‘I’m out and about after I’m old’

Zezé Motta’s open laughter in almost all the photos in this essay is not a mere stage play. At 77 years old, the actress and singer, owner of an established career for more than five decades, really has a radiant personality and not for quiet. Immunized with two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, she has only left her apartment in Leme — the same one where Clarice Lispector (1920-1977) lived in the last years of her life — to work. And that’s how she likes it. On TV, he will be in the new series “End” and in the next season of “Renegade Archangel”. Before that, she will make an appearance as host of the special “Falas da vida”, which will be shown by Globo on October 1st, on the International Day for the Rights of the Elderly.

Zezé also acts in the film “Doctor Gama”, available on Globoplay, and will be in two other movie productions, “On the other side of the bridge” and “As greatnetas”. Last year, the actress has starred in more than 30 advertising campaigns — something unprecedented in her professional career. He advertised for major brands such as Natura, Avon, Nivea and Lojas Americanas.

Zezé Motta with Samira Carvalho in the film 'Doctor Gama', by Jeferson De
Zezé Motta with Samira Carvalho in the film ‘Doctor Gama’, by Jeferson Photo: Pedro Iglesias Amaral/Divulgação

The artist also re-released the show “Coração Vabundo — Zezé Motta sings Caetano” and plans to return with the performances of her latest album, “O samba ordered me to call”. What more does she want? With so many commitments, Zezé warns, with laughter, during the long interview she gave by telephone to Canal Extra:

– I’m looking for a vacation in the wind and a great love. I don’t like living alone. I am driven by passion.

Read the following conversation:

How will your participation in “Falas da vida” be?

I play the role of intermediary between the five elderly women invited. It was really cool, an amazing exchange. They are all great women. Which confirmed to me that being an elderly person today is different.

Zezé Motta poses for exclusive rehearsal
Zezé Motta poses for exclusive rehearsal Photo: Thiago Bruno

Like this?

The old man was treated like a rag when I was little. Today, if you age healthy, which is essential at any age, you don’t feel old, you don’t get depressed. And it can continue producing.

How do you deal with aging?

Before, I was afraid because of the image I made about old age. He imagined that he would give his children work, that he would have health problems and would be dependent. And I also feared not having more space in the job market. But none of that happened to me. Today I don’t stop! (laughter).

You are going through this pandemic doing a lot of work…

I only leave my house to work, I’ve already taken the two doses of the vaccine. In the beginning, there was the calm phase. I took the opportunity to read all the books that were in line. Then I went back to work. I presented the show “Coração Vabundo — Zezé Motta sings Caetano”, which is intimate. I did two lives. And I want to come back with “O samba sent me to call”, with a band. I stopped because of the pandemic.

Zezé Motta poses for exclusive rehearsal
Zezé Motta poses for exclusive rehearsal Photo: Thiago Bruno

You’ve also been doing a lot of publicity…

That’s what saved me this season. When I was young, I only remember having an advertisement for beer and another, for coffee, with Ruth de Souza (1921-2019). I’m out and about after being old. I did the covers of “Marie Claire”, “Claudia” and “Raça”.

Do you like to be photographed?

I’m a little lazy (laughs). In real life I don’t use powder or lipstick. I always have a clean face. But with my hair I can’t screw it up because people charge me.

You’ve stated in interviews that you went through crises in your late 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. What has changed now after 70?

The crises were based on this cultural issue, on this discourse, on the anguish that you lose space as you get older. But those ghosts are gone.

How do you maintain your vitality?

I always had friends of all ages. Not to mention that I’ve been working a lot. I’m looking for a vacation in the wind and a big love. I am driven by passion. And I don’t like living alone. When I’m not in love, I make it up (laughs).

Have you lived many loves throughout your life?

I can’t complain about life, no… I had great loves and was loved a lot.

Thinking about getting married again?

I’ve been married five times. It’s good that way.

Photo: Disclosure

The movie “Xica da Silva” turned her into a sex symbol. How was that experience?

I went through a very uncomfortable period. It was difficult to deal with the issue of being a sex symbol. At the time, I was single. He heard from the men: “I can’t believe I’m having sex with Xica da Silva!”. This is a cold water shower, right?

With the success came a certain discomfort…

There was a phase where Xica bothered me a little. I wanted to put my name on the media and they just called me by the character’s name. But she’s my fairy godmother, I can’t complain. I already had an eight-year career, but I wasn’t a popular actress before the movie.

How did “Xica da Silva” change your life?

I knew three countries before the film, Mexico, Peru, and the United States. Due to the promotion of the film, I met 16 more.

How did you build your self-esteem? You already said you didn’t think you were pretty…

Beauty in Brazil was imported. To be handsome, you had to be blonde and have light eyes. People told me that black people were ugly and I believed them. After being advertised as Xica, I opened a magazine and read: “Ugly but exuberant actress is chosen for the film”. And there was a beautiful photo of me (laughs). I didn’t convince myself I wasn’t ugly until I went to the States in 1977 and looked at those haughty men and women there.

How has racism already affected you?

In many ways. There was a time when I went to visit André Valle (1945-2008) and the doorman pointed me to the back door. I’ve been photographed for a billboard that was turned down because middle-class customers wouldn’t buy a product advertised by a black woman. I lived with a boy for three years and his family did not accept me. This interfered a lot in our relationship when he wanted to get married and have children with me.

Photo: Disclosure

In 1984, when you paired up with actor Marcos Paulo in the soap opera “Corpo à corpo”, most of the audience rejected the couple…

It was a horrible experience, a madness!

You said you’ve had experience with men of all colors…

I had boyfriends of all colors. I lived with a white guy for five years. After six months of dating, I went to meet his family. His grandmother, already quite old, in her 90s, gave a speech thanking me for being there.

Text: Zean Bravo – @zean.bravo

Photos: Thiago Bruno – @euthiagobruno

Production: Vinicius Belo – @viniciusbelo

Styling: Salisa Barbosa – @salisabarbosa

Fashion production: Nayla Leme – @naylemme

Styling assistant: Isabella Rabello – @isarabello

Beauty: Jana Marques – @ajanamarques

Beauty assistant: Andreza Faria – @andrezafaria.art