The search for pocket leader Marcos Antônio Pereira Gomes, known as Zé Trovão, who from this Thursday started to involve Interpol, resurfaced on the internet the curiosity for the soap opera on the extinct TV Manchete, which gives name to the fugitive youtuber, “The story by Ana Raio and Zé Trovão” (1990). The plot, written by Marcos Caruso and Rita Buzzar (with the collaboration of Jandira Martini), was starred by a couple of rodeo pedestrians played by Ingra Lyberato and Almir Sater, both from the cast of the previous soap opera and the biggest success of the TV drama of the Rio station , “Pantanal” (1990). The name of Sater’s character is the same one adopted by Gomes, who has an arrest warrant issued by the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Alexandre de Moraes, for articulating and encouraging anti-democratic acts last September 7th.
The search for the name of the pocket leader and the discovery by the Federal Police of his whereabouts in Mexico made the soap opera, which was rerun by SBT in 2010, to reach the most talked about topics on Twitter. Actor, director and playwright Marcos Caruso recalled the novel’s writing process and its innovative character, since it was 100% recorded outside, without a studio scene.
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The proposal of director Jayme Monjardim, who had just signed “Pantanal”, was for the plot to move through different cities in Brazil, as the plot followed the competition between the rodeo caravans of Ana Raio and Dolores Estrada (Tamara Taxman ). Every 24 chapters, the entire main cast, crew, equipment, sets and costumes were transported to another city, sometimes in different states.
Caruso remembers the day Monjardim called and asked him to go immediately from São Paulo to Rio, to meet him (“It was a 7th of September, look at this”, laughs the actor). Upon arriving at the hotel where the director was staying, he threw two cells on the bedroom floor, one black and one white, saying: “Ana Raio” and “Zé Trovão”. When the actor asked what it was, Monjardim said: “This is the novel you are going to write to replace ‘Pantanal'”.
— The original idea of Monjardim was to make “Amazônia” in the sequence of “Pantanal”, but when visiting the region he found that, as the forest was very closed, with tall trees, it would not work visually as he wanted. That’s why she stayed for later,” Caruso recalls. — He had just finished shooting scenes for “Pantanal” in a rodeo region and had the idea of a new plot. I thought that was crazy, writing a soap opera to replace the network’s biggest television drama success. He recommended Rita Buzzar to share the authorship with me and ended up convincing me.
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Caruso and Monjardim debuted as a television dramatist and director in “Braço de Ferro”, shown by the Band in 1983. The actor was also part of the cast of “Pantanal” as the pawn Tião, in the first phase of the soap opera. To have a little more than 20 chapters in front when the previous soap opera ended, in December 1990, Caruso and Rita needed to write the synopsis, the first chapters, cast the cast and start recording in two and a half months. As the novel was itinerant, Caruso needed to travel to future locations while the author wrote from Rio.
— Monjardim and I were looking for locations flying a twin-engine, then I held meetings with the Culture and Tourism departments of the chosen cities to get the stories of each region. And that was in the pre-digital era, I wrote the chapter melodies in pencil on my lap during flights. I usually say that I literally wrote the novel on my thighs – jokes the actor.
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In addition to providing all the logistics for the recordings only outdoors, with a front of chapters that allowed the movement of the cast, crew and equipment (including the trucks that were part of the scenario), Caruso also accumulated the role of actor, as an announcer of rodeos that he also did at times as the narrator of the plot.
— It was something never repeated on TV, a proposal that, due to its complexity, would today be made at least a year in advance. And we did it in the race, traveling from Rio Grande do Sul to Bahia — says Caruso, who doesn’t remember anyone using the name Zé Trovão before the fugitive YouTuber. — To this day, women tell me their name is Ana Raio or parents say they named their daughter after the soap opera. But Zé Trovão just saw it. In the midst of so many worrying things, this at least served to revive the memory of the telenovela for the public.