Isa Montalban (Madrid, 24) got a moon tattoo. A tattoo that does not hide in his last film, HollyBlood (in theaters July 22), as it connects with the character she plays, her first starring role in a feature film, and her comedic debut, a high school teenager obsessed with vampires. But the meaning of this drawing that he shows is even more important in reality. “Besides feeling a kind of attraction to the moon, it means a new beginning for me,” he explains, “when I decided to get it, I had just gone through a difficult period and I felt that this tattoo was going to mark a new beginning in my life.” His career is on a fresh start now, in a year in which the premiere of HollyBlood will be followed by two other films, The immensity and Carl Sagan Yes Kings against Santa Claus. 2022 kicked off seeing how Verónica Echegui won the Goya for best short film for wolf totem, the title that changed everything for Montalbán. Echegui personally chose this young woman to star in this fable between terror and rural tradition inspired by the real life of the actress turned director. “It was not my first hearing, but like that he had done nothing. Each tryout was with Veronica and was about two hours long, a lot, we worked from improvisation because she needed to see what she could get out of me,” he recalled.
And he understood everything, a lot. Thanks to wolf totem, Isa Montalbán is then presented as “one of the promises of Spanish cinema”. And the projects added to his still fledgling filmography. “I guess if more things came to me through the short film, it gave me visibility. At the auditions, I’m no longer an outsider,” she says. For her, moreover, it was her baptism, her conversion into a professional actress, a dream and an aspiration she had had since the age of six or seven. “In my school, at the Gabriel García Márquez, in Getafe, when they gave me a character in the acting classes, I prepared it a lot, I locked myself in my room and I spent hours there. study, then I showed it to my mother,” says. “They also chose me to present the plays that were being performed and I was very excited. At that point, I started saying that I wanted to be an actress.
However, she was not one of those girls who want to show off, who invent plays, disguise themselves, tell stories as soon as they have the opportunity and an audience. “What’s up, what’s up,” he replies quickly. “I was super shy.” And his way of moving even today in interviews and photo shoots proves that this shyness is still very latent. “Fortunately, when it comes to acting, I forget about it,” he says. And he is even able to control his nerves well: “I put on some music, I get away from everyone a bit, I focus on my character and I manage to disconnect, I need a little time for me and be ready to ride”.
She remembers her as a “normal girl” in high school, with a choni aesthetic, as the era demanded, and who didn’t study much. “I was more into other things. I repeated third of the ESO and for me it was a welcome reality, telling me that I wanted to get out of it and that I wanted to devote myself to the profession of actor”. At this time, he began to take it very seriously. He obtained the baccalaureate of arts (“It had very little artistic”, he says) and enrolled in the Centrale de Ciné. Shortly after graduating, he landed the role of wolf totem and in performing, she found herself as an actress, her personal way of working.
He says Verónica Echegui gave him a lot of advice on the profession in general and how to navigate it: “To prevent anyone from taking advantage of me. She knows she has come to a time when women are more protected and yet she still remembers an audition during which a director asked her to be naked without justification. And that won’t happen. She also spoke with renowned colleagues who accompanied succeeding in a job you’ve wanted since you were a child. The other side of the dream. “Everyone treats it like something normal that happens in their life, they try not to give it importance because if you don’t end up at a point where it’s not you. But for the I don’t think about it either, I don’t know how I’m going to react when it happens to me”. Because it’s going to happen. For her, it’s not an option not to be able to live as a actress. “I’m very demanding of myself,” he says. He’s spending one hundred percent of his time acting right now. Training, testing. He doesn’t have a plan B. Or at least, not a true.” For a while I thought about it because people insist that it’s a very complicated world and I thought about other things that I liked. Who? Let out a laugh “Fashion, criminology or Egyptology, nothing to do with that!” he exclaims.
Reader addicted, above all, to fantastic novels, she will admit later that she has also been writing since she was little and that she has a novel project in mind that she would like to see published one day. “It’s true that I don’t just want to dedicate myself to comedy because I’m much more restless, I like to try different things. Not only will I stay in it, but I can’t imagine a future and I don’t think I will be an actress,” he insists. And in the meantime, you can’t get bored either. Now obsessed with Korean fiction, she studies this language and her dream is not Hollywood, but Seoul. While seeking new beginnings, new hobbies. He started painting, fencing and “collecting things”. What? He laughs, he admits to being a bit crazy, as his character in HollyBlood, and said: “Do you know the Funko, these dolls of movies or artists? They don’t fit me at home anymore.”
* Styling: Paula Delgado. Make-up and hair: Yurema Villa for Guerlain and Mon Icon.