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Diario de León Translations from Today

Translation by Paddy
Source: Diario de León

Once again...MEGA thanks to paddy who has already come through with the translations of Miguel's articles in today's Diario de León

Pérez-Reverte: "I have no doubt about Alatriste being from León"

By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno

Viggo Mortensen, Yanes and the leading actors, ready for the León premiere this Friday.

The Villamagna Hotel in Madrid was especially crowded yesterday for the launching and press conference of one of the most waited films this year which is already augured to be a box-office success.

Some minutes after 1p.m., the leading actors of the film: Viggo Mortensen, Ariadna Gil, Elena Anaya, Javier Cámara, Eduardo Noriega, Unax Ugalde, Antonio Dechent, together with the director Agustín Díaz Yanes, the author of the novel Arturo Pérez-Reverte and the producer Antonio Cardenal, appeared at the hotel entrance in the city centre for the official photo session.

After some brief words, the producer, Antonio Cardenal, gave the microphone to the journalists in order to start the round of questions. Arturo Pérez-Reverte began to answer and was direct and clear when someone asked him about his fear he had mentioned more than once; that they would make a "poofy thing" out of the film. "Alatriste,' he said, 'is a politically incorrect hero, a murderer, a mercenary, and I was afraid that, in the film, he would lose his harshness and would be more tolerable, but fortunately both Agustín and Viggo crossed that boundary and kept a dark and ambiguous hero, giving him that dark and terribly tragic look. Viggo has made the character human, and even more Spanish". It was then that someone added "and also Leonese!" After the general laughter Reverte added "But of course he's Leonese!, Viggo wanted it that way and I haven't doubted it."

For his part, Yanes insisted on saying that his script just tells thirty years in the life of the hero, although he was aware that a lot of things were left out of it but, he concluded "in the film we show the central part of all of them". He admitted that the fundamental reason why there are not more films tackling this time of history is that in Spain people never come to an agreement. "Everyone wants to tell it in his own way and that's enormously detrimental to all of us at the moment of creating a real, solid and credible context," he said.

The Leonese accent

Reverte revealed that his latest novel will come out in December and pointed out that, in the novel, he took note of many aspects of the characters that appear in the film, among them "of course I don't have the slightest doubt about Alatriste being from León, because Viggo wanted it that way".

Viggo applauded and joked when he said that they had made some voice tests to Constantino Romero (tr. note: one of the most famous dubbing actors) and that the grunts had been taken from Javier Bardem. After the unanimous bursts of laughter, someone asked again about the Leonese accent, insisting on where had he learned it. With the same ironic tone, the actor answered that all that about him having been in the mountains was the idea of some journalists. "What really happened was that Constantino Romero had done the tests, but the XVII century period didn't fit him. Then it was offered to Carmelo Gómez and Imanol Arias (tr. note: famous actors), but they didn't come to an agreement, so I had no option but to do it myself," he explained. "Actually,' Mortensen continued, 'now that the shooting is over, I'm going to reveal the secret: I did nothing about the character, everything has been dubbed and taken from another twenty actors". General laughter.

Make Viggo An Honorary Citizen Now!

By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno

Yesterday the author of Alatriste thanked Diario de León for all the work and wished the star of the film to be named "Adopted Son" of the city as soon as possible.

Yesterday Viggo pointed out that during the shooting there was a very easy and family environment, and Javier Cámara added that he was witness to the fact that Viggo had taken charge of giving 15 books to every actor during the shooting, books that referred to that part of the Spanish history that Reverte tells in his novels.

When the long session was finished Pérez-Reverte told Diario de León that all the display done from León was magnificent and that he thought we had worked hard to have Viggo in the city for the premiere. He regretted not being able to attend the Leonese premiere because of other commitments.

With regard to Viggo being named "Adopted Son", not only did he think it was magnificent but he also pointed out: " He has deserved it for a long time."

A new culture

With a calm attitude, the performer receives the journalists with his maté in his hands, while he speaks slowly, barefooted and with a soft Argentinean accent, about the importance of Alatriste, a film, he says, "that talks about what is not told and about what people don't want to recognize, but shows the truth that is hidden in some gestures and looks."

For the star of movies like Hidalgo, Díaz Yanes' film has given him the chance of getting into "another time, another language and another country", a country he had seen as a visitor, "especially the museums", but a country he now says he's "lucky to be part of."

In this super-production the actor assumes the weight of the leading role in the middle of a "unique cast, because the film got the best actors in Spain together." But he assures us he wasn't frightened of "the responsibility, I think it was to my advantage, like an opportunity to overcome fear, it's a healthy feeling."

© Diario de León. Images © Reuters.