Netflix | Interview with Guillem Clua: “Smiley doesn’t just tell a gay love story”
the festival serial From 2022 to be opened with a series that has a lot of history behind it: Created by Guillem Clua (Barcelona, 1973) in 2011 for the playwriting championship; It was first shown in a small room; Then in others also from the rest of the world. Take the form of a book and now jump to Netflix in the form of eight half-hour chapters. Smileys It is a gay story, but not only for gays, because it is above all a love story. In addition, this chain was fed by other frames With a great variety, which makes anyone able to recognize it. It is starred by the actors Carlos Cuevas and Mickey Esperbe, Which makes it believable. Wise choice, like baboon grandson In the skin of transformers. Like great romantic comedies, Coming to Christmas.
s. Smileys It was his first comedy. And it turned out to be a complete success in the theater, as well as in the rest of the world, a book was written …
R was found. You summed up 10 years in one sentence. It’s the first comedy that kind of forced me into it. Its origin is a short script presented at the Dramaturg Tournament, in Tempurada Alta in 2011. And I had to face Jordi Galceran, who wrote what will be in the future credit / credit. It is said that this confrontation was one of the legends of the tournament. I was a beginner and he is an author Gronholm methodWhich I thought: I have to write a comic or I’ll die. And I started writing what would be Smileys, because I found out that I have a very good subject, which is my love life. Jordi won, of course, but the tournament organiser, Jordi Casanova, who was the coach of the Barcelona venue Fleihard, with just 40 seats, told me: “Expand it.” We showed it for the first time, and it worked very well and the phenomenon began.
P. Romantic comedies last through time, because love is a universal feeling.
R was found. The search for love, loved ones, is such a powerful drive that it always makes the works, films and series that talk about it very attractive. But what changes is the shape. Comics by Howard Hawks from the 1950s and one by Nora Ephron from the ’80s and ’90s are not the same, there are some social norms that are changing. Now the issue of gender is more present and LGTBI diversity, which is why it is changing the format. and motivation when writing Smileys That was it: reclaiming the narrative elements of a classic romantic comedy in all its clichés and translating them into a tale of two men. I think that’s what made the play so attractive at the time.
Q: It’s not a gay story, but a love story.
R was found. One of the keys to the success of the work, and I hope this is from the series, is that it is told from a very specific reality: LGTBI. In the play it’s about two boys, but in the series there’s also about two lesbians, heterosexuals, and elderly people… We’re not just going to tell a gay love story. Everyone will feel recognized.
P. Was it difficult to transfer it to the audiovisual format?
R was found. Telling the story of Alex and Bruno, the main couple, was a relatively simple affair, because it was already done. You just had to distribute them in classes. and make it more complex. More complicated was the creation of this universe of characters around him, which served as a counterpoint to the main story. To feed him and learn new things from the reality of LGTBI and from different ways of living and loving. It was also the most exciting thing: the fact that you have a little story and Netflix gives you the opportunity to turn it into something completely opposite in terms of scale and the ability to explore and create new characters.
P. Have you ever felt ashamed to take your clothes off and tell your personal stories?
R was found. Nothing, because I always do. Everything I write comes either from my personal experience or from things that affect me personally and that make me ask myself questions that I need to answer through writing. And this series in particular, which talks a lot about our time, about our reality, about my love life, about my friends, about my immediate surroundings. She is an inexhaustible source of comedy. Grindr Dating is an endless set of gags (laughs).
Q: about PourWho came up with the brilliant idea to turn Bibon Nieto into a drag queen?
R was found. All creative decisions pass through me. Pepón was later chosen, but from the script the character was created to be an actor over 50 years old. I needed to defend the traditional character of the Barcelona switch, which has a long forgotten history already. And now Paul Rudolph is very fashionable, drag racing And the world of clouds, with people in their twenties or thirties. But those who paved the way have been somewhat forgotten. And Bippon’s character attempts to be a homage to those transvestites whom the gay male world makes, above all, invisible, relegated. Because men are out of focus when they’re over 50 and no longer desirable. I focused a lot on that.
P. And this character, with his monologues, collects all those feelings. Looking for that number?
R was found. Yes, like a wise reference who has all the answers but is at the same time lonely. Pepon’s character is secondary, but his message is very strong and his plots are the cutest.
P. The election of Carlos Cuevas and Mickey Esperbe was also very successful.
R was found. It was the most complicated thing, because they were the protagonists of a series based on a play performed by other actors for the first time. A decade ago, Alex and Bruno’s personalities were completely differentiated. So it was very difficult to find the best actor for this role, and there was also harmony between them, that we thought they would fall in love… I think we won the lottery with them.
Q: There are dialogues in Catalan. Is it an attempt by Netflix to mitigate the absence of language or your decision?
R was found. When the series was proposed to Netflix, I said I wanted to have plots in Catalan and characters talking about it. I wanted to pay tribute to the origin of the series. Not only Barcelona is taught, but the real Barcelona is taught, as both Catalan and Spanish are spoken.
P. The short duration of her classes is also very successful.
R was found. There are many times the story asks you to format, even the genre: be it theater, movie, or series. In this case, ask that the series be 30 or 35 minutes long. It is consumable, and it does not become a ball. At the level of content and time. So its duration is perfect.
Q: The play had a sequel: Smiley, bye love. Could the series have a second season?
R was found. If it does, I’m glad, but it’s in the public’s hands. I hope that happens. If that time comes, there is substance.
Q: By the way, there is a Christmas moment. Is it a reference to really love?
R was found. Throughout the series there are references to films. s really love It clearly has its moment. Romantic comedy asks for christmas.