In addition to her long experience as an actress, Mayra Couto also has an outstanding training in film and television, which has helped her create and develop her most recent project, the series My body my rules, an idea that emerged when the artist left Peru. some years ago to train at the International School of Cinema and Television of Cuba.
In this second part of the interview, the actress spoke exclusively with The Republic about his experience studying abroad, how this influenced his cinematographic style and what is his personal vision of the current situation that the Cuban people live, as well as his personal projects and future plans.
– How was studying in Cuba for you? Did you have a hard time with culture shock?
It was terrible. The first month I went back. I said: “I can’t take it anymore!” I didn’t like food and I missed my dog. I took it and it was something else. I had more emotional support because when you are alone you need a support network. Many people who go to another country meet other people, so I could not achieve that because I believe myself to be omnipotent and in the end it is not like that. Cuba changed me a lot. The school in Cuba is full of all kinds of people, from different places. The culture shock between all people is incredible.
– And that coexistence influences, not only in you as a person, but also in your vision of things
Anyone who has left his country or city for a long time learns that there are other ways of doing things. It seems to me that you learn a lot from different cultures. That is why I feel more flexible regarding gender issues, sexual orientation, customs, I am more open to people being able to be as they please.
– Is that why you chose to study abroad, because of the experience?
Yes, of course. I had already been to Cuba and I fell in love, it seemed to me the most beautiful place in the world. One thing is the State and another thing is Cuba, the Cubans. I have been to deep Cuba and I am sorry that there is a stigma, that it is only known that he is poor. We Peruvians are staring at each other so much that we really don’t know what Cuba is, what the United States is like, and what happened to Venezuela. Was the left really the problem? As we do not know, then for us they are poor people.
Cuba has 60 years with the same government, there are several generations that have been born into that, they cannot be understood as easily as reading an article.
It is a people that still have a lot of dignity and that need to be recognized as worthy people, regardless of the Government. I don’t think we see them as poor things. Who does not mind that they are sorry? I am not denying the things of the Government, but there are other things that are cool. Those are the things I want to show. I want to thank the people I have met, who have taken care of me, who have listened to me. They are such beautiful people that I could not speak ill of that country, not because bad things don’t happen, but because I am very grateful.
– What lesson has Cuba taught you?
That corruption is on the right as it is on the left. That the problem is not the system but the corrupt people and that this is not going to change. Left is also Denmark and they have no corruption, so it works. Instead we want to be like the United States and it is not working because there is corruption, not because we cannot be like them.
– You have also lived in Colombia for a while. Are you planning to return or will you stay in Peru?
I’m going there. I am living with my boyfriend, we are already about three years old. I went to live in Manizales, mainly because of the pandemic because I was very scared because of the thyroid (a neoplasm that he suffered years ago). (…) My boyfriend has a job there. I’m just waiting to do this (his series My body, my rules) and go back to look for work because I can’t stand being like this without a job, it’s horrible. But coming has also been beautiful. I have realized how much I missed being on a set.
– As for your future projects, do you plan to focus only on production or could we see you performing again?
I do not know. For My Body, My Rules I have written, produced, directed and acted. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to, but I think it’s coming out cool. I love acting, but I don’t like it when I can’t decide about the rest; that’s why I want to do my own productions.
– Over the years you have faced various difficult situations, health, personal, etc. What advice would you give the Mayra from a few years ago?
I think I have been very impulsive; It should be more strategic with everything, at least with what I am going to express towards society, but it is difficult. What I feel in the moment wins me over. I have to be more of a strategist, I have to be ahead but my intelligence goes away when momentum gains.
– Do you consider that you are in a new stage of life?
Yes of course. I want her to continue to be pretty like when I was 20. I feel like I’m wasting time with my friends, because now I live as a couple, although I also have fun with my partner. It’s different having friends all the time to go out for walks, gossip, all those things. Now I have to accept that my house is our house, that we both decided.
I would not want to miss the joy of friendship. My mom said yesterday that 40 is the new 30, so 30 is the new 20. So, I am a much more learned 20-year-old woman.
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