Mia Maestro Poseidon & Alias Interview

Mia Maestro Poseidon & Alias Interview


by Paul Fischer in Los Angeles.

MIA GOES FROM SPY TO BENEATH THE SEA.

The beautiful Mia Maestro has gathered quite the following since winning a legion of fans as Sydney Bristows half sister in Alias. Looking ravishing

Wearing large gold hoops in a green satin dress with cap sleeves, Maestro plays a stowaway passenger who gets more than she bargained for in Poseidon. She talked Alias and water to Paul Fischer.

Paul Fischer: Well you look very nice...

Mia Maestro: Thank you. Ive been sewing all night long.


Paul Fischer: You told me about cave diving once...

Mia Maestro: Did I?


Paul Fischer: Yes, did that help in this?

Mia Maestro: Yeah. I actually did this photo shoot for Poseidon in Playa del Carmen in Mexico. And it has the 2nd biggest cave system in the world.


Paul Fischer: Did that help with this?

Mia Maestro: It did a lot. Because I was very used to regulators and breathing compressed air and being under water.


Paul Fischer: Are you a fan at all or were you a fan of the original movie and were you the slightest concerned about planning a remake?

Mia Maestro: No, not at all. I loved the original movie; I had seen it before during the film and watched it several times because I think there are many interesting connections between the old characters and the new characters even though its a complete different group of people. And I was never concerned we were doing a remake. First, we were not trying to play Shelly Winters....But then I thought it was a perfect movie to do a remake of because we have so much more technology and the special effects are so much incredible these days that it is the kind of movie you want to do a remake of. I dont think you should do a remake of Bergman or Fellini cause how can you top that - you cant. But of a genre film, I think its great.


Paul Fischer: You were partially responsible for Joshs injury and he was apparently carrying...

Mia Maestro: Oh in the eye. Yeah, because Im dead and were not supposed to tell anyone. Yeah, but you shouldnt tell anyone because it takes the fun out of it.


Paul Fischer: No, but we were talking about your drowning...

Mia Maestro: Yeah, theyre dragging me out of the water unconscious (laughs) and I think Kurt kicked Josh.


Paul Fischer: So it was his fault?

Mia Maestro: I think so. We suspect thats what happened. But it was a tough scene. We had to just wait there and then go under the water and then carry me out of the water. In order for it to look real, the water was murky so it was not clear water so it was hard to see where you were going.


Paul Fischer: Whats going on with you and Alias - are you re-appearing?

Mia Maestro: Yes I did 6 episodes and Im in the last episode. She comes out of her coma, thank God, and yeah there is a lot of interesting stuff. And we just finished shooting the last episode on Tuesday at 4AM, which was a very, very sad day for all of us because the Alias cast and crew is truly a family. The writers and producers did a wonderful thing because they brought a lot of the old characters back for the last episode so I think it will be very interesting.


Paul Fischer: Is it a very shocking finale, a surprise?

Mia Maestro: I think so. Its pretty shocking.


Are you claustrophobic at all?

Mia Maestro: No, not at all. That was good because we were actually shooting in an AC duct. And we were there for a week and a half.


Paul Fischer: So they stuck little cameras in the duct?

Mia Maestro: No, one side of the quadrant has no lid but still youre stuck there for a week and a half. And waters rising from below. I think Josh and I had the worst job doing that scene because we were there for a lot of the days and then we had to keep up that energy and feeling and the tears. It was exhausting. It was really bad.


Paul Fischer: Was there kind of a code word in case you really needed to get out of there?

Mia Maestro: Yeah we had different codes but they kept changing them which was not helpful. (laughs). Plus, in the scenes where we were yelling all the time, so someone wanted to stop the scene once but then everyone thought you were acting or if you were suddenly drowning, everyone looking at the monitors would think `boy shes really good. (laugh). But we did have those universal signs of `Im out of air (she motions with her hand across her throat) underwater and I think we found out that `stop or `cut was the best word.


Paul Fischer: How surprised are you at your career and re-establishing yourself at this point? What are you doing to compete with some of the other younger women who are obviously trying to make it in this business?

Mia Maestro: Im very surprised at my career because I think Ive been able to do exactly what I want to do. Ive been doing theater in NY at Lincoln Center last year, Ive done this TV show that Im very proud of which is one of the best TV shows in the States and Im able to do blockbuster movies, but then Im able to do independent movies and just keep working in my first language which is Spanish and keep the doors open to go back and shoot in Argentina. So Im just excited to keep it very eclectic and with a large variety, which I like and the fact that Im able to work both in Spanish and in English gives me a much bigger array of characters to play and thats how you keep acting.


Paul Fischer: Who were some of your role models growing up?

Mia Maestro: My mother. Shes such a strong woman and a woman who has been changing a lot throughout her life and shes the type of woman who says its never too late to change or its never late that youve been wronged. Shes been a huge influence to me.


Paul Fischer: What about other actresses who may have inspired you?

Mia Maestro: I love the silent actress, Aston Nielson (spelling??) from German in the 20s. Theyre pretty obscure characters. Americans wouldnt know who they are?


Paul Fischer: Any Argentine actress?

Mia Maestro: No, its more toward filmmakers like (???) and Visconti. We have a huge European tradition in Argentina. Like if you wanted to see a Visconti movie playing, wed have all these Visconti movies playing in the Buenos Aries theater next door, or Fellinis so it was a pretty amazing city to grow up in. I was imbedded in this European cinematic culture and my parents are cinephiles so they would always take me to movies no matter what the rating was.


Paul Fischer: Are you recognized at all when you go to Argentina?

Mia Maestro: Some people. Ive never done television in Argentina so more a film audience and theater audience would recognize me so its kind of nice because its very quiet. I think here its a bit tougher with the Alias fans but there Im not that recognizable.


Paul Fischer: Alias doesnt show there?

Mia Maestro: It does but its not such a big show as here. It shows on cable. Its a very specific audience, not a mainstream audience.


Paul Fischer: Can you talk about the casting process for this movie?Mia Maestro: I had a meeting with Wolfgang and they just called me to tell me I got the role. It was one of the easiest casting processes ever.


Paul Fischer: Did you get hurt on this film?

Mia Maestro: I didnt get hurt and I didnt get sick. I think its the Alias recruiting camp because I am very strong.


Paul Fischer: How do you stay so physically strong for Alias and this film?

Mia Maestro: Ive been working out a lot more since Ive been doing Alias and then Poseidon. With Poseidon, Ive been swimming a lot and scuba diving. Los Angeles helps you to get more in tune with your body and nature. The weather is so fantastic you get to work out a lot more. I hate to go to the gym so I always find new ways to workout. Ive been doing trapeze cause I first started doing trapeze when I was doing this play at Lincoln Center Festival last year. I fell in love with it. Its such an amazing workout. I found a great teacher here.


Paul Fischer: Do you have a trapeze in your backyard?

Mia Maestro: No. But I do it in a class and I wouldnt do it without my teacher - Im not that good yet. You can fall and break your skull which wouldnt be good.

Paul Fischer: Josh told us he stripped things away with his character....he wanted to have less character and be more reactive. Did you do the same thing?

Mia Maestro: Surprisingly enough, none of my scenes were cut in the movie and I think all of my back story is right there. I had to somehow be the feeling of going to visit my brother and that idea was very strong for my character - I didnt want to lose that. And I think Wolfgang knew that was very important too. That brings back the character of the singer in the former Poseidon who also loses her brother so I kind of liked that connection between the old Poseidon and new Poseidon. I know Josh tried to strip his character down but I didnt do that, I kind of held on to it. Ive never done an action film so I always cling to my story and the drama and the personal...she was alone in that boat and didnt have anyone to go to. You wouldnt understand why that woman went on that boat so I felt that was very important.


Paul Fischer: What kind of woman do you think she was that she would go on this boat, sleep with him across the Atlantic Ocean...

Mia Maestro: Shes a bartender in Madrid and she makes a living just to pay rent and doesnt have the $500 to get a ticket. Shes sort of a gypsy and one day this guy comes and says he works on this boat and were going to NY....come with me...OK, Ive got a brother there cool...where and when? And Ive never played a character like that. The character was written a little more conservative and religious and I think the costumer tried to make her a little cooler and funkier, just to get away from the typical Spanish girl with the frills and the praying for God so we added...the line about the cross where she says shes been a little out of touch with God and I liked that. The type of girl who was raised Catholic and forgot about it and has a cross for the sake of having a cross and in that case, religion comes back cause thats what she had to grab on it.


Paul Fischer: What is coming up next?

Mia Maestro: I dont know what Im going to do. I have some offers for Argentina and some for here. I havent decided if my next movie will be in Spanish or in English so I have to make up my mind and make a decision soon.


Paul Fischer: A lot of Latina entertainers are lending their voices for legal immigration boycott rallies. What your opinion and stance?

Mia Maestro: I think its wonderful. I think the immigrants in this country are the basis for this country and without them, this country wouldnt work. I think its time for these people working for everyone to get paid what theyre supposed to, get their pension and get health care. Im pretty proud to be a part of that Latin community and to be the only group of people who have spoken up to this government and demonstrated.


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