I recently got the chance to talk to Marta Milans about her role in ‘Shame’. Here, Marta talks about how she got involved in the project and what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set…
Hey Marta. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Shame’.
I am very happy to!
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
It is a very sad story about Brandon – (Michael Fassbender), who is trying to cope with his sex addiction, or actually just trying to live his sex addiction privately. Then, his sister moves in with him and we see the downfall and degeneration of his disease.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play a Brazilian waitress that works at the Boom Boom Room in the Standard Hotel in New York City. Brandon and his boss – (James Badge Dale) come in and I happen to be their waitress. Once again we see Brandon’s boss, David’s, obsession with women, trying to flirt with her in a very persistent manner. But she is used to having to deal with men in that way, and at the end of the day, she is just doing her job. Be sexy and nice and fun…but still be professional and make sure you get those tips.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I just got a call from my agents, and went to the audition…
How would you say this film is different and unique?
I was so happy to be able to be part of such a powerful film. We are used to seeing films where drug addiction is everywhere, violence, murders…but in this case we are presented with another brutal form of addiction, that is excruciating to watch, almost physically painful. You see Brandon putting his body through all that and still not finding pleasure or any kind of peace. And to see Michael Fassbender’s performance, to see his braveness in embracing a character like that so openly and fearlessly, it’s so inspiring. I truly stand in awe of him.
The film stars Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie, Alex Manette and Hannah Ware – with Steve McQueen onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
Well, I met Michael, James, Carey and Steve at once on the same day, I felt very self-conscious and shy around such a wonderful group of talented people. Steve immediately asked where was I from in Brazil and I had to tell him I was actually from Spain…and he kept insisting “No, no, seriously”…so when I kept politely smiling and saying I was born in Madrid – (but that I could be from wherever he wanted me to be), he called me “impostor”…and I didn’t know if he was joking or being serious!!! So it was a funny moment to feel stupid for a second and then he kept on with the “impostor” nickname, which lasted for a while…so I guess I should think he really was joking…?
Another anecdote to illustrate how crazy this business is…I booked another job – (shooting ‘Law And Order: Special Victims Unit’)…that same week. We were shooting ‘Shame’ at night and then once we wrapped at 6am I would run to the set of ‘Law And Order’, making sure I had plenty of Red Bull for breakfast. By the end of the week I was absolutely destroyed…but it was so worth it.
Let’s talk a bit about you Marta. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I grew up in a very artistic family and we were always encouraged to be creative in our own way… my sister is a beautiful painter, my brother a super talented writer…my mom a sculptress… so I guess, acting was what was left for me.
I started acting in school when I was 8 years old, dressing up and doing all these wonderful Shakespearian characters… so after that, there was really no question of what I wanted to do when I grew up.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
Make sure you are really really really sure of what you want. It is a very complicated job, with a lot of ups and downs and your vocation has to be true and honest. Be happy with yourself, sure of yourself and ready to accept rejection on a daily basis…that, and a little bit of luck, and… you should be good to go.
If you could invite three people to dinner (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Cleopatra, Keith Richards and Steve Jobs.
- Cleopatra because I am blown away by the power that woman exerted over VERY powerful men during her time. She must have exuded sexiness, strength and personality…and she had the whole Roman Empire at her feet…and I guess I am curious to know if she really bathed in donkey’s milk.
- Keith Richards because I think he is the coolest musician alive. I just read his biography and his life seems incredibly interesting, fulfilling and unique. I would just love to ask him all kind of questions about everything he has lived and everyone he has met… AND he is so brutally talented.
- Steve Jobs because he has directly affected my life with his creations. I own an iPod, a MacBook, an iPad… I mean, look around us, this man changed the computer industry, the phone industry, the music industry…I feel so little next to such a brilliant mind.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things could you not live without?
- My eye drops are number one. I have very poor “quality” eyes – (I’m so blind) and have to depend on my eye drops constantly.
- My iPod so I could listen to all my music…can’t live without music.
- Books, any kind of books, novels or plays…
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
Hopefully a lot of things! Keep your fingers crossed for me
Thanks for the interview!