Interview with “Tierra de Lobos” actor Adriana Torrebejano

(Interviews translated by Isabel Abal Couceiro)

Like many readers, I was surprised when Crisabel from the Telecinco Spanish television series Tierra de Lobos (TDL) won the recent AfterEllen.com “Cutest Couple on Television” poll. I’d never heard of the show, but I was intrigued by the premise—a 19th century western set in Spain!—and once I began to watch I immediately understood all of the buzz surrounding the couple. 

Tierra de Lobos not only features one of the most compelling and developed same-sex couples on television right now, but as a whole the show is beautifully and deftly produced, acted and written. The actors who make up Crisabel — Adriana Torrebejano (Isabel) and Berta Hernandez (Cristina) — radiate authenticity and their on-screen chemistry is tangible. Plus, the Crisabel narrative is not incidental to the other storylines on the show.  It is as messy, passionate and intriguing as the other relationships. 

[Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched Season One and Season Two] The relationship between Isabel, daughter of the very powerful and tyrannical Antonio Lobo, and Cristina, a prostitute who was once Antonio’s “main girl,” gets off to a rocky though enticing start when Cristina seduces Isabel to avenge Antonio. Despite the betrayal, the two women fall in love and when Antonio catches them together in the woods, he sends Isabel off to a convent. Isabel eventually escapes with the help of her sisters and Cristina. The reunion doesn’t last long, however, and Season Two ends with a cliffhanger that has many Crisabel fans biting their nails and anxiously awaiting the start of Season Three this spring. 

To catch up on the show, visit this website that some very loyal AfterEllen.com readers put together to start a Spanish-English translation project.

In the meantime, we caught up with Torrebejano via email to ask her about her role on the show, how viewers have responded, and what she expects for Isabel in Season Three.  Let us know what you think AfterEllen.com should give her and Hernandezh as a prize for winning the “Cutest Couple” award.  And check back tomorrow for our interview with Hernandez. 

(Special thanks to all those who helped setup this interview, including AfterEllen.com reader Cougar and the AdrianaTorrebejanoFC English Fan Club @torrebeFan_Eng).

AfterEllen.com: Crisabel recently won the AfterEllen.com “Cutest Couple” poll. The win thrilled Crisabel fans and introduced Tierra de Lobos to many readers who were not familiar with the series. What do you think it is about Crisabel that has impressed so many people? 
Adriana Torrebejano:
I believe it’s thanks to the truth it conveys. Both Berta Hernández and I have created situations that are very real, considering our story is constrained because of the century in which it takes place.

AE: At what point did you learn that Isabel is a lesbian? How did you feel about it? If you knew during Season One, did you consider that information in your development and portrayal of her character? 
AT: It was something about which the scriptwriters and I talked at length since the beginning. So, in the first season we started dropping hints that only the sharpest viewers got. As for how I developed the character, Isabel is the way she is. Her sexual orientation is of no consequence. If she were heterosexual, she would behave in the same manner.

AE: How has Spain reacted to the Crisabel storyline? 
AT:
[The reaction has been] very rewarding. We’ve gotten a lot of affection from places all over Spain and also from abroad. They feel and suffer as much as Crisabel. [Laughs]

AE: What is rewarding and challenging about playing Isabel? 
AT:
Getting to shoot the torture scenes in the convent was like a gift to me, I had a blast. The most challenging part would be portraying a happy Isabel. We hardly get to see her smile.

AE: What is the most ridiculous question you’ve been asked about your role on Tierra de Lobos?
AT: [It would be] if Isabel was in love with Aníbal. The brotherly love they share is something amazing. They don’t have many scenes together, but when they do, it is so soothing for Isabel. She would love to be like him.

AE: What is one question that you wish people would ask about Isabel or your experience as an actor playing her character? 
AT: [It would be] something regarding the character’s evolution. I’m really happy about the way Isabel has grown up and how she has found, little by little, her own path. Also, for example: when will Berta and I go pick up our AfterEllen award? [Laughs]

AE: Tell us something about Isabel that we don’t know. 
AT: You already know everything about her. She’s very transparent with her feelings. The third season will be non-stop events for her, though.

AE: What can we expect in the upcoming third season? 
AT: Aaaaaaanything!!! A lot of things are going to happen. Things that seemed impossible.

AE: Are you working on anything other than Tierra de Lobos?
AT: I’m doing microteatro.

(Translator’s Note: Microteatro is an innovative theatrical experience where a small group of people can enjoy a number of short plays during an evening of theater. All the plays tend to revolve around the same subject. You can find out more here and here.)

AE: This last question is based on the famous Six Word Memoir project. If you’re not familiar with it, the premise is to write your memoir in six words.  Here’s an example: Comedian Stephen Colbert’s “Well, I thought it was funny.” What is your Six Word Memoir? What is Isabel’s Six Word Memoir?

AT:  Isabel Lobo: “I live intensely. Never mind consequences.” (“Vivo todo intensamente con sus consecuencias.”) Adriana Torrebejano: “I was here, flowing along. Action!” (“Aqui estuve yo, dejandome llevar. Accion!”)

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