Smiles and tears of Verónica Forqué: from ‘Daddy’s war’ to ‘The time of happiness’ | Culture


Verónica Forqué did not collect any of the four Goya awards that she received throughout her long career. It was not because of an outrage to her fellow Academy members but because the galas in which she was awarded coincided with filming or theater tours. Daughter of the director José María Forqué and the actress and writer of Argentine children’s literature Carmen Vázquez Vigo, for her fame and pageantry were accidents, not work. His first Goya came to him in 1987 for The year of lights by Fernando Trueba; a year later she doubled as best supporting and leading actress with The happy life Y Moors and Christians, by Fernando Colomo and Luis García Berlanga respectively, and the last Goya was received in 1994 by Peekby Pedro Almodóvar. It was precisely his father who collected the award that night. Affable, he explained that Verónica was “rolling” and, for her part, she limited herself to a shy and elegant “thank you very much.”

Funny, sensitive and fragile, Verónica Forqué worked indistinctly, and with equal success, in film, theater and television. Some discovered it in Pepa and Pepe, the popular family series from the 1990s; For others it will always be linked to the new comedy born from the eighties and a few will remember it in its theatrical debut at the end of the seventies, in José Luis Alonso’s adaptation of a universal dramatic peak, The glass zoo, by Tennessee Williams, in which Forqué and Carmen Vázquez Vigo also played the role of mother and daughter in fiction with two young men Francisco Algora and Pep Munné.

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That stage baptism was quite a surprise in the Madrid of the Transition and his Laura, lame, timid and fatally insecure, the premonition of an immense interpreter with a brittle character. Forqué was an actress because, like so many other greats who have taken up the job, she didn’t know how to breathe otherwise. As a stage director, she made her debut in 2001 with Temptation lives above, adaptation of the work by George Axelrod that Billy Wilder took to the cinema in 1955 with Marilyn Monroe as the protagonist, another naive-air comic whose torment ended up turning it into glass.

In more than forty years of career, Forqué fell in love with an audience who saw in her an enormous actress, a clown capable of freezing her laughs with her more elusive and melancholic side. This is a review of some of the most outstanding titles of his filmography.

Daddy’s war, (1977), by Antonio Mercero

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A moment from the movie 'Daddy's war'.
A moment from the movie ‘Daddy’s war’.

One of the first memories of Verónica Forqué dates back to Vito de Daddy’s war, the film starring the boy Lolo García that adapts the novel The dethroned prince scored by Miguel Delibes. Forqué was the one who cared for the unbearable cherub, a babysitter who dazzled all the children who devoured the popular Antonio Mercero film and who saw in it a pure Mary Poppins capable of dancing It is neither bought nor sold of Manolo Escobar in the kitchen.

The glow, (1980), de Stanley Kubrick

Shelley Duvall in 'The Shining'.
Shelley Duvall in ‘The Shining’.

Before he was one of the fetish faces of Spanish cinema, the piping quality of his voice left a (at times irritating) mark on all lovers of Stanley Kubrick and horror movies. The perfectionist and obsessive filmmaker personally chose the actors for the dubbing of his films, in addition to supervising the translation of the dialogues. Forqué was chosen to dub Shelley Duvall into Spanish, an actress who had few sentences and a lot of shouting and in whose face, panicked by the knife and Jack Torrance’s madness, we will always see a mocking Spanish actress from the side.

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What have I done to deserve this?, (1984), by Pedro Almodóvar

Verónica Forqué and Carmen Maura, in 'What have I done to deserve this?', By Pedro Almodóvar.
Verónica Forqué and Carmen Maura, in ‘What have I done to deserve this?’, By Pedro Almodóvar.

Perhaps the most iconic image of Verónica Forqué is that of the prostitute Cristal in a black wig and patent leather bra asking for a whip from the housewife played by Carmen Maura in What have I done to deserve this?. In just a few seconds, Forqué was putting on her breasts, pulling up her gloves, asking Maura’s son if he got on a horse, making a joke about drugs and diets, he passed indifferently with the disdainful husband of his neighbor while the unfortunate woman scrubbed up her son’s vomit. Although Forqué would repeat with Pedro Almodóvar in a small role of Matador (1986), and as the protagonist in Peek (1993), the character of Cristal condenses like few others the virtuosity of an inimitable actress.

The year of lights, (1986), by Fernando Trueba

The actress in 'The year of lights'.
The actress in ‘The year of lights’.

It’s hard to beat the comedy duo of Chus Lampreave and Verónica Forqué. In this post-war romantic comedy they played two pious women from the Falange and the Women’s Section who danced a thunderous jota with another giant of Spanish cinema, Rafaela Aparicio. Isolated in a spa on the border of Portugal, the peace of these women was threatened by the arrival of a young man (Jorge Sanz) starving for sex. Sanz and Forqué would end up being one of the fetish couples of the new Spanish comedy with films like Why do they call it love when they mean sex?, by Manuel Gómez Pereira, or Of what do women laugh about? Y Without shame, by Joaquín Oristrell.

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Madrid, (1987), by Basilio Martín Patino

Frame from the film 'Madrid'.
Frame from the film ‘Madrid’.

The German Rüdiger Vogler (Alice in the Cities) together with Forqué he was a guide through the recent memory of a Madrid in full swing and change. The film walked through streets taken by protesters during the historical turning point that marked Spain’s entry into NATO or through archival footage of the Civil War. All accompanied by a soundtrack of zarzuelas like the Revoltosa, water, sugar and brandy The The verbena of the dove. In this new map, Forqué shared dreams of the future with Ricardo Solfa, Luis Ciges or the critic and writer Ricardo Cantalapiedra.

Get off the moor, (1989), by Fernando Colomo

Antonio Banderas, Verónica Forqué, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón and Juan Echanove in the filming of 'Lowering the Moor', by Fernando Colomo.
Antonio Banderas, Verónica Forqué, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón and Juan Echanove in the filming of ‘Lowering the Moor’, by Fernando Colomo.JORDI SOCÍAS

The film adaptation of José Luis Alonso de Santos’ play became one of the most popular comedies of the late 1980s. The street guitars of Pata Negra, the bustle of Rastro Sundays and a cast led by Antonio Banderas, Juan Echanove, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón and Forqué in the role of the delicious Chusa conquered the public with one of the most representative comedies of that time. Festive, optimistic and urban Madrid.

The time of happiness, (1997), by Manuel Iborra

Verónica Forqué and María Adánez, protagonists of 'The time of happiness', a film directed by Manuel Iborra.
Verónica Forqué and María Adánez, protagonists of ‘The time of happiness’, a film directed by Manuel Iborra.Sogepag

The story of a family that settled on the island of Ibiza during a summer in the seventies while the father (Antonio Resines) was shooting a movie turned out to be a bitter comedy about unhappiness in the middle of paradise. With an elegiac and nostalgic tone, Forqué gave life to an idyllic, funny, light and loving mother, who listened patiently to her children. A precious paper that followed in the wake of the mother of Pepa and Pepe, the television series that her husband, Manuel Iborra, also signed, and in which the actress once again showed her enormous talent and her unique ability to be both the happiest and the saddest at the same time.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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