Watch: The cast of Bardo discuss playing a family
At the heart of Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, the latest from Oscar-winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, is journalist and filmmaker Silvario (Daniel Giménez Cacho), his wife (Griselda Siciliani) and their two teenage children (Ximena Lamadrid and Iker Sanchez Solano). And the four actors were so convincing as a family that, on a trip to a restaurant at the end of the shoot, their waiter assumed they really were.
It was, as Gimenez Cacho tells Yahoo UK, the result of working closely with his co-stars to create that all-important family dynamic.
“We were all together on a farm, isolated from our own families, and we spent a lot of time rehearsing scenes, getting to know each other,” he recalled. “It was very important to us, to get to know each other, how we all related to each other.”
So when they went out for dinner together, the inevitable happened. “We were behaving just like a family and the waiter took us for one. It was just natural.”
Ladmadrid and Sanchez Solano had even more time to develop their roles as sister and brother. They were neighbours in Mexico City. “I don’t know if they did it on purpose, but they rented a place for me in front of Ximena’s apartment,” said Sanchez Solano. “So I was her neighbour the whole time and we spent a lot of time together.”
Both were also able to draw on their own family relationships as they prepared for their roles. Sanchez Solano has brothers, while Lamadrid, like her character in the film, has a younger brother.
“We’re two years apart and we’re very close. That was really special and I was able to take a lot from my relationship with my Mum, my Dad and my brother for this character, so that was easy.”
Watch the trailer for Bardo
It was equally important for Gimenez Cacho and Siciliani find common ground in playing the parents. For Siciliani, the trust between them developed quickly. “You instantly know when you meet your colleague what kind of partner you’ll be working with and if you can trust them and go with the flow when you’re acting,” she said, through an interpreter.
“Daniel and I had that immediate intuition. I knew I could trust him.”
Bardo is a journey into the memories and experiences of Silvario, who reflects on his successful career and his family life in an attempt to reconcile himself with his past, his present and his identity as a Mexican. It’s Alejandro Inarritu’s first film for seven years, after the multi-award winning The Revenant.
Mexican actor Gimenez Cacho is probably most familiar to British audiences as the narrator in Alfonso Cuaron’s Y Tu Mama Tambien, while Argentinian Siciliani was in award-winning Spanish comedy The People Upstairs (2020). Lamadrid and Sanchez Solano are both making their feature film debuts.
Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths is released on Netflix on 16 December.