He is only 33 years old —he completed last March—, but he can boast of a career of more than two decades —full of successes—. Clara Lago has grown up between filming sets and, although throughout all these years she has shown us that acting is her thing, her world is much broader. She also covers the defense of animals and the environment —through the Ochotumbao Foundation, which she launched together with her ex-partner, Dani Rovira— and, now, the universe of audiobooks. After debuting with a classic —”Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë—, she is now in charge of giving voice to a new title, “The Cuckoo’s Nest”, the eleventh installment of the collection “The Crimes of Fjällbacka”, by the queen of the European crime novel, Camilla Läckberg, available on the Audible platform from June 1st. We talked with her about this new challenge, her dreams and her upcoming projects —among them, opening a restaurant with her partner, José Lucena—.
—This is the second time you’ve given voice to an audiobook. The first one was with «Jane Eyre», are you enjoying the experience?
—The truth is that yes… Until you get a little bit of the point, it costs a bit, but then you lose the modesty to be a little bit the girl who played alone in her room —because you put all the voices on all the characters. There is also a very liberating part in doing that.
—Did you know its author, Camilla Läckberg?
—No, because lately, I’ve been much more interested in essay books than novels. I really like psychology and everything that has to do with human behavior.—You just turned 33. How do you see yourself professionally at this point in your life? Why don’t you stop!—Well… yes, I do stop. It seems super necessary. I am super privileged and I can also allow myself to keep those projects that I really want… But, indeed, if a project that I like does not appear, I stop for six months and dedicate myself to living life and reading self-help books —which is very good— ( series). In the end it is very difficult to make a living from this profession.
—More and more actresses talk about that moment when the phone doesn’t ring. Is it something that you have thought about and that you are afraid that it could come? — I have experienced it closely with friends. For example, with Ingrid Rubio —who has a long and wonderful career behind her and with a lot of recognition—. Suddenly, she disappeared and not of her own free will. It seemed so unfair to me… Besides, I was a big fan of his. She has everything to do with age and with the fact that there are not projects for everyone, because she has nothing to do with talent or dedication or anything like that. I’m not worried, not because I think that’s not going to happen to me, but I always tell myself —both to myself and to my friends—: «If she’s in your hands, take care of it; and if not, she is already ». There are certain things that are not going to be under my control. Doing what you like is a privilege, and unfortunately, there are many people who cannot do it. I trust, I hope and I wish that she does not have to suffer that crisis, and if she does come, well… we will go to therapy hard to get her better (she laughs). And if not, then maybe it’s time to take advantage and develop in other aspects. I do not know.
‘Hollywood is still a dream that is there’
—Because, beyond acting, you also have a foundation —Ochotumbao—, a vegan “catering” company…
“That, not in the end. That project didn’t happen anymore, it’s over, but now I’m going to open a restaurant with a cocktail bar in Madrid with my partner and his partner, Víctor Pinacho, who is a chef… It comes from a restaurant they own, La Tuerta Funky Castizo. We are going to open La Huerta Funky Castizo, the one hundred percent vegetable line.
—Is it difficult to combine your facet as a businesswoman with that of an actress?
I am not a businesswoman at all. I put all the illusion, but the businessman is really my boy, who runs the business part, and his partner, who is in charge of the creative part. I am there as a sociocultural cheerleader (laughs). Somehow, the germ was me, because it was not a restaurant that really had a vegetable offer. Since Víctor is very nice and very good, every time I went to eat there he would prepare something new for me and I was amazed, because apart from that, he doesn’t like to use ultra-processed foods… He works with raw materials, vegetables and that’s it.
Has it been difficult working together?
—Well, the decision of “are we going to get into this melon?” was difficult. The mythical thing that is always said about “mixing is not a good idea”. On the other hand, it all depends on how you approach it. The first thing is to be clear about the role of each one. Of course there is a risk in doing business with family, with friends, with a partner…, but it is also a great illusion to create something from there, right? —In the past Platino Awards you told us that you were waiting for the premiere of the second season of «Limbo» and you just filmed in the Dominican Republic, are you taking a liking to this thing about crossing the ocean? —Yes. In recent years, the truth is that Latin America has been a strong destination and “Limbo” is a super-special project, one of those characters who, when they arrive, say: “What a gift of life.” And I am very fond of the Dominican Republic because, apart from the fact that I had a great time, I have recorded a very beautiful “feel good movie” there. On a personal level I have taken a lot. The movie is called “Books & Drinks”, which I don’t know when it will be released, sometime this year…
—And you keep dreaming of Hollywood? You told us not long ago that your reference is Penélope Cruz…
—Yes, it’s a dream that’s there, but I’ve also done the work of detaching myself —which is what all the gurus say—, because, in the end, if you don’t get it, it’s frustrating. Better to continue having that illusion. Simply, there is something almost like faith —but not that it will happen—, but faith in life. It’s like: great if it happens, because it’s a dream in my life, but if it doesn’t happen, it’s because this wasn’t for me in this life.
—You have been in your career for many years, because you started when you were only ten years old. You told us before that you stopped, but have you ever needed a real break?
-No the truth is no. But because I have never been an actress who has been splicing one project after another. In addition, it is easy that, if you engage so much, that illusion, that strength, is lost… and the work is probably not so brilliant anymore. I have not had that level of stress, although it is true that the work itself began to suffer a bit, due to my high level of demand. That’s when I said: “Let’s see if this is not going to be my thing.” You cannot interpret if there is no freedom and there was a moment in which I did not feel free. But what I needed was to do therapy and that’s it.
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