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When a teenager tries the illusion of being an actress it is a common place to think about the negative reaction of her parents, but in the home of María Pedraza (Madrid, 1996) the situation was reversed. The day she expressed her desire to train as a professional ballet dancer, her mother proposed the alternative of acting, an option that the young woman discarded to prepare at the Mariemma Royal Professional Dance Conservatory. When an injury took her off her dream, Instagram led to her mother's being fulfilled. The director Esteban Crespo was captivated by his photogenic and offered him to participate in a casting for his debut film, 'Amar' (2017). After that debut would come the television phenomena of 'Elite' and 'La casa de papel'.

"My mother is half a witch, in the sense that she is very shrewd. Many times we ignore intuition, but it is the most absolute feeling that our heart and body have, we must listen to it. Now I look back and see that I had glimpsed my future, "shares the interpreter, already converted into one of the most demanded artists of the new generation of Spanish audiovisual.

You have commented that there are interviews in which you take refuge in a character, which one are you hiding behind today? Many times I do it to protect myself. It is a reflex act. Today I leave five hours of dubbing for a series that we will premiere next year. I was very exhausted and tired, but this conversation activates me. Do you feel more confident today than when you started your career? Now I have a shield with more base. I am very transparent and I like people to know me as I am, but as the years go by I also accumulate more work and there is more exposure, so in many areas I have to safeguard my privacy. No wonder. I have reviewed the number of followers you accumulate on Instagram and I wanted to ask you how the second one feels before pressing the share button. I don't feel any kind of vertigo. Instagram is a bit of a home, I really like to use it, because it's where I show myself the most. I don't feel afraid, but I want to inspire the world, to do something good through the images and videos I share. Among his latest publications abound those that go by motorcycle and horseback. What do these hobbies tell us about their desire for freedom? Many times the profession helps us fulfill dreams through acting. I had always wanted to learn to ride a horse, I loved horse riding, and now I'm shooting a film in which I have to ride, so I decided to get into classes and I don't rule out even competing. I am very impulsive and I do not know how to enter a sport if it is not competitively, but not in front of others, but with myself. Dance taught me.

Pinko dress and jewelry by Bulgari.SANTIAGO BELIZÓN

What about motocross, how does your representative take it? She knows I'm restless and curious, so I imagine she must have thought, "Come on, let's let her be happy." [Laughter.] In addition, they are learnings that serve my profession, if they offer me a character that has to ride a motorcycle, I will already take it prepared. The work of the doubles helps, but I would like to take care of the movements and fights myself in an action movie, like Tom Cruise. Making a character with personality disorder in Ego (Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas, 2021), because I empathize so much that it was hard for me not to get fully involved. I've had to separate a lot so that I wouldn't be affected by the immersion in this role. Also in Las niñas de cristal (Jota Linares, 2022), because I played a dancer and when I shot it I had not danced for seven years, so it was an enormous physical effort, a suffering. The two feature films you mentioned border on horror, what about that 2021 interview in which you assured that you would never star in a film of the genre? Are you cheering up? No, what goes, it is not necessary to expose the body to those states. Another thing is real life, where I love to scare my friends, play the idiot. But when I act, I live and feel. I give myself 200 percent. I love dramas, so I get excited easily. I am very heartfelt, very passionate. And with the help of my characters I have fallen in love millions of times.

Skirt and top by Pinko and jewelry by Bulgari.

He repeats with Jota Linares in his next project, the Urban series, where he has been inspired by the rapper Sara Socas and dares with a cockfight. I love music. I don't know how to live without it. I love to sing, even if they don't listen to me. But as I told you before, this job allows me to try new things without feeling ashamed, so, yes, I sing. It is a very realistic project, it borders on the documentary, it shows the authenticity of a neighborhood of Malaga and it has been shot camera on the shoulder all the time. I listen to all kinds of music, whenever it excites me: urban, pop, techno, trap. I don't care if they recognize me. Now I have a couple of concerts in mind, one of them, that of my friend Alice Wonder. At the beginning you are in a cloud, premiering things that petan worldwide. I'm very much into enjoying myself to the fullest, so I was very happy because of how cool I was being, because of what everyone was liking, because of how many people joined. God, how amazing it all was! I was not aware of what would come next, that I would have to say goodbye to my previous life or transform it. I don't like to say that they were bad experiences, because they make us learn, but there have been times when I have felt that my privacy was not respected. I'm not just an actress and a public figure. I am not an object. Artists have feelings and things hurt us. But as time went by I didn't want to fall prey to fame, so I did the things I wanted to do respecting myself. If not, there is no joke. Her mother's push to become an actress is striking. My parents have always been very intense and passionate, so my sister Celia and I have been taught to live things with effusiveness. They have always supported us. His known partners are also actors, Jaime Lorente and Álex González. Does shared fame divide or multiply the pressure? When I've been in those relationships I felt like I knew the real person, the human being behind the character. I have not lived them thinking that they were dedicated to the same thing as me.

Pinko dress and earrings by Roberto Coin.SANTIAGO BELIZÓN

Social media is its face and its cross. With 11 million followers on Instagram and counting, the positive side of his exposure is that every project he stars in resonates; the most imminent, the series Urban, life is ours, an Amazon proposal about two young aspiring singers, and Galgos, a business drama about a family dynasty "that does not want to be Succession" and whose premiere is scheduled on Movistar Plus. The negative is the controversy it provokes every time it appears in photos in a sensual attitude.

How does it feel when it goes viral for photos where it looks sexy? Let's open that melon. It's very funny... I'm not breaking rules, I'm not hurting anyone, but nevertheless that is judged and not other harmful things, such as the world of pornography. I'm not affected by the comments, because that's how they have brought us into the world. I do it in a free, healthy and real way, and it doesn't bother me at all. So I'll keep doing it.Have you learned to ignore what you don't like? In the end, the reviews are always negative and affect you in some way, but not when I am very sure of what I do, because it comes out and it is from the heart. Whoever doesn't like it, has to love me as I am. But when it comes to a movie or a series it is different, I live it with vulnerability, because although it is a character that I have built and whose result I am happy with, there is a responsibility. Assessment is going to be subjective.

Skirt and bodi by The 2nd Skin Co., and earrings and bracelet by Roberto Coin.SANTIAGO BELIZÓN

What do you think of the figure of the intimacy coordinator? I think that is a good thing. At first, the intimate sequences were uncomfortable for me, because I entered the cinema in a very unexpected way. When I shot Amar, where I star in nude scenes in which I make love with Pol Moner, I felt very cared for, but at that moment I missed someone accompanying me. I was then 20 years old and didn't know how to handle it. Then, fortunately, I felt very sheltered, because everyone understands that the team has to be very small and, as a matter of respect and empathy, not force you to teach when you do not want to. I have normalized it a lot. I've learned by rolling and rolling, and I've set my limits, but there are people who take it badly. Nobody forces you, although I have colleagues who have felt that if they did not agree to do certain scenes they were failing the team. My refuge is my best friends; my representative, Pedro Garay, and my family. I am very sociable, but I have a lot of inner world and there are personal aspects that I keep for myself and for the people close to me.

STYLING Natalia Bengoechea

STYLING ASSISTANT Iris Herzkovich

PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT Angie Andreo

MAKEUP Iván Gómez for Chanel (One Off Artists)

HAIRDRESSER Iván Gómez for Goldwell (One Off Artists)

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