Simone Spoladore didn’t expect a grand reception when she flew over from Brazil to London for the first time this year, but she was shocked to find herself mobbed by fans and pestered for photos in the capital.
The reason? Simone is the star of the HBO drama series Magnifica 70, which takes a gripping look at the Brazilian adult movie industry in 1970 Brazil. The series is massive in South America, and it’s proved a cult hit in the UK too.
Spoladore makes her break-through role as porn star Dora Dumar, whose career is deeply effected by the censorship installed by a totalitarian military dictatorship.
The series, which is full of sex, intrigue and drama, has proved popular with UK audiences after made available on Chanel 4’s Walter Presents – the same foreign-language initiative that brought us the impressive Deutschland 83.
Following the success of the series, Simone has been living in the UK for the past few months to improve her English. loaded sat down with Simone at the Brazilian embassy in London to talk about her experiences filming the series, and discuss her plans for the future.
loaded: Congratulations on the success of Magnifica 70. Were you surprised by the reception from UK fans?
Simone: Yes, very surprised. When I was here last time I didn’t know Magnifica 70 was showing here. It was a very big surprise for me. Most of all because the viewers are liking the show. It’s amazing, I’m very happy. The show is important, for me, because it’s showing here with subtitles in English, with the original dialogue. Dubbing is much worse; you lose the acting.
loaded: Did you have any reservations about playing Dora when you were first offered the role?
Simone: No, when I read the script for the first time I fell in love. I fell in love because of the context of the dictatorship, this time period in Brazil, the place and the political issues. I loved the characters, the history, everything. It’s amazing. It’s a very good character.
loaded: What was it about Dora that caught your imagination?
Simone: It’s very interesting because she has many nuances, and it’s a challenge for me to show those nuances. She’s a bad girl, but she falls in love with the cinema, and she discovers in herself an artist.
loaded: How did you research the role?
Simone: I saw many movies from that period. They were banned at the time, but they’re showing on YouTube now, so it’s easy to see them. It’s very interesting because Brazil was producing many kinds of movies in that period. There were artistic movies, romantic movies and also these movies that are comedy with a little soft porno.
loaded: Did you find Dora a liberating character to play?
Simone: I think acting is always a liberating experience. I did more than twenty movies in Brazil – in my career, I had the experience to do many kinds of free characters. Interpreting Dora is a challenge, and it’s a freeing experience, but it’s not new for me from that point of view.
loaded: Were the intimate scenes a new experience for you?
Simone: No. I’ve filmed scenes like this in movies many times.
loaded: So are you really comfortable doing them now?
Simone: Yes, because you must do it with professionalism. It’s a special day on set for me, the people take care of me. It’s good, I like to do them. I think it’s important with Magnifica 70 to tell the story. It’s impossible to tell this story without these scenes.
loaded: What was it like watching the nude scenes back with your friends and family?
Simone: I think I feel a little bit shy if I watch with my parents, yes a little bit. They are used to this now, though. In my other works I do the same.
loaded: Was there anything in the script that you refused to do?
Simone: No, nothing. I only ask for attention in those scenes. Because I think it’s important to take care with these scenes, and be in the moment. After, during the editing, the director must be careful with these scenes. But no, I don’t have a problem with anything.
loaded: Magnifica 70 fans in the UK might not know a great deal about Brazilian history. What’s the one message you’d like them to take away from the show?
Simone: I think one important thing art can do for us, is make us not forget. Even though Magnifica 70 is fiction, somethings are real. It’s important not to forget these things, because we don’t want this again.
loaded: Obviously, Magnifica 70 is a HBO show. Are there any other HBO projects you’d like to get involved in?
Simone: I would like to work with them in an American production, or here in the UK. I’m improving my English, and I would like to work here. I’d love to star in Downton Abbey, but that’s finished now!
loaded: How about Game Of Thrones?
Simone: Yes, I saw some episodes of this and I like it. It’s very fun I think. Yes, I’d like very much to do that.
loaded: Or maybe James Bond?
Simone: Yes, of course!