Who is Karla Sofía Gascón, the revelation of Emilia Perez, by Jacques Audiard?

Who is Karla Sofía Gascón, the revelation of Emilia Perez, by Jacques Audiard?

The actress amazed festival-goers last night, alongside Zoe Saldaña and Selena Gomez.

We wrote last night how Emilia Perez surprised the audience. Jacques Audiardthe director ofa prophetwho had already won a Palme d’Or in 2015 for Deephan, seems well on its way to once again winning a prize from the 77th Cannes Film Festival. And why not that of the female interpretation?

Zoe Saldana And Selena Gomez are great, in this film mixing thriller, musical comedy and detective codes, but the actress who amazed everyone last night is Karla Sofia Gascónthe transgender actress who plays the lead role ofEmilia Perez : a former Mexican trafficker who decides to change his life, and his sex, to finally become the woman he always dreamed of being. During the press conference held at the end of the morning, it was she who had the most questions, along with the filmmaker.

Cannes day 5: Karla Sofía Gascón on the arm of Jacques Audiard

Cannes day 5: Karla Sofía Gascón and Selena Gomez

Cannes day 5: The main actors of Emilia Perez

Cannes day 5: The climb of the steps of Emilia Perez, by Jacques Audiard

Cannes day 5: The filmmaker surrounded by his entire team

“Without a bad pun, Audiard mixes genres, between Annette And Sicarioand alternates moments of dance, violence, tears and laughter while skilfully flirting with ridicule, we wrote right after the screening. Trans Spanish actress Karla Sofía Gascón, who plays Manitas del Monte/Emilia Perez, is the revelation of the film. And Zoe Saldana gives everything in this role in Spanish which reminds us that she should not be confined to Marvel films or motion capture.”

“Drugs, violence, gender transition… Emilia Perez is fully in its time but here, the subjects are at the service of the film and not the other way around,-your also written about this original work. No trace of speech, of message to convey. Just cinema. Nothing but cinema. Crazy script fluidity given the multitude of twists and turns that occur there, an assumed first degree and so refreshing in an era of kingly cynicism.


The filmmaker also owes all this to the incarnation of his heroines. The trait common to all Audiard films, the one which revealed Tahar Rahim, Karim Leklou, Reda Kateb and offered some of the finest roles of their careers to Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel, Romain Duris, Matthias Schoenaerts… From the first shot ofEmilia Perezwe have the feeling of rediscovering Zoe Saldana, the superstar ofAvatar to whom no one before Audiard had entrusted a role so rich in ups and downs. At his side, although in a more secondary role, Selena Gomez also shines brightly in the role of the fickle woman through whom tragedy will occur. But in this trio, there is a leading figure. An actress whose destiny has just changed on May 18, 2024, Karla Sofia Gascon who, like the character she plays, was also a man before her transition in 2018. As soon as she appears on the screen, everything takes on a life of its own. another dimension. His character, the setting, his partners, the story that is told to us.”

Born in Madrid in 1972, Karla Sofia Gascón indeed transitioned in 2018, after around thirty years of various experiences in the Spanish audiovisual sector. In 1994, for example, she participated in the children's show The TV is Tuya Colegalending her voice to several puppets, then she played Arturo in El Aguilla de Fuegobefore becoming known in Italy, via the broadcasts Solletico And Gomma Piumaas well as in England, via the series Isabel from the BBC.

In the 2000s, she participated in several popular Spanish series, such asEl Super, Calle Nueva Or El Pasado es Mananathen she was part of the telenovela in Mexico Corazon Salvaje. In the skin of the gypsy Branko, she made an impression on the public and was nominated for TV&Novelas in the best male revelation category.

Shortly after his participation in Llena of Loveshe returns to Mexico for her first film in the country, Nosotros los Nobles, in 2011. Two years later, it was a hit at the local box office, attracting 7 million spectators in Latin America. With 327 million pesos in revenue, this comedy degrading the nobility becomes the second highest-grossing film in the history of Mexican cinema.

In the heart of the 2010s, she experienced new successes thanks to Spanish series El Señor de los Cielos 2ª Temporada Or Hasta el end del Mundo.

Emilia Perez is her first film since her transition. It's a film that is close to her heart, which she continues to defend on her social networks.

“I found it difficult to get out of character, to no longer be Emilia Perez, she confided during the press conference for the film. He was such a beautiful character. It took an exorcism to say goodbye to him.


It was hard to convince Jacques because at the beginning, he only wanted me for Emilia, not for Manitas. We rehearsed a lot, worked on this character together. (…) It’s a magnificent gift that Jacques gave me, I think that few actors have the chance to embody such a character. Then I was there from the beginning, we really built it over the course of our discussions, by trying things.


Jacques Audiard, I found him crazy at first, I wondered how we were going to get out of it: he doesn't speak Spanish, I don't speak French… But he reassured me, I understood that 'he had experienced the same thing while preparing The Brothers Sisters with English-speaking actors, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal…


When I got the call asking me to audition and being asked to learn songs, I thought I wasn't the right person for the role. I'm not a singer! (laughs) I did well to go anyway, in the end.”

“You know, trans people are normal people, she finally said during this panel, explaining that she had been insulted, hurt for her identity. She thanks Jacques Audiard once again for this strong role, which has just propelled her career.

After detailing why it was important for him that the film take place in Mexico, and that it openly addresses the tragedies affecting the country, notably feminicides, Audiard recalls to what extent the making of a film is a work of team.

“I make cinema so as not to be alone, he explains. First there is writing with co-writers, then meeting with the actresses, the actors… Otherwise I am more of a solitary, misanthropic nature, but cinema can only be collective. “

Cannes 2024: with Emilia Perez, Jacques Audiard wakes up the competition (critic)

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