Verónica Echegui had her big break on the silver screen with a critically acclaimed film titled ‘I am Juani’, a leading role that earned her a Best Emerging Actress nomination at the XXI edition of Spain’s prestigious Goya Awards.
This year Verónica debuting as a director of her first short film titled ‘Tótem Loba‘, already earning a nomination for the best short film at the up-coming 2022 Goya Awards. She is also co-staring along with Sam Claflin in a romantic comedy ‘Book of Love‘, which premiered on February 4th. To wrap up a busy year for, she appears in a Spanish thriller ‘Objetos‘ and Netflix series ‘Intimidad‘, both set to premiere in 2022.
Verónica, how would you describe your career so far?
I would describe it as solid. I’ve had the great luck and honour to have started with one of our most iconic directors, Bigas Luna. Since then I’ve played in a wide range of genres, projects and diverse characters here and abroad, which have given me the chance to travel and to do what I love the most in different languages. I feel truly blessed.
What made you pursue acting?
The need to tell stories. As far as I can remember, I’ve laways been a story teller, no matter the audience – my brother, my family, the friends I used to hang out with in the park, the local buthcher, my dog.
When I was a kid I was convinced that the people I saw on TV were actually living in a TV world, creating all those films I loved. Until one day I realised this wasn’t true and that they were all actors.
You’re from Spain and your filmography includes many Spanish projects, as well as English. Which project would you say is the closest to your heart and why?
There are many that are very close to my heart. The first one that comes accross my mind is ‘Fortitude’, beacuse it was such a magical experience. I met an amazing bunch of actors and lived between London and Iceland for six months. I was able to experience the Icelandinc mystical winter landscapes and its Northern lights, the incredibly green spring and the never setting sun of the summer. Plus, the series was a great success and a true gift to be a part of.
Spanish films and series are rising in popularity in the last years. Why do you believe they got so popular among the international audiences?
I think Spain is a great country of mystery and tragedy, complex and simple at the same time. Our history is full of passion, violence, conquest, suffering and beauty. I have the impression we have inherited all these nuances at once and that’s why our artists and creators have this tremendous talent and transgressional personalities.
You have earned many nominations and won awards for your work. Which win or nomination holds the most special place in your life?
My first Goya Awards nomination hands down. The first time is always the novelty, everything was new, fresh. It was the moment in which everything I had dreamed about finally materialized. But as it often occurs, the reality was distant from what I had imagined. My dress got lost somewhere between Milan and Madrid two days before the event, forcing us to scramble to find a new one in a very short period of time. In the end, I enjoyed the night and it turned out to be very special.
Acting demands a lot of work. Which role that you played was your favorite until now? And which one was the hardest for you?
One of the roles I most enjoyed was Amparo in ‘And My Heart Goes Boom!’. She was very different from me, but we shared the same energy and the enthusiasam for life. There was an intense creative process involving this character, I even had to learn a new accent and all in all it was a lot of fun to do.
The hardest charcter to play was, without a doubt, Isa from ‘El Patio de mi Carcel’, where I portrayed an addict. It was a very precarious position, it took a physical and emotional toll on me and it was very challenging.
This year you’re debuting as director of your first short film ‘Tótem Loba‘, for which you already earned a nomination for best short film at the 2022 Goya Awards. How would your describe your first directorial experience? Is this something you want to do more in your future career?
It was an incredibly fulfilling experience. Leading a crew and sharing with them my vision was enriching to say the very least. Also being behind a camera as opposed to behind it, is a completely different experience. The crew becomes a family and you gain a whole new perspective. I am convinced I want to continue on this road. I discovered another way of telling stories and this is a precious thing. I am ecstatic about the nomination. I must admit I did not expect it, but what I am most happy about is the feedback I got and the entire debate and questions that were raised surrounding this film. It’s very gratifying.
How would you compare living in Madrid to living in London?
I don’t think I can compare Madrid and London, they are completely different. I absolutely love London. I adore the bustle of the city centre, how cosmopolitan and diverse it is and the cultural and artistic happenings the city offers, contrasted with the quaint and quiet life of the outlying districts within a sprawling metropolis. Madrid on the other hand is friendly, accessible, incredibly fun, with an unparalleled gastronomic and cultural offer. Madrid is also my home, a place I grew up in and this necessarily sets it apart from London, where I lived an adventure of sorts.
When you have some free time from your busy schedule, what is your favorite thing to do?
That’s an easy question. I love writing and watching movies.
Your film ‘Book of Love’ premiered on February 4th. What can you share with us about the film?
This film was a very fun experience. It’s a very tender story, a romantic comedy about a pretty up-tight British novelist, whose newest work flops. However, he soon learns from his agent the book has become a huge success in Mexico. The bewildered novelist then travels to Mexico for a book tour and meets a cheeky translator of his book that, as it turns out, took some liberties and turned the book into an erotic novel that proved to be a hit. The result is a hilarious and fun Saint Valentine’s flick, that is currently ranked Nº 5 in US and Canada on Amazon. I highly recommend watching it.
In 2022 we’ll also be able to see you in a Spanish thriller ‘Objetos’ and Netflix series ‘Intimidad’. What other projects are rounding up your busy year?
Apart from ‘Objetos’, Cesc Gay’s ‘Stories Not to be Told’ should premiere this year and I am very excited about a project I am currently filming, ‘Los Pacientes del Dr García’, an adaptation of the recently passed, great Spanish novelist Almudena Grandes’ novel of the same name.
Talent: Verónica Echegui
Art director: Tomás Martín
Photo assistant: David Vega
Make-up & Hair: Pedro Cedeño x Dior
Stylist: Florence Reveillaud
Editor: Timi Letonja
This interview was done for Numéro Netherlands by Jana Letonja.