Winner of the Goya Award for Summer 1993 and the Gaudí Award for 10,000 Km. and Anchor and Hope, David Verdaguer (Girona, 1983) is one of the three protagonists of hit comedy I Can Quit Whenever I Want, by Carlos Therón. At the end of June, he’s planning to release his third film with director Carlos Marqués-Marcet, The Days to Come, a story about fatherhood with his on-screen partner Maria Rodríguez, also his partner in real life and mother of his daughter Lupe. We talked about this special film, as well as discussing his theatrical career and some of his incursions into TV, including the series “Night & Day”, a THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO and TV-3 co-production
What did you and Maria Rodriguez say when Carlos Marqués-Marcet proposed The Days to Come, the screenplay for which is based on a true story, in this case Maria’s pregnancy?
I said that it felt like a really major invasion of privacy as far as I was concerned, but that it was up to Maria to decide whether she wanted to do it or not. And she said yes, without hesitation. Once we started, we drew a few red lines in the sand: we’re willing to do this, there’s no frickin’ way we’re doing that and so on, but with Carlos, it was really easy going.
Is it a fictional documentary? A documentary fiction? 50 percent real, 50 percent scripted?
The only reality is that we’re a couple and Maria’s pregnancy. Everything else, for me, is a lie: the names of our characters, their characters … they’re not even remotely like us, and at the same time, it’s all about us.
You’ve already made three movies with Marqués-Marcet. What’s he like?
Could you imagine what’d happen if I said that I didn’t like the guy? Ha, ha … He’s the man who trusted me when everyone else just thought I was that reporter with a mustache on TV. I’m really grateful to him. But Carlos’ alter egos in his films are the women: Natalia Tena in 10,000 Km., the other Natalia in I Can Quit Whenever I Want and Maria in The Days to Come.
What’s Maria like to work with as an actress?
Brilliant. In The Days to Come she’s stellar, and I forecast that she’ll win the Gaudí Award for Best Actress and the Goya for Best Newcomer Actress.
When you sign up for a majorly commercial production like I Can Quit Whenever I Want, is that like finally becoming a major player in every league? I mean, in the league of theatre actors and box-office hit stars.
Actually, I wasn’t the first choice to play the star in I Can Quit Whenever I Want. I think I was third choice. Maybe I’d never played this kind of over-the-top comedy before? At the Condal Theater, which is one of the most commercial venues in Barcelona, I’d already done more over-the-top acting than anybody.
So, you’re an auteur theory actor with a calling for all types of audiences?
I’m a mercenary, but a mercenary in the positive sense of the word. Because I’m a mercenary who can choose who he kills. That’s fantastic! I like to give everything a shot. I get turned on by challenges.
Can you imagine singing and dancing on stage, in Molt soroll per no res or in La importància de ser Frank?
In the case of Molt soroll per no res, I took the chance because director Àngel Llàcer is another Carlos Marqués-Marcet as far as I’m concerned. If I like the people I’m working with, I’ll pretty much do whatever it takes and try anything. For example, even have a kid!
Jerry Lewis is God as far as you’re concerned. Any other deities?
Yeah, lots, just like Mount Olympus. Peter Sellers! More? Chaplin and Groucho Marx.
Buster Keaton, Ian McKellen, Rowan Atkinson, Sacha Baron Cohen, Monty Python, Martes y Trece, Chiquito de la Calzada…
In Marcel Barrena’s 100 Meters, you had a minor role in the same center where Dani Rovira is. Has Barrena been another key figure in your career.
Marcel trusted me before Carlos did, to star in a TV-movie, Four Seasons. In 100 Meters, I had a great time. They were only two days of filming, with a mega-small role as a bitter type.
I was wondering when we’d get around to talking about Summer 1993.
For the love of God, please, let’s do it! I got the Goya for smoking in this movie, but I’ve been rehearsing for years. The easiest thing was to spend time with the girls, because you forget about yourself, your ego. I rediscovered that cinema is playing. I fattened up from eating so well. I’ve a dadbod in Summer 1993.
Why do you think this Carla Simon movie was so popular?
Because it speaks of death and the necessary catharsis to overcome it. And, despite being shot in such a specific place, it became a universal story about mourning.
Pol, your character in the TV3 series “Night & Day”, produced by THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, has a great fanbase. Do you think his sense of humor helped to take a little sting out of a truly dark thriller?
He was a vital character for the plot. Pol was the one who explained the joke so audiences wouldn’t be overwhelmed. And, on top of that, he was an excellent forensic scientist. That’s important. You can good at your job and, at the same time, be friendly in your work. Taking things seriously doesn’t mean you can’t have a sense of humor.
Do you get stopped a lot on the street? Are you that cheerful actor type people bump into when they’re having a crap day and you cheer them up? The kind of guy, who later when they arrive home they say, “I just met David Verdaguer”.
Ohhhh, isn’t that David chap just lovely! I’m very polite to everyone. On one occasion, a drunk asked me: “How are you?” I replied: “Not too bad”. And he said: “Guaranteed you’re doing great, but you don’t realize it.” On another occasion a guy told me “I really loved 100 Km.”. And my answer was: “Well yeah, but it must have felt really long because there were 10,000 km.“. Photos? If you don’t like this kind of thing happening to you then you’d better find another profession. The recently deceased Eduard Punset once said: “Be nice to others when you’re on your way up, because they’re the ones you’ll meet on your way back down.” So far, I’ve stuck to this this philosophy. It’s very important not to be an asshole, but to be one whenever possible.