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Ego is the new thriller starring María Pedraza with Pol Monen, Marian Álvarez, and Francisco Boira.

During the confinement caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Paloma (María Pedraza), a 19-year-old girl, goes to a dating network with people of the same sex as her. The young woman begins to lose her mind when a double exactly like her appears on this contact website with clear intentions to impersonate her. Directed by Alfonso Cortés Cavanillas, this new hypertechnological thriller represents a change of scenery for María, who strips herself emotionally to cover issues as complex as confinement or mental problems. “I love getting out of my comfort zone, these are issues that touch me on a personal level, I really like being able to give Paloma a voice and life, this role came to me at a time when I needed it for personal reasons, life sent it to me as a sign”, said María, “I have felt very free, very free and sheltered”.

The film, which was shot in just one week, takes place in a time of confinement, not far from reality. We asked María what it was like to shoot at such a complex time, which has profoundly marked the way we relate and communicate: “We had everything very close, it was shot after confinement. I’m not going to lie to you, I was a little scared of the unknown”.

With a script by Jorge Navarro de Lemus, the plot revolves around Paloma’s (Pedraza) desperation to find the woman who wants to steal her identity. The film has been honored at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, winning the Best Feature Film Award, Best Screenplay Award, and Best Actress Award.

What has it been like to bring Paloma to life in this new thriller?
She has been a great challenge as an actress and as a person. In the end, many times we tend to prejudge ourselves, there are some characters that scare us or make us leave our comfort zone. I received it as a great challenge, I was so excited that I called Pedro – my representative – because he couldn’t believe it. I think that as an actress I have that responsibility to get out of my comfort zone and give voice to situations that seem important to me, such as those dealt with in this film; mental problems, confinement…

How have you faced this new character…
The theme of the film is mental disorders, I did not want to focus only on that because I wanted to experience it from Paloma’s mind. She feels harassed by a person identical to her. She wanted to show that the viewer traveled with that harassment, until almost the end of the film. She lacks certain things, she seeks help…
The scenes screaming and in the foreground was a challenge in itself, when it is interpreted you have to differentiate your person from the character, what happens to Paloma could happen to anyone. I had to play two very different characters; the scenes with myself were shocking, but I felt comfortable.

It’s something you’ve never done before, what motivated you to be part of this hypertechnological thriller? How have you lived this experience?
What motivated me was to get out of my comfort zone, I love being able to cover issues that touch me on a personal level, I really like being able to give Paloma a voice and life. It didn’t take long for me to accept the project because it just came to me at a personal moment in which life suddenly sent it to me as a sign, a challenge. I had the need to do it, I like to tell what I feel through those characters, I have felt very free and very supported by the entire cast of actors and by all who were there every day to make this possible, that, by the way, it was shot in a week, I always tell it because I think it has a lot of merit. We worked with great care and love to make this possible…

What did you think the first time you saw the script, was it something that caught your attention from the beginning?
I got goosebumps! I was looking forward to it. I read the first two lines and I already knew that I wanted to do it, I read it in full too (laughing), but from the first moment I knew that I wanted to be part of this project.

The film talks about issues such as confinement due to the Covid-19 crisis, etc. What has it been like to shoot at such a complex time, which has profoundly marked the way we interact and communicate?
We were all very close, it was shot right after confinement and to tell you the truth I was a little scared. Fear of the unknown, of recording again after so long… I took it with great desire and enthusiasm. It was my first job after confinement, there were many measures (which we fulfilled all of them) and a lot of responsibility for this project to go ahead.

How has it been working with Alfonso (Cortés-Cavanillas)?
He has enchanted me, he is rock and roll (between laughs). I loved meeting him and working with him; He is very committed, he gives himself, contributes, listens and takes care of you. He is a great professional that I have been fortunate to work with.

And with Pol Monen, Marian Álvarez…
Oh Pol fantastic! He was the first person I worked with in this world. It’s like being at home, he’s my best friend and I’ve really enjoyed this project with him. With Marian I connected from minute one, she offers a very human energy, she broke my soul in certain scenes and I had to stay in the role. She plays my mother in the film, a desperate mother who does not see the way to help her daughter, in constant emotional exhaustion… She has stripped herself emotionally with this project and has let herself be carried away, she was in constant transformation.

The film has won the Best Feature Film Award, Best Screenplay Award and Best Actress Award at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, how has this been for you?
Well, the truth is that I did not expect it at all. It was a very project for us, for me… It was just in confinement and I don’t know, I did it to enjoy it myself, to myself.

Do you think that the awards for the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival is the first step towards something bigger in the field of Spanish cinema?
Well hopefully! Now everything is super connected, all together, this makes it easier for your work to be recognized in other countries. I think so… little by little.

Many of the scenes take place through Zoom or Skype, what do you think of this reconfiguration of old scares to present new-looking situations?
Love it. In general, the genre – thriller – captivates me, I am very attracted to this type of cinema, besides I think it is much deeper, it engages from another place, it has a lot of depth. In Ego we talk a lot about mental problems, especially anxiety…

Do you think this film is going to help give greater visibility to these problems?
Well, I hope so, we have to help people with mental problems to seek help. We live in a society where everything goes very fast, demand and perfection go hand in hand in a constant way. We are, well, I can only speak for me, in a moment of extremes, a frantic pace that you follow or go to your world. But yes, I think it can give voice to everything that happens. Little by little more is verbalized and that is good.

The film will be released in theaters on December 1 and will be available in the Imagine creator community in the middle of this month.

Source : whitepaperby.com

The actress is sincere and tells us about everything she is passionate about in front of and behind the cameras, about her favorite hairstyles for this Christmas and how she takes care of and styles her hair with the ‘Steampod 3.0’ by L’Oréal Professionel.

Natural, unfiltered, demanding, funny, impulsive… María Pedraza (1996, Madrid) began her professional life as a dancer and today she is one of the young promises of Spanish cinema that has crossed borders. With several new releases to come and a promising career ahead of her, she has just been named the face of the ‘Steampod 3.0’ styler by L’Oréal Professionnel.

That she has been chosen as an ambassador for a hair straightener is not surprising because the actress’s long hair is, together with her impressive eyes, one of her hallmarks. A benchmark for thousands of girls around the world (only on Instagram he has more than 12 million followers), he tells us how he takes care of his chameleon hair, the keys to keeping it healthy, strong and bright even for a lover of look changes like her.

In the 90s, models were discovered on the street. In your case, they did it through Instagram, don’t you find this evolution curious?
The truth is that if. I was a dancer and, suddenly, one day I had a casting for my first film. When they had already caught me I found out that they had seen me on Instagram. But of course, in the beginning what I was doing was classical dance, I hadn’t acted or anything like that either. I remember that when I got to the audition I told them: “Excuse me, I’m a dancer” (laughs). But it seems they liked me and after three tests, they finally selected me.

We are experiencing a unique phenomenon – to which you belong – with a whole generation of actors who are succeeding worldwide thanks, in part, to digital platforms and social networks, what does it mean to be part of this quarry?
In my case, I think what is most impressive is how fast everything goes. I swear to you that there are moments in my life that I am not aware of all the good things that happen to me. I truly believe that the brain is not capable of assimilating so much information. What I am clear about is the type of actress I want to be and what I want to convey. I am super grateful that our work can be seen all over the world thanks to the platforms, because for us that has been a super stage for the actors and for the people who dedicate ourselves to this.

And now that you have been able to interpret in different formats, are you from cinema or series?
I am more of cinema, I admit it. Although –logically– I love the series. But the feeling of making a feature film is that I love it. I started with cinema and I would love to continue like this. But it is appreciated that we are in a time when all kinds of formats are consumed. I think the projects are completely different in terms of time and storyline. Maybe that’s why I like a feature film better, it goes at a different pace.

You are one of the most followed people in our country in RR.SS. Do you take it seriously when publishing content – knowing how much you can influence people your age – or are you not aware of it?
I always try to show my personal side but I don’t think about it much. It’s funny because, as you say, a social network exposes you a lot and the more exposure you have, the greater the ability to influence and even inspire. In my case, I like to convey to people the most natural or real content possible.

Life with filters or natural?
Today for today, natural. I have used filters and I have touched a lot the light, the color… But I prefer to see things as they are. Many times, when we take a photo, we already know what filter we are going to put on it and that cannot be. As we are seeing, it can be quite dangerous.

You have studied classical dance, could we say that you are a very disciplined woman?
In general, I am very crazy, but it is true that I also have a very self-demanding part, which works for me and against me at the same time. There are times when, demanding less from you, things come out, flow and you enjoy them more. I’m trying to find that balance between being self-demanding and being a little more free and tolerant of myself. But yes, as you say, it has helped me a lot to have studied dance for interpretation, it also requires a lot of discipline and above all, concentration and passion.

An actress you admire…
I really like Carmen Machi. She is very fresh and inspires me a lot. Everything she does on an interpretive level is different and I find it very interesting and complex. It is amazing to see how she finds the middle point –and perfection– in each performance.

You always say that you like to change your look but this is not usually the best to keep it healthy… How do you take care of your hair?
I try to do intense hydration treatments with some frequency both at home with good masks and in the hairdresser with specific protocols, because I have it quite dry. In summer I leave my hair natural but when I want a more polished finish, either wavy or straight, I use ‘Steampod 3.0’ because it is the only one that protects my hair fiber, eliminates the frizz effect, the result lasts a long time and, in addition, power choosing the temperature seems a plus to me.

Have you had any major hair disaster?
Yes, it was horrible, I had a bleaching from zero to one hundred that destroyed my hair, it took a long time to recover it… I still regret it.

What is the change that you have made for work that you liked the most?
The most recent has been for the Toy Boy series, which is now premiering on Netflix, for which I had to wear extensions and I love how they fit me, it has been a great discovery. I’m at a time in my life that I look best with super long hair.

This styler was really born for the professional sector and now we can all use it at home, since when do you have it?
Yes, at first I only used it when I went to the hairdresser but thanks to the help and advice of Iván Gómez, who has been a great friend of mine for many years, I learned certain gestures to use it at home. They are only advantages! It has a spectacular and super professional finish, fast and easy.

And finally… Are you an ELLE girl?
Well, the truth is that I think so, but I let you say it (laughs).

Source : elle.com

She came to the interpretation from Instagram after rejecting her as a child. Today she is a star after passing her through La Casa de Papel, Elite and Toy Boy.

María Pedraza (Madrid, 1996) came to this of interpretation without wanting to. This is not an exaggeration. Her mother encouraged her to try as a child, she refused and chose dance until in a car accident she broke her fibula. Goodbye to dance. Hello, Instagram. Welcome to fame. “I think I was one of the first to have Instagram in Spain, I loved it to express my most personal part”. This is how Esteban Crespo chose her to star in Amar with Pol Monen in 2017. And, from there, upwards.

That year she fell into La Casa de Papel, she alternated with the start of Elite and, shortly, she started in Toy Boy, produced by Plano a Plano and whose second season Atresplayer Premium is broadcasting. At the same time, she was combining with two movies. Five projects in just a few months. And her body said enough. “It was a very strong anxiety attack. I stopped and learned to listen to myself because I live to the fullest all the time”. Needless to say, each response is a festival of gestures and movements. “I am a runaway horse, it is difficult for me to control my emotions. When I feel happiness, I feel very happy. Being such an intense person has good and bad things, but I want to live to the fullest, not waste a single minute”.

At just 20 years old, how did you manage all this?
He wasn’t very conscious either, but we put a lot of pressure on our work and even more if you think everyone is watching you. I feel very grateful but I try not to be very conscious and focus on what I feel at that moment.
But the pressure is on.
I have gone through many moments, today I can say that I have it super well. But there have been days when I was walking down the street, I wanted to go unnoticed and they asked me for a photo. I have always tried to have a smile for the public, it sounds a bit typical, but without them we are nothing.

Miguel Bernardeau, his partner in Elite, said that sometimes that’s why he missed his previous life.
I understand that it is part of this and I take it as something normal, but certain lines are passed that I do not like. For example, have someone pick up the phone and take a video or photo of you.
Have you suffered from being a target of the paparazzi?
At that moment the only thing left for me is to pose and at least look good in the photo. You have to count on it and make your life without being limited by having your photo taken.
Have you felt underappreciated going from Instagram to actress?
In my case I have received a comment from a person more or less my age, but never in the profession. I try to keep the career I want but we can all be everything. There is a lot of pigeonholeing, but this is my profession, I am passionate about it, and I can also like photography or being a model. No problem.
As a child she was not so passionate about it.
My life was dance, which has helped me because it makes me feel very intense things that I would not feel without it. My mother was very determined that I do interpretation, but I refused. I like to do things on my own time. She had invested so much in dance that at the time she was going for it 100%. When I am passionate about something, I like to go with everything, but I had a car accident, I broke my fibula and I left it. After I was in an advertising agency, I received the casting of Amar and it was as if my mother had predicted the future.
Don’t you miss the dance?
Nothing, I have completely closed that stage of my life.
And suddenly as an actress she meets La Casa de Papel, Elite and Toy Boy almost at the same time.
I felt in a cloud, but you have to take time to reset between projects. When we released Elite, I was shooting a movie and rehearsing Toy Boy, everything was mixed up and I couldn’t focus on anything.

Did you decide to stop there?
I am a person who moves for love, it sounds very romantic, but I do not know how to do things without passion or love. At that moment I felt that I was going very fast and I stopped because not everything is working, you have to reflect, go to acting and voice classes…
She suffered from anxiety problems, I understand.
The body warned me and told me to stop, I can’t take it anymore. It was a very strong anxiety attack and since then I try to listen to myself more because I am hyperactive and very nervous, I find it difficult to be relaxed and the warning was very serious.
Is stopping and talking about mental health normalized?
I would say yes. Although it’s scary, I see that my generation talks more about it. It’s nice not having to hide anything that happens to us inside.
That also makes certain people say that this is a crystal generation.
We are the same, but we live in a world with brutal and constant levels of constant information that did not exist a few years ago.
And to that are added precarious conditions or an exorbitant youth unemployment.
Everything is coming together, we are in a world in which we seek an almost impossible level of demand. The body does not allow you to reach that level and we have just experienced a pandemic. We have gone from being locked up, with constant information and misinformation, to going out and working hard again… Which is wonderful seeing the situation of other people our age, but on a mental level it is an impact.
How much does social networks influence that and the continuous search for perfection in them?
Much because we look for it all the time even if it is not voluntary. You wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is look at Instagram, which seems wonderful to me, but if we had control and a healthier conscience, we would do better with our mental health.
And how does it take to pronounce on public debates?
It is something that I like, I consider myself a feminist although I am not an extremist, I like equality in every way. With ecology, I think we are progressing a lot even if we still have. We young people are fostering debates that are not recognized for being young.

Source : elmundo.es