Luiza Kosovski’s first role in a feature film saw her undergo a number of transformations to portray Silvia, a young girl who is left devastated by the surprising death of her first love.
Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge spoke to Luiza about her experience on Sick, Sick, Sick and how she approached this challenging role.
Q: ‘Sick, Sick, Sick’ is your first feature film. Can you tell us about your interest in acting and what eventually led you to this role?
A: Yes, it was my first role and I was very happy to interpret a character as complex as Silvia. I’ve been doing theatre since I was five, and had a small part on a short film as a child. In other words, somewhere inside me, I already had the desire to act. To me, acting is an opportunity to live other realities, know different universes.
In Silvia, not only did I see the possibility of acting her story, but also the opening to decipher the enigmas she builds around the feminine and the, in her case, brutal loss of her first love.
Q: What was your initial reaction when you read the script? Could you relate to Silvia and this story in any way?
A: I was very impressed with how she lives through the discovery of sexuality through her first love story, the angst and despair she experiences. I was captured by Silvia’s melancholic tonality, just as by her impossibility of disengaging herself from such an intense experience.
On different levels, I believe all women go through this, though not necessarily through the same experiences she’s lived, but through the same, or at least very similar, sensations. The feminine is a mystery to us all, including women themselves. The loss of such a love, whenever it happens, might be devastating and hard to overcome.
I find Silvia charms thanks to showing this tone colour from the film’s first scene. This, which might appear to some of the audience as some sort of apathy or even a monochromatic tone, strikes me as the expression of how heavy the burden she carries is by being unable to accept the tragic loss of precisely what gave her life any sort of meaning.
Q: Silvia undergoes a number of transformations during the film. How did you work to understand and inhabit these transformations? Was it a challenging/draining process for you?
A: In general terms, I’d say Silvia goes through three central moments: First, she is lovesick. Afterwards, she’s sick due to unfulfilled grief. Then, finally, obsessed with bringing him back, hence Sick, Sick, Sick…
Understanding these subtleties required very thorough work with Alice Furtado, the film’s director, who gave me great and consistent support. She helped me grasp what this physical illness was; then, the intensity of this love, and finally the exacerbation of these feelings, which then display an increasingly psychiatrically sick character. It was definitely very challenging, not only due to it being my first feature length, but also thanks to Silvia’s place within this story, not to mention the complex psychological regions through which she wanders.
Even though remarkably challenging, I’m fully aware all this work was superbly conducted, with many rehearsals and a lot of research, and, more importantly, great respect and care to afford me the necessary time, during filming, so that I could gently access Silvia’s densest and deepest layers.
Q: You bring up director Alice Furtado. Can you expand on your collaboration throughout the project?
A: In this process, Alice’s tact, exactness, generosity and sensibility were of utmost importance to me. The film possesses a wide array of intense and complex scenes, in which I could easily have felt thoroughly exposed, but thankfully I had constant care, from her and from the whole team, thanks to which I felt at ease, no matter how challenging the scene at hand was.
Alice’s affectionate attention was not restricted to the set, being overall constant. Even after the film was finished, I could count on her unwavering emotional support at Cannes and in every other situation afterwards laid before me. It was a great partnership which taught me many things, and which I regard with great fondness
Q: Silvia’s relationship to Artur is a key element of the film. How did yourself and Juan Paiva set about capturing the intensity of that relationship?
A: Juan and I have always found the relationship between Silvia and Artur to be remarkably singular. We had to wholeheartedly dive into the affectionate, sexual and overall hypnotizing character of this relationship. We’ve exchanged much between ourselves, and found affinities that helped us translate the couple’s partnership to the screen.
Alice had us take part in countless exercises, which was absolutely essential. I remember one of them particularly, where we had both to move as felines, as their dynamic is inherently poignant and instinctive.
Q: What will be your standout memory from working on this project?
A: Filming in Paraty, an incredible and mysterious place, being completely immersed in the atmosphere on set, living the character’s state of mind, these are all things I’ll certainly carry with me.
Q: You mentioned the overwhelming experience of Cannes; how did you cope with it all?
A: It was indeed very surprising to suddenly be at Cannes, with my first feature length. At first, the film receiving such eloquent recognition made me incredibly happy, though afterwards I became very apprehensive with the overly fast motion of things, and the intensity of it – a combination of feelings that Alice greatly helped me overcome.
The journey was amazing, I had really great company, not only Alice’s, but also Juan’s and Digão’s, both, beside being talented actors, very funny and lighthearted, who made the whole experience even more special.
Q: What is next for you? Any ambitions or plans to share with us?
A: Portraying Silvia was a very fulfilling experience in part, I suppose, because of how I easily related to her feelings and to her overall story. Though acting has indeed been an essential part of my life since childhood, I’m not yet sure I’d have the same enthusiasm to play just any character. Rather, I enjoy telling stories that I am, for one reason or another, particularly thrilled to tell.
Now, as I settle back from Cannes, while pursuing better intimacy with myself as an artist, I’m searching within myself which stories I want to tell, which emotions I’m anxious to portray and which realities I’m eager to live.