Claribel Medina spoke about her daughters, her career, her new challenges and the Fabián Gianola case: “I preferred to respect her silence”
They were busy months for Claribel Medina. From one day to another the play he was going to do in Carlos Paz with Fabián Gianola was lifted, due to the allegations of sexual abuse that began to be added against the actor.
The same producer called her to do another work, also in Córdoba, but the premiere was delayed and they decided make a tour of the Coast, starting in February. On the other hand, a few weeks ago took over driving the trouble showa, in elnueve, which Nicolás Magaldi did for several seasons.
To make matters worse, when much of all that happened, The actress was in Miami with her two daughters, celebrating her mother’s 92nd birthday. And the youngest of them, Maia Agostina, stayed in that city with the idea of “trying her luck”. Claribel Medina talks about all this and much more with THE NATION, in a warm and thoughtful talk.
-You had already replaced Magaldi in the trouble showWhat did you think when you were summoned to take over now that he has definitively said goodbye?
-They called me in the month of November and I accepted before going to Miami, because my mother was turning 92 and it had been a long time since I was there with my two daughters, Antonella and Maia Agostina. I had gone, but my mother had not seen my daughters since they were 12 and 10 years old. It was a very important trip.
It must have been a very emotional meeting…
-It was very beautiful. There is my sister, my nephews, my brother-in-law and it was really exciting. and you realize that blood is blood, because despite the fact that they haven’t seen each other for years, their love is intact, as if they had seen each other yesterday. Ever since daddy passed away 15 years ago, there has been family planning, because we are three brothers spread over Puerto Rico, Miami and Buenos Aires, and she chose to live in Miami, and it’s understandable because all her life in the mountains and in the Caribbean and it was logical that she chose to stay there. It was a unique meeting, of pure love, we had an incredible time. And then the youngest, Maia Agustina, stayed there, trying to try her luck as an actress and dancer.
-You lived the uprooting firsthand, were you able to tell him about your experience?
-I was able to tell him that one arrives in a country with a broad chest, wanting to take on the world and little by little you realize that you don’t know the idiosyncrasies, the culture, the history, the music and then you have to lower 75 changes and look at life more calmly, because sometimes things do not appear immediately. You have to be patient to know that it is a new path that you are going to travel slowly until you harvest your energy, your time and your work. We were able to talk about all of that. With her sister they hugged at the airport and cried a lot. My daughter, luckily, has the advantage that we have family and some friends there. When I came back I knew that I was starting with the program and with the season in Carlos Paz. It was already planned to come, I was going to travel a lot and now everything has changed.
-Many people think that the cases of the trouble show they are a staging, what do you have to tell them?
-That they enjoy the program that raises problems of different styles, social, economic, couple. It is a surprising program, everything can change instantly. It is designed for that and everyone can have their opinion because that is reality, with the possibility of saying what everyone thinks. It opens a range of things that makes it fun and that opening is the game of cycles of that style. I must say that it fulfills its objective because the opinions explode. Some believe that it is a program to kill themselves with laughter because they cannot believe the things they hear, and others feel identified and that is also very good. Many times reality is stranger than fiction.
-You said you were going to do a season at Carlos Paz and a few days before everything changed…
-Yes, we are brand new It’s never too late, with Arnaldo André and Jasmine Laport but the place of premiere was changed. We are not going to Córdoba but to the Coast and we premiere on February 5, 6 and 7 in Villa Gesell, San Bernardo and Pinamar.
–This new wave of Covid came very strong, the news was very brave and the producer found out that the Punilla theater, where we were going to open, was closing. And he realized that maybe it was better to cancel and change plans. We were going to be on tour in several places in Córdoba and not only in Carlos Paz. there was a lot of uncertainty and the producer made that decision. In addition, there was a doubt about a covid case of one of the companions and then the premiere was already delayed. Everything was altered by the Covid. But it is done, luckily, because it is a brilliant comedy and the character of Arnaldo is beautiful; he is a run-down actor who never became a leading figure but he is convinced that he did, and he is going through the worst moment of his career. His ex-wife and manager, which is me, gets him the only job he’s been offered this season. and that is quite humiliating for an actor. And their daughter is an actress and she has become famous, and the father does not accept that his daughter has surpassed him. It is a beautiful comedy. My character Emilia Mazer was going to do it, which had to withdraw before the premiere, and the producer called me a few weeks ago. We rehearsed a lot and I’m very happy. So I’m going to go back and forth to record the show anyway.
-At first you were going to be in Carlos Paz with the work Dangerous relationships, with Fabian Gianila. They decided not to premiere because of the complaints of abuse they made to him, did you talk to him?
-I was very surprised, because in fact I was in Miami when the news came out. I found out from the producer who wrote to me and he told me ‘this is happening and I’m going to lift the work’. I did not speak with Fabián, because I preferred to respect his silence. And it seems good to me that we do not do the work in a situation like this; It is not viable under any point of view. And if there is a judicial situation, you have to wait for the sentence. Obviously we had a chat group with production and there each one wrote what each one thought but I keep that to myself because it’s personal.
Did those complaints surprise you?
-A lot, because I worked on other occasions with Fabián, for example in The Corruptelli. Anyway I think that We must listen to all the complaints, especially if they are women because we were hidden for a long time and without being able to state what was happening to us, but each thing has to have its evidence, obviously, and then Justice will decide what to do. The important thing is that the voices are heard, and that today the silence is no more. I must say that the Gianola I know on stage never disrespected me, and I lived with him in The Corruptelli also and I did not see any situation with any of the women who were there, and there were several of us. But the voices of women who denounce must be heard and if they have their evidence You have to give it the importance it has. He too will have his tests.
Have you ever been abused and shut up?
-Before there was no talk when this happened but With the fellow actresses there was already a communication and we passed the date. There were things that were taken for granted and it was difficult to communicate these types of situations, but luckily we informed those who came. Only once in my life did I experience an ugly situation with a co-worker and I avoid the name even though I had a major conflict that I raised at the time, I stood up for myself and I stopped it abruptly. And it was in Argentina.
-What memories do you have of your first years in our country?
-I arrived in ’90 with Pablo Alarcón and none of our daughters had been born yet, they were not even in the project. At first I studied a lot: theater with Carlos Gandolfo, at a ballet school, I took singing classes…. And when I was at home I wrote and made music, as I have done all my life. I remember being in the cafes of Buenos Aires and listening to the music to try to understand the Argentine culture: the tango of Piazzola, Goyeneche, María Graña. And I also listened to Charly García, Fito Páez. I spent hours in record stores listening to CD’s. And besides, I listened to people’s conversations to understand the accent, the grace of the sound of the voice, to know when they were happy or sad.
-Did you come wanting to stay even though you were a star in Puerto Rico?
-I don’t know if the thought of staying was in my head, because I was very young. I think that appeared later, especially with the birth of the girls. I did castings and my first job was in the old ATC, directed by Rodolfo Ledo, in Help, nephews!with Victor Laplace. And then a driving project called Goddesses or demons, on channel 9. The first important novel I did was passionate, with Susú Pecoraro and Darío Grandinetti, one of the most beautiful I did.
-You haven’t done fiction for a long time, do you miss television?
-Much. But times have changed, today there is so little fiction… I adjust to the changes that life offers me, which have been quite interesting. Before the pandemic I starred in the movie the little room, by Marcos Carnevale, which we filmed in Puerto Rico and can be seen on HBO Max and has a very interesting plot about people who don’t have visas entering a country. Life gave me the chance to make films like that or to have my own music bands such as La alegríabanda, Las gardenias y los gladiolos. None of that could have done if I had been recording a strip many hours a day. In any case, they always miss each other because I made endearing characters in many strips like The Roldans, like you and me, Y Nobody’s women.
-Did you meet Pablo Alarcón working in Puerto Rico?
-Yes, making the novel The island. Pablo had gone to Puerto Rico long before to star and had many friends already in the early ’80s but he went back to doing The island when I came back from studying in New York and they called me. I met him there officially but in reality I had seen him years before, when he went to see a play I was doing with the Teatro del 60 group.
-Did you ever say that they did not have a good relationship after separatingwere they able to meet again?
Human beings go through important transformations, especially when there are children. We had our difficulties and today we are very well and with a lot of respect for the two and for each one, and attentive to our two daughters, that they do well. We can make mistakes but we have the capacity to be open so as not to take anything with us to death without or agreeing on this present that touches us, day by day. There’s no point in being at odds with the people you once loved.
-Are you in a relationship?
-Yes, I have been in a relationship for six years with a very good partner, special and fun. He is a musician and is also dedicated to construction. We met at a show we did at Carlos Paz, Bohemian nights and son. And since then we have not parted anymore. We’ve lived together for a few years but I’m keeping his name to myself because he doesn’t like it, It’s super low profile.