- Verdú, Maribel
- (1970- )Maribel Verdú is a perfect example of that generation of actresses who debuted on film as teenagers in the early 1980s and, given the interest in sex and sexuality of those years, soon were featured as nymphets in the films of male directors. As in other cases, she alternated these projects with more committed work, making a conscious effort to "deglamorize" herself before critics took her seriously as an actress. Over the course of two decades, Verdú has grown up in front of the cameras, and, in the process, has uncovered a wide range of abilities.Verdú debuted as an actress on television, with brief appearances in La huella del crimen (The Trace of Crime, 1984) and Turno de oficio (Duty Shift, 1986), but she was first noticed in Fernando Trueba's El año de las luces (The Year of Enlightenment, 1986), in which she starred for the first time with Jorge Sanz, a frequent on-screen partner in the following years (their last film together to date was Pedro Olea's Tiempo de Tormenta [ Stormy Weather ] in 2006). This started a prolific early period in her career, in which she specialized in young sexy women. Her most popular roles were in La estanquera de Vallecas (The Vallecas Tobacconist, Eloy de la Iglesia, 1987), El juego más divertido (The Most Enjoyable Game, Emilio Martínez Lázaro, 1988), and El aire de un crimen (The Scent of a Crime, Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi, 1989). Her maid in Amantes (Lovers, Vicente Aranda, 1991) was particularly well received by critics, and she was given the chance to display a more mature acting talent. She was very funny as Rocío in Belle Epoque (Fernando Trueba, 1992), as the most sexually aggressive of the four sisters, and continued to develop in Bigas Luna's Huevos de oro (Golden Balls, 1994) and Jaime de Armiñán's Al otro lado del túnel (The Other Side of the Tunnel, 1994).La buena estrella (The Lucky Star, Ricardo Franco, 1997) was another personal triumph. In previous years, she had often been featured as a statically beautiful woman, but in Franco's film she was emotionally intense as a poor woman picked up, sheltered, and educated by Antonio Resines (another of the film's acting revelations). As the story develops, a shadow from the past will return in the attractive shape of her ex-partner, played by Jordi Mollá. Verdú ability to project her very different emotions toward both men reveals a previously unexplored richness in her acting.After La buena estrella, Verdú successfully continued to alternate her comedic gifts (for instance in El Palo [ The Hold-Up ] Eva Lesmes, 2001) with more heartfelt performances (as an aristocrat in Carlos Saura's Goya en Burdeos [ Goya in Bordeaux ], 1999). As a working-class woman married to a faithless man, who faces death and takes off on a trip with two teenagers in Y tu mamá también (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001) she gave a subtle, perfectly detailed, and heartfelt performance that once again displayed her versatility. In this part, both strands in her career, the sexy girl and the soulful young woman, merged to convey an emotionally deep character. In recent years, she was outrageously funny in Lisístrata (Francesc Bellmunt, 2002), based on Ralf Kônig's graphic novel; interesting to watch in Siete mesas de billar francés (Seven Tables of French Billiard, Gracia Querejeta, 2007), the film that earned her a well-deserved Goya award); and excellent as a sober and introspective peasant woman in El laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro, 2006).
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.