Javier Chamber (Albeida de Iregua, La Rioja, 1967) –a cinema essential Spanish (‘Truman’, ‘Living is easy with closed eyes’), who has participated in series such as ‘7 Lives’ and ‘Narcos’ – has three seasons in the skin of Juan Carrasco, a despicable and pathetic politician who provokes rejection and compassion in equal measure. In the third part, ‘Venga Juan’ (HBO Max has just premiered it), which is preceded by the success of ‘Vote Juan’ and ‘Come on Juan’, and a waves still warm, he appears as a winner. And with hair. But it will soon fall into disgrace. The actor, on the other hand, that series only gives him joy.
It is not the first award they receive, but they have just been given an Ondas.
They have given an award to a series, which if people knew, is small, with a lot of ambition and with the intention of treating comedy from one more point of view, with all the satire and everything. And when we gave ourselves an Ondas we thought: great! There are people who like us! That’s very good.
In this third season, do you still love Juan Carrasco, despite being such a despicable being?
We are very happy, because there is a part that is very dark, more dramatic, sadder. Juan Carrasco is very lonely, but he needs support, because if not, he would do a lot. We love him because we fully empathize, because we understand him, because we have defended him during three difficult seasons. And we have fought to make them. If they told us to do it faster, we did it; with the same budget, well too. We didn’t care. And we are in love with this project. That the awards arrive now and that a platform like HBO Max is broadcasting it in many countries … oh, what a joy! See if you like it out there.
HBO Max, like HBO, is committed to quality products. With what to be part of your catalog should give a rush.
Yes. That Larry Davis is with ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and that people make mistakes and see us, you say: “Oh, what a joy!” Even if they run to see him later.
If they make a mistake, they still don’t leave. Because ‘Come on Juan’ is hooked.
Oh Lord! But yes; we are very proud of this season.
«We really like that fall into hell by Juan Carrasco»
In the filming of ‘Vamos Juan’ he said that he hallucinated with the things that his character released. Are you still with that amorality and impudence?
Yes, on top of that, the whole season is a countdown. He is desperate not to be condemned, not to blame. In addition, we know from the beginning that there was a problem in Logroño, when he was mayor. An issue that splashes him, because there is a J. Carrasco, and “I don’t know who that man you are talking about is.” But it comes out in some papers. We know that he is involved, that justice is behind him. It is a very season of trying to solve something that is unsolvable. We really like that fall into hell by Juan Carrasco, and accompanying him.
The rhythm that they have printed this time is of a ‘thriller’.
We have tried. We wanted a season not only loving his character, his family – which he no longer has – and his friends. We wanted to give way to the other characters as well and, above all, add that ‘thriller’ rhythm, countdown, that every day a problem appears …
Three awards yesterday for VENGA JUAN at the @festivalmeria. Happy that a “chorizo-thriller” triumphs in the land of the “spaghetti-western”.https://t.co/Jeej6GPbQO
– Juan Carrasco (@soyjuancarrasco) November 28, 2021
At first he appears as an achiever. And it is more unsympathetic.
That happens to us in real life. The concept of success is always implied by a kind of problem or defect. It is better that when you are successful you say, “But I have problems.” So, you are forgiven a little. High achievers in this country have always been given a more demanding test than thieves, for example. We did want to put Juan Carrasco in the pike, so that everyone could see that he was guilty. And we wanted to shoot it from a very high point. And what better than to put him in revolving doors, in a gas company.
How current it is!
And we were writing that a year ago! How wonderful that that happened to us a long time ago and is now something so current!
It will end up happening to them like the scriptwriters of The Simpsons, who predict things.
The ‘community manager’ of Juan Carrasco’s page is constantly putting things like: “This already happened in Juan Carrasco.”
“We wanted to give this third part that ‘thriller’ rhythm, countdown”
His past in Logroño comes back to him. It is not spared from corruption. The same thing that happens to this country.
In addition, I believe that it is going to more. There are many judges, lawyers, prosecutors, defendants, who are trying not to know everything that should be known. It is very difficult for us Spaniards to go out to the streets together to defend something, but due to those circumstances, we should all be camping. Because it is terrible what is happening in many ways in Spain. Corruption is a scourge. If we really knew what is in all those classified papers that they sometimes want to remove and end up burning … We have the right to know in order to learn from our mistakes. If we don’t go back to the past to fix it, we will quickly repeat it.
Let’s go back to Juan Carrasco. He is alone: the family passes from him and Macarena, his communication director, has a new life.
There is a classic component. When you talk about Juan Carrasco, you can’t talk about classics like Life is a Dream or Shakespeare’s Timón de Atenas. But he is the big loser who lives a lying life and blows everything up in his face. And he allows himself for a time to live like a kingly minister having done the wrong thing. When that past returns, it is put in front of it. It is a theme like Oedipus, which gouges out his eyes. A subject that has been covered in the theater and in the cinema for years. We wanted to do, as is the third, a more serious, darker, blacker season. Taking our hero, who is obviously pathetic, ridiculous and despicable, hand in hand with a truly dramatic conflict. Leave him alone and reflect. If this man can reflect.
You think you are incapable of loving anyone but him and you finally do: his 4,000 hair follicles grafted in Turkey. The hair thing is an obsession.
(Laughs) He is very proud. He lives a parallel reality, obviously. But it is something very widespread in Spain: one thinks that by putting on 4,000 or 5,000 hair follicles, life will be wonderful. And it only changes your physique a bit. The concept of person does not change much. And, on top of that, they have not been very good for him and he must return to Turkey. And that will be a problem. Because it will try. It is that you are missing some in the never. That is very important to him.
“One thinks that by putting on 4,000 hair follicles everything will be wonderful”
That and not end up in jail.
When the viewer sees that final surprise of the second episode … By the way, last month we saw the first two with an audience. I had never seen a series with an audience. And when you see that people breathe it, enjoy it, laugh …, you think: oh, what a shame to watch the series at home!
They would have to see each other at the movies.
Yes. I would like to go to Logroño to put the three seasons there and all laugh a little. What happens is that I do not know if I will be able to return to Logroño now. It would be an ‘outsider’.
In ‘Vota Juan’ there was ‘feed-back’ from the politicians. Has it happened to you with ‘Vamos Juan’?
In the first part, when we were filming and we were looking for advice on ministry matters, people were reluctant to see what we were going to do. Except for that secretary who said that this is not a satire, but that they are like that, that sometimes there is nothing behind. They are the people who manage your money, your laws and your life … and behind there is nothing! Sometimes there are very intelligent people who do not know how to do it and at other times there is no head. We are working to pay so many taxes and what do they do with the money? It disappears from my account, sure. But I can sleep easy.
“That the director and the ‘showrunner’ ask you if you would do this or not is something that had never happened to me”
When you look back at the end of your career, will you have a special fondness for this series, in which you also made your directorial debut?
Especially because with the team that we have formed, which is small, hard-working and with many concrete ideas, we are going to do more things together. I have met some people that I want to continue working with and they have given me a little more space. It has been a very nice process. I started as an actor, some of them insisted that I direct a chapter and I had a great time. It has been a lesson that I do not pay for in any school. That the director and the ‘showrunner’ ask you if you would do this or not … is something that has never happened to me. It is a great responsibility, but surrounded by friends I feel like it.
You are already embarking on another exciting project.
Yes. We are in Galicia with the Coria brothers, the ones from the series ‘Iron’. They are fantastic. I had never done a ‘thriller’. No jokes or anything. But I decided to take a chance. It is never too late to start things that make you nervous.
Still getting nervous?
Yes. When something scares me, I say to myself: that’s what you have to do.