Born in Sweden in 1991, in a short space of time, Ingrid García-Jonsson has become one of the essential stars of Spanish cinema. Polyglot with a fondness for independent cinema, Ingrid will soon premiere “Salir del Ropero”, (Coming Out Of The Closet), but meanwhile, we catch up with her to see how she’s dealing with the effects of lockdown and missing direct contact with people.
You’re about to premiere in the Angeles Reiné comedy “Salir del ropero”, but our first contact with you came in the shape of two truly dramatic films, albeit in different ways; “Hermosa juventud” (2014), by Jaime Rosales, and “Sweet Home” (2015), by Rafa Martínez. What do you recall about those two films?
I think that if I took the time to look back, I’d recall the entire filming of these two projects almost completely. I was genuinely excited and wanted to find out about everything that was going on. Both were very enriching experiences professionally and personally.
While you were shooting the Rosales movie, were you aware of being involved in what was to become such an important movie for Spanish cinema in the 21st century?
Honestly, no. I was entirely focused on learning everything I possible could from Jaime and playing the best part I could. I did feel that it was my chance to demonstrate what I “knew how to do” and that it could open doors for me in the industry if I managed to rise to the occasion.
Actors the world over say they like both comedy and drama. Do you think it’s fair to say that you’re better at laughter than tears?
I’d say that I don’t understand one without the other. In my day to day life, drama and comedy integrate seamlessly, and I’d love it if I could say the same in my working life. Actually, truth is, I have a “harder” time doing comedy. I’m much more insecure. It isn’t easy to make people laugh without crossing the line into crudity. And, as an actress, you’re maneuvering along what is really an exceptionally fine line.
Your recent filmography includes two very risqué movies which attest to your commitment to independent cinema, I’m referring to “Ana de día” (2018), by Andrea Jaurrieta, and Lluís Miñarro’s “Love Me Not” (2019).
This is my favorite type of cinema to work on. It’s a completely different experience when you’re working on an independent production. The crew is much smaller, and we establish a different style of “creative dialogue”. One of the most attractive aspects of cinema for me is that you work as a team, and we all shoulder the burden more squarely on smaller productions to ensure we get the best shot possible. At times, things can get impersonal in major movies and you get the feeling that nobody cares about what happens in front of the camera. And I find that heart-breaking.
You’ve also appeared in quite a few short films. New filmmakers must be grateful to you. And lately, you’ve been working non-stop on commercial movies, “Taxi to Treasure Rock”, “Me, my wife and my dead wife”, “The Little Switzerland” … How do you find the time to continue appearing in shorts?
Let me think… They’ve sent me a short film project, and we’re waiting to see what happens. It is true that I have less time than before and that I’m more selective. More than anything because making a short film rarely involves a fee.
In addition, you’re also tied down with television appearances. Do you think that recently we’ve started making higher quality TV than before?
That’s what they say, right? I haven’t worked much on TV, so I can’t compare. As a spectator, I do notice the difference, although sometimes I think that, more than a qualitative leap, it has been a quantitative leap, and that, with more productions, undoubtedly better projects come to light.
You just finished filming on “My Heart Goes Boom!”, by Nacho Álvarez. Did this project give you an opportunity to unleash your other abilities? How would you describe the film? A combo of historical musical comedy?
That doesn’t sound like a bad definition to me! Above all, as far as I’m concerned it’s a musical, which we hope will bring a smile to the faces of audiences. I think a clear reference would be “Mamma Mia!” or another movie of that style. It was an incredible learning curve as I hadn’t done any singing or dancing for ages, basically because at the time, I was told I wasn’t very good at it.
We are slowing easing lockdown restrictions. What’s it been like for you?
It’s been a mixture of everything: days that’ve been great and others that weren’t so hot. I’m used to spending time at home so that part wasn’t such a big issue, but not being able to be with the people I love, that’s the part I’m not enjoying at all. I miss the physical contact a lot, and it’s not like I was out there hugging the first person I’d meet on the street! But now I think I’d throw myself into anyone’s arms. And, professionally, we’ll have to wait and see what happens, but it looks like we’re headed into some pretty tough times.
What do you think the entertainment and media sector is going to look like? Do you think we’ll have to get with the times and reinvent?
I have no idea what’s going to happen. We’ll all have to really tighten our belts and the show must go on.
So, have you had the call from Hollywood? What’s keeping them!
Ab-sol-ute-ly!, There on the phone to me every day, but, you know, what with my shifty cell phone you can’t hear anything, so I can’t really get what they’re saying.