“How I came to be María Félix”

  • For Ximena Romo, acting was a career with unknown overtones until she began to study it as an industry.

  • The actress has participated in renowned films, such as ‘This is not Berlin’ and the series ‘Soy tu fan’.

  • For the Sonoran, interpreting María Félix was an experiential and immersive experience that led her to get to know herself in new ways.

Exclusively for Merca2.0, the actress Ximena Romo shared how it was to be able to represent one of the emblematic actresses and singers of the Mexican Golden Cinema: María Félix.

Ximena becomes one of the first actresses to play a leading character in the ViX+ platformservice streaming of Televisa and Univision.

ViX+ is the big bet of this union to venture into the field of streaming and compete with the content offered by international platforms. And it is that, surely with the decentralization of the market, previously focused only on Netflix, the sun has risen for everyone.

The chain’s bet has Blim as its predecessor, which according to the study of the Federal Institute of Communications of Mexico (IFT), had until last year 9 percent of general users in the country. Until then he was the second contender in the dispute over the streaming in Mexico until the consolidation of Disney +, HBO Max and more.

On the other hand, the bet on entertainment has convinced more and more actors to participate in this industry through the platforms of streaming. The phenomenon that began in the United States with the breakdown of Blockbuster began with the protagonists of series such as Winona Ryder in Stranger Things, a role that at the time was quite questionable. However, when the business consolidated and forever changed the way film and television productions were made, more and more actors made the transition to the platforms, and today actresses and actors like Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch and Adam Driver have been recognized for it.

The CIU portal has pointed out the number of registered users to various accounts The result shares that 56 percent of streaming users only have one subscription, while 27 percent have two, and only 17 percent have three or more. It should be noted that the inclusion of ViX + could change everything.

The numbers presented by The CIU represent the last quarter of 2021, therefore, it is likely that the trends of the numbers will continue to be in constant movement and that other platforms will be able to position themselves in the market in a better way. Finally, The CIU reported that the platforms Apple TV +, Paramount + and Star + together accumulated 1.1% percent of the market.

Exclusive with Ximena Romo: “how I became María Félix”

Ximena Romo’s experience in acting is very particular and has gone from being child’s play to a vocation. Her art has allowed her to participate in different films and be recognized as one of the current bets of Mexican cinema.

“When I was little I wanted to be a dancer, so somehow I always got on stage. But, my parents saw a somewhat dramatic trend in me. My dad is a movie buff, so he somehow knows the world from the outside, but he likes him a lot. He saw something in me and motivated me to exploit that dramatic energy. They put me in musical theater classes when I was 6 years old, for me it was a place to play, it seemed very familiar to me, but I never thought about it in the future, in fact I did not understand the acting career.

“When I was 16 years old, they went to my high school looking for boys for a Gerardo Naranjo movie. A friend invited me to do the casting, I did it for fun and a month later Gerardo called me to offer me a role. After that, other people began to talk and recommend me, so I made ‘Oveja negra’ and other small films, first films. When I was leaving high school I said ‘this is what I want to do’”.

How much of you contribute to the construction of your characters and how much of them stays with you at the end of the experience?

“The way I prepare has evolved a lot because it has a lot to do with the way I’ve evolved as a person and as an actress. At first I said that the characters were totally different from me and there is a very big separation between them, I played that and the most physical. Let’s say that I always start with the body, with how it feels, the rhythm, the tempo, the presence, the center. Sometimes I imagine them on the street, and I look to see if there is someone out there who can give me something.”

“Over time I have realized that it is much more important when you bring something of yourself to it. Let the character touch you, touch the character. It becomes more and more a search for at what points I meet that character. The process of building the costumes also adds a lot to the characters.”

The actress told Merca2.0 how was the transition between those childhood castings and her experience after working with Hari Sama in ‘This is not Berlin’highlighting what is truly important in the work of an actress.

“In ‘This is not Berlin’, Hari Sama put us in a process where we had to become the artist that we were representing. So he got me writing poems, he got me writing songs. It became something much more experiential. When you are honest being an artist, when it has something to do with you, you seem to find a stronger bond with the public”.

The connection with the character of María Félix, as she recognizes it, was an encounter not only with the iconic actress and singerbut with itself. Knowing that she was vulnerable, identified and being able to find herself in María was a turning point in her career. As she admits, at first, she used to distance herself as much as possible from her interpretations, however, she learned to embrace María and a different Mexico.

“Playing Maria was incredible. She took me to see a new Mexico, I fell in love with that time, so eager for culture, music, an identity of its own. With María I found everything that connected me with her, from my Sonoran roots to my own strength, my own character, my own search for power, things that resonated. It was the first time I had prepared for six months to play a character. I tried to be as immersive as possible, to wake up and think about and consume Maria all day. I started doing things like taking horseback riding lessons. I understood that for Maria this was something important, from that I knew that she would get to know her better. I went to her grave, she wrote letters to her, I do that a lot with my characters. The truth is that they are magical processes. The truth is that acting is a very magical thing.”

For Ximena Romo, there is a big difference between fulfilling your dreams as an actress with so many opportunities and doing it under different contexts. The actress recognizes two important aspects in her speech: that there is a privilege in the profession for many people with certain profiles; the second, that art is not the same as the industry that surrounds it, so entering a career like this requires discipline and a lot of perseverance.

“The thing about this career is that on one side there is art, however, it is surrounded by an industry with its own rules. Play by your own rules, the difficult thing is that, if on the one hand what you are passionate about is art, that is not what is necessarily going to support you financially, but if you want to play the game that is around you, you are not necessarily going to being connected connected because of that which is, let’s say, why you started being an artist. Being in both worlds for me is the most complex”.

“The roads are not the same for anyone. I consider myself a privileged person because I have a family that supports me, I have a profile that supports me and that I cannot deny either. On the other hand, I have colleagues who come from abroad and who are not necessarily supported by their parents, who have financial needs, which is why some paths are more difficult. Fortunately I have seen talented people who are still there, I have seen them grow. It’s a race of ‘being’, let’s say, of holding on and having patience because things happen very slowly”.

The actress concluded by mentioning that in the acting career there is a kind of chance, a luck that is very particular and that on many occasions leads to the fact that this is not a fair career, however, she firmly believes that the rewards can come for those who resist and embrace their passion.

“I feel that if there is a true passion for what you do, that is what will sustain you, that is what should sustain you. If you don’t, you’re probably going to throw in the towel very quickly.

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