To be or not to be, that’s the question. Shakespeare’s most famous phrase seems to fit the moment in which Rodrigo Simas, 30, lives. Best known for his roles as a young heartthrob in Globo soap operas, he embodies his greatest challenge on stage with the play “Prazer, Hamlet”, directed by Ciro Barcelos. , 69.
“Without a doubt, it is a way to present a more mature Rodrigo”, says the actor to F5. “It’s also a consequence of my maturation. It’s a first step, personally and artistically, that I’m very happy to be taking.”
“Whether we like it or not, we get older, right?”, he says. “There are times when we’re not a big boy anymore. Not that I’m feeling old, but it’s that thing… I’m not 20 anymore, so there’s no more excuses. Age comes with the weight of choices. stop being so inconsequential.”
After a quick visit to São José dos Campos (interior of SP), the piece arrived in São Paulo last Friday (7th). The original text was written by Barcelos, mixing passages from the work of the British bard to which the title refers with the drama of an actor who is about to debut in the role of the tormented Danish prince.
It is a monologue, in which Simas unfolds into seven personalities. In addition to the classic Hamlet and the actor who plays him, Hamlixo also stands out, a kind of contemporary alter ego of the character. It is the latter who instigates questions as to whether the prince really loved Ophelia.
“It’s a scenic interaction between these characters”, anticipates the actor. “I go on stage and I never come out. I change clothes on stage and have all these changes in front of the audience.”
Despite having the text as an ally, he believes that this is a piece in which movement is also the star. “It’s not verbose theatre, it’s got a lot of physical and gestural theater, which I love,” he says. “Ciro has already worked with Pina Bausch, he has a very powerful background in that sense. I also think that having done capoeira since I was young gave me this body awareness, which is where I find myself.”
On the fact that, for the first time, he is facing the public alone, he says that he still cannot measure what this task means. “I never imagined doing a monologue so soon, you know?” he states. “I had an idea that it was to give myself a lot of importance. It takes a lot of courage to take on this responsibility.”
For this to happen, a few factors came together. First, the invitation from Barcelos, who has been a friend of his family for a long time —Rodrigo Simas is the son of actors Beto Simas and Ana Sang, as well as brother to fellow colleagues Bruno Gissoni and Felipe Simas. The two crossed paths when the actor participated in Dança dos Famosos, in 2012, of which the director was a judge, but the desire to work together would only materialize a decade later.
What also contributed to him having the necessary availability to face the process was the fact that, as has been happening with most of Globo’s cast, he no longer has a fixed contract with the broadcaster. “As I was splicing one job after another on TV, it was hard to try to explore myself elsewhere,” he says.
Despite having left with open doors to work with contract by work —in this model, he has already recorded a season of the series about Chitãozinho and Xororó for Globoplay—, it is difficult to imagine that on open TV he can participate in productions as daring as the de Barcelos, one of the founders of the Dzi Croquettes group, whose shows were censored during the military dictatorship.
Borrowing a bit of the director’s contesting spirit, Seamus does not shy away from talking about politics. “I’m very happy to be able to be on stage, making art, in the middle of 2022, in this chaotic year”, he comments. “It is a difficult year, not only because of the elections, but because the pandemic has changed the lives of many people. I am hopeful that things will improve. We have less than a month to go and you can count on my vote to change.”
Change, by the way, has been the watchword in the actor’s life, who platinumed and shaved the sides of his hair for the play. “It was a desire that came from me”, he reveals. “I think it takes me to a different place than the image we make of Hamlet, right? And I also loved seeing myself in a different place, I think it helped me in the process. After this experience, I will always want to do different hair.”
As the text also adds elements of the Norse tale “Amleth”, which would be Shakespeare’s direct inspiration for the tragedy narrated in his work, the staging gained sets, costumes and props inspired by the Vikings. The art production is signed by Claudio Tovar.
In one of the most dramatic moments in aesthetic terms, Seamus appears on the scene only with a kind of black leather sex patch, which represents a chastity belt. “It’s a metaphor for the character’s freedom to allow himself to enjoy himself”, explains the actor, who says he doesn’t care about the nudity in the scene when it’s within a context. “When it makes sense, there’s no problem.”
Like the interpreter, the character manages to get rid of this tie that prevents him from exploring other possibilities. “Metaphorically, yes,” adds Seamus. “He gains that freedom, he manages to free himself from this imprisonment.”
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