Paz Vega has played a waitress, a mother, a grocery clerk, and even a feminist mystic over the course of her 10 year career. In her most recent film, “The Spirit,” based on Will Eisner’s comics, the 32-year-old actress from Seville, Spain transforms into comic-book character Plaster of Paris, a murderous French nightclub dancer and ex-girlfriend of the title character.
During an interview with me, Vega discussed her part in the film directed by Frank Miller (“300”) and what she looks for when deciding on movie roles.
How did you get involved in “The Spirit?”
I was working on another movie last November and the producers sent me the script. They told me if I liked it the character was for me.
Was it easy for you to go back to work after you had your first baby?
Yeah, this was my second job after I had my baby. I always had my mom with me to help. It was easy in a way.
Tell me about Plaster of Paris.
She is like a belly dancer. She is a slave of Octopus [Samuel L. Jackson], who is the bad guy in the movie. She is an ex-girlfriend of The Spirit. She’s very sexual and at the same time she is very dangerous.
What was it like playing the bad girl in a movie?
I always enjoy that kind of role. As an actress it’s always a pleasure to play that kind of woman.
The Spirit is known as a womanizer. In real life, would you find someone like him attractive?
Not for me. Maybe he can be attractive for a moment, but not forever.
What have you learned about yourself since your breakthrough role in “Sex and Lucia?”
I always want to try to do different characters. It’s very important for me to choose what will be my next project. After “Sex and Lucia” I played so many different types of women. I always try to get different kinds of roles.
What was it like for you to work on a “green screen” on set?
It’s kind of like theater. You have to focus on your partner and your lines and that’s all. You don’t have anything else around you.
Did you learn how to actually throw those little daggers your character carries around?
A little bit. It’s different than using a knife or a machete. All the movements are different. There was a guy on the set that showed me how to throw them.
Have you seen the Plaster of Paris action figure yet? Is that something you will be giving everyone for Christmas?
They showed me a picture of it, but I haven’t seen the finished product. Maybe I will give one to my mom. She would be very proud.
Have you found a new respect for people who like comic books?
I wasn’t that into comic books in the past. When I was a child in Spain I read some but not a lot. I know people who are really into them. It’s a very big thing for them. So, in “The Spirit,” I wanted to make Plaster of Paris as special as I could.