photography: Paz Vasquez
“…We don’t allow the change to happen. And that’s something as an adult we need, … We have to relese all that and be open to whatever we need to change…”
MOVES: I’ve got so many questions lined up because you’ve led a really interesting life which is exciting. But we have to kick off with the icon that you’ve just finished working with, Clint Eastwood. What was that like?
FERNANDA URREJOLA: It was a dream come true. He is such an amazing man and his energy and his life and he’s so caring and, I must say, I think that was the most caring and respectful set that I have ever been on. Like it was really amazing. And everyone there wanted to work with him of course, he’s Clint, but because it was Covid it wasn’t easy to meet the crew and I’m one of those actors who likes to get involved with the crew and understand that this is teamwork and a team effort. And because of Covid you couldn’t really relate, and actually you just saw their eyes and then when they were eating you were like “oh that’s the face. That’s you really” So it was really weird in that sense but I did have a tiny bit of time to talk with the crew and everyone told me that they didn’t care what other projects they were in but if Clint called, they would just run and work with him. And I understood that the way that he is able to do it till he is 91 years old, is because he has his family working with him. So there’s a lot of people that have been with him for 36 years, It was beautiful and he was great. He’s amazing.
Clint Eastwood – “…It was beautiful and he was great. He’s amazing…”
M: And I imagine he’s also a don’t mess with me kind of guy. He’s like just do it.
FU: Yes, only one time he was like “what’s going on, everyone shut up”. Everyone was talking on set, and he has that tiny moment where everyone was just listening to him like very quiet and yeah we have to give quiet because we don’t want him to be mad. But that was the only time and he was so respectful as I always tell you, it was beautiful.
M: yeah I bet. And also I guess because I also was reading that you are now producing something. So you’re also working behind the camera as well as in front of the camera, and that must be a huge kind of learning curve to be with somebody, because obviously Clint started off acting. That was it acting was his life and that’s what he did and then he went into music and movies and producing and writing and behind the camera.
FU: Yes I want that. I need to be able to be old and keep working and do it with the people that really want to do it with me. So that was one thing that was very important, to find the right people to work with. Your family and the job. And his energy and I talked to him and I said “what is the secret”? And he was like “ just be happy and do what you want and everything will happen for you”. I’ve learned so much. I wrote a movie with my partner, she’s a director and writer as well, and we came here to shoot the movie so I was able to be in every department actually. And it was so fun and I learned so much. It’s different to be on the other side of the camera and I loved it. I think I’ll keep doing it.
M: Is it too soon to kind of say yeah my preferred is eventually to be behind the camera down the road.
FU: I think I’ll definitely direct in the near future and yes I will keep writing, I am writing actually a TV show now for Film Nation so I’m already in it and I want to keep doing it. But I love acting, that’s my thing too. So I’ll be like Clint, I’ll do everything.
M: That’s fantastic. So can you share your project? Or is that still something you can’t talk about?
FU: I don’t know if I can, just one second. I don’t know if I can be specific, but I’m working with Film Nation on the adaptation of this UNCLEAR novel. I can’t say right now. Yes it’s going to be a limited series and it’s very exciting. She’s a Chilean author and from Chile as well. My partner is also from Chile. And we’re working together on this project and we love that novel so we’re so excited.
M: Is it going to be available for anybody to see in English?
FU: Yes it’s going to be international for sure because it’s Film Nation so we don’t know yet where we are shooting exactly. And we don’t even know if it’s going to be in English or Spanish. Right now it’s in English.
M: That’s fantastic. Wishing you all the best with that. That’s amazing. I think one of the things with you I’m sensing is that you are very passionate about everything that you do. You can feel it, the energy is so out there, which is fantastic because it is rare. And it’s electrifying and it resonates with everything that you touch. I’ve learned that you live in both the West Coast and in Chile and you go back because I’m sensing your roots are very important.
FU: My roots are very important to me, yes and I also like to keep working here as well. Not to lose what I’ve already done here because I want to keep growing my career here in the US, and internationally. But yeah for example now I came because we had to shoot that movie, it was a Chilean movie so I had to be here. Then they called me and said they wanted me to be on a Mexican show that was shooting here in Chile. So I stayed longer to be on that show And it was perfect timing and everything worked out. And yeah, as a producer, here it is cheaper. And it will be beautiful to make and to help the Chilean industry grow and produce things that are international and not just for Chile. So I think that’s my plan. To keep connecting both spaces.
M: I’m guessing that you’re in production now in Chile.
FU: in production yes. I am leaving next week but yeah I was just finished last Friday.
M: Do you ever have have any regrets that you wish you had kind of followed through with science and then still gone into acting? Because women in science today are huge.
FU: Yes but you say regretting not acting before? Or regretting not doing some thing in science?
M: In science. So to finish off the question do you have any regrets and not following the path of your parents? Or taking their lead? Because I know they were not happy about you acting. You still pursued it because you’re passionate about it. But how did you come to deal with the reality of keeping your parents on your side and knowing to follow your passion?
FU: Well I am very happy with my choices to be honest. I do love science though and I think that science is now the new religion, or it should be! I wanted to become a doctor if I was not going to be an actress. I thought on becoming a doctor or an architect. Those were my two paths. And as I said I love science, I love biology but I’m very happy with my choices. Sometimes I regret that I didn’t start acting when I was younger, which many actors in this industry do. Like all the actors that I love, they grew up acting. And when I act with children and I see their passion, it’s like yeah that was me when I was younger.
M: Right, it aligns. And obviously one of the other success stories and acting paths that you took was Narcos. That has a huge amount of presence both in the storyline and what it’s actually about. Can you share a little bit about how your approach today and what you’ve taken away from playing in Narcos?
FU: That was a great show to be in. It was very fun to act on it and it was a huge production. And it was very interesting to me. It was very sad though that is a theme that will continue to grow. And that’s so sad as a reality in our society. That’s something we keep feeding and keeps growing along the years. So yeah it’s very sad. I wish that was not the reality but it is. As a Chilean, we didn’t have the Narcos or the drug dealers culture. It is something that we now understand and know but when I was growing up it was not a reality in my country. So I had to study a lot to understand that role better.
People that don’t have the education, they look at that and they want it. So it’s tricky to have it on the screen so much because you create that culture around it and it’s dangerous.
M: Let’s talk about the charity side that what you actually do with children and the philanthropy side of your thought process and wanting to constantly give back because you can see the need. It’s something that you’re passionate about and children are the future in my opinion and they are the neglected part of life sometimes. So I’d love to learn a little bit more about that.
FU: Oh yeah well it’s weird though because we’re in a very adult centric culture. All around the world. Like the first time we start talking about child rights was not long ago, around the world. The children are the most important. On a day-to-day basis. Actually you can see that now it’s changing; I think it’s getting better, but you can see even in your friends’ families, they don’t really listen to the children. We don’t really pay attention to what they need daily. And it’s very hard to adopt kids. Everything is a mess. So we started to create more awareness on some thing as civilians we could do differently, for example foster families, Today it is not as big as it is in the states. But in Chile, no one no one knows about the foster families. Everyone’s like “I know I want to help, I want to do something”, but we don’t know what to do and how.
So that’s one part but also to create that consciousness and the awareness that we are a very adult centric culture. And we have to change that. And now what’s going on with climate change and we see the teenagers going out and saying what they need and want, that really makes me so happy and hopeful. They don’t believe the adults anymore. They really know what they want and they’re going to make the changes.
And I hope we as adults, we grow with them and we help them because they’re our hope. We have to wait for them to I mean do something but it’s them that are going to see the difference, not us.
M: Do you feel that there’s anything adults can learn from the youth today because it is empowering for us to see the power that they have when they are united. Because of the digital platforms, because of the information that is so accessible to them.
FU: There are so many things. And to start it’s just wanting to change and being open to that change, allowing that change to happen. We create, or I don’t know how to say it, we’re so stuck with our past. In the past.
We don’t allow the change to happen. And that’s something as an adult we need, we have to let it. We have to release all that and be open to whatever we need to change. That’s one thing for sure. The other thing that is probably not as teenagers but children, we have to play more. We have to remember that this is a game and not and I’m saying that to me as well but not taking everything so seriously or taking yourself so seriously. Understanding also that as children, we can always learn more and be open and have our brains alive. I think as adults, we shut down so much. And it’s something that we need to keep remembering to stay open.
FU: and now the changes are coming faster than before so anyone that resists is going to get hurt.
M: Going to get crushed in the way?
M: Thank you for sharing because it’s empowering to hear you say some of the things that are really important to you. When people think about entertainment, they don’t realize that there’s a lot more that actually goes on in your life that isn’t shared because you don’t have the time to share everything. So tell me in regards to the future, what project do you have coming up?
FU: Well now I want everyone to go to the theaters to watch crime macho first.! Well I have that, I have a couple of shorts and movie is coming out; I can’t say much about that for now. But also the Mexican TV show called The Shelter, I think it’s going to be called. I don’t know what the name it’s going to in English actually.
M: OK fantastic, thank you for sharing that. And on a fun note, ending on some thing that is fun, you are a wine collector, when did that start?. That is so cool. One of my best friends, if you ever get to New York, owns a restaurant that has over 1000 wines that you can select from.
FU: I love wine and I’m from Chile. And we have great wine so it’s not that I don’t collect them, but I love them so I share them. I’m in a wine country and there’s so many different types there and my dad, he knows a lot about wines. I wish I knew as much as him. But I love having a glass of wine with food.
M: And you know your palate. Can you make a recommendation to close on? Of a good wine?
FU: I will say that Miguel Torres is one of my favorites in terms of price and quality. Miguel Torres. Yeah that one definitely. It’s fair trade. There’s so many things good about it. It’s organic wine. It has less sugar in it. So it’s an amazing wine. It’s inexpensive.
M: And I have to say that I’m on your side with cheap, it is sometimes very good. Just because it’s expensive doesn’t make it a nice wine.
FU: yeah I know and in Chile some thing that we have, you can find French wine probably better than Chilean but the price and quality thing in Chile is amazing.
M: Well I have to tell you you’ve been such a delight to talk to. Thank you for taking the time, I’m really excited about your personal project and I’m sure it will be absolutely fantastic. Enjoy Chile and stay safe.
FU: Thank you so much.