Interview with Spanish actress
Elena Anaya
Elena, helping save the arctic Elena, helping save the arctic Photo by Pedro Armestre - Greenpeace

 
My hard work comes with the satisfaction of making my family (and a bunch of other close people) very happy and proud
 

Actress Elena Anaya chats with Spanish Australia Magazine about the Australian premiere of her new film, They Are All Dead, part of the Spanish Film Festival. 

Sweet, gorgeous and humble at the same time, the Spanish actress arrives late to the interview. Her flight from Sydney has been rescheduled a few times due to heavy storms. Elena apologises and we take the opportunity to talk about climate change and her latest adventures in life.


- Tell us about the Greenpeace campaign 'Save the Arctic'. How did you get involved with it?

Greenpeace called me to be their voice by taking part in an expedition. They explained me the arctic is the most unprotected ocean and that it's warming up twice faster than the rest of the planet. Every minute, we lose the surface of close to 4 football stadiums. Think about it, every minute! Climate change is a reality, look at what just happened in NSW with the floods. It's here so it's important we all understand that time is running out. I'm naturally a cold person, I wore up to 5 layers of clothes during this trip! But if my voice is going to be heard more than others, I have to help however I can. You can also be proactive about it by simply signing this global petition now: www.savethearctic.org - I encourage everyone who is reading this to please do it.


- You are not on social media... How do you manage to spread the word of this campaign and your latest film? Aren't you asked to start an account?

My PR knows me well as we've been working together since always, so she understands and respects the fact that I'm a private person. Luckily I have good friends, so for the 'Save the Arctic' expedition they helped me to reach out (Antonio Banderas, Eduardo Noriega, Najwa Nimry, etc.) It's been the first time I've asked them to do something like this.


- So to promote your latest film, They Are All Dead, you give interviews like this one with Spanish Australia Magazine.

That's right. I have been promoting my latest film, by Beatriz Sanchis, for a year since its Spanish release. It's part of my work and I do it happily. This film in particular made me feel more alive. Despite the title, this movie is about dealing with death from a different point of view. It's a positive, honest and magic story about the ghosts from the past and our love for the future at the same time. I'm so glad I get to present it at the Spanish Film Festival as the special guest with Q&A sessions, such an honour. Old school word of mouth.


- Is this your first time in Australia?

No, I first came here around 10 years ago. I travelled for a month (those were the days!) and did scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. It surprised me that someone, up lost in Queensland, recognised me from the film Sex and Lucia! By Julio Medem (2001).


- I guess after working with Almodovar you've become more famous. Apart from awards like the Goya (the Spanish Oscars), what else comes with fame?

Look, I still can't believe who I consider 'the master' chose me to work for the 'Skin I live In'. I gave everything, like I do in every film I work in, and of course it feels good to be recognised. Above all, my hard work comes with the satisfaction of making my family (and a bunch of other close people) very happy and proud.

I consider myself so lucky to be surrounded by friends; to have long term friendship relationships in this industry. Being an actor or actress is mostly a solitary affair. People only get to see the public side, the awards, the magazines. But when you are shooting 14 hours straight in the cold and wet, you can't help but wonder: Are we all crazy here or what?! So it's incredibly satisfying to have close friends and talented professionals around me, apart from the best family.


- How do you keep it real?

There is no secret here: I've never done drugs and I maintain a pretty simple life, honestly. A bit of yoga and, most importantly for me, I keep a healthy diet and sleep heaps! I'm learning to listen to my body, to listen to myself, and to acknowledge my limitations to understand who I am. My job is so ethereal I need to constantly work to remind myself to stay grounded.
 

Spanish Australia Magazine would like to thank Rachel Cassar (Asha Holmes Publicity) and the rest of the organisers of the Spanish Film Festival, together with the Robert Burns Hotel, where this interview took place.