After a 15-year career as an actress, Itsaso Arana, regular in Jonás Trueba’s films, debuts as a feature film director with Las chicas están bien, which she also wrote and co-stars alongside Bárbara Lennie, Irene Escolar and debutantes Itziar Manero and Helena Ezquerro. This is a summer tale that explores female camaraderie through the coexistence of four actresses and a writer for a week in a country house where they gather to rehearse a play.

How did the idea of ​​embarking on this project come about?

I always say it’s been a kind of disobedience to my own beliefs about whether or not I’m capable of directing a film. You never feel fully prepared, so for me it was kind of a life challenge that I had to take. I had always created in a group, or with a partner, and it was important to do something of my own. Las chicas están bien was born from several desires at the same time that they do a kind of alchemy to gather the faith to make the film. Largely because of the desire to work with these friends and actresses that I adore and admire. And it also comes from a personal experience. I come from a family of many women and we attended the death of my father in the family home. We were around his bed for a week and that image of seeing someone you love go from life to death gives you a different dimension of life, and there is also something in that image that I wanted to explain running away from which may seem dark at first.

How did you get the complicity you see on screen? Dressing up must have been so much fun…

It is difficult to portray yourself in pure present and that it seems improvised. The film had a very clear structure, but I knew that it could be transformed during filming. I think it gave them confidence and sometimes it drove them crazy and I didn’t know if they were acting or not. There was a creative dynamic. The whole theme of the time was how to return to childhood and reappropriate all the imagination of the stories, and also to question it. There was a bit of seeing how much our bodies can withstand all this imagery of princes and princesses, but for me it was always a playful element that the actresses take as a game, with humor and irony.

There are more and more actresses who, like you, move to the other side of the camera. What is it due to?

It is true that perhaps now there are circumstances in which we begin to believe that we can say something to the world that our voice is valuable. The example of others helps you too.

How has this experience changed you?

I tend to be critical and a perfectionist and, nevertheless, with this adventure I feel satisfied that I have dared, in the sense that I have done it in a free, wild way, with uncombed hair.