Updated Wednesday, February 28, 2024-07:28

"At first it seemed like a joke."

Javier Cámara

had worked with

Pablo Remón

in the television saga 'Vota Juan' and in a theatrical show, 'Los farsantes', premiered at the National Dramatic Center in 2022. The actor knew the screenwriter, playwright and director well;

also his particular ideas about working with interpreters.

But what Remón offered him that afternoon was strange even coming from him: he was going to write two texts of

Chekhov's 'Uncle Vanya'

, which would simultaneously represent the same cast of six actors.

Between one montage and another, small and large variations to approximate the worldview of the Russian author.

«It seemed like a joke to me, yes.

But coming from Pablo... Already in the process of Los farsantes I told myself: there are no jokes here, this is true.

The result is 'Vania x Vania', a show divided into two versions that premieres tomorrow at the Sala Fernando Arrabal de las

Naves del Español in Matadero Madrid


They are "two 'Vanias' that complement each other, that feed each other, that come from the absolutely feverish and adoring mind of Pablo Remón in front of Antón Chekhov's text," summarizes Javier Cámara during a break from rehearsals.

Uncle Vania is, he continues, “one of the pinnacle characters, one of the pinnacle works of theatre.

And when a friend like that offers it to you, you can't say no.

First, because an actor has to play the characters when they correspond.

That is, for someone a little more attractive than me,

first Romeo, then Hamlet and Sigismund, and then you die doing King Lear or the mayor of Zalamea


So Vania is “perfect” for him, he says.

"I am 57 years old, the same as he would be."

Plus, you feel covered.

“I feel like it's a dream cast,” he boasts.

«I look around me and say: how wonderful.

There is

Manuela Paso

, who is an actress who cuts with a cutter.


Marta Nieto and Marina Salas

, who are the last Max awards of this year, 'ex aequo'.


what can I tell you about

Juan Codina and Israel Elejalde ... The one who has done the least theater out of there is me," he laughs.

Together, they have composed an approach that aims to go beyond the standards.

«We have thought that, fundamentally, Chekhov writes comedies and 'Uncle Vanya' is one.

Well, yes, there are many moments where not, because,

as Chaplin said, life up close is a tragedy, but if you get away it makes you a little funny


Chamber abounds: «I think there is a wild comedy within all of Chekhov's works.

We see a tragedy, yes, but they are very comical.

Above all they are pathetic.

They are characters who are often making absolute fools of themselves, who are asking for love in an excessive way.

It reminds me of

Woody Allen

, very fine and very tragic films in that vein.

I think that Vania, in particular, makes a fool of herself trying to please someone who will never love her.

And it's terrible."

Without wanting to fall into "a cheap thing", the actor from 'Talk to Her' or 'Living is easy with your eyes closed', establishes a musical comparison, as if this dual Vania were the two takes of a song: "The first It has more the scent of classical music, a chamber concert of six actors.

And the second is more alien to that whole world, there is a part of a village orchestra, more pandemonium.

And even recognizing the abundance of versions, Cámara believes that this one(s) is(are) "more Chekhov than ever and also more Pablo Remón than ever."

In fact, on the first day he told her:

"I think Chekhov would be very proud of you, of this version you have done."

Accustomed to cameras and filming, Cámara says he feels out of his comfort zone.

"Authors like Lorca or Shakespeare, of course, give me enormous respect," he concedes.


fear makes me.

Before it affected me more


However, I have already done several things wrong, it's okay, people forgive you.

At this point, no one reminds you.

It is, he assures, the same thing that happened to him when he agreed to play the Colombian doctor Héctor Abad Gómez in the version directed by

Fernando Trueba

of 'El olvido que seremos', by

Héctor Abad Faciolince


One day he took a photo with the actor, who was going to decline the project, and told him that he would send it to his sisters: "They're going to be very moved by how much you look like my dad," he told her.

«And then it clicked there.

He hugged my back tightly.

He looked at me as if to say: you know it's you.

And there I screwed up.

If this guy who wrote this book tells me that I am his dad and that I can play his dad, well, maybe that joke was more of a wish than anything else.

It is, he sighs, the uncontrollability of cinema: «There are films that have taken me to hell and to heaven... and then they have passed without pain or glory.

And others that have been a great success and that I had suffered to the maximum or thought it was going to be a disaster.

But Cámara, father of two six-year-old children, has abandoned catastrophism: «There are many things that are structuring people's opinion and freedom right now.

Social networks, evidently, are a tremendous double-edged sword.

But there are wonderful things happening in the world right now.

The moment of women, for example.

Millions of women have said: 'it's over'.

And suddenly they are taking giant steps and are transforming society and us, men.

Just like Chekhov does, they make us wonder about all the times we have been sexist.

In that sense, he praises the role of the world of acting with

MeToo: "I think it's wonderful


There is criticism, but what happened in the US I hope will translate into a change in everyone's heads.