Marc Martínez: "I don't have a job and I have three children; my situation could be precarious in a few months"
BarcelonaActor Marc Martínez is promoting the Netflix series Hache, which premieres its second season on February 5, but at the same time he is anxious about his future. Although he is one of the familiar faces of the Catalan audiovisual industry - everyone remembers the grandmother-killer from Nit i dia - and has acted and directed in the main theatres in the country, he hasn't worked since July. He has only played two small roles in a film by Dani de la Torre and a series by Bob Pop. He has a blank 2021 ahead of him.
You say you don't have a job, but at the same time you premiere Hache.
— And my life depends on it. Because I don't have a job and I have three children. And my situation could be precarious in a few months. The situation of actors is always very delicate and, with the pandemic, it's already horrifying, because now it's every man for himself, not even families work, people are scared.
Sometimes it's hard to think that celebrities also go through this situation
— I'm 55 years old and I have a career, but I'm not a star. Working actors like Josep Julien, David Bagés and myself, who are friends, are always on the edge.
But people consider you a familiar face.
— I don't feel like that and I'm not. I'm known here and I have recognition. And although I'm in a good moment personally, it's not professionally. I'm not a workaholic, I work to get by. Before I could live off a film, a series and a play a year, and I was happy. I've kept myself in a discreet second line because I've enjoyed directing, writing, music, my band, my children, the garden. I've had opportunities to earn a lot of money and I've turned them down. But with the crisis of ten years ago this ended and I was caught. Luckily, I'm doing well: I've had a baby and my eldest son [León, 16] doesn't stop working. I told him: "If things go on like this, with the money you earn and the age you are, you'll have to help out at home".
And what will you do?
— My representatives in Madrid believe in me and want to relaunch my career, but it's hard. There are not so many offers, and there is Manolo Solo, who is one of the best actors of my fifth generation, who has not stopped working. Looking back, I have not focused on my career as an audiovisual actor. Manolo Solo did, and now he has become a leading actor.
Have you failed in this?
Maybe I have, maybe I should have been in soap operas in Madrid, but I'll fight for it. I had never asked for work and in recent years I have. I've asked Eduard Fernández for a job, who has 40 projects. What happens? You have to be fashionable, and I've not wanted to follow trends. You end up paying for your independence.
Have you never looked for a job before?
— No. I've done many things, I've liked to open up, I've been afraid of mental closure, families. I didn't want to go to Madrid with Mario Gas, I didn't want to be a director or I set conditions that were considered unacceptable, like rehearsing for four months. But from this to the fact that now I don't make a living with my work, with my CV? I've acted in 400 titles. I'm not asking to be a star, I just want to live in a dignified way, without suffering.
If they don't call you, could you put on a show like you did with the musical monologue Mal Martínez?
— Oh, that was very contradictory. Maximum pleasure in creation followed by a lot of pain. I saw that if you don't have an impulse of popularity, which television gives you, theatre doesn't get a buzz. With Mal Martínez I decided to leave theatre. I had the best reviews and I didn't make a living. The technician earned more than me. If my partner wasn't working in the TV3 soap opera, now I would have to work in a school, a job that I love but doesn't give you the availability to act.
Have you thought about quitting?
— No. I'm optimistic. I've looked for representatives in Madrid, who are very young and very good. I've focused on film and I'm hopeful that it will work out. Like Pep Munné with La casa de papel. I have to create a name for myself now, being a senior, because in Madrid they don't know me. Although if I were a woman it would still be worse, because actresses cease to exist.
Will you have to go to Madrid?
— I won't do that anymore. I'll be able to go to work for a few months, but I'll come back here. Because the fame of a series like this doesn't last and it doesn't compensate, and you don't go deeper into your work. With Hache we've filmed here and I've had a great time. I want to do my bit to make audiovisual work from here.
You're still one of the lucky ones. A series on Netflix doesn't save the year?
— Yes, I can do it for a few months. But I have the cache of a worker. What we should be talking about is what the stars get paid, which is so much money that it's embarrassing to say. It's true that I can't complain, but the uncertain future makes you anxious. I speak on behalf of myself and many colleagues, especially theatre people.
How do you imagine the next few years?
— I have ten good years left in my career and I want to work a lot. I would like to set up a coach in Mataró, to have my own brand. I doubt I'll go back to the theatre, I'm burnt out and I'm no longer interested in it. I like young people. I went to see Els ocells by La Calórica and I went again the next day. It was marvelous. Theatre has to be transformative and it has to be led by young people.