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About to turn 90, Ary Fontoura considers himself ‘incomplete’ and doesn’t get tired of working


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In times of discussion about the importance of a certain background for actors in prominent roles on TV, Ary Fontoura surprises by saying that, even with more than 70 years dedicated to acting, he still considers himself incomplete.

“I’ve always done a lot of things together and in quantity, I don’t know if in quality”, he says. “I tend to disapprove several works that I do, I think it could have gone better. I am intransigent with myself. When I see old performances again I go crazy, if I did it now it would be better”, tells the artist to F5.

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On the next 27th, Ary celebrates 90 years of life, 74 of them dedicated to dramaturgy, or as he likes to say, to the eternal “job search”. Star of soap operas such as “Saramandaia” (1976), “A Indomada” (1997), “Chocolate com Pimenta” (2003) and “A Favorita” (2008), the actor reveals that he does not settle down or think about retirement anytime soon. “The energy I felt before is not the same as it is today, I know. But I understand the steps I can take.”

In the chat, Ary Fontoura also says that he is not afraid of death and gives his opinion on the troubled political moment that Brazil is experiencing, something that usually takes away some of his good mood. “Like every citizen, I am concerned about my country and I regret that we have reached this point.” Read the full interview below.

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About to turn 90, what reflection do you have on life so far?

The most important thing in my life is that at 90 I am healthy. I admit, not everyone reaches this point in this condition, but I’m always grateful, I’ve always enjoyed living, I’ve valued life, and that’s a reason for confidence for me to stay here a little longer. There was a moment when I had to decide what I wanted. And I was happy to know that what I really wanted was to be an artist.

When did you have this realization?

Everything that happened to me converged on this. I have been working in this profession for 74 years. In fact, 74 years of looking for a job, as our area is a thankless one. Doing theater, cinema, TV, especially in Brazil, you need to be strong, because it’s a field full of crossroads and curves that surprise you. Throughout my trajectory, I have been nurturing a certain self-centeredness to move this forward. It is a lonely profession and one that even today people think is extraordinary. Deep down, it’s a big fantasy.

Has any work left you dissatisfied? And any dream roles yet to be played?

I’ve always been doing things that were possible for me to do. I have dreams, things I haven’t done yet. If you feel excellent and think that nothing is missing, that’s where the danger lies. As much as I have had successful works, critical and public support, I still tend to disapprove several works that I do, I think that it could have gone better. I am intransigent with myself, I consider myself incomplete. When I review old works I go crazy, if I did it now I would do it better.

Do you regret anything in life?

Yes, of not having gone to drama school. I am self-taught, I learned by watching others work. I would have liked to have studied more theater, but my survival instinct pushed me elsewhere. I lacked the courage to study.

You have embarked on a more humorous side on social networks. In this moment of political chaos, is laughter the best medicine?

Living life in a good mood does not mean that we are alienated from problems and do not understand the political situation. But losing humor in these turbulent moments is no use, there are things that don’t depend on you. My mood is constant, but I confess that sometimes, faced with the news of invasions in Brasilia, for example, the people breaking everything, I get sadder and it affects me.

What is your opinion about these coup attacks?

I keep thinking that we live in a democracy and we can make claims within the limits, but this one went beyond everything. It messes with my mood, but I recover well and see that everything will pass. Better times will come, and the people will understand that you can’t do everything, break everything, it’s stupid. I am concerned about my country, as every citizen is, and I regret that we have reached this point.

Do you have projects for 2023?

I’m always looking forward to it. I’ve been getting invitations on Instagram. Within my time, I’m sorting out what’s best. Despite my age, I have the possibility to choose jobs.

How do you see yourself in a few years? Does the finitude of life scare you?

I’m a pretty optimistic person. I am not afraid of dying, but rather of becoming an invalid and subject to the good will of others. In another sense, the very way we live gives us time. It seems good to me not to know the day of our death, imagine if we did? Death is natural, I can die sleeping, awake, traveling, but I’m not going to think about it. I believe in life and I make it the best I can.

Don’t you get tired of working?

I’ve always done a lot together and in quantity, I don’t know if in quality. Everything requires opportunities, doing good work, but success is always hidden. I’ve been at Globo alone for 58 years with a great resume. But I’m always looking for work and keeping in touch. In the third or fourth age, you are no longer a boy and physical problems are considered.

Is the routine always pulled? Thinking about retirement?

The recording routine… It’s 10 hours a day. But I get good roles. There is always a grandpa, an uncle, age is not an impediment, on the contrary, it is sometimes more important due to the experience acquired. Retirement is the end of everything, and that’s a weird word for me and it doesn’t appeal to me.

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