Entrevista com Paulino Nunes

Por Hélder Ramos

Paulino Nunes é um actor luso-canadiano que já destacámos neste espaço — nomeadamente, durante o festival "Sabor Saudade" realizado no Harbourfront Centre.

Agora volta novamente a destacar-se ao desempenhar o papel principal na peça de teatro experimental Seizer, em palco até 21 do corrente no Velvet Underground. Conversámos com ele para procurar saber um pouco acerca deste novo projecto.


Sol Português: - What is Seizer about?

Paulino Nunes: - Seizer is an examination of our culture's current obsession with Reality TV, in all it's different forms — from Jerry Springer to the nightly network news. The show mirrors the form of the ancient gladiatorial shows — the title is a play on Caesar — in which the emperors sought to please the masses by staging exhibitions of people's pains and triumphs. It wasn't enough to see a representation of these things and the masses became more and more bloodthirsty for real deaths & tortures. The emperors indulged them by staging more and more elaborate shows with the constant element of real suffering, pain and death. Nowadays, albeit more subtle, people tune in to watch `real' dates, `real' confrontation, `real' life & death struggles. Even the nightly news comes across as a sensational `show' with flashy titles: TERROR IN THE SKIES, etc., and constant repetition of the most graphic clips.

S.P.: - Tell us about your role in this play.

P.N.: - I play the title role of "Seizer", although I am referred to by my real name as are the rest of the cast. This is an intentional device which is intended to further blur the lines between reality and `show'. I see Seizer as equal parts ringmaster, pop psychologist, anchorman, torturer and talk show host who is willing to go to any lengths to captivate the people's attention. The other characters — Sean, Leanna & Lauren — are Seizers' `gladiators' who must do as he commands to entertain the crowds. Seizer is a vicious, brutal taskmaster who understands that the public need not like what they see to be compelled by it, much the way that most who righteously — and rightly — condemn the Jerry Springer Show have nevertheless watched it at some point.

S.P.: - How do you, as an actor, prepare for a role in this type of play?

P.N.: - The show is completely dependant on the interaction between the performers and the audience. In that respect, it is impossible to bring a performance up to speed without the audience. In that way, preparing for this role is quite different than preparing for a standard play. Much needs to be left fluid to accommodate the mood of the spectators.  Otherwise, you learn your lines, try to figure out what's at the heart of each scene and just keep rehearsing like usual.

S.P.: - Besides Seizer then, what else have you been up to?

P.N.: - It's been a very busy couple of months for me; probably the busiest of my career so far. I just finished work on a cable feature for the Showtime network called Deacons for Defence with Forest Whitaker and Jonathan Silverman, as well as a guest spot on CTV's new series The 11th Hour. I just started working on the second draft of my first play, which I plan on producing next year at one of the festivals. Next month I may be working on a pilot for the USA network called Thoughtcrimes playing an agent for the National Security Agency. I'll let you know how that comes about.


Seizer é levado à cena de quinta a domingo, às 20h00, até 21 de Novembro no Velvet Underground, localizado ao 510 Queen St. West. Para mais informações, o público pode contactar o 416-538-2785.