turbulent relationship between the tamer Ángel Cristo (whom he plays) and Bárbara Rey (Belén Cuesta). He is in Madrid, already recovered from the corneal injury that he suffered in said filming, and in a few hours he escapes for the well-deserved vacation.

On the next screen, Álvaro Cervantes (Barcelona, 1989) smiles with a more relaxed appearance. Also based in the capital, these days he rests in his Catalan refuge, recharging batteries for the imminent promotion and the premiere of the film that has brought them together for the first time on screen: 42 Segundos.

They are two actors on the rise, they share a generation, they are thirty-something years old and therefore they did not experience in first person the Olympic milestone of Barcelona 92 ​​that their new film evokes. But they have passionately plunged into the personal conflicts, the sacrifice and the overcoming of that water polo team through their captain, Manel Estiarte (Álvaro Cervantes), and Pedro García Aguado (Jaime Lorente). That team that seemed to have few podium options a priori but to which the arrival of a Croatian coach, Dragan Matutinovic, who applied his military hand to the players, with cruel training, shook their game and their results, until an epic final, with silver medal.

Álvaro Cervantes speaks calmly, and looks like a discreet young man, with a point of surfer in vacation mode. Jaime Lorente seems more temperamental, he defines himself sensitively, and his career reveals him to be restless and versatile. Boxing, he has published a book of poems, A propósito de tu boca, plans to write and direct his own story (“I need to go beyond acting”, he has pointed out) and also composes and sings rap, with good reception.

Cervantes’ career has been progressive, without sudden media successes like Lorente, but solid and constant. Between his two Goya nominations (revelation for El juego del ahorcado and Adú) he has stood out in films such as Tres metros sobre el cieloHanna or El árbol de la sangre, with Júlio Medem, and series such as Carlos, Rey emperador or El tiempo que te doy.

Now they get into the shoes of two exceptional water polo players. Lorente plays Pedro García Aguado, a medalist who had to deal with his own addictions (“I missed the best moments of my life”), alcohol and drugs, which put his career in danger. Then Aguado has been able to take advantage of those experiences to help troubled young people as a coach on the successful television program Hermano mayor.

Cervantes plays Captain Manel Estiarte, the Maradona of water, the six-time Olympic water polo player. The film, directed by the prolific blockbuster Dani de la Orden and newcomer Álex Murrull, delves into the interiorities of that legendary water polo team, the rivalries and tensions, the Croatian coach who pushed them to the limit (Estiarte has come to say that humiliated them, subjected them to extreme training, such as ascents to the Andorran mountain), although it also injected them with the conviction that they could beat anyone.

For both interpreters, embodying Estiarte and García Aguado has required exhaustive preparation: they had to be convincing not only as fit actors, but also as elite athletes.

How were the trainings? Not as hard as the ones Matutinovic taught on his day, I imagine…
Jaime Lorente: I think that at our level it was as hard as it was for the real team with Dragan, because we started from scratch and we had to reach the level of elite players. The screen is not deceiving and we work very hard not to need specialists in any scene. We had a hard time getting to that level.

An extra pressure to that of the paper itself…
Álvaro Cervantes: Yes, it is the first thing you ask yourself when you receive the script. That your life is going to be that of an elite athlete. You change the chip and think about how you eat, how you sleep, the number of hours you dedicate to exercise to perform at your best in the water.
Jaime Lorente: There is no other way…
Álvaro Cervantes: They gave me the script on a Friday night and I spent the weekend thinking about what was coming my way, knowing that I wanted to make the film. From then until the shooting, five months passed and it was all training.

The rehearsals, in the water…
Álvaro Cervantes: The truth is that we end up more tired of water than we imagined a priori. At first we even decided to continue after filming in an amateur water polo team.
Jaime Lorente: It is clear that this was no more than an idea…
Álvaro Cervantes: It gave us the high, we wanted to keep that sport so hard that it cost us so much to achieve, but we have not fulfilled it. Apparently it is a sport that once you leave it, it is very difficult to return to it. When we both lived in Madrid, a former player began to train us, Rafa Fernández, a guy very dedicated to the film, who gave us a lot of power. Already in Barcelona, we had Tato, the official shooting coach. It was good because we reproduced that meeting between the actor-players who came from Madrid and those who were in Barcelona, just as it happened in reality and caused conflicts in its day due to the different way of understanding the sport. And that helped us situate ourselves in the script.

Were they already in shape?
Jaime Lorente: I am an athlete, I have always liked running a lot.
Álvaro Cervantes: I don’t, really, I prepare myself when it’s time, but it’s hard for me. Until now I was not interested in sport, I did not understand it. Now I understand what it means also on a mental level.

Do you see parallels with acting? In both cases, the rivalry must leave room for camaraderie, so that the result works.
Álvaro Cervantes: Dedicating your life to a competition seems very beastly to me, but the obsession that an actor can have in reaching an ideal of acting is actually something similar.
Jaime Lorente: Of course, there are points in common. They are two professions that depend on a human team, on how each element finds its place. That happens on a film set and on a soccer field.
Álvaro Cervantes: In this case, our physical training has also been our rehearsal and you rarely have so much time for it. The roles of each one in the team were forged in those sessions. And that complicity was noticed later on filming.
Jaime Lorente: A team was really created.

Did the real protagonists, Estiarte and García Aguado advise you?
Jaime Lorente: They have always been very open to talk with us and totally in favor of the film.
Álvaro Cervantes: They have been very generous in telling us how they lived through it, who they are without hesitation, in meeting us and chatting while looking into our eyes. Something very valuable, because emotionally there are things that when you meet the person you detect and make you understand what they are like, how they lived it. It’s a gift. It is impressive to embody one of the best athletes in history, whom I already consider a friend. There were days that I called him before shooting to ask him for details… Priceless, wow.
Jaime Lorente: I saw in Pedro a hyper-special sensitivity. He seems like a huge guy to me, with a lot of charisma and sensitivity, which is where I clung to, that emotional, fragile part. Luckily he was very excited after seeing the film, very shocked and happy.
Álvaro Cervantes: I, to be honest, until I spoke with Manel after seeing the film, I was not completely calm. The biggest spectator for me was him. And he liked it, he told me very nice things.

Did they tell you their opinion about the mistake that made that Olympic final get out of hand?
Jaime Lorente: There was a lack of communication or they just did what they had to do and it didn’t work out.
Álvaro Cervantes: If they had done anything else they would have disobeyed the coach. In the end, it is a team and you have to respect the rules. That coach, despite the fact that he gave them a hard time, led them there. In the final moment he indicated a type of defense that they considered inadequate. They looked at each other, clearly that order was out of tune, but Estiarte decided to go to hell with that instruction, even though he didn’t believe in it. Surely they regret having obeyed, but it is what they had to do.

A special moment of the shoot.
Jaime Lorente: For me, the beginning of filming, when we did the scenes in the swimming pools. It was like starting on top of a mountain, the most difficult. We thought: if we can get through these weeks, the rest will be easier. We all had to take great care of ourselves, it was a litmus test.
Álvaro Cervantes: I remember moments with Jaime of looking at each other in the water when we almost couldn’t take it anymore. We no longer knew if it was us or the characters, encouraging us to comply. And that hug between all…

How has this story enriched you?
Jaime Lorente: I would stay with the emotional journey that the film team has had, similar to the real one; the connection with everyone, who has worked hard to train. That pineapple that has been created I take with me forever; sometimes cinema and reality merge. This has been our cinematographic feat, also very hard.
Álvaro Cervantes: In the end, the film is about recognition, which in a more superficial way could be that medal, but above all how the characters end up recognizing the other, valuing the good that it brings them. It happened in the team and also between us. In the end, acting is just that: a back-and-forth job. You can’t work on this alone.

They faced their fears. What scares you?
Jaime Lorente: Many things, many, although fear has never paralyzed me. Stay alone, that something happens to the people you love. Fear has many sizes.
Álvaro Cervantes: They face their fears because the other is with them. Beyond overcoming, sports feat, it is when they accepted themselves and the other that success came. Nobody achieves anything alone.
Jaime Lorente: It’s still a love story. Acceptance is one of the reflections of love. When one loves what is next to him and what he does, things turn out well or at least if they don’t turn out well they are beautiful.

What do you think about this idea of success and failure? Winning is everything and silver is a failure, but it has gone further than ever.
Jaime Lorente: They are stipulated terms, but for me it is something totally subjective, hyper-individual, that lives within one. One can fail by winning a gold or succeed simply by entering the Games. It is very subject to what others consider of you. The movie recounts that journey, the realization that success lies elsewhere. And that with a silver in hand, when we hug, we say: “This is a success of ostia!”
Álvaro Cervantes: They explain that they felt pain in the heart for that silver medal, but that propelled them to win gold four years later. That preparation and that bittersweet silver was the learning, the real success. And that is something I share. Over time is when you understand things. It is necessary to give him the perspective that he needs at each moment, not to remain in the most instinctive perception.

What do they have in common with their characters? Jaime, impulsive like García Aguado? Álvaro, introverted like Estiarte?
Jaime Lorente: I consider myself a good guy, and I try to have fun with the things I do. And there are innocent things about me that I try to take care of and I think he has. My demons also sometimes come out with too much force, I don’t control them, although there is always a ‘little light’ there.
Álvaro Cervantes: I am not as introverted as Estiarte in the film, but he is many more things, the film shows only part of it. I do share his determination and I understand the emotion of his search, of his preparation.

How have you two connected personally?
Jaime Lorente: I think we agree on the love we put into work, we are both a little sick of this. I admire him a lot and if you admire someone, everything has been said.
Álvaro Cervantes: I agree with Jaime. It has been a great discovery, I admire his courage, his passion for the job. In this film I have experienced a sequence (I don’t want to reveal which one)… something that has happened to me very rarely. An instant of surrendering to the situation, the other, of flying as an actor, although it sounds cliché. A moment where the characters and the action took over us. For living moments like that I dedicate myself to this.

In sport the objectives are very clear: podiums, medals… In your career, what is the goal?
Jaime Lorente: Me, support my family, now I’m a father…
Álvaro Cervantes: Live more characters and stories like this. I started when I was 15 years old, now I am 32… More than half my life working, it has passed very quickly. My goal is to continue enjoying what this profession offers me and the life, of course, of the people I love, of those who are yet to come.

Jaime says goodbye, arrives late, goes on a trip: disconnection before the spotlight. Álvaro continues for a few more minutes in the telematic chat, explaining how much he enjoys the pre-shooting, the preparation of the character, that “getting into another world” and in projects that “I still cannot advance”. Now, he assures him, “what I need is to rest”. Cooking, “something I really like” and going to the movies a lot, which is difficult with filming. “I am seeing the entire billboard. And I will be in Donosti. I really want a movie binge”, he says.

Source : lavanguardia.com

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