The year was 1984. The labor movement showed its strength, becoming a fundamental part of the decline of the military dictatorship in Brazil. On TV, the segment won a representative at seven at night: the heroine Silvana, played by Lucélia Santos in the soap opera Vereda Tropical, which arrives at Globoplay on Monday (13). Despite the favorable context, there was no political content to the plot, “light and fun”, as the protagonist defines it, 37 years later.
In an exclusive interview with on the small screen, Lucélia Santos speaks of the identification with the character. The actress’ parents were workers in Santo André, on ABC Paulista, the barn of union struggle and where the artist was born. “Silvana had this trait similar, in some way, to my own family history. I didn’t necessarily look for inspiration in this, but the fact is that I had and still have this working-class culture introjected in me because it is the place where I was born and raised.”
The main focus of the plot written by Carlos Lombardi was another: the dispute between the girl for custody of her son, Zeca (Jonas Torres), with the boy’s grandfather, Oliva (Walmor Chagas) – the child’s father dies at the beginning of the story, in a car accident. “Sivana was initially a shy person. This condition of union leader only appeared at the end of the telenovela, when it became stronger, when the conflicts were already being resolved”, comments Lucélia.
The memories about the unionist parents and the reflections of that past throughout his life are told in the first episode of Seguir Esperneando – Lucélia Santos’ Podcast, a partnership with Xapuri Magazine.
“From the window of my father’s house, I could see the metalworkers’ union. My father was an admirer of Lula and the peãozada from Santo André, São Bernardo do Campo and Diadema”, she says, in the program.
Lucélia Santos recalls the partnership with Mário Gomes in Vereda Tropical: “Antagonic Personalities”
The artist speaks from the backstage of Vereda Tropical, one of the biggest audience hits on Globo’s 7pm range. “I remember how busy it was to record the soap opera as a protagonist, with a tremendous workload, and having to share myself with the necessary attention to my son Pedro Henrique, who was then three years old”, he says, referring to the actor Peter Neschling.
In the plot, Silvana lived a troubled romance with Luca, a football player played by Mário Gomes. “There was a great rapport between us. Despite our very antagonistic personalities, we understood each other very well. I am totally CDF. When it comes to memorizing texts, I’m relentless. I like to arrive in the studio with the texts firm so that the work can be fun and creative.”
“Mário, my son [o ator Jonas Torres, então aos 10 anos], who was a child and attended school together with the soap opera recordings, and also my grandmother [Maria da Paz, vivida pela veterana Norma Geraldy] they didn’t have the same facility as me to memorize, so we disciplinedly typed the text before the recordings. This was my initiative and it worked very well. We were all friends and we loved each other.”
She says she wants to watch Vereda Tropical after almost 40 years. “It was a very good and light soap opera, which was a great success at the time. I would really like to review. I don’t have a lot of time to see the things I like or want, but in this case I’ll make an effort to be able to watch it”, he says.
Lucélia Santos’ most recent novel was in Portugal; in the plot, he repeated the double with Edwin Luisi, his partner in Escrava Isaura
Lucélia Santos’ most recent performance in Brazilian soap operas was in Cidadão Brasileiro (2006), on Record. In Globo’s plots, his last fixed role was in Malhação (2001), as well as occasional participation in series over the last 20 years. Even away from TV, she never lost her stardom, mainly because of Escrava Isaura (1976), who still makes her recognized in several countries around the world.
One of his most recent works was the Portuguese soap opera Na Corda Bamba (2019), by TVI, in which he repeated his partnership with actor Edwin Luisi, his romantic partner in the successful soap opera in the 1970s. last year, its projects were interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I was strictly isolated and I still am today. I don’t think this is an exaggeration, as the pandemic is not over yet. I got vaccinated and I go out on the streets a little bit, but with all the caution because of the new variants of the virus. I’m starting to get back to work just now.”
In addition to the podcast Seguir Esperneando, she recently performed, at the invitation of Cléo Pires, in the audio series Fever de Kuru (available on the Orelo platform), which reconstitutes real crimes in each episode. “A dramatic and breathtaking story”, defines Lucélia. Theater is also in the actress’ plans, following her line of concern for the environment.
“After months of working together with the writer and author of the text Zezé Weiss, I’m starting to tread a path for the assembly of a monologue, which will be the second in my life, about the Amazon forest, the rubber tappers of Acre, the movement union union and Chico Mendes. Right now that’s what I’m managing to do. Hoping that things get better for me and for everyone.”