Wagner Moura interview: ‘Shining Girls’

Wagner Moura burrowed deep into the character of Dan Velazquez in “Shining Girls,” the new Apple TV+ drama series based on the novel of the same name. Dan is a journalist at the Chicago Sun-Times who assists his coworker Kirby as she tries to get to the bottom of how the person who attacked her may have actually been a time-traveling serial killer. But as the actor notes, Dan is not solely defined by his connection to Kirby. The series also digs into his strained relationship with his son and his struggles with alcohol. “Dan is obviously a very troubled guy,” says Moura in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby. “I was very excited to dig in myself, all those issues and troubles that character had, being a reckless father.” Watch the full video chat above.

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When Kirby first discusses her case and how it connects to a recent murder victim, Dan sees it as an opportunity to get into better standing at the paper again following his breakdown. But the duo gradually develops a friendship that bonds them and inspires Dan to work even harder to wrap his mind around the case. “We all had someone in our lives that we meet at some point,” observes Moura, “and there’s like, ‘Okay, there’s something about this person that’s very special and I don’t know exactly what it is, but there was something about her.'”

Moura also felt that way about working with Elisabeth Moss, who turns in a visceral performance as Kirby. This was the first time the actor had worked with Moss, but as he explains, they only enhanced each other’s work. “There was some sort of electricity, I think, when I was working with her,” the actor admits. “We are also very similar in terms of the way we see the thing that we do.” He often found that despite any preconceived notions about how a scene might play out, there was room for them to explore and improvise with the material.

Coming away from “Shining Girls,” Moura still feels a strong connection to the experience of immersing himself in the show’s world. For him, there isn’t that much of a pronounced line between the character he plays and how he brings himself to the part. “I don’t even like the word career, because this is my life,” he states. “I only do things that I think that make sense, or that I would learn something, or that would bring an experience to my life, and that was definitely one.”

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UPLOADED Jun 14, 2022 1:30 pm