At the helm of the series “Nadie al volante” (Nobody at the wheel) since March 1, Patricia Conde (Valladolid, 1979) once again demonstrates her talent for comedy. We spoke with the actress about this original Movistar + production in collaboration with Globomedia (THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO), which portrays the day-to-day life on a TV chat show that features different guests every day. We sat down with Conde, who plays the program’s director and presenter, to discuss her unflagging and diverse career, where she also nods to the decisive role her family have played in her life, and admits she’s a tremendously shy person.
After so many years in television, were you surprised by a project like “Nadie al volante”?
What did surprise me was how quickly Movistar+ snapped up the show. Bear in mind that I had already known the series for a long time, that I was already immersed in “Nadie al volante ” long before we started shooting. It was the first time that I have been involved a project right from the conception stage.
Would it be fair to describe this as a series directed by Ángel Cotobal, based on real events, although conveniently fictionalized, distorted and with a generous helping of comedy thrown in? In this sense, you’re in great company by stars from the world of comedy like Mireia Portas, Esteban Navarro, Rebeca Plaza and Ismael Fritschi.
We always narrate what happens on the set of a TV program, and I play a director and presenter based on stories and anecdotes that I’ve experienced firsthand. For example, the whole issue of censorship and the jokes you can or cannot tell. In the episode with Irene Villa we talked about the limits of humor. It’s a great topic, the issue of the offended and the opinion experts, outraged by everything. It’s something new. This recent wave of censorship that has caused so much strife for many of my colleagues really took us all by surprise. In the end, a series of tweets matters more than what a judge says. On the other hand, “Nadie al volante” deals with lighter and funnier issues, like the whims and quirks of the guests on the programs. And believe me, there are a few…
Mariló Montero, Carlos Sobera, Bárbara Rey, Miguel Maldonado, Anna Simón, Twin Melody, Irene Villa, Jaime Cantizano and Susi Caramelo have all been guests on “Nadie al volante”.
Yes, and I already knew almost all of them, except for Twin Melody. In fact, we had to research who they were. What’s interesting is this contrast between some guests of a certain age and two young girls like Twin Melody. Carlos Sobera has been a friend for years. He’s a real gent, a good guy and a great colleague. I feel really close to Susi Caramelo, and Mariló Montero jumped at the chance, absolutely no hesitation about having a laugh at herself, something that’s do therapeutic. Humor is a defense mechanism, a way of looking at life.
At what age did you realize that you had this talent for comedy, the ability to make others laugh, to generate good vibes and combat sadness with laughs? When you were a child?
I think those of us who are professionally dedicated to humor carry it in our DNA. As a child, you don’t really realize it yet, but you know something’s there. There’s a point of departure on your career path, of a future that may not mean you end up becoming an astronaut. I was the one who imitated the teacher and who was always called to the principal’s office. And the one who was cracking joke after joke over dinner with the family, and had my parents laughing. It’s important to remember that many comedy professionals are really shy, and that we’ve no problem about disguise ourselves as other characters, but, later, in privacy, in smaller circles, we are shier, more reserved and discreet. I hide behind a script.
Apart from presenting numerous programs, such as the mythical “ Sé lo que hicisteis …” (laSexta) or “Wifileaks” (# 0 / Movistar+), both with your friend Ángel Martín, you’ve also appeared in many series, such as ” BuenAgente ”(laSexta) or“ Gym Tony ”(Cuatro), but, personally, I’ve a soft spot for that Brigitte Bardot character you gave life to in“ Velvet Colección”(Movistar+).
I’m glad, and actually I was competing for the role with a French actress. I was a nervous wreck until I got it! Around that time, I was going on a trip to the Maldives, but decided to cancel it. The Maldives will always be there. But Brigitte Bardot won’t. I was so flattered to play such a mythical, iconic actress. And, incidentally, I went back to review all my high school French lessons. No doubt my French teacher would be very proud of me.
Perfectionist and disciplined, are these two adjectives that best define you?
Well, within perfectionism there can also be a bit of chaos. On the physical level, I do like to be impeccable, even with jeans or a sweatshirt. But always well groomed, clean and smelling good! It’s true that I take great pride in doing a job well done and in perfect coordination with my coworkers. But then, don’t forget my military discipline that runs in my family. The fact of coming from a military family has given me, for example, great mental control, which is essential when reading your liners, cracking a timely smile at the right moment and delivering your part of the show. I’m more disciplined than perfectionist, but in fact, one thing leads to another. Comedy is a very serious matter, with its own technique and tempo. It’s really complex, much more so than drama.
Do you agree, then, that, within every great comedian, there is a great dramatic actor?
Do you feel like there aren’t enough hours in your day?
Sure, don’t we all? What I am clear about is that, after five in the afternoon, when I pick my so up from school, my working day is over and I devote my time to him: football, shower, dinner, whatever. We also watch series and movies together. Luckily, I’ve been able to combine my profession with having time and quality of life to dedicate to my son. I don’t do much sport, but then, you have to remember that, according to research, 100 laughs are equivalent to 10-15 minutes on an exercise bike. Like I said before, if everyone were aware of the benefits of laughter, there wouldn’t be so many unhappy people out there. It is a question of attitude. I need to surround myself with good folk, like Joaquín Reyes and Raúl Cimas, who has actually made me cry laughing.
By the way, given that we’ve just seen the Oscars being handed out, did you have any particular favorite in the running?
Well, this year I’ve been totally disconnected from the Oscars and the nominees. I had followed them more enthusiastically in previous years, but I’ve seen a few of the gala highlight videos, a few snaps of stars like Brad Pitt, and I have noticed this path towards normalization, towards what life was like before the Oscars ceremony, and awards ceremonies in general.
Are you a bigtime movie buff?
I’m not out there watching the latest Iranian film in original version, but I do love commercial cinema. For example, “The Life of Brian” (1979), by the Monty Python. And whenever they show “Gone with the Wind” (1939) on TV, I’m there, from start to finish, commercials breaks and all. I remember the first time I saw it and asking my mom to tell me about what the Civil War was about. Other movies that I like? “Gangs of New York” (2002), by Scorsese, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Daniel Day-Lewis. I like Tarantino’s cinema and also Roberto Benigni’s work. I have really wide-ranging tastes. One day I’ll stick on a war movie, and the next I’ll be watching a Disney pic. I’m a big fan of “Moulin Rouge” (2001) and romantic comedies. Although, I have a weakness for one particular genre: catastrophes and disasters of all shapes and sizes, environmental ones like “Earthquake” (1974) or “The Colossus in Flames” (1974). When I was a kid, my father always told me that everything was a lie, that, behind the impressive scene we might have been watching, there was a director and actors who played the characters. Thanks to my parents, I started to learn about how this cinema crack works. With my son I watch movies like “Free Willy!” (1993) and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” (1988).
And what about series? Any current or classic favorites?
Sure, one that’s now a classic, “The Office”. And I can watch “Game of Thrones” over and over again. I like series where each episode is like a movie. My preferences include documentaries, nature programs and productions about serial killers. Deep down, there’s a top-notch criminologist in me, (laughs). I’m fascinated by human behavior and it amazes me how many bad people there are in the world. That said, I’m completely out of the loop when it comes to reality shows and celebrity gossip shows. Couldn’t care less, I’d rather watch a documentary and find out about a bastard like Jeffrey Epstein.
How do you handle fame and the loss of anonymity?
Like I said earlier, I’m really shy, and, off screen, when I’m not doing theater or television, I don’t enjoy being observed. I came into this world cautious and shy, and that’s how I’ll be leaving it. In front of cameras or on stage I do my best, but then I need my privacy. When, at the age of 19, people started knowing who I was, because of the show “El Informal” (Telecinco), my parents we’re already warning me: “Babe, you’d better get ready to handle the worst aspects of being a celebrity”. Until then, I was just a girl from Valladolid who led a very quiet life as a model and who wanted to make films like “The Mask” (1994). Now, when I go to a restaurant, I turn my back to people, so they can’t take pictures of me while I’m eating. I’m delighted with the anonymity I get from wearing a mask.