Difficult times are approaching in “In the Times of the Emperor”. In the plot, Solano López (Roberto Birindelli) declared war on Brazil and invaded the country’s lands. However, the history of the Paraguayan commander is not just about conflicts. As the soap opera shows, he lived a great love with Elisa Lynch, a separated woman, whom he never officially married. Lana Rhodes plays the strong Irishwoman, who became the Paraguayan “first lady”. Although the character is the companion of an enemy of the nation, the actress believes that Elisa will win over the public.
“She was a woman not only of the war, but of the world. It has always been modern, ahead of its time. And even back then there was gossip! Elisa was separated, so they said she was Solano López’s lover. In fact, she was married at age 15 out of a family obligation and her husband abandoned her. Even so, she opened up to a new love and had seven children with Solano”, explains Lana, who compares the character to an animal. “Elisa is like a fox. It has a somewhat mysterious nature. It looks cute for those who don’t know the potency it has. But it attacks with fury if it feels threatened”.
The artist plays another great woman in the short film “Tônia, a diva in the mirror”, available on her YouTube. In the romanticized biography, she is Tônia Carrero (1922-2018), renowned in theatre, cinema and television. The two real characters have a commonality that Lana also identifies with.
“I’ve been lucky enough to represent women who, somewhere else, are also seen as fragile or futile because of their appearance and are much bigger than that. Society, through years of patriarchy, has instituted that a blonde woman is perhaps dumb, uninteresting, and futile. But I’m not just a carcass. I feel entitled to question. I’m a clearly privileged woman just because I’m white. But why do I necessarily need to be an arrogant, narcissistic person? Why can’t I be looked at from a fraternal, empathetic gaze? I am an ultra-working person, a single mother, I have a great battle, but, because of my physical appearance, people, a priori, assume that I am another type of person and, sometimes, they are even surprised. I am in favor of improving as a human being and of serving as well”.
In everyday life, anyone who sees the person from Paraná in the city of Manoel Ribas around finds her wearing simpler clothes. “I used to be more vain. I didn’t leave the house without putting on a mascara. Nowadays, my vanity is to feel comfortable”, says the actress, who lives life simply: “I like to receive people in my house, chatting while I wash dishes. I don’t need much more than a backyard, a good sofa and some friends around.”
With 23 years of career, the face of Lana, 35, is known by those who followed Xuxa’s career. Former paquita of the presenter, the actress celebrates her role in a Globo soap opera:
“I was never an artist for the glamour, but for the passion. I am a girl from the interior of Paraná and, like many from the 80s, I had the desire to be on TV Globo. Elisa Lynch is my first relevant character in a long time. It’s a new start on television. It was the result of a lot of effort, dedication, listening to many “no’s” and sometimes a yes that works. For my daughter (Manuela, 12 years old), I hope to build some power in this work to leave my message. I think art is a karmic craft and I’m very happy choosing that karma (laughs)”.
The artist’s own name also became a kind of karma for the woman from Paraná. An American porn actress adopted the same nickname. When searching for the Brazilian’s name on the internet, it’s easy to find the other Lana. The ex-paquita even thought about changing her artistic name, but got tired of the idea:
“I have a 23-year career, but still without such great visibility. People are getting to know me little by little. Many stop me and remind me that I was a paquita or mention a character, but they don’t know my name. It’s annoying because of the Google search, or Alexa (Amazon’s virtual assistant) to say that Lana Rhodes is an American porn actress, but focus on “wanting, being able to get it”. This sentence I will take from Xuxa forever. If that girl came along the way choosing a name similar to mine, that’s fine. There is some reason for that. Maybe I’ll never find out in this life, but I hope it’s good.”