Though known mostly as an actress, including a leading role in Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux, which took home the Cannes award for best director, Nathalia Acevedo got her start in film by directing her own projects and producing for TV. After living and studying throughout Europe, she returned home to Mexico City where she felt called to the arts, but only fell into acting years later – a sort of ‘happy accident’ through a chance meeting with Reygadas. She’s currently acting in a new film in Utah, Robber’s Roost, but was able to spare a day for us at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.
Are olfactory experiences important for your work and if so, how?
Olfactory experiences are definitely important for my work. The use of the affective memory is one of the most useful tools in what I do. I can think of a memory and add easily a smell to it and just travel in that space for some time. When I prepare for a film, I have to create an imaginary space where this character lives. That space has always a smell related with an emotion or a group of them. These smells are usually related to an olfactory memory. For my last job I had to imagine the smells of winter in the old west: burnt wood, oaks, maples, bushes, horses, leather and blood (I worked on Western set in the cold winter of Utah)… I remember enjoying to imagine the smell of things that not necessarily have a certain type of smell, like the snow or the wind, for example; I wouldn´t be able to describe these smells but I do know very well the feeling of them. Maybe this is what I find important in fragrances and smells: how they make us feel at a very ephemeral and precise moment in time. There is something very intimate and discreet about it.
What is your favorite smell?
I would say the sweat or breath of someone you are in love with.
Tell us about the fragrances you’ve been wearing lately.
It’s almost masculine but ultimately there’s something soft about it that reminds me of a more feminine scent.
Maison Louis Marie No 9
“Vallée de Farney”
I started using this line recently. I like how unique all their fragrances are. This one in particular has a very elegant floral-woodsy scent.
Can you describe your favorite scent for us?
Sometimes I find it hard to describe a smell. It´s like when someone asks you to describe an emotion like love or happiness or sadness… for me it´s always easier to experience them than to define them.