Success in the telenovela “O Mar do Sertão”, the actor Bruno Debeux has enchanted the public by playing the multifaceted character Savinho, Theresa Fonseca’s scene partner in the telenovela, and who, in view of his beloved’s wedding, leaves in search of a new love.
Bruno has already been present in the soap operas “Salve-se quem puder” (2021), “Pride and Passion” and “Deus Salve o Rei” (2018), “Babilônia” (2015), “Malhação” (2012) and “Amor à Vida” and “Geração Brasil”, “Em Família” (2014), “Insensato Coração” (2011), “Duas Caras” (2007), all on the Rio station, participated in the series “Segredos Médicos”, on Multishow, and alongside Gisele Mirabai, he presented and co-directed the program “E Se Eu Fosse…”, filmed in India and Oman.
In the theater, he acted in shows such as “Sweet Bird of Youth”, “Febril” (adaptation of O Idiota, by Dostoevsky), “Escravas do Amor”, and “Tempo de Solão”. In 2021, he debuted the first project designed by him, “Amores Flácidos”, contemplated by Aldir Blanc, where he played Aroldo, a serial killer of fat women. Due to the pandemic, the show was adapted to a hybrid format, between theater and cinema, baptized by the team as a feature film and presented on the YouTube channel “Amores Flácidos”.
In cinema, he starred in the feature films “Antes Que Eu Me Esqueça”, “Estado de Exception”, “Rio Sex Comedy”, “Garotas”, “Para Semper Nunca Mais”, for which he was nominated in the category of best actor, at Los Angeles. Angeles Brazilian Film Festival, and at the Boston International Film Festival. Also, as a presenter, he was ahead of GNT’s Alternativa Saúde, alongside actress Patricya Travassos. Check out the interview!
Already in the final stretch, the soap opera “O Mar do Sertão” was the project responsible for marking your return on television since “Salvem-se Quem Puder” in 2021. What are your expectations for the end of the soap opera and what was it like to participate in the project ?
Expectations for the end of the novel are high. We received the comment that the last few episodes are a blast. The last two chapters of the plot are kept under lock and key, neither the team nor the cast will receive them complete. Each actor and actress has received only their secret, separate scenes, and no one can give spoilers to their colleagues (laughs).
Participating in this project was certainly a milestone in my career. I had never worked with a director, crew and cast in the midst of so much harmony, harmony, lightness and love. And I’m not the only one who feels this, José de Abreu himself, who has countless telenovelas on his career, confessed this to us.
It really was a very beautiful constellation of the universe that was formed, of those magical, unique encounters that happen in life. The feeling is that we are a great theater troupe full of affection, complicity and that breathes the best aisle between the scenes. I believe that this loving chemistry reached the public and was an important ingredient for the phenomenon, which is the six o’clock soap opera.
In the soap opera, you are playing Savinho, a good-humored, playful, cocky and naive countryman. How was the process to incarnate this character and what can the public absolve watching Savinho on television?
As I am from Pernambuco and Canta Pedra is a fictional city in the interior of the northeast, the character was the bridge to take advantage of the references of my life, rescuing memories of my childhood and adolescence, situations and mannerisms of family and friends from the hometown. In this rescue, I traveled to Bezerros, in the interior of the Agreste region of Pernambuco, and carried out a laboratory with the local inhabitants, exchanging ideas and observing their behavior. It was even an opportunity to recall several northeastern expressions from the interior that also inspired me.
I’ve been getting really nice feedback from the audience saying that they identify with the fact that Savinho is helpful, clumsy, and that despite a certain shyness, he communicates a lot through his smile. People have also been identifying with the fact that Savinho gets silly around the person he loves, melting all over and, at the same time, getting in the way. I think he is a character who communicates a lot of lightness, joy and rescues the innocence of the sertanejo, which we recognize less and less in today’s world, full of malice.
One of the great debates that is always in evidence is xenophobia, a prejudice against people from other countries or regions. The soap opera “Mar do Sertão” has precisely this passage of being set in the interior, more precisely, some scenes being made in the Catimbau Valley, located in Buíque, in the Sertão of Pernambuco. Do you believe that the success that these productions have had ends up helping people to become freer from prejudice?
I think everything that generates empathy in people somehow operates on prejudice. After all, what does prejudice contain? Something that does not belong to the other, that is different, that one does not know and that thus generates disgust. The subtext is often: “I don’t know, this is different from me, it’s weird, so it’s not good”. So, when we have such a well-received work, in which people laugh, have fun, identify with the characters’ experiences, this opens new bridges. Bridges, for example, of a new connection between an inhabitant of a different region, who has a different accent and customs, with a person of other characteristics, but who was united by ‘putting himself in the other’s place’, by understanding the other , through your internal world and you will be able to, who knows, start to recognize the vast positive values between the differences.
During the plot of the soap opera, his character nurtured a great love for Labibe, a character played by actress Theresa Fonseca, and who, in view of the marriage of his beloved, he leaves in search of a new love. What was it like working with Theresa and what was your opinion about the work of the writer Mario Teixeira in producing the telenovela?
Theresa is a wonderful scene partner, very generous, available, very listening. In addition to a human being with admirable delicacy and kindness. Mário Teixeira has an incredible ability to bring dynamics, rhythm, creativity and surprising breaches of expectations to his text. Its plot excites and at the same time, entertains, reframing archetypes with great originality and being set in a northeast region full of colors, life and poetry. And since Mário spent his childhood in the Northeast, I also recognize a lot of coherence and veracity in the Northeastern images, characters and vocabulary that he creates and weaves into his writing.
Despite being nominated for the Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival and the Boston International Film Festival, have you ever thought about trying an international career in the future?
Yeah, it’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. Especially now that many post-pandemic casting jobs have been done by self-tape. As I have dual citizenship, besides being Brazilian I am also American, and I already have all the paperwork to be able to work there, I have this facility, in addition to fluent English.
For a good part of your life, you were raised in Recife and, coincidentally, most of the characters in the telenovela are originally from the Northeast. How has the responsibility been to represent this people who are increasingly experiencing prejudice and what is it like to achieve this union of cultures?
I am very grateful and happy also within this perspective of the responsibility of representing our people in a soap opera that has broken so many paradigms. It is the first time that TV Globo’s dramaturgy has a cast with a majority from the Northeast. It’s great to see native actors in the telenovela properly occupying the place of Northeastern characters who are feisty, strong and of all colors. We have a successful businessman, lawyer, doctor, dentist, bank manager, characters full of courage, strength, irreverence, presence of mind and thirst for life. Exactly as we are! Unlike, unfortunately, the still pejorative and inferior imagery that people often have in relation to people from our region. But I believe that along with the telenovela being so well received, with so many people identifying themselves and witnessing all these northeastern characters in action, the barriers are breaking down. The work contributes to dissolving certain distortions of judgments. I feel that Mar do Sertão came at a very favorable moment to contribute to the empowerment of our Northeast.
In addition to this soap opera, you have already been in other productions on Rede Globo, such as “Salve-se Quem Puder”, “Orgulho e Paixão”, “Amor à Vida”, “Malhação”, among many others. From your career, what do you believe was the most challenging role you had to assume?
In theater and cinema I had very challenging characters to compose. In this trajectory of teledramaturgy, I consider the work in Malhação challenging, as I still had little experience in acting in video, so it was a moment to explore this new language and to take the opportunity to collect a lot of learning.
The year 2021 became quite remarkable due to the debut of the project “Amores Flácidos”, contemplated by Aldir Blanc, where he played Aroldo, a serial killer of fat women, and who, after being adapted for YouTube, ended up being selected for the Film Festival Latin American MIRA. How did the context of this serial killer and the main thing make this conversion from the stage to the internet?
“Amores Flácidos” is the inaugural project in my career as an actor-entrepreneur, as I participated in its idealization and development from conception to execution.
Making characters with psychopathies, ambiguities, deviations attracts me a lot, I was, in 2018, researching theater texts with characters in this vein. That’s when I met Herton Gustavo Gratto, the author of the text. When I read it, I immediately fell in love with it because, in addition to being the type of character I was looking for, with many layers and internal contradictions, one of the main themes of the play is fatphobia, abusive love and fear of rejection. The synchronicity was huge because I am also a nutritionist and the fight against the stigma of obesity is a cause that mobilizes me a lot.
This conversion of stages to the internet had to happen because we were contemplated by the public notice to encourage culture of the Aldir Blanc Law at a historic moment during the height of the pandemic in Brazil and so, we created an audiovisual product with a hybrid language between cinema and theater, which was shown online on YouTube. It worked super well, many views, we received very happy feedback from the public and also many testimonials from people reflecting on the themes of gordophobia and the current lack of empathy and discrimination against the various different bodies in society.
We are currently in the fundraising phase to transform Amores Flácidos into a live event, on stage, as it was originally conceived.
In addition to being an actor, you participated in the program “Alternativa Saúde”, a program that was shown by GNT, as a presenter alongside Patricya Travassos. How was sharing the program with her and betting on the project as a host?
It was an incredible experience. I learned a lot from Patricya, who was always very generous, in a good mood and with an admirable wisdom. And that was the moment when I also discovered myself as a presenter and that I also like this format a lot. It is a job that we have the opportunity to communicate and be a bridge to many exchanges with a large audience, through a direct dialogue through the lens.
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*With Regina Soares