Casting actors to play well-known figures is always challenging, according to
producer Matthias Ehrenberg, but finding a pair of performers who could capture
the passion, theatricality and outsize charisma of Gloria Trevi and Sergio
Andrade seemed almost impossible at the outset.
To play Trevi, the filmmakers were seeking an actress who could not only
handle the intense emotionality of the story, but could also match the legend's
vocal performances and unique physicality. "There are always two sides to
Gloria," Keller says. "Whether it's in her personal life or her career, she has
a very dramatic, over-the-top quality as well as a kind, young, naive side. I
wanted someone who could capture those nuances and make them both authentic and
Sofia Espinosa, nominated for an Ariel Award-the Mexican equivalent of an
Oscar-for her work in The Girl on the Stone, plays Gloria from ages 14 to 36,
taking her from volatile wild child to established star and mother.
"When I met Sofia, I knew she was the one to play Gloria," Keller says. "In
addition to there being a strong physical resemblance between them, there was
something about her energy."
Over the course of the film, Espinosa transforms herself from a
rough-around-the-edges street urchin hungry for success to a pop-music goddess
who seems in full control of her destiny. "Gloria is a very strong woman,"
Espinosa says. "From the beginning she knows exactly what she wants. When she
meets Sergio and falls head over heels for him, it's her two passions coming
together: her love of performing and her love for him. She is blinded by that
and everything around her begins to spiral out of control. Even as her world
crumbles, her strength picks her back up and keeps her moving forward."
Espinosa cautions anyone who views Gloria as simply a victim or a monster to
think again. "I came into this without any preconceived ideas about guilt or
innocence," she says. "Like Gloria, I simply gave all my energy to the singing,
the dancing, the living. She throws herself into everything."
"Finding Sofia was a blessing," says Ehrenberg. "She is a great actress and
her performance is perfection. Marco Perez, who plays Sergio, is also right on
the mark. The whole cast understood what we were doing, which made the process
very smooth. We made a great movie, thanks to them."
Portraying Andrade was the most intense experience in Marco Perez's career,
according to the actor. "Sergio is a powerful, compelling character, but he
can't be a good guy or a bad guy," says the actor. "I spoke with him at length
about his involvement in the music business and learned how he became one of the
youngest, most successful producers in Mexican music history. What really hits
home when you meet him is his absolute love for the music. He's a very complex,
passionate person with extraordinary dreams and ambitions."
Sabina Berman adds, "Sergio is a brilliant man, cultivated and very charming,
as well as a genius in the music business. He was Gloria's teacher, her manager
and her lover, as well as the man who almost destroyed her. Ultimately, he was
the one who exonerated her and got her released from prison."
Keller says people may envision Andrade as a predator, but making sure that
the character is presented in a balanced and unbiased way is key to the story's
success. "If we depicted him the way some of the news stories have, it wouldn't
be much of a movie. We didn't want to portray him as a monster. Sergio is in
real life a charming and charismatic man. He makes you feel like you need to be
his friend and that's what we wanted to show."
Espinosa says that her co-star's insights and commitment helped her gain more
understanding of Gloria and her complicated relationship with Andrade. "Working
with Marco was really inspiring," she says. "He was fearless in his approach to
a character who could have been extremely unlikeable. His ability to capture
Sergio's intensity and kind of madness helped me have a better understanding of
Gloria and what she saw in him."
Perez says he was impressed by his costar's dedication to transforming
herself into her character. "Sofia has a fascinating freshness," the actor says.
"She did a lot of training for the musical sections and the results are
astounding. She is just a splendid actress and pays such attention to detail. It
would have been easy to create a sensationalized, one-dimensional portrait of
Gloria, but Sofia goes behind the public persona to heart of the woman."
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