Najwa Nimri and Alba Flores met during the series’ first script reading eye to eye over seven years ago. They went out for a smoke during a break, they understood each other at first and during this shoot they forged a good friendship that still lasts today. “Choreographing hours of punches binds us a lot and we’ve had a few,” Najwa says. Since then, they have worked together on money theftin the musical Dragon Pack —where they say that one day they arrived at the reception without having slept—and acknowledge having accepted to participate in The Holy Family (which will be released on Netflix on October 14) because they were going to see each other again. After this photo session for S-ModeNajwa was infected with covid and the meeting with them was separated: with Alba in the cafeteria of a hotel in central Madrid and, a few days later and from her home, with Najwa via Zoom and with the camera turned off.
Alba’s earliest memory of Najwa is her voice in the TV show’s legendary header. spanish version. “Na, na, na, na…” he hums with a smile. Najwa claims she didn’t know of Alba’s existence until she met her in person. “I didn’t grow up with faranduleo, I’m half Basque and half Arab. First I loved her so much, then I found out she was Lola Flores’ granddaughter. The first time Alba came to my house and started talking about her private life, we all fell asleep. Then he said, “I know I can go back to this house.”
In The Holy Family, Alba plays a mysterious woman whose past is unknown. “I liked performing it because I’ve never been able to do something like that in my life. When someone takes a few hours to recognize me, that time is precious to me. After that, nothing more is the same.” Najwa’s character in the series is that of an enigmatic mother who hides something dark behind the door of her house. “I never judge my characters, if I did I would have to make respectable girls like most actresses,” he says. The series is a Thriller in French run by mexicans Manolo Caro (The house of flowers, someone has to die) and takes place in an exclusive urbanization in Madrid where neighbors fight to keep their secrets safe. Both say they have never lived in such a place. “My grandmother and my father yes,” says Alba. “My family was very strange in La Moraleja. They had no friends in the park to go out for coffee with,” he adds. In this new fiction, appearances are of vital importance to its protagonists. “In a block of houses or in a city there is more room for spontaneity, but in these corseted circles what is said and to whom it is said is very measured. This is reflected very well in the series,” says Alba.
Ways to understand networks
Although in appearance, at present, the barometer is found in social networks and these two interpreters handle them in very different ways. Alba has 11 million followers on Instagram and, much to the chagrin of her reps, she doesn’t take on brand collaborations because she doesn’t see herself being able to “sustain this for the long haul.” He only does it for social purposes he believes in People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) That is Top cover, the cooperative of the Popular Union of Street Vendors in Barcelona. Moreover, she admits that her friends make fun of her for the way she uses her profile. “I do it little and in a very shabby way. It’s not that I’m not interested, I’m aware of the social capital I have there, but it doesn’t suit me. Taking a selfie feels like something as Martian as sucking a foot.” On the contrary, her partner – with half as many Instagram followers as Alba – says he gets on well with them. “I don’t believe them like I’m 20, but being able to monetize them the way I do is very juicy, even if staying there is tough. You have to have desire and energy. I take care of my image from the factory because my mother instilled it in me since I was little. He signed me up for ballet because I walked badly and used to go out dressed to be educated in this nightmare.
Alba talks about her connection to the private social network S1S4 (am1am4.com). “It’s a care network for women and people of different genders where you can give your opinion without being canceled, which is possible because there are no cis men, who are the ones who generate the most violence within networks. Within S1S4, different communities coexist and Alba focuses on the audiovisual industry and the performing arts. “It’s a good place to plant a seed and create a fabric of feminist care to talk about sexual abuse and work within the profession. We talked, for example, about the importance of coordinating intimacy, because this type of scenes can turn into something aggressive, violent and unpleasant. I felt it while studying in a school and even in a foundry, and now I am more aware that limits can be set. If we hadn’t done it before, it’s because of this heritage from our grandmothers’ time when being an actress meant being a whore”. Najwa was unaware of the existence of this network and explaining it, she replies: “I don’t do intimacy by contract. I only did Interview with my friend [el fotógrafo Virgili Jubero] and because I have no problem with nudity, but I am not likely to do sex scenes. Although I’m not saying I won’t do them if it’s paramount.”
When these two actresses are not immersed in large audiovisual productions, they devote a good part of their lives to minority musical and theatrical projects. “There are people who read or kitesurf. I make songs,” says Najwa. “I have 12 albums and three soundtracks. I kill it with the interpretation because that’s where I reach the public and the emotion the most. In my life it is difficult for me to reach the latter because I’m not at all emotional, I don’t get carried away, I don’t cry and I’m always in playful mode. Alba says that she has just spent two months in a small Andalusian town with her band, La Extraña Compañía “We did anti-racist theater with the rural company of Escacena del Campo, where the day laborers of the fields of Huelva are based. It’s a good blow on the head to go from thinking about your problems in the city to city where you have another point of view. Fictions are more and more detached from what most people live because those who write them have less and less connection with these people. Telling this project that he pampered so much, he also evokes his fight against racism. “In all the scripts, there is machismo, but I have more of my only with racism and antigypsyism, which makes the gypsy stereotyped. All these papers reach me and I have to write to the authors explaining the reasons why I did not accept. Later, he saw them represented and was surprised that many had changed things: “It encourages me. I’m not going to change the world, but we all contribute to it. That’s why it’s important to say it.”
Much of the plot of this new production also revolves around family and motherhood. According to Alba, the most controversial question in the series is “how to be a mother today, in this system. How mothers give us all the love, but also the poison. Because you take all your mother: her most difficult part. brightest and its most toxic part.” And, although he admits to having questioned having children, he explains that time passes and he hasn’t come to any conclusions. “I don’t ‘ve not had the steering wheel”, he summarizes. About the family aims to have more than one. “The normative family has an overhaul. It has supported and helped us throughout history, but they become more and more different,” he explains.
As they begin to discuss these issues with Najwa, her 18-year-old son, Teo, bursts into the conversation. He apologizes saying he just arrived from New York. Kisses are heard, they talk to each other and then return to the interview. “Family? Well, telling you that I’m already booking a house in the snow to spend Christmas together, I’ll tell you everything”. And when asked what he would like this series to achieve, he answers quickly: “I wish my mother liked it, but I think she’s going to criticize me for the way I wear my hair.” His son’s voice echoes from behind: “He will always criticize you, even if you play a Oscar role.” “Yeah,” Najwa replies. “My mom tells me things like, ‘I don’t know why all my friends say you’re such a good actress.’ In the end, everything stays in the family.
* Styling: Juan Cebrián