Cassandra Ciangherotti: “Leaving behind the victim archetype has to do with assuming our darkness”

Acting runs through Cassandra Ciangherotti’s veins. For the heiress of the Soler dynasty – made up of Andrés, Fernando, Julián, Domingo and Mercedes -, granddaughter of Alejandro Ciangherotti and daughter of actor Fernando Luján, the stage is part of a family tradition. Since 2007, with her film debut in Even the wind is afraidhas forged her own career and has achieved a good handful of Ariel nominations.

For the actress from Morelos, theater has also been part of her artistic career since 2004 and, now, she gives life to Cosita in How I learned to drivea play by playwright Paula Vogel that deals with child sexual abuse within the family and the process of healing and forgiveness. Directed by Angélica Rogel and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1998, this play is being presented for a short season at the Lucerna Forum.

Ask. How does this work make practices such as statutory rape visible?

Answer. It’s a work that was done many years ago, before there were names for a lot of things that happen. It’s interesting because, although a social awareness has been raised, new challenges are emerging. Before, you could easily get the joke, and now people have a hard time laughing, which is great news.

P. He has said that he finds it difficult to conceive of the right amount of humor.

R. It’s funny because in rehearsals we laugh, we have a very acidic sense of humor, but when you face a more conscious audience, who hears those jokes and doesn’t laugh, it’s a big acting challenge.

P. Twenty-six years after this work was created, are there mirrors in which we should see ourselves reflected today?

R. The play talks about child abuse, about unhealed things in families and about the ability to get out of the victim archetype. What happens in the world has to do with the inability to get out of the victim archetype.

P. What does this work propose?

R. The ability to forgive, to understand that we have to go through things to understand that human beings have darkness, that we are not pure light. To the extent that we accept that we have shadows, we can have a more conscious society. Getting out of the victim archetype has to do with assuming our darkness.

P. How can this work be transferred to a country where 4 out of 10 victims of sexual abuse are under 15 years old, or where a judge acquitted the aggressor of a 4-year-old girl because she could not remember the place, day and time she was abused?

R. Urgently and with a huge need to talk about these issues. This beautiful little girl who should not have gone through these circumstances is a victim and, if she does not have loving support, it can bring enormous pain into her life because abuse degrades the person, lowers their self-esteem and takes away their value and integrity in their life. Psyche. For all those who suffer such circumstances, it is as if they have to do a gigantic task, but it is necessary because they do not deserve to live with these feelings all their lives. That is what healing is for. When you have judges like that, imagine what a poor understanding of life they have. I would dare to think that many people in power have normalized abuse. What hope does a child have of understanding that life can be different? What will happen to the children in Palestine? I hear people say that they are terrorists and it is like: “No, you are making terrorists.”

P. How can art contribute to the mission of protecting children?

R. Stories are the most powerful thing that humans have. Years ago I made Black birdwhich was about abuse and left you feeling down because the protagonist couldn’t get over his victim status. I don’t mean that all victims have to heal. My theory is that once you’ve been hurt, staying in the victim pattern is like being your own executioner. Getting out of that place is a right that victims should have.

P. Unlike Black bird, How I learned to drive proposes forgiveness.

R. Yes, the character says, “I forgive and I will move on,” and in Black bird She was devastated. A girl who saw the play and had been through a similar situation gave me a postcard from a magical little town that had the phrase: “Don’t forget to be happy.” For me it was important because when you are in the victim pattern, what chances do you have of being happy?

P. How can we heal in environments where there is normalization in families and where government apparatuses operate with impunity?

R. Let’s put on a play in these instances. There are monologues in which I can look people in the eye and you don’t know how many complex looks there are. I can find the person whose eyes shine, as if to say: “I understand perfectly what you’re saying” or I find looks that judge me with hatred. Those are the ones that move me, the ones I want to look at and say: “What have you kept that you haven’t said? What did you do that bothers you so much?”

The poster for the play.Alberto Hidalgo (How I learned to drive)

P. It represents the character of Cosita at various stages of her life, from puberty to adulthood. How do you move forward and back through these stages?

R. When I start to be the character who is younger, it breaks my heart. I think that most of our ailments are rooted in that moment of our lives. She becomes a woman and has tools to evaluate what happened to her, but in her inner child, the one who experienced the abuse, there is the archetype of the victim. And then we are adults who are not being adults, but children in the body of an adult and we have toxic relationships because we have not been able to embrace our inner child.

P. How was the public reception at the first performances?

R. It is a complex and intense work, but it doesn’t let you fall into an abyss, it always lifts you up. It is directed in an intelligent way.

P. What message do you take away?

R. To be at the service of the growth of humanity’s consciousness. I remain with the hope that it will manage to remove and heal wounds in our society. That is all the intention I have and the one I always want to have. When I was younger I had more personal aspirations.

P. As which?

R. Like being an actress who travels the world and dresses in the best clothes. As I get older, those aspirations start to lose their luster.

P. What are the aspirations that shine now?

R. I am interested in being at the service of the evolution of the human being. I believe that darkness is dancing on a stage, giving the ShowThe level of cynicism we are faced with invites me to have a purpose greater than the personal one.

P. The characters you have chosen in The good girls or in Family They touch on themes that are important to the new generations. Is that what you’re looking for?

R. Yes. In my characters I like to explore the shadow. I was talking to Rodrigo (Garcia, director of Family) and I told her that Julia (her character) is the black sheep who doesn’t have a career, who has vices, who wants to separate, who is a bad mother. But I like to defend that, because she doesn’t have ambitions like most people. Why would we want to be super successful? The good girls She is a character (Alejandra) who likes status. It’s wrong, but it’s fun to accept that this exists in human beings.

P. Speaking of FamilyHow do you feel about the nomination for the Ariel for Best Actress?

R. It was very nice, but I don’t know, it’s my seventh nomination, it’s like a game where you never know where it’s going to go. I’m wary of it. Oh, right? (Laughs).

P. Do you have any bets?

R. I bet I won’t win, once again. That would be my main bet. I’ll tell you one thing: I like to lose.

P. Because?

R. I know it sounds weird, but I swear I like losing. You lose and you go home saying, “We’ll see.” You stay a cockroach. I love being a cockroach.

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