21 years ago, Luiz Antonio do Nascimento faced his first professional challenge at Rede Globo when he debuted in the soap opera The Carnation and the Rosein Walcyr Carrasco, displayed at 18:00. Currently, the feuilleton is re-aired by the station in the afternoon.
The actor, who was 13 years old at the time, played Buscapé, Catarina’s godson, a character in Adriana Esteves, the protagonist of the story. “It’s funny that before I didn’t watch myself on TV. I’m having a lot of fun, there are a lot of scenes I didn’t remember, I laugh a lot and say: ‘And it’s not that he was really taken, this Buscapé!’”, she recalls.
In an interview with Marie Claire, Luiz says that during the period in which he acted in the telenovela, he received the support of great names in teledramaturgy and knew how to take advantage of the opportunity. “O Angelo Antonio gave me a bunch of books on theater. There was a very constant exchange. O Ney Latorraca helped me a lot, he directed me and Adriana [Esteves]adopted me as a son.
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On the other hand, there in childhood, he came face to face with racism. “When I made the soap opera, I remember that prejudice was very latent. I heard things like ‘I’m not going to stay here’, to the point of not wanting to occupy the same space as me”, she laments.
In 2009, Luiz stopped being in front of the cameras, studied pedagogy and, alongside his wife, the filmmaker Livia Thaynaramanages the L2 In Scenea, theater school located in a shopping mall in Rio de Janeiro. “For a long time I had many wonderful people who were able to reach out to me on my journey. With the L2 In Scenewe try to find a way that makes this possible for other people as well”, he says. “Today I am really happy, very fulfilled in occupying this space that I occupy.”
Watch the full interview below:
MARIE CLAIRE How is life these days?
LUIZ ANTONIO DO NASCIMENTO Since 2009, I have L2 In Cena, my Theater School in Rio de Janeiro. And with the pandemic, we started with online classes and in the midst of that madness I saw the need to launch a book – The Adventures of Flora and Skewer, a spectacle that I wrote the text. It was super fun, because as soon as we got back we went through some schools to present the book and present the show as well. It was a very happy little house. In October we will release the second book.
MC How was that experience of working with children?
LAN It was too much. I’ve been working with this children’s universe for as long as I can remember. Since the time of Buscapé (his character in the soap opera O Cravo e a Rosa). So being able to exchange with the kids was a wonderful process. As we have already adapted a lot of text for our shows, I already had a little bit of the story written, but I didn’t have the courage to release anything authorial. I saw the need to tell a story through the eyes of two black children in this universe. It was a very positive exchange and also a lot with that reference. Today, I have ten nephews and eight godchildren. I did a lot of lives with them and I taught collage, papietagem and that sharpened my interest in pedagogy, which is where I find myself at the moment. With L2, we have theater classes at a college in Petrópolis and Rio de Janeiro.
MC You manage L2 in Cena alongside your wife, Lívia Santiago. Which came first, school or pedagogy?
LAN Theater, school… Lívia has a degree in cinema and I did ceramic arts so that we can have a broader view of dramatic art. A way to contribute in a different way. Today we have the school at Recreio Shopping and we also serve the far west. We end up serving a very large group of people from the C class. The course is inside a shopping mall, but our main objective is to provide accessibility. For a long time I had many wonderful people who were able to reach out to me during my trajectory. So, for example, I went to study at Tablado and in the first years, Marlene Mattos (businesswoman, director and television producer) paid for me. There have always been people who allowed me to occupy this space. With L2 em Cena, we try to find a way that we can make this possible for other people as well. Actors Nicolas Paixão, Gabriel Lima and Iceland Vieira, for example, passed through there and are making their way and it is very beautiful to see that. I have always been on the side of people who encouraged me, such as directors Jorge Fernando, Roberto Talma, Walter Avancini… All these greats that I had the opportunity to exchange and who encouraged me. So I think today is a little bit of an exchange, right? Today I am really happy, very fulfilled in occupying this space that I occupy. I’m very accomplished. Now, in July, we are going to premiere the show called ‘Nem te Conto’, a very lively musical. The students are super excited.
MC Do you have children?
LAN We still do not have. We’re in the process. My mother-in-law asks, ‘Oh my God. When it comes?’. But it will be soon.
MC The soap opera O Cravo e a Rosa is rerun. Do you watch yourself again?
LAN It’s funny that I didn’t watch myself before, and I think that since it’s been a long time and the soap opera takes place in a very distant time, I’m having a lot of fun and there are many scenes that I didn’t remember, I laugh a lot and say ‘how is that he was really taken, this Buscapé!’.
MC You recorded alongside big names on TV, like Adriana Esteves. Do you remember any advice you received from them?
LAN Not just advice, they really helped me. At this time, I was finishing the third year of Tablado and I remember that the actor Angelo Antônio gave me a lot of books on theater. There was an exchange that was very constant. Ney Latorraca helped me a lot, he guided me. to Adriana [Esteves] she was a recent mother and was kind of on guard at the time of the soap opera and adopted me as her son. I remember her saying: ‘Luizinho, have you had lunch? Have you finished your schoolwork yet? So let’s hit the text’. It was a very familiar relationship I had with them. It was very delicious. Before the soap opera, I was a little afraid of Carlos Vereza because of the caricatured characters he played. And when my mother said that he did the soap opera, I remember being a little afraid to meet him. But he was so funny, you know? It was all fascinating.
MC Do you miss acting on TV? Do you want to go back?
LAN Since then, I’ve done several soap operas. I did Side by Side, Heaven, Task Force, Hot Plate. I look for characters that challenge me and within TV, sometimes they don’t paint characters within my profile that is so challenging, with that nice exchange. Today when someone asks me that I hope to have the opportunity to do something extremely fun and enjoyable to do as it was back then. Today what would motivate me to do television would be to take on a more challenging character. Attending wetland, I said: ‘Oh, people! I miss you. Why not?’. I hope that already, something cool happens and people can see me. My last job was Seriously Mom, 2017, a film with actor and director Pedro Vasconcelos, for whom I have a great affection. Pedro took me on a theater tour. I got to know all of Brazil doing Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands.
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MC Do you believe that TV lacks representation?
LAN We see great progress in this regard. When I made the soap opera, I remember that prejudice was very latent. I would hear things like ‘I’m not staying here’, to the point of not wanting to occupy the same space as me. In the sense that I’m not a cast. Today what I feel is that we are having to put ourselves. It’s a constant fight that wears out a lot. I believe that at that time we were almost afraid of being incapable. Today I feel the need to fight more, as I see in my students, who are extremely militant. I see they are more confident. I try to show them that it’s no use simply occupying a space. People have to be able to be there. It has to be ready for our spaces and things have to be gradual, so I have black, white, red-haired, Indian students…I judge by the interpretation.
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MC What is the legacy that the soap opera O Cravo e A Rosa left?
LAN One of the most special relationships that the telenovela brought me was the relationship with nature, animals and the environment. Currently, I live in a small place in Guaratiba [localizado na zona oeste do Rio de Janeiro]. And that’s exactly why. From the time of the novel. We recorded the soap opera close by. That relationship stayed. I have a goat, a chicken, a peacock, a fish pond and a vegetable garden… All this because of this exchange with the soap opera, which was something that enchanted me a lot.