“Before being an actor, I’m human. It’s part of human existence to take a stand and today, if you don’t take a stand, it’s choosing the side of the oppressor”, declares Bruno Gagliasso at the end of a tour of Madrid visiting locations of the series he stars in and premieres. this Friday (16), on Netflix. “We are political beings”.
The actor is used to speaking truths. But there, in front of the stairs at the main entrance of the Reina Sofia Museum, his statements sound even stronger: “When a minority is attacked, massacred and you see this and choose not to take a stand…”.
The pause is dramatic, but not fake. “You see all this and choose not to take a stand,” he continues, “in fact you are already taking a stand for the things that are wrong.”
At a time when artists are still hesitant to be transparent, Gagliasso opens up his opinions. Less than a month ago, he published to his 21.5 million Instagram followers a photo of him kissing Lula, who is at the forefront of all electoral polls for the presidency of the republic.
In early September, on the same Instagram, he shared a video about his choice for state deputy in Rio, Wesley Teixeira (PSB-RJ). “It’s our obligation”, resumes the actor in our Madrid conversation. “Art is in danger. You, as a communicator, also know that”, he recalls when talking about the current cultural scenario in Brazil. “But everything passes, art stays”.
Including his last work, which Bruno Gagliasso shot during the last year, for eight months, in Madrid. The hunt for the bandit that gives the series its name begins in Salvador, but most of the story takes place in Spain.
It was a long period of work that would require him to be away from his family. At first he thought he could handle it. “After three months here, I started to get sick. I had a small baby and I managed to get closer: I brought them to Lisbon”.
When nostalgia hit, Gagliasso escaped for a weekend in the Portuguese capital, where his wife, actress Giovana Ewbank, and their children moved: the oldest Títi, 9, Bless, 7, and the youngest. Zyan, 2. “My family is what moves me”.
This was made clear in the episode of racism that Títi and Bless suffered last July in Costa de Caparica, on the Portuguese coast. A white woman swore at the children and the mother went on the attack.
Gagliasso was present and fully approved of Ewbank’s attitude. “We received support from everyone”, says the father. “Racism is a crime and needs to be punished, discussed, needs action.”
In a firm tone, Gagliasso adds: “We have a fundamental role in this because we are white. The people who started this shit, so we need to fight, that’s the least.”
The couple, who have a strong and admired partnership in the art and celebrity world, are known for wanting to build a better society for their children. Even if this often means protecting children from some of the father’s work.
“What I do as an actor will influence my children’s lives”, says Gagliasso, “but in the future they will be able to understand their characters better. My work in the film ‘Marighella’, for example; I know they will be very proud of the that I did, of the father having participated in this story”.
It will also take time for Títi, Bless and Zyan to admire their father in “Santo”. Ernesto Cardona, the federal policeman played by Gagliasso is a dark character. There is a psychological fascination surrounding the criminal and Cardona, throughout the episodes, is often seduced by the cult of Santo.
“It was the most intense preparation I’ve ever experienced,” he explains. “I work with Fátima Toledo [preparadora de elenco] years ago, but this was the most difficult character to build.” The result, as you can see from today, is impeccable. Cardona, in his troubles, has the same truth as the actor who plays him.
“We can talk about anything when we live life with truth. It is revealing, liberating. We are the same person: I am public, I am an artist, I am human, I am a father. I am that.”