Yaremis Pérez and the challenge of playing María Valero

Yaremis Pérez and the challenge of playing María Valero
Fecha de publicación: 
7 August 2023
Imagen principal: 

The Cuban soap opera El derecho de soñar (The right to dream) is being broadcasted these days by Cubavision TV channel. Remembrance for some, a new finding for others, these very first episodes recreate golden times in the Cuban radio.

CubaSí interviewed actress Yaremis Pérez, who plays the role of one of the memorable actresses of that time when Félix B. Caignet’s El derecho de nacer paralyzed the nation.

—How did you get to the cast of the soap opera El derecho de soñar?

—I was called by Albertico Luberta who wanted me to play the role in a soap opera to pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the radio: María Valero, the great lady of the Cuban radio. He needed that I came by the Production Company to pick up the script and hence read them. I have always had enormous respect for those who make possible the Cuban radio. I felt boosted since the very beginning, but I had no idea of who María Valero was. That’s something unforgivable! I am very intense when it comes to working. So I started to do my homework. That day, I realized I had a treasure at hand and the scripts must be horrible for me to reject that job proposal.

 —What made you fall in love with the character of María Valero?

—I would say that the fact that she was a mystery to me at first. I, little by little, commenced to know her well. Her resilience, talent, personality, determination, bravery, her torment and loneliness, despite having a public who adored her.

—What about the biggest challenges you faced when it came to play her character?

—I had before me three different views of María: the one collected from her in the real story, the one from the script, and my vision of her. I must do my best to try to mix them all into one. I did a lot of research: I looked up books and reviews about her. I listened to the music she liked, and I read the books of authors she admired. I went to some of the places where she walked and lived. I was following each of her steps, as if they were clues.

«Then I did all the work about the time, the tone, the voice, the diction. Radio actors, unlike other actors, are quickly spotted, even today, for their good pronunciation and tone placement. She was also a Spanish woman, with a Cuban accent imposed to be able to grow within her profession. So the challenges were many, but I like them, and guided by the hand of Luberta, together with Yailín Coppola and the conferences of Ángel Luis, I placed my faith that the work would go well. »

—You are playing an actress, your own profession. Does it make it easier the job?

—Yes, of course. We have a lot of things in common. We know the media and know how things work, even though there are difference between past and present times. We understand we need to smile so the audience have fun, even though our mind may be a mess and our heart hurts.

—Have your ever worked in radio as an actress?

—I tried it when I was at ISA (Higher Institute of Arts). But it was extremely difficult. I was also beginning to work in television and was in love with the audiovisual stuff.

—I have heard that this soap opera in a sui-generis project, as its plot is set in two different times. Are you involved in the castoff present times?

—Yes, there are two period times. But I only work in the first one. There are other actors who played roles in both. And I, personally, believe it was a good decision not to be involved with other character in a second stage. María Valero is paramount in this plot.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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