navigate @ newsstand
latest news & archive
articles & interviews
magazine rack
rewind 2001 2000
tv schedule

articles & interviews

Why Jennifer and not Salma?

Click here for the Spanish original!

Luis Valdez, director of the film, gives his reason: the boxoffice The director Luis Valdés already shaped two faces of the Mexican-American prism in the cinema with Zoot Suit and La Bamba, now close to make his admired project, will make a film on the life of Frida Kahlo, and for that reason, the film director confirms that, indeed, it will be Jennifer Lopez who represents the life of the Mexican painter in cinemas, the reason, it can well be transformed in a word: " boxoffice ".

The Frida of Luis Valdez From his office in the Theater Farmer in San Juan Baptist, California, Luis Valdez speaks on his selection of Jennifer Lopez as protagonist for the film on the life of Frida. " Jennifer will be Frida ", pronounces Luis Valdez slowly. " It is necessary to see the reality, and in the business of the world-wide cinema a star is someone that has the power and the capacity to attract a young public ". And the director continues justifying his selection, and the obvious omission of Hayek. " Jennifer is one of the most shining stars on the screen. Aside, Salma has her own project and we have not had a deal with her. " It happens that in Hollywod it is usual that the projects are sent double, in competition form. There are so few Latin stars, that the competition is serious. I believe that Salma has her presence and her profile in the cinematographic world and not I exempt nothing to her. But my treaty and my agreement are with Jennifer." And he had to wait for ten years... Valdéz dreamed about taking the life of Frida Kahlo to the cinema more than one decade ago, but the project stopped suddenly when the director chose Raul Juliá as Diego Rivera and in the role of Frida the italoamerican Laura San Giacomo ( Sex, Lies and Videotapes and the television series Just Shoot Me ). The protests and manifestations on the part of the Mexican-American community, complaining the presence of an Italian in the story of the Mexican art, forced the production company and Valdez to stop the project. " Indeed, the project remained unemployed then ", counts the director. " But after five years, according to the clauses of the Writers Guild of America, (or Association of the Union of Writers) one can extract the script paying the expenses that were accumulated in the preparation. We have taken again the script, are now the proprietors and began to negotiate again. " The Zoetrope company, of potential Francis Ford Coppola, and several other partners speak now not only of a domestic distribution, but of a world-wide distribution.", says the film director to the time at which he mentions that or it is selecting the locations where they will make the shooting of the film.

And Diego?

After which Valdez and his wife, Lupe Trujillo Valdez, recovered the script, the film director is sorry not to still have his Diego... " But we have not yet a Diego. We had the perfect Diego in Raul Juliá ", he says about the deceased Puerto Rican actor. " Diego is an historical and mythical figures just like Frida, perfect personages for a film ".

Frida is national patrimony

Seven years ago, Salma Hayek presented her desire to carry out Frida Kahlo in cinemas, but the project has not taken shape. Some months ago, the Mexican actress announced that Hayden Herrera (author of a biography of Frida Kahlo ) is adapting his work to the cinematographic script. On it, Valdez comments that Frida is considered national patrimony for the Mexicans. " Hayden Herrera went directly to other resources that are public ", he clarifies. " The work of Frida in general, although partly several individuals appropriated themselves, belongs to Mexico City. For example, the Two Fridas is in the Museum of Beautiful Arts in Mexico because Frida occurred it to Diego and Diego occurred it to the government. The same the Blue House in Coayacán (now museum where all the properties of Frida were preserved as she had placed them). When talking about to Frida Alive Naturaleza , it films that Paul Leduc did on the painter, Valdez said that this film for the public in general is very esoteric. " In order to understand it is necessary it to know his life and his race. " As for me, the interpretation that we have given him is completely going to be comprehensible. For that reason the film is perfect for a world-wide public ", he added.