Mexican actress questions why TV series ignore certain social realities

A photo dated April 26, 2019, of Mexican actress Cecilia Suarez during an interview with EFE in Mexico City. EPA-EFE/Sashenka Gutierrez

MEXICO CITY.- Mexican actress Cecilia Suarez, known for her role as Paulina de la Mora in the successful Netflix series «La casa de las flores» (The House of Flowers), told EFE that it bears analyzing why television series avoid showing certain realities, such as gender-related violence or the situation of indigenous people in the Aztec nation.

She observed that it is rare for actors with indigenous features or stories about the lives and culture of native people to be seen in popular series and lamented that the daily reality of violence against women also is routinely ignored.

«It seems to me we should stop and ask ‘why not’ and what prevents us from exploring that,» the 47-year-old Suarez said in an interview in Mexico City on Friday, noting that these are realities that «really concern us.»

Separately, the actress said it was regrettable that «stories of extreme violence» are commonplace, with some series portraying drug traffickers as virtual superheroes. «And they continue to be produced.»

«Why is that reality always talked about from the same point of view and not from the standpoint of the pain it causes to those who experience it?» Suarez asked.

A woman with a pale complexion, firm temperament and strong views, the actress said these productions could be turned on their heads by removing the glamour that accompanies them.

That would mean «talking about or probing the real pain that lies under that reality,» she said.

The actress, who will be co-host along with Spanish actor Santiago Segura in the sixth edition of the Platino Awards for Ibero-American Cinema ceremony, which will be take place on May 12 in Mexico’s Riviera Maya tourism and resort district, also talked about the upcoming premier of the second season of «La casa de las flores.»

A hilarious satire rich in pastel colors that explores the hypocrisy of Mexico’s upper class, the series will return for a second season that will be «much more daring» and also feature some nuances that will make it «much darker» than Season 1, according to Suarez.

«Part of what has made the series connect so much people is that, in a certain sense, it is rooted in the traditional telenovela, in melodrama, which also is a genre that’s so, so Latin American,» the actress said.

Her character, Paulina de la Mora, speaks in a deliberate manner, clearly pronouncing different syllables due to her addiction to Xanax, a drug that reduces abnormal excitement in the brain.

«She is far removed from me and belongs to a socioeconomic strata that has nothing to do with where I come from, but I think the character has a certain charm in being someone who looks at the other characters without prejudice,» she said.

The character provides a touch of wisdom and openness in a bourgeois family where everyone is hiding something and hypocrisy abounds.

Suarez, who has starred in films such as the 2018 movie «Perfectos desconocidos» (Perfect Strangers), directed by Manolo Caro, says the series holds up a mirror to Mexico’s upper class.

After the second season of the series, which will premier this fall, a third will follow.

Also in the works for Suarez is a project that she is not at liberty to discuss. Asked whether it is a film or a series, she responded discreetly that it is a «combination of both.»

In reference to next month’s Platino Awards ceremony, Suarez promised that there will be plenty of entertainment but also a social component.

«I hope it’s a fun night, a night of surprises,» she said.

Movies such as Colombia’s «Pajaros de verano» (Birds of Passage) and the Oscar-winning «Roma,» directed by Mexico’s Alfonso Cuaron, are among the pictures nominated for the top prize at this year’s Platinos – Best Ibero-American Film.

Although Suarez said she has not been able to see all the films competing in the different categories, she said that all the sections contain pictures that «are spectacular, outstanding.»

The idea of sharing the stage with Segura is also very appealing, according to Suarez, who said laughing that he is «a crazy guy» who is very fun.

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