Actress Geraldine Chaplin has declared a state of war against old age, a state that has been driving her crazy, she revealed in an interview at the 69th Berlinale Film Festival published by EFE on Thursday.
Chaplin, daughter of cinema great Charles, was at the festival to promote her film "Holy Beasts," directed by Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas.
The woman who played her own grandmother, Hannah Chaplin, in the biopic, "Chaplin" (1992) earning her third Golden Globe nomination, lashed out in Berlin against the "tyranny of the body" denouncing that "getting old is horrible for anybody" and it "drives you crazy."
"I assure you, you get old and you go crazy," the actress told journalists including EFE.
"When you get old, as I am, the tyranny of the body becomes so terrible, and you are like Alice in Wonderland and say wait a minute, my passport says this, but I look in the mirror and I see something horrible."
Chaplin added, "death is the next state, you are in a country with no maps, no road, I am getting there."
Describing her latest role, she said it felt like she knew her.
"I understood her confusion and she became totally insane, I think she becomes completely bananas, in the end, it is an old people bananas, I have seen it around me."
After pausing, she delivers the punchline: "I am beginning to see it in myself."
The fourth child of Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, Knight of the British Empire, she was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1944 and was the first of eight children Chaplin fathered with his fourth wife Oona O'Neill.
Her acting career rose to prominence after her Golden Globe nomination for interpreting Tonya in David Lean's "Doctor Zhivago" (1965).
Although cosmetic surgery is something that has never passed her mind, mainly due to her fear of hospitals, Chaplin hinted that she worked "thanks to her wrinkles" but also could not say "a single good thing about old age."
It is precisely that old age which her character in "Holy Beasts" abhors.
Vera is a fading 1970s punk-diva who arrives at the Dominican Republic to shoot her last film: an unfinished script left behind by cherished friend Jean-Louis Jorge.
The Caribbean production is lavish, the musical numbers grand, but odd forces threaten the shoot and Vera turns to her ghosts for answers.
"The only real person is the dead one, the rest may be alive or maybe not, they may exist or they may not, they may not be in the Dominican Republic, perhaps none of them are there, they may be all just memories until finally, she (Vera) goes mad."
Chaplin added that, at her age, it is normal you begin playing granny roles.
"I have played many grandmothers" from charming to terrifying ones.
Regarding her film co-directors: Dominican Guzmán and Mexican Cárdenas she only had words of praise.
"I love them and I love the other film we made together, 'Sand Dollars' (2014). I would do anything for them. I don't even need to read the script," she said.
She recalls the shoot took place in the Samaná peninsula on the Dominican Republic’s northeastern Atlantic coast, a location where conditions were very hard and had nothing to do with the island's La Romana's high-class golf clubs: "The contrast was horrific," she explains.
"The contrast was so snobbish, so horrific, so revolting; I hate injustice," she added.
Chaplin also paid homage to her other favorite directors: Robert Altman and Alan Rudolph.
"And of course, Carlos Saura, whom I happened to have at home," she joked about her former partner.
She also hinted that she would love to be directed by Atom Egoyan but, since she mentioned it and it got to his ears, both seem to be avoiding each other, she added with a laugh.