Moacyr Franco: ‘Nobody talks about me, about my glorious past’

Moacyr Franco is under a table and, kneeling beside him, Joana Jabace whispers phrases like: “You’re 84 years old, all your dreams may be going away, you can’t calculate where you are”. The provocation moves the actor in a crescent until he reaches the emotional state desired by the director to shoot a passage of the new season of “Segunda Call”, which debuts this Friday (10), on Globoplay.

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In the series, Moacyr is Seu Gilsinho, a man who suffers from Alzheimer’s and who finishes his studies before the disease progresses. In the scene, the character is taken by a total lapse and, confused, he hides under a piece of furniture in the principal room of the Carolina Maria de Jesus State School. This was the moment in the work that most moved Moacyr, “an open actor, who agrees with everything”, as Joana defines it.

— We rolled up in this scene! It was so beautiful that, when it was over, we hugged each other without a mask and all—he is excited, hurrying to say that he took “everything that’s a vaccine” and was the subject of extra care from the production team because of his age.

Moacyr Franco is Seu Gilsinho in 'Seconda Call' Photo: TV Globo / Fabio Rocha
Moacyr Franco is Seu Gilsinho in ‘Seconda Call’ Photo: TV Globo / Fabio Rocha

The experience of decades doing shows in nursing homes and the intense interaction with older family members made the 85-year-old actor already anchor in the character familiar with Alzheimer’s symptoms. But the preparation work was fundamental for him, forged in comedy programs, to turn the key in the direction of the drama.

— I’ve done comedy all my life, shows that are very improvised… We create a style, right, but I don’t have an official school, a study — says he, who has been doing daily lives in which he tells real and fictional stories, in Instagram.

Despite the difficulties experienced by the character, Moacyr manages to inject a little humor and even make his graces on stage. Like when, in the middle of a serious matter, he comments that Vasco tied. That with his famous comedy time that serves as a reference for some actors of the new generation. A fan of Café com Nonsense, Porta dos Fundos and Tom Cavalcante, Moacyr says he thinks “this political correctness thing is bad”.

— Having to write thinking about it is boring. I don’t care, just being funny. Now, I always thought that we have obligations as a human being. I think I’m in my aunt’s living room, with a child, a grandmother, a mother… What I can’t say, I won’t say. We have to have self-censorship. Sometimes suggesting something is more helpful than saying it. Although my character in “The Square is Ours” was called Jeca Gay, I never made a gay joke.

‘I keep trying to prove that I existed’

When talking about the past, Moacyr seems to carry a certain hurt. Says he is not “very remembered”. He says that he recently received from Bruno Mazzeo a report published in “Revista Intervalo”, in 1963, about the success of his auditorium show, “Moacyr Franco Show”, on TV Excelsior. At the time, he sent it to his children — he is six, ranging from 19 to 63 years old.

“I keep trying to prove to them that I existed. There comes a time when everything is lost. Nobody talks about me, about my glorious past. I was never talked about much. Sometimes I’m in the middle of a story and it embarrasses me because they think I’m lying. Then I say, “you can ask the… oh, he died!”, “I know, I was with the… died!”. All died! But I have no regrets, I have been working.

The pandemic, in fact, had a negative impact on job opportunities.

“She took my job and my copyright. They closed the bars, where there was always a song of mine playing. It ended with the country shows, who sing my songs. My show was for old people, but the old people died… – he enumerates, telling everything in a humorous tone and announcing, excited, that he has already resumed his in-person presentations (mixed show and lectures in which he tells stories) and is with full schedule in october.

In defense of Sérgio Reis

Moacyr fondly remembers the time when he was successful with songs of the sertanejo-root genre. In the 1980s and 1990s, he composed several songs that reached the first places on the charts, such as “Prom Day”, with Nalva Aguiar, and “Seu amor é still tudo”.

— At that time, music had a story, a plot and an ending. Today, I find the subject a little poor. It boils down to “waiter, I want to tell you my life, let me have another one…”. It’s a lot of relationship discussion.

Moacyr also recorded with Sérgio Reis (the song “Questão de tempo”), who recently called an anti-democratic demonstration against the STF. He comes out in defense of his “great friend”:

— I thought it was a pity (artists have given up on participating in the artist’s new album), because Sergio is not that. He is a very nice person, companion, concerned about others. Afterwards, he’s a man who’s already sick…” he says, asking not to talk about politics. “I’m avoiding touching this subject.” It’s a time of stirring, times of swing.