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Elsa Pataky

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Elsa 76 MIAMI LIVING There—we said it. And we'll say it again: Elsa Pataky is Tinseltown's next It Girl. The Spanish-born stunner is, indeed, a woman on the verge of superstardom. Elsa Pataky already enjoys a loyal following in her native Spain and the Old Continent for her work in the TV series, Queen of Swords, and the 2005 film, Ninette. American audiences perhaps recognize the actress from her supporting work in the 2006 Internet-fueled cult hit Snakes on a Plane. It may not have been a starring role, but she caught our attention. Pataky is the epitome of an international actress. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French, Italian, and Romanian, and her work, often co-productions with the U.K. of France, have taken her far beyond the borders of Spain. Her latest film, Máncora, premiered at the Miami International Film Festival just last spring. It opened in area theaters shortly thereafter. Directed by Peruvian-born Ricardo de Montreuil (La Mujer de Mi Hermano), Máncora, which also screened at the Sundance Film Festival last winter, provided Pataky with a starring role in a movie by one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Latin America in recent years. The movie follows the story of 21-year-old Santiago (Jason Day), a young man from Lima who escapes to the idyllic beach town of Máncora in northern Peru after his father's suicide. Before leaving, though, his stepsister (by marriage) Ximena (Pataky) and her husband, Iñigo (Enrique Murciano), drop in on him and decide to come along for a journey that will change all of their lives forever. When Miami Living found out that Pataky would be in the Magic City for MIFF, we literally jumped at the opportunity to interview her and find out what it was like for her to shoot on location in my home country; what her hobbies are (photography, much like her character, as well as doing yoga, skiing, reading, and going to the movies, natch); and how things are going between her and beau, Adrien Brody, (which she declined to answer, which we totally understand). So without further ado, we say a star is born, and we give you Elsa Pataky. Enjoy, and then go join her growing fan club. ML: Tell us about you a little, where you are from, where you grew up…. Elsa Pataky: I was born in Spain, although I've always felt as something of a citizen of the world. My mother is from Romania, and she brought me up learning from both cultures. I've enjoyed traveling and learning about other cultures and different ways to live. Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to be an actress. My grandfather was an actor, and I loved watching him work—I found it fascinating. He was a very special, charismatic man. Watching him inspired me, and I realized that I wanted to do what he did. For me, acting was the ideal job because it would allow me to dream up and portray different characters. That's how I discovered that this profession was my vocation and what I wanted to do with my life. ML: What attracted you to working with Ricardo de Montreuil in Máncora? EP: When the producers approached me about the project and gave me the script, I fell in love with it from the beginning. I adored the story and the role of Ximena. The truth is it was something different than what I'd been doing. The story was more real, and anyone could relate to it. And when I first met Ricardo, we got along quite well from that moment on. You can tell in the movie, too, that we all had a wonderful relationship. It shows on screen. ML EXCLUSIVE W oman on the V erge Elsa Pataky is Hollywood's next It Girl Words by Martin Haro

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