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Looking into her eyes, we see a clash of questions and propositions, attractive roads that split off into different directions leading to a series of emotional experiences that end up leaving transcendental sensations. That’s where we discover her relationship with feelings, determining her accepting or rejecting parts at the decisive moment.
Everything going on with Broselianda happens in the twilight, in some veiled environment that we can identify as her actor’s spirit. One of her remarkable distinguishing features is her voice. She works wonders with that voice, creating a universe of variations that seduce and help us to understand much better the essence of what she is representing.
She also delights in parody—she is one of those actors who is absolutely sure that humor is an essential element to help us face the rawness of memory, the challenges of the present and the uncertainties of the future. In her admiration of different sensibilities, she searches for a unique way to approach them, building up fictions that cannot be found anywhere else. This very private work could be called “stylistic exercises” and they surely contribute to expand expressive possibilities.
Among the various passions that move her, she has admitted her empathy with Garcia Lorca, convinced that he still speaks to us with a strength that increases as years go by. She is particularly proud of having done Yerma under the direction of that other important figure of Cuban theater, Roberto Blanco. Her being and the atmospheres created by Lorca in the richness of their tense emotions converge.
She extracts from life anything that may enrich her work to make it more believable. In that process she has an intense and eclectic view, not obeying any limits and crossing boundaries with the audacity of her mind and the poses taken by her body. She is fascinated by grand challenges, anti-heroes, complicated situations, unexpected denouements and solutions coming in by the back door to leave everyone agape.
She is clearly a woman who reads profusely. Her ambition of trying to be open to a myriad of experiences and to retain them has been a gift enabling her to understand and know herself. Her passion for literature spans from Julio Cortázar to Marguerite Duras.
As to her contemporaries, she does not limit herself to the world of acting and prefers to take in various creative spaces that enable her to put together a fabulous amalgam of sensations; the famous and the anonymous live side by side there without any kind of discrimination.
Since the year of her graduation in 1987 from the Higher Institute of the Arts of Havana, she has been able to deepen her contact with the greats of Cuban theater, figures such as Vicente Revuelta, Flora Lauten, Roberto Blanco, José Antonio Rodríguez and Carlos Díaz. When asked to comment on some of these in a recent interview, the actress stated:
Roberto Blanco was my first director who knew I could do theater; Roberto was a gift, a premonition. José Antonio Rodríguez offered me the part of Ophelia. He was another great teacher; he gave me my first opportunity and we became a great family. He was my father and my friend and if I still love theater it is because of him. Carlos Diaz is my Almodovar—our mutual trust and admiration is huge. I have been his Juliet, his Scipio in “Caligula,” his Cordelia in “King Lear” and now most recently his Phaedra. I have been very happy at the El Público Theater. That is where my improvised monologues were born. Carlos is a theater animal; a unique being living on a grand scale, he is excessive, fragile, strong, nervous and feared. One day he said to me: if I had been born a woman, I would have been just like you. And I think that if in another life I were to be a man, I would be like Carlos Díaz.
In all of her theater experiences, there was one important adventure: being invited to act in the US. She got there after a casting call by Hugo Medrano, the director of the Gala Theater of Washington. She loves to look back on the five-month stint, in particular the staging of Jorge Triana’s La noche de los asesinos, such an emblematic Cuban play.
Even though she has admitted that television is not her favorite medium, audiences remember her fondly for parts in several TV plays and in the soap operas Cuando el agua regresa a la tierra (her absolutely fantastic debut on TV) and Las honradas. She also had parts in the series Doble Juego and Diana.
For her, the cinema has been a totally different story. The first doors opened for her with some foreign directors and then later she debuted in Cuban film. Some of her foreign-directed films have been Tiburón en La Habana (France-Cuba), directed by Alain Naltum; Sabor latino (Spain-Cuba), directed by Pedro Carvajal; Cosas que dejé en La Habana (Spain-Cuba), directed by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón; Siempre Habana (Spain), directed by Ángel Peláez; and Una rosa de Francia (Spain), directed by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón.
Some of her Cuban-directed films have been Las profecías de Amanda directed by Pastor Vega; Nada, directed byJuan Carlos Cremata; Barrio Cuba directed by Humberto Solás; La Anunciación, feature-length fiction directed by Enrique Pineda Barnet;and José Martí: el ojo del canario directed by Fernando Pérez.
Many of Broselianda Hernandez’s fans consider her work in José Martí: el ojo del canario (2010)to be an exceptional peak in her artistic trajectory that will challenge her to surpass herself. She played the mother of that uncommonly illustrious man José Martí, a person who sometimes suffers from the excessive burden of history and ideology. One of her greatest contributions to the film, along with that of other actors, was demythologizing some of the characters so that they could be perceived by audiences from a much more human viewpoint.
March 2015 This article formed part of the March 2015 issue of What’s On Havana The definitive monthly travel & culture guide to Havana Download our current issue of What’s On Havana, your definitive travel, culture and entertainment guide for all things happening in Havana, Cuba’s bustling and enigmatic capital city. We include features from around Cuba written by the best international travel writers covering Cuba. Our monthly online digital magazine is also available in Spanish and French.
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