'GLORIA' Star Sofía Espinosa Talks Gloria Trevi, Crazy Powerful Love & the Price of Fame [Exclusive]
"It's easy to make it to the top. The hard part is not to fall," said Sergio Andrade (played by Marco Pérez) in the film "Gloria," a biopic based on Mexican pop-star, Gloria Trevi.
"If you don't let go, I won't fall," said Trevi (played by Sofía Espinosa).
"What's the only way not to fall? To keep rising," Andrade (Pérez) said.
If only it was truly that easy, but often there's a big price to pay for fame. The question is how much are you willing to fork over -- your talent, your love, your life or your soul?
This is part of the rollercoaster ride and crazy, powerful love story of the "Mexican Madonna" Gloria Trevi, an acclaimed performer, songwriter and multimillion-selling recording artist who "revolutionized and scandalized the contemporary Latin music business at the age of 23."
Described as "pure dynamite/ pura dinamita" in the film, Trevi's life is captured in "Gloria," a biopic recently showed at SXSW 2015 during the SXAméricas Program, where an emotional Trevi took part in a Q&A.
"Gloria" is "a bold and compelling tale of ambition, betrayal and redemption that chronicles the life of the international pop star. She was "carefully groomed by an abusive manager and propelled by her politically charged lyrics and unashamed sexuality. Gloria shoots to unparalleled stardom-until a sex scandal that mesmerized the world brings her crashing down."
Mexican actress Sofía Espinosa takes on the many layers of Trevi, who rose to superstardom in Mexico when Espinosa was born, but the actress did her research. It was a challenge that she fully embraced.
"I thought she was a really interesting and fun character. When the casting of 'Gloria' happened I was really investigating more about her life and about what she did I discovered this very rebel and polemic character that was breaking the rules of show business at the moment," Espinosa told Latin Post in an exclusive interview.
Needless to say Trevi's music career is an intense and compelling one.
In 1984, the then-16-year-old Trevi met Andrade, then 28, who became her mentor. The following year, she briefly joined a girl band called Boquitas Pintadas (Little Mouths with Lipstick). Influenced by British and American rock and Latin music, she went on to be a solo artist with Andrade as her manager and released her debut album "Que Hago Aqui?" ("What Am I Doing Here?") (1989), which was a huge success.
"I think some of the most crazy moments for me as an actress were the big concerts because I had never sang before," she explained. "Also the adrenaline and energy you get on stage with a place crowded with people, everyone screaming and crying. I think that was one of the moments when I could get crazier and understand what it feels like to be a real rock star."
At the same time, as mentioned, fame can be addictive and destructive.
"It a contradictory world. Fame is something that is very ambitious, there's a lot of money but it's also fleeting... and it's difficult to get out of. I think that's what happened with Gloria. She was so focused on show business, being famous and getting all of these people's attention, it was inside of her where she couldn't get away."
The film touches upon the more salacious elements of Trevi's much-publicized past, particularly her relationship with Andrade, with whom she was accused of leading a sex cult for minors. The couple fled to Mexico, but were arrested in Brazil and were sentenced to a Brazilian maximum security prison on charges of kidnapping and sex abuse of young women. However, Trevi was acquitted by a Mexican court after almost five years in jail for lack of evidence. She then tried to resurrect her career with a new album and tour.
Over time, Trevi transitioned her talents into public speaking, "covering subjects such as AIDS, abortion, drugs, sex, prostitution, and panhandling. She graced the covers of numerous magazines, was featured in TV specials, and inspired Trevi comic books."
While Espinosa hasn't had the opportunity to meet Trevi just yet, she recalled her saying in an interview that "one of her biggest loves was music and Sergio." "So I think that the biggest loves of these two people were for the music and themselves," she points out.
"This love story, this story of betrayal, it's also a story of obsession," she explained. "We were very lucky because of the actor, Marco Pérez -- he's an excellent actor and is very brilliant, very talented but at the same time very dark, very passionate about music and about Gloria. We showed that very strong and crazy love that you are willing to do anything for..."
Born Mexico City in 1989, Espinosa has the love of the arts is in her blood. She is the daughter of creative parents in the arts -- her father is a theater director and her mother is an art director. She studied music and drama where her love of acting flourished.
Espinosa landed her first leading role in the 2006 feature film "La Niña en la Piedra" ("The Girl on the Stone"), directed by Marisa Sistach. Her performance earned her an Ariel nomination (Mexican Academy Award) in the Best Actress category.
Among her many award-winning film, theater and television credits, she starred in the Mexican-American coproduction "The Kid: Chamaco" (2009), which co-starred Martin Sheen and Michael Madsen. Most recently, Espinosa co-starred in the drama "Asteroide" ("Asteroid") and "Los Bañistas" ("Open Cage"), which also marks her debut as a producer and screenwriter (co-writing with director Max Zunino).
"Sofía has a fascinating freshness," Pérez said. "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 Sofía goes behind the public persona to heart of the woman."
"Gloria" premieres at the Havana Film Festival on Friday, April 17, followed by a Q&A with Espinosa and Director Christian Keller.
Check out the official trailer for "Gloria."