Natalia de Molina was born in Linares (Jaén) but grew up in Granada. Since she was a child, she has always known that she wanted to become an actress. But, sometimes she would say that she wanted to become a vet for tigers! At eighteen, she enrolled in the Drama School in Málaga, where she first studied musical performance because she wished to improve her dancing and singing skills. After a while, she moved to Madrid and focused on textual performance. She then started working in theater with friends and gained experience in short films. Her first major role was in David Trueba’s 2013 film “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed”. Her awards include the 2014 Goya Award for Best New Actress, for her performance as Belén. Natalia has since worked with Alfonso Albacete, Manuela Moreno and Enrique Rivero. She is now in the lead of Juan Miguel del Castillo’s debut “Roof And Food” about the current economic crisis in Spain.
She is one of the ten European Shooting Stars at the Berlinale and Tara Karajica quizzes her about working with David Trueba, her dream role, being a Shooting Star, Spanish Cinema and her inspiration.
How did you decide to become an actress?
N.d.M.: I don’t know! Sometimes, I think that I’ve never decided this. Sometimes, I think that I’ve always been an actress. I mean, this profession chose me, not the other way around. Actually, when I was 18 years old, I had to decide what to do for a living in the future because I had finished high school. “What do you wanna do in life, Natalia?” and I got the answer right away. “I wanna become an actress, I wanna work on that… I wanna act!” so I did the entrance exam for the School of Drama and I got in.
Your breakthrough was in David Trueba’s Living is Easy With Eyes Closed. Can you elaborate on that? How has it changed your career?
N.d.M.: It changed everything. Before I made Living is Easy With Eyes Closed I was a totally unknown actress and everything began after that movie. The film won the Best Film Award in my country. Furthermore, it won six Goyas and was chosen to represent Spain at the Oscars. I went to San Francisco, to Nice and I am here in Berlin now … So many places that I didn’t know before! I met people that I’d never imagined to meet. Some people asked me to marry them, not seriously of course, but they proposed like Antonio in the film. And, the movie is still enjoying a very long life at festivals around the world. From then until now, I have made four more films and a TV series too. So, I owe this movie everything that I have now.
And, what about the European Shooting Stars? What expectations do you have for your career after this year’s Berlinale?
N.d.M.: You never know… I only hope that this opportunity, this experience will allow me to work internationally in the future. I am very proud of being here. I admire all my mates; they are amazing and I am here with them. We are the 2015 Shooting Stars! I have to say it out loud to believe it Haha!
Sometimes, I think that I’ve always been an actress. I mean, this profession chose me, not the other way around.
Gena Rowlands is your inspiration, is that right? Why? Where else do you find your inspiration?
N.d.M.: Yes, I love her! She is so amazing! For me, she is the best actress in the world. My number one! I always learn something new when I see her performances. I would be happy doing half of what she has done. I am a very big fan of Marilyn Monroe too. She is my icon. I love Marilyn and Norma Jean because she was a very fragile woman, undervalued, but with a light and a talent that leave you speechless. I also like Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep… So many actors inspire me. But maybe, my biggest inspiration is my mother. I only want to make her smile.
What do you think of the recent renaissance of Spanish Cinema?
N.d.M.: It’s so great! We needed it! In Spain, there are so many talented directors, actors and screenwriters… We have passion and imagination. We tell stories with humility and humanity. I hope that this kind of cinema keeps growing in the next few years because the Spanish film industry is not having its best moments right now. It’s very hard to make a movie. Anyway, although the situation is not great, it’s wonderful to receive the acknowledgment of the public all around the world.
You are specializing in music and dancing at the University of Málaga. Would you consider a role in a musical? What would your dream role be?
N.d.M.: I am not a singer nor a dancer. I just have some skills and with hard work I guess I could be able to play a role in a musical. Of course, I would love it! Maybe because I admire Marilyn Monroe and I want to be like her! Haha! I’m just kidding! I’ve always loved her character in Bus Stop. But, to be honest, my dream role in a musical would be Sally Bowles in Cabaret.
You have acted onstage, on TV, on Film – both shorts and features – which format is your favorite? Why?
N.d.M.: I think, as an actress, everything makes you grow up and mature. I have no preference for either. I want to work in all of them.
I understand you have three projects in the pipeline right now (Sólo química by Alfonso Albacete; Cómo sobrevivir a una despedida by Manuela Moreno and Pozoamargo by Enrique Rivero), is that right?
N.d.M.: Four films, actually! Techo y Comida by Juan Miguel del Castillo too and a TV series called Under Suspect. Last year was amazing! The premieres of all the movies will take place in 2015. I am nervous! I hope everything goes well!
What advice were you given when you were starting out and what advice would you give an aspiring actor?
N.d.M.: Study hard and do not change. Be yourself. And my advice is the same and I would add: first of all, believe in yourself. This is a hard profession and you need to be better every day! So, you need to learn because you never know enough. Life’s short, enjoy every moment!
This interview was conducted at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival.