Gloria Trevi is hungry. She is 1987, she is 19 years old, she has been taking aerobics lessons all day and she has nothing to put in her mouth when she gets home. Home, although home is not; she lives in the academy where she rehearses and trains day and night to become a star. But no, one cannot be a star without eating. So Gloria stealthily grabs a can of tuna from the kitchen and locks herself in the bathroom to eat it greedily and with her hands. Her partner catches her, scolds her and tells on a mischief that is more of a necessity. Both end with a beating and Gloria, in the end, running away from home. And all for a bit of tuna.
The anecdote is the first scene of Ellas soy yo, the new series that the ViX streaming platform (owned by Televisa-Univisión and that is seen throughout Latin America; at the moment it is not known if it will reach Spain and by what means platform) has premiered on August 11. And it’s real, or so Trevi herself tells it in an old interview at the end of the chapter. The sequence serves as a start and an example of what this expected project transmits and wants to be, in which its creators have been working for five years and which now sees the light to tell the story of the Mexican singer Gloria Trevi (Monterrey, 55 years old), a one of the biggest stars of music in Spanish and with an intricate trajectory that has taken her from the charts to even go to jail; of her success and condemnation to redemption. This series seeks to expose her story, always from her point of view, which marks the whole path. Although, according to its creators and the artist herself, it does not try to exculpate her, but to help others who have found themselves in her situation: “For those who believe that there is no way out, who have to endure everything; for those who swallow their tears, because they are me”, says Trevi herself at the start of the first chapter.
Although the star has been present throughout the creation process —it was she who entrusted Carla Estrada, executive producer and screenwriter of the project, with its execution—, she does not grant interviews for this project; It is done by Estrada herself and the actors Scarlet Gruber and Jorge Poza, who play Trevi and César Santiago, the fictional reflection of Sergio Andrade, the man who shaped the artist and who became her first husband and father of the her eldest son. In the early 1990s, the couple amassed fame and fortune in Mexico and throughout the Spanish-speaking world, but then accusations of abuse and rape by multitudes of women began, and in January 2000 both were arrested in Brazil after being persecuted. by Interpol.
The courts accused them of forming a kind of sect through which both recruited inexperienced young women to launch them into stardom, but which was basically a network of sexual abuse. She spent four years in jail awaiting trial until a judge determined that there was no evidence for those accusations of kidnapping, rape and corruption of minors and released her in mid-2004; Andrade spent seven years in prison. She always defended her own innocence, as she continues to do in this series. Now, she is facing a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles, California, where two women claim that at the ages of 13 and 15 she put them in that program on the way to Andrade’s stardom, that she abused them, and they accuse her of being an accomplice. She keeps denying it. In a recent interview with EL PAÍS, she assured: “We have all experienced having your story told badly, that they make you look like the bad guy. I am Medusa (also the title of her new song), I think my story has been told wrong. I received an unfair punishment, but that has made me more powerful, stronger”.
If during these two decades of accusations and counteraccusations Trevi has declared himself a victim of this process and of Andrade, this series now seeks to reinforce this point of view from fiction, but with her very present. In the first chapter, she herself makes a long introduction where she exposes her point of view and makes it clear that this series is part of him. In a minute she exposes her situation; in five, her position is clear. “I really wanted to be famous, have friends everywhere, be loved, fill my needs, leave a mark and why not change the world, my world”, she affirms with her voice-over. “I was 15 years old when I met a fashion producer, who immediately looked for a way to become the mirage of what he made me believe was love, a love so absolute that little by little I would have to betray myself. There were 17 years of manipulation, beatings, abuse, ”she says.
“I came to betray myself,” continues Gloria de los Ángeles Treviño Ruiz, as the singer’s real name is. “I lost everything, I was left with empty arms, almost crazy, distorted, the truths and lies were entangled, with the interests of a media outlet that was echoed by other media outlets,” she is heard saying as images pass. fictionalized about his life. “With my story badly told in books, movies, television programs, magazines, newspapers, millions of lines written talking about me, but they didn’t talk about me. I said to myself: everyone is looking at me. My family needs me. I advanced in the middle of the storm. And I keep getting up. Many point to me without knowing me. He was not my creator because I have shown that, with him and without him, I am Gloria Trevi. Today I am going to expose myself, not for myself, because I am already fine, for those who believe that there is no way out, who have to endure everything, for those who swallow their tears, because they are me.
And from that very personal point of view, Estrada has built that story, those 50 episodes —about 40 minutes each; they will be released five by five each week. Estrada and Trevi met in their first stage, when the artist was a rising youth star, but they did not reconnect until many years later. “It was on a trip,” recalls Estrada (Mexico, 67 years old) in a videoconference with this newspaper. “I was doing a series about Joan Sebastian, a very famous singer in Mexico, and talking about it, she told me: ‘If one day I make my story, the only one who can tell it is you.’ But for that it was missing a lot. Then the people of Gloria agreed with Televisa and that’s it.” In addition to shaping the project, she has been a scriptwriter and producer and has been in charge of conducting interviews with some 70 people who have given her the documentary base to carry it out and who “guided them to have the profile of all the characters.” “At the time we understood that this story had to be told from Gloria’s point of view, because it is the first time she has talked about her story, but also about four girls who lived that stage of her life,” he argues, explaining the plot line.
The Mexican singer Gloria Trevi, in a concert at the Teatro Real in Madrid on July 28, 2023. Ailén Desirée Montes (EFE)
“Do not judge what you have not seen” or “Watch and decide” are some of the slogans with which the series is being promoted. Is it a clear position towards the Trevi version, a guide to favor the main character, a Manichaean point of view? “It is not favoring a character,” argues Estrada. “Yes, she is telling through her eyes, through the eyes of the other girls, and I tell you that one story validates the other story. Is it favoring Gloria? Yes, definitely, and favor all the girls who were there, because they all lived the same thing, ”she explains. “But Gloria tells this story from the point of success, she is not telling this story so that they believe in her, say ‘That’s great’ or buy a ticket to go see her. In Spain she has just reached huge places, she is an international star in Mexico. She’s not telling this story so that you’ll say ‘Oh that’s great!’ or ‘Let’s see if someone buys a ticket.’ She is telling this story to face the fact that this reality that she experienced can be lived by many other people and that for all of us who are working, the objective is to open our eyes: judge yourself, judge your relationships, judge your neighbours, but realize that we can open our eyes, that women can raise our voices and we can say: ‘So far, what I am experiencing is called violence, it is called harassment, it is called abuse.’
The person who has known Trevi’s character the most and has entered into these abuses in more depth, apart from Estrada, is Scarlet Gruber (Caracas, 34 years old), who gives life to the star in his youth and adult stage. “It was a very enriching research process because we had these interviews, these testimonies and she told me: ‘Today, up to here.’ It was too emotional an impact ”, she admits about the difficulty of getting into Trevi’s skin and the abuses that she narrates by Andrade. “I did not imagine the magnitude of the abuse, the magnitude of the violence that these women faced, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, it gave me another perspective from where I could approach Gloria.” To prepare herself as one of the best-known women in the song world, she searched for resources, watched dozens of videos, “YouTube interviews, her concerts…”: “It implies a lot of responsibility that I, as an intense actress that I am (laughs) I didn’t take myself lightly at all. I also studied another facet of Gloria that very few people know, which is that of Gloria in her family, with all her close people, introverted, submissive…” She had a couple of conversations with the singer, but “never about work issues” , and affirms that he gave him all the freedom to be able to prepare the character with Estrada.
That point of view of Trevi gives Gruber’s co-star, the Mexican Jorge Poza (Tulacingo de Bravo, 45 years old), the darker facet for his role as Sergio Andrade. “He is a character full of complexities due to his profile,” he admits, who does not agree with being the bad guy in the movie, or in this case, in the series. “This adjective comes out, that he is a villain. He’s not, he’s not the bad guy, he’s not the baddest. He is a narcissistic psychopath, that describes him perfectly and structures the profile of the character, ”Poza affirms without hesitation. “He ticks all the boxes, one through 20, as both a psychopath and a narcissist. That made it much easier for me to build, because that’s it, he’s painted. The text has everything perfect for interpretation, and day by day he was giving us details to go polishing and perfecting”. Like Gruber, Poza affirms that it was Carla who was most endowed with her, after her talks with Trevi and all the investigations and interviews, “to build a narrative of what is seen.”
Estrada defends that the series seeks to be a lifesaver for victims who are in the situation that Trevi affirms that he lived. They have created a website so that whoever wants it, in the US and Mexico, “can approach civil institutions to ask for help and find a guide, an accompaniment, file a complaint…”. “I feel that this series arrives at the precise moment where all of society is with our eyes open and with the capacity and to be able to change, grow and be better human beings”, he assures. For her, it would be worth changing a life. That would be the main objective of the series. “But I can tell you”, he affirms with conviction, “that at this moment we have already changed lives, girls who gave us their testimony are already others, even in the production people who have seen themselves reflected and said: ‘I don’t want to be like that, I want to change, I want to ask for help’. For us, the objective has been achieved, imagine what we can do if we manage to make many people aware. The series is going to generate controversy, the controversy is going to generate conversation and the conversation is going to generate awareness”.
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