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Blanca Portillo, on receiving the Espiga de Honor for four decades of love for the profession: “I have put my life and my heart into this”

“I have seen Blanca put her emotional life, her economic life and her physical life at risk in order to carry out the characters she had to play,” said actor Asier Exteandia during the award ceremony

“I don’t know if what I’ve done deserves this, but I know I’ve put my life and heart into it,” confessed Blanca Portillo during the presentation of the Espiga de Honor with which the 68th Seminci recognizes a career marked by success both on stage and behind the screen. Excited, the actress, starring in Teresa, the latest film by Paula Ortiz whose world premiere took place today in the Official Selection, out of competition, received the award from Asier Exteandia, who referred to her as one of his “most important references”.

Portillo recalled the times she has stepped on the boards of the Teatro Calderón with different works and defined the award as “an embrace” that she receives “immensely happy and honored”. “I have always thought that life rhymes and that things happen for a reason,” the actress acknowledged, while confessing to feeling “embarrassed” by the joy generated by this award in “very difficult times where it seems that the human being is showing his worst face”.

His co-star in Teresa, Asier Etxeandia, has given him the recognition to whom he places as one of his most important “references” also on a personal level. “It is very impressive to see someone next to you working who puts her profession and love for her profession ahead of herself. I have seen Blanca put her emotional life, her economic life, her physical life at risk to carry out the characters she had to play,” she said.

The actress advanced through the stalls of the Teatro Calderón to collect the Espiga to the rhythm of “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M. and several minutes of applause with the audience on their feet.

The journalist Marta Medina, presenter of the Spanish Film Gala where the Espiga de Honor was awarded, recalled the merits of the “all-rounder” Blanca Portillo and her four decades “making us dream and understand the world better”.

Forged as an actress on the stage since she debuted with an amateur group at the age of 17, Blanca Portillo has left mythical characters for the history of Spanish theater, among them the always remembered Segismundo in La vida es sueño directed by Helena Pimenta for the Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico.

That aspect recognized with five MAX awards, the National Theater Award in 2012, the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts in 2014 and the Corral de Comedias de Almagro of this same year, in addition to many other awards, has its replica in the cinema with memorable roles.

There is Maixabel in the film of the same name by Iciar Bollain for which she won the Goya, or Agustina in Volver, by Pedro Almodóvar, which won her the award for best female performance at the Cannes Film Festival and a new collaboration with the director as co-star of Los abrazos rotos, or Charo in Siete mesas de billar francés for which she won the Silver Shell at San Sebastian.

Moments after receiving the Espiga de Honor from the hands of Asier Etxeandia, Blanca Portillo has illuminated the screen of the Teatro Calderón with another character of height, the Santa Teresa de Jesus who embodies in Teresa, by Paula Ortiz.

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