Andreu Buenafuente (Reus, Tarragona, 56 years old) is how he says it was Late reason, the program that began on January 11, 2016 on Movistar + and ended last Thursday on the same dial of the platform. According to the comedian, who has his head inspiring projects that will travel to America, Late Motiv it was “Made with culture, with music, with calm conversation, against anger and against fury.” Raised on the radio (he maintains a program with Berto Romero on the Ser, Nobody knows anything), it is of an unbreakable calm. Perhaps it was the appearance at the farewell of his daughter Joana (9 years old), born of the marriage that unites him to Silvia Abril, actress, also collaborator of the night space, the one that disarmed her appearance. He took off his glasses, rubbed his eyes as if awake, and submitted to whatever the girl wanted. In the program, among others, were President Pedro Sánchez and his friend Joan Manuel Serrat. But the girl … He tells it here.
Ask. Saying goodbye is not just anything …
Answer. I have that concept very mixed with that of continuity. I’m always on my way to something. I don’t have the feeling of losing and of being left in the lurch, but of taking the next step. That qualifies the memory of farewell. The most marked farewell is the day my father dies. You say goodbye to him. As Susan Sontag says, death is the end of everything …
P. That farewell, that of the father, has left you any reflection that persists?
P. He reviewed a very childish idea that I had in my head even when I was very old. I believed that everything would always be like this. That I would not miss anything, always at home. That status ended when I stopped being the Andreu and I was the Buenafuente. With the death of the father nothing is frozen, everything is transformed. It is a bit painful, but it is the very meaning of life.
P. He has said goodbye to a program and a year that ends with bad news about the pandemic …
R. But thanks to vaccination and the work of the health workers, not so many people die, not so many are hospitalized. There is a great satiety, but the seriousness is not so much … As for the farewell, it is the most exciting I have experienced in my professional life. Crying (the rillanto, laughter and crying) of adults hugging in those corridors, saying how much we have suffered and how much we have enjoyed, I will never forget … This program has made us better people, and I have learned so much … I have learned to navigate in the misfortune and the deepest value of the friendship of my colleagues… I believe that I am a better professional and a better person, and I owe it to them.
P. What farewell did you train for this one?
R. I trained a lot with that of my Catalan public, where my school, my springboard, my everything was forged. Ten years there, 700 shows, and I did it all. I was at the peak of the repercussion, it was a very sweet time. Taking advantage of this language that I also have, I decide to go to an audience throughout the Spanish sphere. People on the street looked at me and almost crossed themselves. There were ladies who told me on the street: “My son, what a need, they will not understand you …”. And I started on the state channel… He was like the Catalan son-in-law, the one about whom it is said “how much we suffer for him”. Even my mother used to say: “I can’t talk about this, my son, because I suffer a lot …”. I carried it as best I could and jumped into the abyss. A good friend told me these days: “How well you handle yourself in the abyss …”. Artists are always on the wire of leaving safe territories to go to others that, apparently, are not so … It is the very nature of our trade. Otherwise, I would still be on Radio Barcelona, where I arrived in 1982.
P. How many times have you combined the word abyss with the challenges of the trade?
R. Without too much epic or drama. Abyss is too serious. I am lucky, I earn a very good living, I do what I want all the time. My thing is always jumping with a mattress underneath. One day the unforgettable Pau Donés cut me off in a conversation about my worries about work. He told me: “Do what you want, be happy and we with you … Your risk is our fun.”
P. What has been the most serious moment of the comic Buenafuente?
R. The pandemic. I am trained for all the script twists of my own life, but when we were locked in the house I realized that we were facing something that I had never experienced before, I took out the radio DNA that is in me and I said to myself: “You have to tell life, as I did since I was seventeen, which is deformed from the filter of the comedian ”. There was a day when it seemed to me that the show was not going to come out. Very raw moment, many deaths, a lot of fear. I felt like shutting down, and I don’t know where I got the strength from.
P. Was it hard to say goodbye?
R. It has cost. To return in September to know that you are leaving in December… So at one point in October my head says that more than a farewell we are going to have a celebration. That program, I told myself, “has made you fall in love with TV, it has helped you with everything, you owe it joy.” I am very proud to have done it, if it had not been a burial … At times like this I remember illustrious veterans that I am lucky enough to meet, such as Joan Manuel Serrrat, and I said to myself: “Are you tired and sad and do you know that Serrat prepares at the age of 78 a tour of America?
P. Farewell changed his tone, especially when Joana appeared …
R. He did not want self-tributes or give us anything. Less epic and more heart! Appreciation to the company, the team, the people. I didn’t even know who would come. Many wanted to come to the farewell, and there Almodóvar, Joan Manuel came… And Joana appeared… I could never have imagined that my daughter would leave as a child. I knew that Silvia was confined, I was sorry, but I assimilated it. And when the curtain comes out and my daughter appears… I swear it is one of the most beautiful moments of my life. And she did it very well, she is very serious, very reserved, she is not as clownish as her parents…. We have closed a very large book, which is called Late Reason, with culture, with calm conversation, against anger, against fury. Put it on a shelf and remember it fondly. Then we will examine the following.
P. Is this book also a self-portrait?
R. Self-portrait of an optimist despite everything… From a very complicated time… With chapters that had to be dealt with: the social fury in Catalonia, the identity crisis… “The profession is putting a mirror in front of us”, I told a manager, “Let’s see how we act.” We went out, we advocated for dialogue … Then came the pandemic and Philomena, the biggest snowfall in the last half century … I had to stay on an empty set in Barcelona … Everything has happened.
P. And now?
R. Now it is not yet written. I face it with saddlebags full of self-esteem, affection and respect. Ideas will come. One of them, the possibility of connecting our Latin American public, which would complete the human board to which I have been addressing for thirty years.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.