Monday, 24 January 2011

Alice Braga Talks About On The Road

Switching subjects completely, I believe that you have been filming On The Road.

Braga: I just finished, yeah.

Kind of an iconic book, kind of a big project, a lot of people involved, it was filming for a long time. For the people who don’t know: who do you play, and what was the experience like making the film?

Braga: I play Terry, she’s a Mexican that works in California in cotton fields. She’s a character that Sal Paradise, which is Kerouac, he meets her in a bus and then they stay for a little bit together – it’s a small part like everyone else because he’s on a journey, so each person has a different participation in it. It was an amazing experience because it’s such an important famous book, so many people were involved in making this project – Coppola owns the rights. It’s been trying to be made like, forever. So being a part of it’s an honor, it’s a great experience. And it’s Walter Salles that is a really great Brazilian director that I love, that I always wanted to work with him. Every point of it got my passion to be a part of it.

Did you go – ’cause obviously once word hit that he was gonna make this thing – did you go after the project or did they come after you?

Braga: No, he came after me actually. He invited me, I was very honored that he thought about me for that, because I always wanted to work with him, and it’s a dream come true to be part of this specific one – specially because he’s been trying to make this film for the past five years. He researched, he’s very passionate about the Beat Generation, so… Being a part of this dream come true moment of his life, that is a Brazilian director, someone that I admire it’s – it was priceless.

When you’re getting ready to do a role like that, and you’re dealing with the material that’s so iconic to so many people… Do you study the book, do you study the Beat Generation? Talk about your preparation for playing such a part.

Braga: It’s fun, because I always – I love to do a big preparation like, I read the book and all that, but because the character was very much connected to that. But as my character in On the Road, even if I read the book when I was younger – but my character in On the Road it’s a – she doesn’t know much about the Beat Generation, she’s not part of that because she works in a cotton field, she works in California, on the border. She’s poor in a sense of “that’s her life” – she has a son, she works with her parents… She wakes up, she works, she goes to bed. So that’s her life. I didn’t go much deep into the Beat Generation just because I didn’t have… You know, I did myself under curiosity, I’ve done it before – even way before doing the film, just under, you know, curiosity and the interest of what that generation was, but… For the film, I didn’t want that because – specially talking to Walter – she’s a completely different part of his journey, and actually when he meets her, she goes away from that and learns something him. That’s something that Walter wanted, so I wasn’t much concerned about knowing a lot about the Beat Generation because of that – because she’s not a part of this world.

With the amount of actors, did you shoot your sequence like in a span of like a week or two? Or were you sort of in-and-out – like, were they calling you back every once in a while?

Braga: I was supposed to be there for a week, but then it ended up being three weeks because we had to change locations, but I loved it, because I love getting connected to the crew and living, you know, with them, and being a part of it. So it was great, but it was three weeks, I had to shoot different days… But it was great, because I wanted to gain a little bit of weight because the body in the forties was different, and I wanted to be tan because she works in the cotton fields, so I got a lot of sun…

[sarcastically] It must have been tough.

Braga: [sarcastically] It was so hard. No, I’m kidding. But it was great, it was a great crew from all over the world, like makeup from France and Argentina , different type of actors, director… So it was interesting, I loved it.


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