This story begins and ends in a convent in Kensington, the Victorian district of London. Mireia Oriol (Barcelona, 1996) stayed there during the months in which the most important change in her life was forged, when she left the world of fashion to take a leap of faith towards that of acting. A faith, a spirituality, call it X, that she has expanded in a kaleidoscopic way after starring Soul, the Netflix series created by Sergio S. Sánchez –screenwriter of The orphanage Y The impossible and director of the secret of marrowbone, you know where the shots are going – which opens this summer.
A thriller supernatural set in Asturias in which Mireia goes through a labyrinth of mirrors that reflect the pain of mourning and the construction of identity. It is a colossal challenge for any actress because, to see how I tell this without spoilers, let us say that there are multiple souls to which he gives life. Or death. Or neither one thing nor the other.
Have you already made movies like The pact and series like the hockey ones, but that your first protagonist is such a beastly challenge must have given you tremendous vertigo…
In the first week of rehearsals I had real anxiety, I would start crying because I thought they were going to realize that I wasn’t capable and they were going to kick me out. Imposter syndrome. But Sergio guided me in the search. He is very reserved, but with a special sensitivity to enliven your imagination and that everything is born from you. He has the power to make you transcend blockages and insecurity. Between her coach Yasmina Rincón and I built the road.
What part of that great acting and personal journey has been more heavy?
The search for identity. I had made that journey in other stages of my life and thought I had it mastered, but I empathized so much with my character’s pain that it disturbed me. After the shoot, I was lost for a while. Who I am? Do I want to go back to my life before the series? It was a very strange process. It has taken a year and a half to start feeling that I am Mireia again.
Sounds like this job has changed you on a deep level.
Much. Months ago I went through another period of anxiety and talked about it a lot in therapy. About how we spend our lives fleeing from pain and sometimes you have to go through the darkest tunnel to embrace your fears and be reborn. Also of faith. I am not a practicing believer, but a very special type of faith has awakened in me that has to do with the spiritual, with the soul as an energy separated from the body.
Let’s go down to earth a little, we get very intense…
During the filming I was in an intense state, I don’t know how they put up with me! [Risas] The truth is that I would like to have more friends who are not actors, that, damn, sometimes we are a nightmare with so much drama.
The Mireia of the London convent would freak out with you.
[Risas] I lived there for a fluke, suddenly involved in so much religiosity without believing in it. I think that if that Mireia saw me now she would feel happy to see that I have focused well. Before, when she dedicated me to fashion, she put too much effort into things that she didn’t really want.
After this series do you feel more powerful as an actress?
I feel that filters have fallen. I have had to be so honest and vulnerable that now it is more difficult for me to show myself with masks. And it’s cool, because to me acting is being as true as you can be in circumstances that aren’t real.
Continuing with the game of mirrors, are you afraid that the image of fragility that you transmit on the screen will also take over you as a person?
Jolín, this question moves me a lot. Because I am a pretty brave aunt, I have been alone many times and I have gotten ahead without victimizing myself or asking for help. When someone told me that I’m fragile, I hated it, “what the hell do you know?”, but inadvertently I ended up accepting it. She had it in her head. It is dangerous to believe that you are what others say you reflect.
I think that courage has led you to write a series…
I’m so excited! It is about something that I experienced precisely in the London convent. I feel like I have things to say, some visceral ones that can touch more people. I would also love to do the second season of Soul… And work in England, USA, France! I was recently in Cannes, I saw Marion Cotillard, the whole world of French cinema… My total referents.
Photography assistant: Idoia Vitas · Makeup and hairdressing: Rebeca Trillo-Figueroa · Video edition: Diego Arjona · Production: Chus Casarrubios. In the video, Mireia wears a dress Missoni and booties of Jimmy Choo.