Meet Mariana Treviño, breakout star of ‘A Man Called Otto’

It’s the arrival of Marisol, a whirlwind of a pregnant mother from Mexico, that sparks a thawing of the protagonist’s Grinch-like coronary heart in “A Man Called Otto,” starring Tom Hanks as a curmudgeonly widower who hates everybody and is able to finish his life. In Marc Forster’s new movie, now in theaters, Otto’s world is fully grey — till it’s instantly brightened by Marisol’s energetic, fast-talking — usually comedic — presence, channeled with aplomb by Mariana Treviño in her first huge American manufacturing.

The Monterrey, Mexico, native, 45, entered the career comparatively late after finding out modern dance and English literature, and is usually recognized for Spanish-language performs and comedic tv sequence. (She’s the star of the brand new Paramount+ present “Cecilia.”) She self-taped her bid to play Marisol whereas isolating in Spain in the course of the pandemic final 12 months, and, says Hanks, “her iPad, one-woman-show audition was so wondrously charming I was worried we wouldn’t be able to cast her.”

Their acid-and-sugar chemistry is essential to the movie’s tone — it’s sort of a love story between a grieving senior and the daughter he by no means had — and Treviño held her personal towards the display screen legend. “Mariana cannot be thrown by anything,” says Hanks, who can also be a producer on the movie. “She will get around to the point of her dialogue and the beat of the scene no matter what spin or instincts are followed.”

Over espresso on a latest December morning, Treviño talked about working with Hanks, who she considers a contemporary Charlie Chaplin, and the depths she present in her breakout Hollywood function.

There’s a dramatic scene late within the film the place you’re uncharacteristically upset with Otto and refuse to let him use your telephone. That was the very first thing you shot?

Yeah. I used to be actually emotional. I received to the set, and everyone was busy, and so they have been similar to, “OK, we need it because the light is going. Come on, go!” So it was actually quick. And I received nervous. However then I stated, “OK, I’ve done this before.” You attempt to return to your personal expertise and say it’s the identical. And even if you happen to’re doing it abroad, the bases are the identical. Tom was so marvelous and beneficiant, as a result of we did it a few instances, and after we completed I advised him, “Tom, I’m sorry you had to repeat the scene!” And he was like, “What are you talking about? You were great. They gave you on your first day ‘To be or not to be,’ and you did great,” and he hugged me. I’m like: “OK, I’m going to be really safe here.”

Mariana Trevino stars in “A Man Called Otto” with Tom Hanks.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Occasions)

That scene shouldn’t be the norm on your character. Normally you’re way more upbeat and playfully giving him a tough time. However with that telephone scene, you sort of break, you reveal your self somewhat bit.

Once I learn it, instantly I knew the emotional richness for the actor. And we don’t do this loads of instances. With anger, we let it run its course a lot simpler. However with our emotions of vulnerability or concern, we’ve got realized to be way more cautious and buckled up. So yeah, that was a ravishing scene. That scene and the driving scene [where Otto teaches Marisol how to drive], the characters modified locations. They are saying: “Now you can root for me and I root for you. And I need support too.” These two are pivots for the characters’ closeness — with out even noticing.

You auditioned for this earlier than you knew it was a Tom Hanks movie. What did you relate to with this character?

I assumed that it was so robust to see a person attempting to hold himself, proper in entrance of your eyes. It was inside the house of this character: You stroll inside the house to the very intimate second of despair and disappointment. And it saved repeating and repeating. So I received a really emotional reference to it. Then it jumped instantly to some comedic factor. And I used to be like, “OK, this is very hard to do.” It’s very exhausting to influence you emotionally and make your personal emotions of compassion come forth for humanity after which snicker. I believe Tom is consultant of that very explicit energy as an actor. In lots of his motion pictures he’s making your coronary heart really feel all these feelings, after which within the second second he makes you snicker with an easiness. It’s nearly like a Chaplin factor to do.

If you have been studying your character simply on the web page, how nicely outlined was she?

The e book [“A Man Called Ove”] is filled with little moments and little inner dialogues and issues that work solely in literature. And once you put it in a screenplay, the dialogue has to comprise all that beneath. … Once I began doing it and we began speaking with Marc, we stated, “It’s cool that she brings in some Spanish,” and that we deliver that world to Otto, after which have him undertake it little by little, and play with this concept that you simply begin residing in one other language, as nicely. The candor and the heat of the character — if there was some — was discovered as we have been doing it, taking part in off what I may understand of Tom and the way he was taking part in Otto. He constructed all these partitions, however there was all the time his vulnerability, and this disappointment that he was all the time making present. And I like it that in Otto, someplace inside him he realizes that the love was all the time stronger than the ache he endured. And that turns into his saving factor ultimately.

Had been you modeling anybody that you simply’ve noticed as a younger mother?

Yeah, I’ve a sister who has 4. She lives in Mexico. I’m from a northern a part of Mexico. Within the unique novel, the character’s Iranian. However in each cultures we’ve got this reference of very robust moms — very robust characters. They’re very, “We go here! We go here!” And everyone follows.

Which is why she’s not intimidated by Otto.

She’s not intimidated. And he or she’s not afraid of his concern.