Erika Januza says why she couldn’t record a scene from ‘Dona Beja’: ‘Very big crying crisis’


Maria Paula Giacomelli

When she turns on the camera, Erika Januza, 38, explains that she was at the gym and apologizes because she was just over ten minutes late for the video conference interview with the F5. The schedule is one of the few gaps in the actress’s schedule.

In the last few months alone, she recorded the 3rd and 4th seasons of “Arcanjo Renegado” (Globoplay) and the series “A Magia de Aruna” (Disney+), all while preparing to parade once again as drum queen at Carnival From Rio. And this is how she intends to continue in 2024.

“My goal in life is to have so much work that I need to choose one thing or another (laughs)”, says the actress. “It’s my dream universe to have a lot of work.”

And it’s not the excess of commitments that would prevent her from taking full advantage of each experience. Like when she recorded with her colleague Léa Garcia, who died at the age of 90 in August 2023, for previously unreleased scenes from “Arcanjo Renegado”.

“The last scenes recorded in Léa’s career were with me, she received a huge ovation”, he recalls. “She was lovely and very generous, she asked me: ‘Did you think it looked good?’. And I thought: ‘Years of experience and she wanted to know what I thought’.”

Erika says that the scene didn’t have many lines, but a lot of visual communication between the two. “Our conversations were always beautiful, and there will be many beautiful speeches from her that, when watched later, seem like a farewell”, she says, wistfully.

But do you think she is standing still while waiting for the new episodes of the series to premiere? None of that. The actress is immersed in the recordings of the soap opera “Dona Beja”, HBO Max’s second venture into the serials universe.

In the plot, she plays Candinha, but a version not copied from when the character first aired on the now extinct Rede Manchete (1983-1999). “We were not based on the soap opera that has already passed, but rather on the historical context. I can only say that she is a very strong woman, with a life of dramas and tragedies, but that she is turning things around”, she comments.

The scenes are not always peaceful for those who still feel what years of slavery left as a legacy for the country. “There was a specific line that I couldn’t finish at all, I had a huge crying fit,” she says. “I couldn’t verbalize it, and I never went back to that scene.”

“It really affected me. It will also affect a lot of black women because it talks about the loneliness of black women”, he adds. “And, of whoever was in the room at the time, only I understood what I was saying. The day to record will come, but I still haven’t had the courage to go back to the script.”

Sadness, however, does not dwell on the actress. Every Tuesday, Sunday and, sometimes, Saturday, she is full of sparkle, and goes straight from recording to Viradouro rehearsals, of which she has been the drum queen since 2021. Her fiancé, José Junior, who is a cultural producer and founder of AfroReggae sometimes accompanies her, even though she says they have “completely different” tastes.

Between recording, preparing for Carnival and even her wedding, she still found space for one more activity: narrating an audiobook. And her debut was with “Úrsula”, by Maria Firmino dos Reis, considered the first novelist in the country.

“I fell in love with the work, I hadn’t read it before, I love it, I’m very romantic. It was even difficult to record because it was from another time, with different words. I left there much more refined, saying ‘I’ll see you then, see you later ‘”, he concludes, laughing.

Source: Folha

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