Having done a European film with good reviews opens many doors in the US
She started out as Rym in TV3's popular series Polseres Vermelles, but Laia Costa grew up quickly, in the artistic sense of the word. After the success of the German film Victoria, she settled in Miami and shot five American independent productions, including Life Itself, with Samuel L. Jackson and Antonio Banderas. In Catalonia, the cinemas have just released her latest, Nieve negra, a Catalan-Argentinian co-production directed by Martín Hodara and where she stars alongside Ricardo Darín and Leonardo Sbaraglia.
What attracted you to this project?
My character, and the fact that the director insisted it is such a very Argentinian production in terms of conflict solving, which was something I had never done before. In the end, though, I didn't find it just an 'Argentinian', as sadly nowadays, this way of solving matters has spread worldwide.
What was the experience of shooting it like?
We shot all the outdoor scenes in Andorra for four weeks. It was beautiful because the landscape is another character in the story, and for a thriller, a wooden cottage and snow in the middle of nowhere is more than enough. There are a lot of close-ups of snow, which suggests that here there is a different climate with other laws, which are the laws of Salvador, played by Ricardo Darín. My character, Laura, and Leonardo Sbaraglia's Marcos, fight against Salvador and the snow; it is a case of two against two. It was easy to get into the characters in that weather; the cold was right there and you didn't have to fake it. Sometimes the hardest part of the job was not shivering and stopping your teeth from chattering.
You've just got back from New York. What are you doing there?
I am shooting a movie, Life Itself. It deals with the story of two families, one from New York, and one from Seville, who are united by the same tragedy, without being aware of it. Oscar Isaac (Star Wars VII]), Olivia Wilde, Olivia Cooke and Samuel L. Jackson are the American family, Antonio Banderas and I live in Seville.
Would you say that your international success is thanks to Victoria?
Yes, in the US there are many professionals trying to work: directors, actors, producers, scriptwriters...In the case of actors, if you've done a European project with good reviews, it is like an introduction that opens many doors. I've already done five films in the US.
Have you considered moving there for good?
I moved to Miami a year and a half ago, for my partner. It was a personal decision. It coincided with the success of Victoria, which was released two years ago. I moved there without any projects lined up, just to see what would happen...
What has Polseres Vermelles brought you professionally?
The team led by Pau Freixas and Patrícia Font marked the way I see this profession. I didn't want to shave my head for Polseres because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to work after that, and I had the option of doing another TV series. But after a chat with Pau, he completely changed my vision about this job. He told me there is no one single way of doing things right, you can make decisions thinking that you would get more work, but maybe it will not turn out the way you think it will. We always depend on the audience, on critics, and you never know if you're going to succeed. I realised you only need to do things that you really want to do and that you feel like doing. Since Polseres Vermelles, I make all my decisions by following my instincts, not just as a set mathematical exercise, which might seem like the best formula. And so far, I would say it's gone well for me. Polseres Vermelles showed me how to work by trusting my passion and instincts.