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Mariana Trevino, the Breakout Star of “A Man Called Otto”, Tells her Experience Making the Movie



Mariana Trevino, the Breakout Star of "A Man Called Otto", Tells her Experience Making the Movie

Mariana Trevino, the Breakout Star of “A Man Called Otto”, Tells her Experience Making the Movie

A vibrant and talented actress from Monterrey, Mexico, takes Hollywood in her first primary American production. That’s none other than the talented Mariana Treviño. 

Before the fame and lights of Hollywood, she was known for her Spanish-language plays and comedic TV shows, even shining as the star of the popular Paramount+ series “Cecilia.”

Stepping into the shoes of Marisol, a spirited and pregnant whirlwind from Mexico, in the heartwarming film “A Man Called Otto.” Mariana Treviño’s movies and TV shows portrayal of Marisol was a game-changer, setting the tone for a touching yet hilariously heartwarming story. 

As Otto’s world gradually transformed from grey to vibrant, Mariana’s energetic performance added a sprinkle of magic that made her character unforgettable.

Believe it or not, Mariana’s journey to stardom began with an audition that impressed even Tom Hanks. Self-taping her audition during the pandemic while in Spain, her charm and talent shone through, leaving an indelible mark on the filmmakers. Tom Hanks was in awe of her one-woman-show audition and knew Mariana was the perfect fit for the role.


The Chemistry that Lit Up the Screen

Ah, chemistry – that magical spark that makes on-screen interactions unforgettable. Mariana Treviño and Tom Hanks shared an impeccable on-screen chemistry that shaped the film’s unique tone. 

Their dynamic was mesmerizing, akin to a modern-day Chaplin performance. Mariana’s ability to hold her own against a screen legend like Tom Hanks is a testament to her acting prowess.

Let’s get personal for a moment. Mariana felt an emotional connection to her character’s journey when she read the script. The character’s depth and vulnerability resonated with her, especially in the poignant scenes that required a delicate balance between emotions and laughter. 

It’s in these moments that Mariana truly shines, seamlessly blending heart-wrenching emotions with a touch of humor.

Originating from Monterrey, Mexico, Mariana Treviño, who is 45 years old, ventured into her profession later than usual, pursuing studies in contemporary dance and English literature. She is primarily renowned for her involvement in Spanish-language theatrical productions and comedic television series.

She starred in the newly debuted series ‘Cecilia’ on Paramount+ recently. Mariana self-recorded her audition to portray Marisol while in self-isolation in Spain amidst last year’s pandemic. Tom Hanks remarks, “Her one-woman-show audition on an iPad was incredibly delightful, to the point where I was concerned about our ability to find a better fit.”

Their blend of acerbic wit and endearing sweetness is pivotal to the film’s ambiance—a tale of love between an elderly mourner and the daughter he never had. Treviño adeptly matched up against the iconic actor, demonstrating her capability.

“Mariana remains unfazed by any challenge,” adds Hanks, who is also involved in film production. “She consistently reaches the heart of her dialogue and the rhythm of the scene, regardless of any twists or instincts that come into play.”


A Shift in Dynamics

Remember that intense phone scene? Mariana’s portrayal of Marisol broke through her character’s usually upbeat and playful demeanor. The set showcased her remarkable range, revealing a side of Marisol that added layers of depth to the story. 

In a fascinating twist, the characters’ roles are reversed in the driving scene, symbolizing their evolving connection and highlighting the underlying themes of support and growth.


Real-Life Inspirations

As Mariana embodied the role of Marisol, she drew inspiration from solid maternal figures in her own life, particularly her sister. Living in a culture with a tradition of assertive and determined mothers, Mariana channeled this energy into her character’s fearlessness and unwavering strength. Marisol’s fearless nature and lack of intimidation in the face of Otto’s gruffness mirrored Mariana’s real-life inspirations.

A question was asked by Mariana Trevino, “in a pivotal moment towards the movie’s climax, there’s a highly charged scene where you find yourself unusually upset with Otto, adamantly denying him access to your phone. Was that the very first scene you filmed?”

She replied, “Absolutely. The intensity was running high. The energy was bustling as I arrived on set, and urgency filled the air. It was like, “Okay, let’s get this done because the light’s fading. Go, go!” 

Everything happened so swiftly. I admit I was feeling a tad nervous. Yet, I managed to steady myself by reminding myself, “Hey, I’ve been here before.” It’s about tapping into personal experiences and realizing that the core remains the same regardless of location.

Tom’s generosity and brilliance shone through. We went through a couple of takes, and after wrapping up, I confessed to Tom, “Hey, sorry you had to do that scene again!” His response surprised me, saying, “What are you talking about? You were fantastic. 

Remember, they threw ‘To be or not to be’ at you on your first day, and you aced it.” A heartfelt hug followed, and I thought, “Alright, I’m in good hands.” It was a departure from my character’s usual demeanor. Usually, I’m upbeat, playfully giving Otto a hard time. However, in that phone scene, there’s a breakthrough; a glimpse into my character’s inner world.

When I first read that scene, I immediately sensed the depth it offered an actor. These moments aren’t all that common. It’s simpler to let anger play out naturally. But when it comes to those moments of vulnerability or fear, we tend to tread cautiously and shield ourselves. 

And that’s why this scene holds such beauty. It’s a portrayal of raw emotion. Another scene that shares this theme is the driving scene [where Otto teaches Marisol how to drive]. 

Here, the characters’ roles switch places. They root for each other and become each other’s support.” These scenes are the unnoticeable pivots that draw the characters closer together.

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