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Laughing and constantly apologising for her ‘terrible’ English, she is very approachable. ‘I was very scared, because it was my first audition in English, but I got it!
So I ran away from Spain and came to Ireland, where I had two weeks to improve my English and prepare my character.
An aggressive spiritually empty businessman in his early thirties meets a 16yo girl while pursuing a nasty vendetta against her equally jaded older sister with whom he has had a traffic accident.'I think, when you shoot in another language, it’s a big moment in your career.I can’t explain how happy I am about this film and the way I felt shooting it. I am very relaxed about how people react to it – it’s not my job to worry about the audience,’ she adds, with an insouciant shrug.She won the prestigious Spanish ‘Goya’ (best new actress) award for her first film, Her parents were always supportive, she says. ‘Sometimes yes, sometimes no,’ she says cryptically. I go to the school where my mum works and help out.‘If my exams were good, they allowed me to do auditions. My mum is a nurse in a school for mentally disabled children and my dad is a mantenimiento.’ (Maria doesn’t know this word in English, but explains that he fixes things like heating and sinks.)An only child, Maria spends as much time as possible in Madrid, where she has her own flat and a much-loved golden retriever. My plan B, if acting doesn’t work out, is to work with disabled children.’ And what about having her own children? ‘I am here to be a mother.’ One thing Maria will not do with any children she might have is send them to boarding school.
With radiant skin, dark eyes framed by curling lashes, perfectly proportioned features and one of those long, elegant Spanish noses, Maria’s is a face one could get lost in.