Júlia Creus, star of the television series Merlí: “We millennials need to be more realistic”

Art and Culture

16/03/2018

Although young, she is quickly becoming a familiar face on television. This was especially evident during the fall season of 2017. She was one of the twelve leads on Merlí. The show played in thousands of homes across Catalonia every Monday. The series was so successful that it is now airing throughout Spain, in the US, part of Latin America, as well as streaming on platforms like Netflix or Movistar TV.

Júlia Creus got an early start in the acting world. She began as a dancer, but just before joining Ángel Corella's company, she realized it wasn't what she really wanted to do. “I convinced my parents to let me enroll in an acting course and that's how everything started.” She began landing parts and hasn't stopped working since.  “I've been fortunate enough to get work all the time. I've never had a dry spell, which is really important in this profession.” She's played a series of different roles. Some were more prominent than others, but they all led to the Merlí casting call.  Creus explains that “they were looking for fresh new faces and didn't want anyone too famous.” She fit the bill, and the project kicked off exactly four years ago. The plan from the outset was to do three seasons.  “You're guaranteed the first season, but the other two are up in the air.” She ended up appearing in all three. She liked the show. “We knew the series would do well, especially in Catalonia, because it doesn't shy away from anything. It is upfront. No nonsense. The internet exposes young people to a lot of information, and they see some truly awful things.”

Merlí, a show for everyone

Creus mentions young people, but they're not the only ones hooked on Merlí. “Its appeal has been really broad, because everyone can identify with someone on the show, not just the young characters, but also the teachers or Merlí (Francesc Orella) himself.” Merlí's success is no accident. The relationship between the cast members was essential. “We're friends, and the director and writer let us improvise and add our own personal touch. Everything was very free.”

Júlia played Mónica, a reserved and insecure girl who is mature in some ways and very young in others. “She is the opposite of me. I like doing my own thing, and I don't get too wrapped up in what others do.” Even so, she acknowledges that when she takes on a character, she always ends up putting a bit of herself into the role by drawing on personal experience. “Love and heartbreak, we've all been through that, for better or worse.”

Merlí ended its final season with an episode that generated a lot of discussion. The sudden death of the main character made for an unexpected ending. “I liked it. It's a reflection on life and death. No one escapes from it. It was a reality check. After watching the episode, I felt such a lust for life, for making mistakes and feeling alive.” Creus feels that Merlí's message is to “live the moment and do what you love. It’s fine to be a young mom or a single mom, if that's what you decide to do.  Merlí is a brave, refreshing and important show.”

Wine and millennials

Seeing how we're meeting Júlia at the Vinoteca Torres on Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia, we seize the opportunity to find out more about how her generation—the millennials—feel about wine.  “We're more into beer. This isn't true in my case, I prefer wine, but it is true that most millennials would rather sit in a square and drink a can of beer.  It's different in the United States. They opt for wine, because it makes them seem more glamorous or distinguished.  The culture in Spain is different.” Asked about the millennial generation, she remarks, “We need to be more realistic. We've been sold on this illusion that we can have anything we want simply because we were born in a specific era. We get frustrated, because we want everything now. We need to fight, set goals and work hard every day. You don't get anywhere without putting in the effort.” According to Creus, millennials are “impatient and impulsive dreamers.” Like Jean Leon? ;)

Categorías: Art and Culture