Joaquín Furriel: “Argentines have a hard time laughing at the crack”

“In Spain it would not have been possible to make a fiction like this. There is no such option directly. From Madrid, Joaquin Furriel talk about world robbery, the series that stars and has just premiered the Star+ streaming platform, with a perspective that allows it to fundamentally analyze the reality that audiovisual production is experiencing on both sides of the Atlantic.

In a dialogue via Zoom with LA NACION, Furriel is not surprised to find himself once again in Spain to shoot a movie as he talks about the most recent project he did in Argentina, conceived to accompany from streaming the expectation for the imminent start of Qatar 2022.

With Gabriel Nicoli (one of the authors and directors of the recent series about Carlos Monzón) as director and showrunner, world robbery It tells what happens when the Argentine national team suffers a disciplinary sanction that leaves him out of a World Cup for which he was already qualified. Furriel is accompanied in the leading cast by Benjamín Amadeo, Carla Quevedo and Javier Gómez. The scripts are signed by Nicoli, Martín Caamaño, Marcela Guerty and Jesús Braceras.

Joaquín Furriel and Benjamín Amadeo in World RobberyStar +

“Gaby Nicoli poses a key question: What is the greatest fear that we Argentines can have today? Inflation is already a fear with which we live and unfortunately we know very well. Think of the Italians, who for the second time in a row are out of the World Cup, imagine the pain they have seeing it from the outside with all the importance they give to football. What the series proposes is what would happen to us if something like this were to happen, to run out of the World Cup, ”reflects the actor.

-The series starts from that premise, how does it continue?

-A group of totally disparate people with very little training is put together to do something truly extraordinary: steal the World Cup, which is in Buenos Aires for a promotional tour, and negotiate from it the possibility that Argentina will host the World Cup again. When I read the script I saw that the story did not settle entirely in one place. It explores different things, genres, looks. It’s changing. At times it is really absurd what happens. And there are also tributes to the great heroes of the action movies of the 90s in Argentina. Those who know these topics are going to discover things that go beyond the fact of the theft of a World Cup.

-What is the place of your character in this plot?

-Lucho Buenaventura is desperate to try to arm his son with a different reality than the one he has to generate something else for him. It is a premise similar to that of Life is Beautiful in another context. That boy has no mother because Lucho is a widower and he promises to take her to the World Cup so that he can regain happiness because he is a fan of Messi. The guy sells everything to take it and at one point he finds out that Argentina was disqualified and that he is about to lose everything. That is why he decides to gather his co-workers and steal the Cup so that Argentina can return to the World Cup.

-You said that the plot explored different genres and perspectives.

-Above all, it reminded me of some absurd comedies from North American independent cinema. There is in this story a combination of possible worlds. armed with the aim of entertaining and generating at the same time a connection with the World Cup from a uchrony. Something that, luckily, could not happen in reality [risas]. And from the clumsiness of the characters, so different from each other, the series has something genuinely Argentine. Something that hurts us a lot. The desperation that this group has to find some way to do justice.

-And in a completely improvised way, because they never did something like that.

-Without any logistics. There is an Argentine gene in the series in sight and the good thing is that we can laugh at it. This also convinced me to join the project and led me to another question: what happens if we dare to laugh a little at ourselves and what happens to us? I think we are taking ourselves too seriously. At this point I see that Argentines have a hard time laughing at the crack, which is taken as something extraordinarily solemn. No one laughs at that, neither on one side nor the other. We have no sense of humor. That’s why I think world robbery It is a comedy that comes in handy for these times of crisis. The characters are not detached at all from everything that happens around them. They take charge. And not only that, but they decide to go forward. The series shows something very Argentine: when an injustice appears, it is my justice that is valid to remedy or correct it. We have that vision. When we see that something is unfair, we immediately become vigilant.

-What have you been doing lately in Spain?

-I was filming the movie in Malaga Devotiona very authorial, very independent story, directed by the Catalan Rafa Russo, with whom he had already worked on the year of fury. I have made eight films in Spain. I’ve been here for six, seven years. A long time that gave me the opportunity to meet many people whom I value and love very much. My base is Buenos Aires, of course, but every time I arrive in Madrid it feels like a second city for me. I know her well, I feel very comfortable here.

-How did your story with Spain and Spanish cinema begin?

-It was when I did hundred years of forgiveness, a movie that did very well here and thanks to it they started calling me. First was The lighthouse of the killer whales, which I did with Maribel Verdú. Later I worked with Julio Medem and many other people who make very good films. Everything happened like that, I never came to Spain to look for work. I had the opportunity to film in Madrid, in Asturias, in Catalonia, in Gibraltar, several times in the Canary Islands. And this was the first time in Andalusia. I was fascinated with its people and with a culturally very powerful region.

-Is Madrid the European Hollywood, as it is beginning to be said now?

-There is no doubt that Madrid became the center of Spanish-speaking fiction and a place where many talents come from different parts of Latin America. There are very strong platforms installed here and a lot is filmed. Series, movies. There is everything, interesting things and others not so much. Beyond that, considering my age and my professional career, I can say that I have never received a project of the quality that it has in Spain. The kingdom. Despite everything that happens to us and the many difficulties we go through, Buenos Aires is one of the best cities in the world to live as an actor.

Furriel in The Kingdom, one of his projects for streaming
Furriel in The Kingdom, one of his projects for streamingMarcos Ludevid/NETFLIX

-What advantages do you find?

-The amount of cultural proposals it has is impressive. It is a great cultural city. Despite everything, we continue to have a cinema that makes an effort to be there, to make itself heard. Take the case of Darín. Here in Spain, Ricardo is as important and valued as in Argentina. He is an excellent ambassador for his talent, for his commitment to work and for what a good colleague he is. And when we see him doing Argentina, 1985 we realize the quality of the things that are made in our country. We have great fictions that reinforce our identity. world robbery is a very good example. A true Argentine series. In Spain it would not have been possible to make a fiction like this. There is no such option directly.

– Is there something that identifies these fictions from your point of view so that they are recognized as Argentine compared to the others?

-We are used to American cinema because it is the one with the greatest worldwide penetration. And in those stories the great heroes stand out. We, on the other hand, have the great antiheroes, like the characters that Darín plays in Nine Queens or in the Campanella movies. when i read the script world robbery I had the same feeling with my character.

Furriel in a scene from World Robbery with Benjamín Amadeo and Marcelo Subiotto
Furriel in a scene from World Robbery with Benjamín Amadeo and Marcelo SubiottoStar +

-Recently, Guillermo Francella said that filming the series The one in charge it was equivalent to making three films. Did the same thing happen to you with world robbery?

-In September 2021 we finished the third season of the bronze gardenwhich will be seen in 2023. It took four and a half months of work to make eight episodes of one hour each. world robberyInstead, it took us two months to make six 30-minute episodes. For me it was like making one movie, not three. Fortunately, the bronze garden gave me a good workout. I haven’t done many series. the bronze garden, The kingdom and now world robbery. Nothing more. I was interested in this project because it moved me a little from the genres in which I usually move. The area in which I like to be the most is the cinema and the theater.

-It is said that the future of fiction goes through these new series formats conceived for streaming. Do you think the same?

-We are at that moment, without a doubt. But I was not born in the world of series. Until now I had the opportunity to do theater, cinema and a lot of television, but in my agenda for next year the priority is only for the cinema. It continues to be for me a valuable space that seeks to affirm its place. The series are interesting for their variants and for the risk they propose, but they are not different from filming a movie, they are very similar. As soon as I get back to Buenos Aires I start rehearsing for Celina Murga’s new movie, which I’m going to shoot in January. That will be my next project.

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Joaquín Furriel: “Argentines have a hard time laughing at the crack”