If you are connected to social networks, it is very likely that you have already consumed some content by Júlia Mendes. With more than 300,000 followers on her @jujumecontatudo networks, the actress who shines as the fiery beata Anita in “Mar do Sertão”, faces the challenge of playing one of the victims of the tragic fire at the Kiss nightclub in “Todo Dia A Mesma Noite” , from Netflix.
Completing 10 years of the incident at the Kiss nightclub, the series produced by Netflix is based on the book “Every Day at the Same Night: The Untold Story of the Kiss Nightclub”, by journalist Daniela Arbex, illustrating scenes of the struggle of families in justice, backstage of the event and developments.
Starting the soap opera as the most demure saint, Anita has shown herself to be increasingly fiery with Joel Leiteiro (Matheus Cardoso), who is openly in love with the character. For Julia, it is a journey of self-discovery for the character, who begins to give in to her own desires. Check out the interview!
Launched on the last January 25th, the series “Todo Dia a Mesma Noite” impacts the public by recalling the 10 years of the fatality that ended the lives of more than 250 young people at the Kiss nightclub, in Santa Maria. What was it like to face the challenge of representing a real event that marked the country so much?
It was certainly one of the biggest challenges of my career. I had never participated in a series based on real events and it was really a big challenge. We had in our hands a great duty that was to really show all this tragedy, this pain, this despair through the screens, but in a very sensitive and committed way with the main purpose of the series, which is really to claim for justice. It’s all of our preparation, all of the team’s union had this greater purpose and I think that, thank God, is being reflected on the screens.
In addition to trying to show in as much detail as possible the tragic night of the nightclub fire on January 27, 2013, it also represents the family members’ search for justice for the loss of their loved ones. Do you believe that living with Susana could be a remarkable experience due to the complexity of the case in which she was involved? What insight did you gain from delving into the Kiss story?
Suzana was not just another character in my life. I think that as it is a series that deals with a true story, Suzana was an opportunity to live a character who calls for justice. In a way, a character who goes through the pain of several family members who had their relatives lost and whose lives were taken by total impunity, by a person’s lack of responsibility. Playing Suzana goes far beyond building a character. Living Suzana is a positioning. One of the most striking works, precisely because of all that is behind it.
During your career, you were present in several soap operas, such as “Malhação: Vidas Brasileiras”, “Salve Jorge” and “Fina Estampa”, however, in this current phase, your highlight ended up going to streaming. What is your opinion about the impulses that these platforms have brought and how much they have been collaborating with the development of the artistic class?
It all started with the soap operas, even on television, but I think that nowadays for the actor, this streaming window is extremely important not only because it is another window, but also an opportunity for us to publicize our work, mainly so that there is more opportunities for us to delve into characters with deeper layers. In a soap opera, many times we cannot dive so deeply because the stories end up being a little more on the surface and in these smaller series, the characters end up being a little more on the surface. Furthermore, in these smaller productions, the character ends up having greater ramifications and depths. You get to dive deeper into the story and I think it’s super important that we can really open up the range of audiovisual and streaming really came to crown that and to help our artistic class.
In addition to being an actress, over time you have become quite popular through social media. Regarding popularity, in 2017 the story was raised that actress Natallia Rodrigues would have been refused a role because she did not have many followers on her social networks. As an influencer, do you believe that social networks commercially establish weight in lineups?
Nowadays, this issue of social networks is a complex issue. Actors question themselves a lot if you have to have a lot of followers and if that actually influences them to have new jobs. I think it depends a lot, because they’ve tried to hire non-actors, but with a lot of followers to do work and it doesn’t always correspond positively. I think we also have to learn to play with what’s happening now, and social networks, in a way, are booming a lot. So, I think we have to know how to use this to our advantage. I, as an actress, think that we have to embrace everything that is happening, of course respecting each other, doing the things that you really believe in.
Since the world has been the world, this audience thing, what is in vogue, perhaps ending up influencing hiring, but I think it is not an absolute truth, I think there are cases and cases, but we know that this count yes. So nowadays, it’s up to you to take that and use it to your advantage, but obviously without going beyond your limits of what you actually believe in your profession and not even getting hurt, however, understanding the direction of the market and trying to adapt as best you can shape to it, without ceasing to be you.
One of the other characters that he played recently and that drew a lot of attention was Anita in “Mar do Sertão”. How was the experience of living this character who gained such a remarkable personality?
Anita was everything in my career and she is being a gift in my life. She’s a character unlike any I’ve ever played, because she’s from a very opposite reality to mine. A woman from the interior of the Sertão, from a small town with very intrinsic traditional values within it. A Beata who has a different type of tempo, both in terms of speech, gestures and even clothing. I think this is one of the greatest gifts, being able to play someone so different from you, removing all your manipulations, your daily habits, and putting all of this, let’s say, in a small pot on top of a shelf and leaving it there asleep and give life to a character so far from his reality.
She also has many layers. My character is a Beata and at the same time feels a very strong fire for her romantic partner, who is Joel Liteteiro, played by Matheus Cardoso. It’s not obvious at all and that’s pretty good on a matrix basis. You can dig into several things, discover her character, she is still a box of surprises for me.
As soon as it was released on January 25 of that year, “Todo Dia a Mesma Noite” was the target of some criticism, as according to internet users, the release of this production would be rekindling the suffering of families who lost their children in the tragedy. Even though it might remind us of this difficult chapter in our society’s history, do you think the production had what it takes to revisit 2013?
I think that in a way, inevitably the series would revive and rekindle some kind of suffering. It was a really painful and painful tragedy. I think the main and most painful thing about all of this is that it could have been avoided… So, it’s really inevitable, but I think what we should be aware of in this case is that the series is on the side of these families. The series is indicating for justice and that it is bringing this matter to light and that until today it has not been resolved. The series is actually there to claim something that all these families still want today, which is justice.
Regarding playing Susana in this new series, how was the process of building the character and which scene was the most difficult to record? Did you get genuine emotions rolling?
The most difficult scene to reproduce was certainly the fire in the club. It was really real despair. We had a very professional team that was attentive and took care of us. As for those genuine emotions, we had our coach there to talk to about anything that came up. Obviously, we are actors, but we are, first and foremost, human beings, so reliving that and knowing that those people actually went through that claustrophobia inside that club was very strong. Me talking now makes me shiver, and it was very difficult. When the person shouts “Fire!”, I remember that the director told me to shout. At that time, it was a scream that came from my insides.
I’ll never forget that scream I gave. It was very difficult, but we really had a very strong support from the production, from the direction, and I also insist on valuing the figuration of this series. They are a group that is not very valued and the figure of this series was more than 300 people and they were together with us, shouting, helping with that strength, that despair that was necessary to have at that moment. They didn’t leave at any point, they were focused together and certainly helped a lot to make this series happen.
Regarding the families who suffered the loss of their relatives and friends in the Kiss fire. As much as your character was just a representation, do you think you would be able to really feel what these victims felt on that tragic Sunday night?
Well… I felt exactly what they felt, certainly not. I really don’t think there’s the slightest condition to feel something I haven’t experienced, however, my profession gives me this possibility, which I think is the most beautiful thing, to live stories, even if they are as tragic as this one. So, what I can say is that I felt a minimal portion there acting, of the pain and the deep feeling of despair that it was to be inside that club that day, that night.
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