Film & TV

Interview: Brazilian Actor Regina Casé

Beloved Brazilian actor Regina Casé talks about her latest feature, Three Summers.

Actor Regina Casé has an extraordinary CV which includes film, theatre, soap opera, and television presenting. Her latest film project, Three Summers, opens in Australia this week. Although the film “went into the can” in 2019, COVID prevented its distribution last year, other than to some festivals. Casé is very excited to finally be promoting this feature, and spoke enthusiastically to Glam about it, from her home in Brazil.

*Note: this interview was conducted partly with the assistance of an interpreter.

In Three Summers, Casé plays Madá, the housekeeper of a luxury condo, caught up in her boss’s corruption scandal, and the subsequent fall-out. She has often played this genre of character, but was particularly attracted to Madá.

“I find it very satisfying to be able to interpret lots of kinds of women, like poor women, those that suffer prejudice, and other social problems. It was wonderful to portray a working woman, a domestic, because people tend to think that all of them are the same kind, all of them are the same women: but they’re not. So for me this movie was a great opportunity to show that not every working woman is the same. And not every boss woman is the same, either. They all have their individualities. What’s wonderful about this film is that Madá is a leading character and in general, the maids, the working women, in life and in the movies, are there just to bring the coffee. For me it was very important to show that Madá has another kind of power and another kind of knowledge.”

COVID is still a major disruption for the Brazilian film and TV industry, although it is slowly starting to pick up again, and Casé is pleased to now be able to get out and publicize this project.

“I was doing press and interviews all around the country and then four days before its official release, COVID came and everything shut down. I was also doing soap opera at the time and we couldn’t continue shooting. When Three Summers was first released it went to many festivals. I won an acting award in Turkey which I found curious: as curious as the interest in the film in Australia. In France the film aired in 92 cinemas, was only on for four days, but all the reviews were amazing, including Le Monde. That’s why I’m so thrilled to start over with the film in Australia.”

The action of Three Summers takes place during the so-called Operation Car Wash, a criminal investigation which lead to more than a thousand warrants being issued. This is Madá’s story, but Car Wash sits behind the narrative, informing the action.

“Even though the movie is fiction it is almost like a documentary moment in Brazil during Operation Car Wash. It reflects exactly what we are living because corruption is still here. Things change but this movie reflects the reality.”

Most importantly for Casé, this feature sees her working once again with director Sandra Kogut.

“I’ve worked with Sandra before in 1994 on a short film called Lá e Cá. I adore this film! Ever year we promise each other we will work together again on another film. So finally we do this one. We’ve been planning this since 1994!”

Casé strongly believes there is a universality in this story, even though the setting is unmistakeably Brazil, and the background story is particular to that country.

“I think the class divide is universal. Even though Australia doesn’t have domestic workers and maids like we have in Brazil there is always this tension and obligation present [between classes]. And there is a moment in the film that will move anyone. The film continues as if it were a comedy but then there is a moment, without any spoilers, where Madá tells her story and there is a plot twist: it becomes a drama, but we realise it has been there from the beginning. It’s lovely to see how a woman like her, who has had such a hard life, can be happy and cheerful. Madá is a modern woman, she’s  feminist, she’s all of that! But she’s also poor.”

Australian audiences will no doubt fall in love with Madá as have those in Brazil, France, and even Turkey. And the great news is that we haven’t seen the last of her.

“Sandra is already planning a sequel: Madá will be in Copacabana and we will see what’s going to happen in Brazil. Madá is one of my favourite characters that I have ever played.”

Interview conducted by Tracey Korsten

Three Summers opens on June 24th.

Click here to read our review.

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