The very popular Wagner Moura who was seen as Pablo Escobar in Narcos came to IFFI and enthralled the audiences with his Masterclasses moderated by senior journalist and film critic Rajeev Masand.
He entered the hall with loud cheering and applause.
Speaking about Narcos, Wagner Moura said, “It’s a scar that’s in their lives. Everybody I spoke to had stories where they had lost lives…the amount of bad things going on there, was heavy.”
How long does it take to shake off a character? Is there a process?
In that case (Narcos) specifically… I went into a special diet. I still don’t eat meat and chicken.
“I know that when you create something…it’s outside your body. But what an actor does is from within…. Especially when you change your body…You gain or lose weight…it remains sometime with you.”
“Elite Squad was very violent. It took some time for me to go back to my normal self.”
On being asked if working on Hollywood helps expand horizons, Moura said, “For me, I am going to be very very honest, Hollywood is big…great working opportunity but I am not interested in having a Hollywood kind of career of sort.
My first film is very political. My goal is to produce and make movies about Latin people that don’t have stereotypes.”
“My film (as an actor) ‘Wasp Network’, is also here. I am open to working with a lot of actors but my main aim is to make films about empathy that sees people as people.”
Speaking about his directorial debut Merighella, Wagner Moura said, “It was important. The political situation in Brazil is very bad right now. There is Dictatorship and torture…
The film’s release in Brazil was cancelled so it is nice here…to travel to many film festivals. Merighella is about this revolutionary, Merighella who was a congressman, a left-winger. With the situation, the only way they have is to take guns and to take struggle. 2013 when we started, the idea was just to bring back the name of Merighella. But then the film became about people who are even resisting now not only about people who resisted then.
When asked about the scenario when films are being watched globally and people are getting to know about things all across the world, Moura said, “That’s the beauty of filmmaking…last week I was a jury at the Lisbon Film Festival. I saw a film from Tibbet called Balloon. It was so beautiful. I was completely connected to those characters. Regardless of cultural backgrounds, we all are human…this festival is amazing…all good films are here.”
Talking about turning director, Moura shared, “It was great directing this film. Directing is easy…Acting is way more complicated. It’s about making people get together…my actors were so good in the film that I was thinking I am not that good…Oh my god, they are of completely different level.”
How did he feel when the film didn’t get a release in Brazil? “The culture of Brazil is under censorship. For instance, you cannot do anything about LGBT..the beauty of Brazil or every country is its diversity. It’s really sad that the film was sold to many international territories but they can’t release it if the home country is not releasing it.”
Are those skills of musician and actor is interconnected? “I won’t call myself a musician. I can play the guitar and many other instruments but I still can’t call myself a musician. I have a band that I have been playing with for 30 years (Loud cheering from the audiences). My friends from my hometown are there in the band and they still don’t let me play the guitar, they tell me to just sing instead” He laughed.
Is this the best time for artist globally?
“Oh yeah…I think so. Now you have so many platforms…they want content. It is amazing.”