Since her breakout performance in Jaime Rosales’ 2014 film Beautiful Youth, Ingrid García-Jonsson has shown herself to be one of the finest and most captivating actors in Europe.
Yet her latest performance might be her best to date. In Andrea Jaurrieta’s debut feature Ana By Day, she delivers as tour de force performance as a responsible, intelligent woman – named Ana – who abandons her orderly and secure life in search of something more.
WITH the international premiere of Ana By Day at Raindance Film Festival (29 September and 1 October) fast approaching, Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge caught up with Ingrid to talk about her role in the film and much more.
Q: Ana By Day will have its international premiere at Raindance Film Festival. What attracted you to this script and this story?
A: I found the story very interesting. The character is very complex and different from what I have been offered or that I done until moment. The movie is also fresh but still has an old school feeling to it. I really enjoyed reading the script and that is usually a sign that I will enjoy filming the movie.
Q: How did you find the complex challenge of playing a character who undergoes a complete 180 change in her life?
A: I was very scared at the beginning, I remember crying two days before filming because I didn’t feel prepared at all and thought that I would mess everything up, but then, once the shooting starts, there´s no way back, so I had to trust Andrea and my instincts and be the best Ana/Nina I could be. Luckily I was surrounded by great actors and a great team that made everything extremely easy.
Q: Did you relate to Ana and her wish to escape and become someone else?
A: SURE, I left my hometown, my friends and my studies (I was supposed to become an architect) to pursue an acting career. So yes, I know what it feels like not wanting the life you have but not really having “the balls” to change it. I think we all have, at least once, fantasised about being a completely different person – it is quite a relatable feeling.
Q: Did you learn anything about yourself from playing Ana?
A: IT sounds crazy, but after the filming of Ana By Day I had a big identity crisis myself. I didn’t know what kind of actress – or even person – I was and I felt that it was a good moment to decide, and like Ana at least try something different. I learned to listen to myself a bit more and not worry too much about conforming to social rules.
Q: Do you think character speaks to something deeper about the world we live in and the lives we lead, especially for women?
A: I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone, but there is a speech Ana gives to Madame and Maestro where she talks about how trying to be what everyone expected from her made her become nothing at all. I think this is the key to the whole story, yes. Social conformity kills individuality which is something we can’t leave behind.
Q: This is Andrea Jaurrieta’s first feature film. What was your collaboration like?
A: ANDREA is very skilled, clever, fun and not afraid of working hard. I found it very inspiring working with her, I am quite sure she is going to become one of the big directors in Spain the next few years if she still working so hard as she does. We are good friends now, I don’t have any a single bad word about her.
Q: In 2014, you had a breakout performance in Jaime Rosales’ Beautiful Youth and you have since gone on prove yourself as one of the best actors of your generation. How have you found this journey in the last few years?
A: THANK you, that is very nice to hear. It has been a lot, this thing of having an acting career is a roller coaster, I try to learn something new every day, and become better and better in what I’m doing. Sometimes it is not possible and I feel frustrated, useless and a huge bluff, but most of days I am grateful and proud of what I am achieving.
Q: What do you aspire to in the future?
A: I just want to be a working actor till the day I die. And meet all the talented people I can, so I can learn from them and as a result grow as a human being .
Q: Lastly, what should UK audiences expect from Ana By Day when the film premieres at Raindance?
A: I tend to talk as little as I can about the movies I am in so people can get surprised watching them, but what I can say is that this not the movie you might expect – it is different and possibly better.