María del Carmen García Maura OAXS (born 15 September 1945) is a Spanish actress.
According to an interview with the Guardian:
Maura reads every script that comes her way, often plumping for obscure or first-time directors – who sprout continuously in Spain’s fertile film culture. Despite the knocks, and the years, she has lost none of her enthusiasm.
“Imagine having a job where you have such a good time and get paid for it. If I have to get up at 4.30 in the morning to film, I still get all excited. It is like going on a school trip. People who don’t know me and meet me on the first day of filming think I am putting it on. Then they see that it is the same day after day,” she says.
And, as time goes on, the acting business gets even easier. “The more relaxed you are, the better it works. And I am now more relaxed on a set than I am in real life.”
From a 2011 SBS article:
She found solace in acting, especially in comedies, but mostly in her films with Almódovar of which 1987’s explicitly gay Law of Desire – in which Maura played a transsexual alongside Antonio Banderas – was the most controversial. According to Banderas no one has ever worked better with the director than Maura.
“I think we both learned from each other about acting,” she says. “We came from very different backgrounds but we got on like a house on fire. He was the vanguard of modernity, he was Mr Modern and I was old hat. I was from a traditional family and he was the incarnation of youth. I was the oldest person in the group, I already had two children, but what was happening was amazing – there was this miracle that Almodóvar and I connected. When I would see his script I knew immediately how it would be played. When I went back to working with him in Volver, 20 years after we’d made Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, as soon as we started working we had it again. But now we are not friends any more. We are looking for different things from life.”
They’d had problems while making Women on the Verge and hadn’t really resolved them when Maura came to portray Penelope Cruz’s mother in Volver, which interestingly translates as “return” in Spanish.
“We were having breakfast one day and he said, ‘It’s incredible, you haven’t changed, you are just the same as 20 years ago, as an actress, as a person. But I have changed’, he said. He is not as happy as he was. He was never frustrated before, but now if he doesn’t get a prize, then he gets frustrated. It is very difficult dealing with fame, I think. I get a kick out of doing this job but I am not obsessed about getting prizes or being the best actress in the world. If I have to make the choice between an easy script and a hard script then I will go for the easy one. The fun has maybe gone out of the job for him. I haven’t spoken to him for a long time.”
Of late Maura has appeared in films that have hardly been seen. Many would like to see the famous pair reunite. If he calls would she take the call? “Yes I would. If it’s a good character, if he pays me, if I am free, I may act again for him. But it’s not my obsession.”