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Margarida Corceiro: “I would like to make films and I have the ambition to go abroad”

In 2019, Margarida Corceiro made her acting debut at just 16 years old. She played Catarina Atalaia in Prisioneira, a TVI soap opera. The following year she was approached again by the television network, this time for the role of Constança in Bem Me Quer.

In just a few years, the young actress became immensely popular. For example, on Instagram, Margarida Corceiro has more than a million and 200,000 followers. For 2022, she had made it her intention to focus on training as an actress – but a suggestion from TVI that she play a different role in a new soap opera finally changed her plans.

Here’s how Margarida Corceiro prepares to play Rita, a relatively villainous character, in Quero é Viver. The actress spoke to NiT about the role, but also about her career plans. Read the interview.

What did you think of the soap opera and the character when you were offered the role on Quero é Viver?
When they called me to say that I was selected, that I passed the call, they told me that this project would be different – the character is very different from me and from the others that were on I have worked That he had everything to do well and that it would be a project where he would grow and learn a lot. My agent said to me: “I think it’s good that you accept, think about it, you have a few days to think it over”. Originally my idea for this year was to focus more on training. It wasn’t in my plans yet to do another soap opera. But once I knew it was going to be another project, I had no more doubts. I accepted and still fine.

As you learned more about the character and the history of the soap opera, what did you like most?
The story relates to very timely and important situations that need to be addressed. Character wise, as soon as I went to the picture tests, I realized what it was like. They still hadn’t given me any scenes. My character doesn’t appear until a little later, and when I went to do these tests, there wasn’t a scene, just a description, and that’s very little. So when I saw her look, her clothes, her hairdo, her whole style, I was more or less clear what the path would be and I was even more excited.

For being a different character.
Yes, it has a very rebellious, alternative style, darker and heavier clothing. The style says a lot about the character and I immediately noticed that it was different.

What did you do before you started filming to get into the character’s mind? To prepare for the role?
They suggested I watch some movies. I confess I was a little scared [risos], because she’s a very manipulative person, she’s used to getting whatever she wants, she’s a bit mean. And it doesn’t look at the means to achieve the ends. With the homework I did, I liked the character even more and wanted to start filming even more. I’m very happy with this project – I’ve learned a lot.

By the way, what were those movies?
I saw American Beauty, which is a very beautiful film – because the character has a very sensual side. She is very seductive and uses this to her advantage to get the things she wants. And I’ve seen another film about a character who can manipulate anyone with little without showing too much. They were the ones who helped me the most.

What was the biggest challenge?
It’s very hard for me to be bad…it’s not bad to be. It’s seducing, manipulating, and getting revenge on some things without looking like I’m doing it. This is perhaps the greatest challenge. Because nothing can be too obvious, but it has to be there.

Did any of your co-workers particularly help you build the character during the shoot?
My core isn’t very big – that means I don’t record with a lot of people. I almost always record with Fernanda Serrano, Thiago Rodrigues, Diogo Infante and Ana Cloe. The ones who have helped me the most are Thiago Rodrigues, who plays my father, and Fernanda Serrano. And Diogo Infante too – in fact, I learn more by listening to him, not just about myself but about people in general, than by listening to the advice he gives me directly. It is amazing to hear Diogo speak and other people who have many years of experience and have been through a lot.

All I said was that I had planned to devote this year to training and had no plans to do a third soap opera at this stage in his journey. Regardless of what happened in the end, why did you make that decision?
I have acquired all my knowledge through work and doing. I’d taken a few courses before, but I never really studied acting, and there’s a big technical part that you don’t learn that you really have to learn. My focus was on training, now I’m working, but I’m still juggling private acting classes and they’ve helped me a lot.

Did these courses open up different areas of knowledge in representation, elements that you were not so used to, given your work?
Yes, completely. Because I don’t work on the soap opera scenes in my classes. It’s a whole world unto itself, it has nothing to do with it. I work on all other technical parts that need to be developed in parallel. Then I try to incorporate everything I learn in class into the recordings – and I think it works.

As a viewer, have you always been a consumer of soap operas?
My family and I have always been very much. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t watch a soap opera over dinner. We were always very novelists at home [risos]. And that’s also why they – my family – have always been very supportive since I entered this world of television and they are all happy when they see me.

Can you identify the moment when you realized you wanted to be an actress? Or was it a very gradual process?
There was nothing concrete that made me realize this was what I wanted to pursue. I realized this while working on my first novel. When I entered Prisoner I didn’t really know what I was going to do. It still hadn’t arrived and during the recording I realized how fascinated it was for me. Things the viewers don’t see, the work behind the scenes, the whole team…

Would you like to explore the cinema or even the theater one day? Is it something you see yourself doing, even if not now?
Yes absolutely yes. The first thing that comes to mind is the cinema. I really like the screen and working with cameras. Theater, because it’s something completely different from soap operas… Of course, cinema is also different, but theater is even more. I want to experiment, but between those two areas my focus would be on film. I loved doing it.

Margarida Corceiro 19 years old.

After this soap opera, would you like to do another TV project of this kind? Or would you rather explore different things?
There it is, I can’t tell what’s going to happen because what I had planned for this year didn’t happen. Of course, it always depends on the suggestion. I have to weigh both sides. But I would like to continue to focus on national projects. Luckily I was managed by an agency in England this year – I always think about setting foot there. I know it’s a much longer and more difficult process, so I’m taking it one step at a time, but I’m hoping to get there too.

Did you like the international jump very much?
Without doubt. I think all actors [gostavam]…Or not, because it’s also legit that they’d rather stay in their country and focus on soap operas, it’s super legit. But I have this ambition, yes, to go out there.

What is your biggest professional dream? It is that?
Yes [risos]. I don’t want to talk about dreams because it could go wrong, but yes. My most difficult goals to achieve, but which I consider achievable, are out there.

This is only her third role, although they’re all long projects. Do you have a specific role that you would like to do one day?
I’ve been saying that since “Bem me Quer”: I always wanted to play a bad character. Rita is very manipulative, very rebellious, breaks the rules a lot and is mean, but I would love to play a really bad character with a bad background, the real villain. Rita doesn’t come from a bad background.

Margarida is still quite young and started very early. This work brings him immense public attention. Is it difficult to deal with?
I started when I was 16, nobody knew me then and when I started appearing on TV it was a shock. Because suddenly the whole country had my eyes on me and that was not so easy to cope with at first. Appearing on the news, people talking about me and my performance… Also, I didn’t have bases at the time and it was a bit difficult to deal with. Today it’s super easy. I love receiving people’s support and feedback, I love receiving constructive criticism, which is very important and helps me to improve. Less good comments, free hate, I don’t care anymore. Back then there were things that made me cry… Now I’m laughing. I either don’t care or I don’t care at all. I read very well.

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