|Monica Spear in FLOR SALVAJE|
I'm simply devastated by the tragic news out of Venezuela of the murder of Monica Spear and her husband.
MI PRIMA CIELA was one of the telenovelas that made me an avid viewer of the genre; FLOR SALVAJE was the telenovela that inspired me to start writing an articles about telenovelas for English readers.
Excerpts from three past articles I wrote about two of her performances.
from my January 1, 2013 article on FLOR SALVAJE:
"Amanda’s first love, Pablo, is murdered by Rafael. In order to avenge his death, Amanda attempts to suppress the innocent side of her, to fully become Flor Salvaje, the hardened prostitute, and lure Rafael into a trap, but in attempting to destroy Rafael, she ends up saving him, changing him, making him a better man through his love for her, and ultimately, she falls in love with this newly ennobled demon. It’s a Gordian knot of twisted character motivations, internal conflicts and contradictions, little of it verbalized, but played on the face, and Spear does marvels - following her performances in a trio of Venezuelan novelas beginning with the lovely MI PRIMA CIELA and culminating with her impressive turn LA MUJER PERFECTA as a young woman with Asperger syndrome, Spear has to be considered amongst the finest telenovela actresses of her generation."
|Monica Spear in PASION PROHIBIDA|
"Bianca is the third unconventional protagonist in a row for Mónica Spear after Micaela in LA MUJER PERFECTA and Amanda/Flor in FLOR SALVAJE – that unconventionality is about all the roles share. Her Bianca is like an embodiment of wealthy indolence – all languorous elegance – a woman that floats through life in a bubble of self-absorption. There is something a bit perverse in seeing Spear, in her Venezuelan telenovelas an enormously endearing performer capable of remarkable emotional openness and vulnerability that seemed utterly free of artifice, playing here a role that is, so far, largely about the suppression of emotion. In these early stages of PASIÓN PROHIBIDA, Bianca is withdrawn and shielded emotionally, everything she does seems calculated and premeditated – she’s slightly above everything, like a woman keeping score – her emotions bottled up, you wait, anticipating the dam to burst."
from an article I wrote only two days ago about the best telenovelas of 2013, again about PASION PROHIBIDA:
"This telenovela is also amazing for the way it refuses to prod the audience as to which of the characters to identify with. Indeed, the two lead protagonists are for the most part, horrifically flawed people, and their love affair, rather than elevating them, makes them act in even more contemptible ways. And yet we root for them, sins and all. I think the reason for this is the emotional depth of Monica Spear’s performance – she suppresses so much in the early episodes that when the dam bursts and you see this woman can actually feel, and what she feels is so profound, it is terribly moving and normal human morality such as infidelity and betrayal seem insignificant – and the final great tragedy of the novela is that the object of her emotions is unworthy of them."