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Cauã Reymond: “I really want to get to know Trás-os-Montes and the city of Porto”

20 years ago, in 2002, he made his debut in the legendary youth soap opera “Malhação”. He later became one of the most recognizable (and respected) faces of Brazilian soap operas. We’re talking about Cauã Reymond, a 41-year-old actor and model who has excelled in projects such as Cordel Encantado, Avenida Brasil and Da Cor do Pecado, among others.

Now he is in Portugal to present some projects. The Globo soap opera “Um Lugar ao Sol”, which premiered in Brazil last year, will soon be broadcast on SIC. Reymond plays two twin brothers. In March, the series “Iron Island”, which already has two seasons, premieres on the Globoplay streaming platform.

Also slated for release this year is A Viagem de Pedro, a Portuguese-Brazilian co-production starring Cauã Reymond Pedro Serafim, better known as Dom Pedro IV of Portugal or Dom Pedro I, Emperor and Founder of Brazil. Read the NiT interview with the Brazilian actor.

I read somewhere that you have direct Portuguese ancestors. And yet?
Yes, my paternal grandmother is Brazilian but her ancestors are Portuguese.

From a specific region?
No, the specific zone I know is my wife’s [Mariana Goldfarb]. Her family comes from Trás-os-Montes. I haven’t visited yet, I want to visit.

What do you know about here?
I know the Algarve, Sintra, Cascais, Lisbon. I really want to get to know Trás-os-Montes and the city of Porto. It’s always great to be in Portugal. I know everyone has to say that, but it’s really really good and the food is very good, the people are very nice. I am always received and treated very well.

Cauã came to promote Um Lugar ao Sol, a Brazilian soap opera that will debut soon on SIC and a series called Ilha de Ferro that will air on Globoplay. What attracted you most to wanting to take part in “Um Lugar ao Sol”?
The opportunity to write a very well written text by Lícia Manzo, our author. It includes an interesting suggestion to invite the viewer to follow the journey of one of the twins: How far would you go to have a chance? From work, from college… She invites us on a journey about what it means to be rich and what it means to be poor. But not in the literal, material sense, but also in an emotional sense. It was the most difficult project because we were shooting this soap opera during the pandemic so we quit twice. The first break lasted six months, the second one month. There were 14 months of shooting and three years involved in the project.

Was it difficult to prepare and embody the characters with those breaks?
It was interesting because being one of the protagonists of the prime-time soap opera was already a challenge. It’s a tedious and delicate job, many hours away from home. And it’s harder when you’re having twins, and it’s even harder when it’s all in the pandemic [risos]. We faced the fear of Covid but I am very happy with the result. We bring you a very high quality product, I am proud.

Playing twins must be an interesting challenge for an actor. Was there anything that helped you embody each character given their different personalities?
I consider myself lucky because I’ve had twins twice in my career. There is another series of mine on Globoplay called “Dois Irmãos” where I also play twins and in both the soap opera and the series I don’t think so. It builds different characters and the stories are obviously intertwined because they are brothers. Those were two very important experiences in my construction as an actor, in my craft. There are no tricks, but you have to have a lot of concentration and you talk a lot with a green ball [risos]. There was something special about “Um Lugar ao Sol”: My brother Pavel was my double. In many scenes I spoke to a green ball and responded to myself, in others my brother helped me play another twin. But you have to be really focused to react at the right moment.

Aside from that particular conceptual challenge, were there any preparations for the twins?
I prepare a lot. I always call a coach. In this case, I worked for three months before filming began. I know a lot of actors like to feel butterflies in their stomachs on the first day, but I don’t [risos]. I like to work a lot on past history, off-script moments, making up scenes…

Can you imagine the context of the character?
Yes, even if it’s not in the text, and improvise a lot so that I know exactly what I’m talking about on the day of shooting and can concentrate on my work. I like to arrive as prepared as possible.

Speaking of the Iron Island series, what was your favorite thing when you were introduced to the project?
I loved the character, Dante. In order to start filming, we had to take a course because the danger level of an oil platform is the same as that of a nuclear power plant. It’s a super dangerous place, so the whole team took a course. We did it together – a course on security and how to behave within a platform. This process brought the whole team very much together. Ilha de Ferro occupies a very loving place in my career, it was a different project, I’ve never felt so connected to the whole team.

And it had a completely different theme.
I really like the work of our director Afonso Poyart, he has an eye for action, a different way of filming. How we set up the scenes… The text was like an inspiration, we could improvise a lot. I found working with Maria Casadevall, who had the role of a woman at the helm in a sexist environment, to be an incredible project.

The actor also produces several projects.

Did filming on a platform help create the character?
We shot on a platform ship, but we also did a quaint town. It was the most expensive series on the Globo network to date, it was a big investment, and we worked a lot with special effects to build the sea. Most of the series was actually filmed in this quaint town, but it was so well done that it felt like we were on a platform. And there was one special feature: since we used a lot of special effects, the production was surrounded by a blue background. So there was no air circulating. With this jumpsuit we were very hot in summer [risos]. So we even had the feeling of really being on a platform.

2022 marks 20 years since Cauã made his acting debut in Malhação. Are there many specific roles or types of projects that you haven’t had the opportunity to do but would love to explore one day?
After I finished Um Lugar ao Sol I was very curious and watched a lot, read a lot. I was invited to some projects but I didn’t feel touched by it, so I’m waiting for a project that challenges me and that I can get excited about. And like I said, A Place in the Sun was such a tough job, by the time it was over I was exhausted. To get me out of the house now, I want to feel passionate about whatever I choose to do.

Have you thought about doing more projects behind the camera?
I have already produced films. I’m going to release a film here in Portugal called A Viagem de Pedro, which was also filmed here. It was co-produced by Luís Urbano, a major producer.

From The Sound and the Fury.
Exactly, and we should now be attending a festival here in Lisbon in the first half of the year. I’ve also co-produced a few films in Brazil, but this is my first time developing a variety show, the pilot of which I will shoot in March. I’m very proud, it was an idea I had during the pandemic and I’m also developing a series for Globoplay that talks about the backstage of football, which was also an idea I had. I consider myself a very restless and relatively creative person. And I’m looking for the help of good scriptwriters, a cool team to do these projects and I’m very happy that Globo has accepted both.

Is the behind-the-scenes football series focused on Brasileirão?
It’s called “Mata Mata”, it’s a fiction series about the scenes of the football universe. I think we will have an Argentinian core because I like this mix of Argentinian and Brazilian football and also the mix of nationalities. Who knows, maybe we won’t have a Portuguese core in the future? I think we will have at least one Portuguese coach [risos].

What can you say about “A Viagem de Pedro”?
When the idea of ​​doing the film and playing Dom Pedro came up, we thought it would be very interesting to have a female perspective. In Brazil, Dom Pedro has been seen and portrayed in a variety of ways. Sometimes in a funny way. And we wanted to get to know this character through another moment: when he was expelled from Brazil and returned to Portugal to reclaim his daughter’s throne. [Maria II].

And fight the brother.
Don Miguel, yes. He comes very sad and fragile and still wins the war. And soon after, he dies of pneumonia. So let’s imagine this moment when he’s very uncertain: Peter’s crossing.

And why did you focus on that period of life and not, for example, when Dom Pedro goes to Brazil?
We wanted to explore that moment when he’s not so masculine, when he’s with a young woman, when the ghost of losing Maria Leopoldina haunts him, when he leaves the great love of his life. And we wanted to understand how this character was in a very fragile and uncertain moment. He rebuilds himself to win a war with a much smaller number of soldiers and a brilliant strategy. And we want to explore this character whose idol was Napoleon. Little is said about it. And he turned out to be a figure who had liberal ideas but also practiced absolutism and was a great general. There were a lot of contradictions in this character that I don’t think were portrayed as often in other projects.

Obviously, he’s a character that was very important in Portugal and Brazil. Is Dom Pedro well regarded in Brazil?
He is a caricatured character in Brazil. I think our project is also exploring… Brazilians have a lot to do with this mix, this person who was born in Portugal but feels Brazilian. This mismanagement from the start, the way in which the big ideas and steps were implemented more by Leopoldina than by him. He was more official, but Leopoldina had a very strong friendship with him [estadista] Jose Bonifacio. So Dom Pedro was almost like a tool for the two of them.

And where were they filmed here in Portugal?
In Lisbon and in the Azores. In Brazil we shot in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and São Paulo. It was the project on which I traveled the most. And we had a wonderful cast: Isabél Zuaa, Isac Graça, great Portuguese actors. It was a really differentiating project.

And is it important to have more bridges between Portugal and Brazil on TV and in the cinema?
I think we already have enough telenovelas, we have Brazilian actors who come here to do telenovelas and I want to mix more Portuguese and Brazilian cinema. I keep asking Luis [Urbano] invite me to make a film here [risos].

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