Now that the 2023 Sundance Movie Pageant is over I can say this with the utmost certainty — Cassandro was my favourite movie of the competition.
Gael García Bernal delivers a pitch-perfect efficiency bringing Saúl Armendáriz’s story to display within the Prime Video launch. Saúl’s had sufficient of enjoying El Topo within the Lucha Libre wrestling scene. He doesn’t need to be a runt who at all times loses his matches. Saúl needs to be a star. It isn’t till he begins coaching with Sabrina (Robert Colindrez) that he figures out how he’ll do it. Saúl goes to show the stereotype of the exótico character on its head by making his new character, Cassandro, a winner.
Whereas in Park Metropolis celebrating Cassandro’s large debut, Bernal took the time to go to the Collider Studio offered by Saratoga Spring Water to debate what it took to play the “Liberace of Lucha Libre.” Bernal particulars his expertise coaching for the function, the significance of bringing Cassandro’s joyful spirit to display, what it was like working with El Hijo del Santo, and extra.
You may hear about all of it straight from Bernal himself within the video on the high of this text or you’ll be able to learn the interview transcript under.
I used to be studying Roger [Ross Williams]’s director’s assertion and he talked about that you simply have been the one and solely individual he needed to guide this movie. Did you’ve gotten that very same confidence in your self, and in case you did not, at what level within the course of did you discover it?
GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL: Ever since he informed me in regards to the movie, in regards to the thought of Cassandro, I noticed the images of Cassandro and, wow, sure. I used to be like, ‘That may be nice to decorate up like that and to do wrestling.’ And Lucha Libre wasn’t on my bucket listing. It wasn’t one thing I needed to do. After which when the chance got here, it was like, ‘Oh, sure, after all!’ I’ve to. I’m a Mexican actor, I’ve to do a Lucha Libre movie in the future, ? How come I am not doing this? So I began to form of dream with the thought and get excited by it, and little by little it began to take form and change into one thing. With all good issues, you by no means keep in mind the preliminary level, ? It is at all times tough to say, what was the preliminary thought? It sort of constructed up into one thing very complicated, and by the point we have been about to do the movie, it already felt like I am prepared. I need to do that and expertise this.
What’s a specific factor about his actual expertise or a top quality of his that you simply knew you needed to carry tight to stepping into, however then additionally, what’s one thing about him that you simply solely found in the course of the manufacturing course of as you explored the function extra?
BERNAL: That is one thing that perhaps on the surface I already realized was going to be sophisticated or tough, which was the wrestling, mainly. Lucha Libre is an extremely onerous sport. However when you begin doing it, you do not understand how actually onerous it’s. Virtually monumentally onerous. It is one of the crucial — I can’t even put adjectives to it as a result of it is Lucha Libre. It is like mythological wrestling. It’s combating towards superheroes and pictures as a result of additionally, it’s a performative sport as effectively, so you need to embody the character and you need to play with the viewers. So it was extremely tiring and the movie would not respect the organic timing of cells. [Laughs] It is simply so tiring, the entire taking pictures interval of like 12 hours a day of doing the wrestling. It was actually onerous. Even for the wrestlers it was actually onerous. They have been like, ‘Oh man, making movies is little bit boring, no?’ ‘Yeah, it may be may be tiring and boring typically.’ However then it is nice once you watch them. In order that’s one thing that I found really in my physique whereas doing the movie. And to include that, it is like a really stylized method of decoding or appearing. You need to battle towards being extremely drained.
And one of many issues that I felt was particular, however on the similar time, I did not need to put a reputation to it, I simply needed to form of gravitate or permeate the important archetype of Cassandro’s character that’s so joyful, his pleasure. And that is why he turned very, very well-known and transcendent within the Lucha Libre world as a result of he was a personality that was having enjoyable, and there was having fun with and there was interacting, virtually like in a drag present with the viewers and simply making the whole lot lighter and joyful. And on the similar time, breaking down taboos. Realizing that taboos are usually not that large of a deal when you break them, ? They make a wonderful sound once you break them, however afterward it is like, this isn’t that large of a deal. No one cared, ? Society was additionally sort of evolving. And so yeah, that sort of pleasure was one thing that I needed to include.
Nice success in that division! The joyful spirit of this film is infectious and it sends you out the door with a full coronary heart, feeling energized, and in addition impressed.
BERNAL: Precisely. And likewise the truth that what I like rather a lot as an viewers, or am fascinated by the thesis of the movie in a method is that to be able to change into your self, you need to play another person. You need to play a personality, as a result of who we’re is who we want we’re additionally. For instance, I’ve at all times mentioned this when speaking about this collection referred to as Mozart within the Jungle. I used to play this character referred to as Rodrigo and I miss him so badly as a result of he is the individual I need to be. [Laughs] He could be form of my remedy for that yr. Two months of pondering out loud, no filter, saying what I feel. I need to be that method. In fact I am unable to, however I’d have cherished [to]. In order that’s the enjoyment of appearing and interpretation, to play different folks, to play different or somebody you want you have been.
I like that thought a lot.
You introduced up the athleticism of all of it. I assume you went via a great deal of coaching. Was there any specific method, particular maintain or something in regards to the sport that you simply discovered most tough to have the ability to pull off?
BERNAL: At first with the entire bodily coaching, I used to be actually joyful. The whole lot damage, however I used to be feeling stronger and I used to be consuming the whole lot as effectively as a result of to have a Lucha Libre physique it would not must be macrobiotic chiseled. No, it may be a little bit bit stuffed with power, ? And in order that was very good at first. After which once we began to do the Lucha coaching correctly, I began to understand, okay, each little centimeter of my physique was simply hurting and in such ache. Ache that I could not even describe. It was like very inside.
I mentioned final evening, amongst the numerous issues that we used to try this incorporates the Lucha coaching is studying easy methods to fall. So half of the coaching is simply studying easy methods to fall. So you need to fall many, many occasions, and correctly so as to not damage your self. And naturally the primary occasions you do it, you are hurting on a regular basis. After which as extra time passes, you’re not hurting that a lot. However you need to make a giant sound as effectively, of falling. It is like going again to childhood. It’s such an awesome sport that’s precisely what we used to do once we have been youngsters, wrestling after which falling.
I take into consideration the sound on a regular basis! The sounds once they do slaps, too. It reverberates via my physique to the purpose that I really feel like I might really feel it.
BERNAL: Yeah, you actually damage your self. So I feel that probably the most tough factor was — okay, and I am an novice wrestler within the sense as a result of there’s a complete factor of the professionalism that I by no means skilled. However El Hijo del Santo, once we have been doing the wrestling match collectively, he informed me, ‘I am gonna present you outdated man’s methods.’ So usually within the chokehold you’d do that, no matter, and you’d do that, however then with a little bit knuckle, he would put some sort of strain right here and it could damage a lot. There is a level the place he grabs my leg — it’s simply these sort of acupuncture factors that simply damage utterly, disintegrate you, and that is one thing that actual wrestlers do. They know these little factors. And so typically you will notice they’re simply holding one another, however they’re truly hurting themselves. And he is very robust and he is very onerous. He is superb. He helped us out rather a lot as effectively.
I’ve to allow you to go quickly. I might discuss Cassandro all day lengthy, however I’ve to squeeze in a single future query. You most likely know the place that is going as a result of I informed you I am a giant fan of horror. I like Werewolf by Night time and I like the thought of Marvel embracing horror extra. I used to be interested in your opinion on sustaining that tone, type and grasp on that style. If he have been to maneuver into one other nook of that franchise, do you assume there is a strategy to proceed the character however nonetheless preserve what makes Werewolf by Night time so distinctive?
BERNAL: For a second I believed that you simply have been gonna point out how Cassandro’s going to include into the horror world of Marvel, and I’d have been like, ‘Why yeah!’
I imply, I’d be nice with that, too! Carry it on!
BERNAL: [Laughs] Precisely! Yeah, after all. I’d be delighted as a result of additionally, it was just a bit tease what we received, ? And what I skilled by enjoying this character in Werewolf by Night time, I cherished it. And the those who have been there, with Laura Donnelly, it was incredible to work along with her as a result of she’s a really robust diehard horror film fan, and it was incredible to play that. And sure, I hope that we will do this in numerous methods, shapes and kinds. And who is aware of the place it is gonna go? I do not know, however I need to be a part of that and I actually love the way it got here out. I am more than happy. I like horror motion pictures as effectively. I am not a giant fan as a result of I get actually scared, however I like them rather a lot. It’s the style that encompasses the most effective points of filmmaking. It’s like opera in a method. I find it irresistible.
Particular due to our 2023 companions at Sundance together with presenting accomplice Saratoga Spring Water and supporting companions Marbl Toronto, EMFACE, Sommsation, Hendrick’s Gin, Stella Artois, mou, and the all-electric car, Fisker Ocean.