Lampreave, Chus

Lampreave, Chus
(1930- )
   Well-known for her supporting parts in films by Fernando Trueba and Pedro Almodóvar, Chus Lampreave is a veteran character actress who had worked for three decades in the film industry before she was discovered in the mid-1980s. She can be seen as Pepe Isbert's granddaughter in Marco Ferreri's El cochecito (The Motorized Wheelchair, 1960) and can be spotted in El verdugo (The Executioner, Luis G. Berlanga, 1963) as a prospective tenant of the flat the protagonist aspires to get. In the next two decades, she had small parts in a long series of films, including Mi querida señorita (My Dear Miss, Jaime de Armiñán, 1972), El amor del capitán Brando (Captain Brando's Great Love, Jaime de Armiñán, 1974), La guerra de papá (Dad's War, Antonio Mercero, 1977), and La escopeta nacional (National Shotgun, Luis G. Berlanga, 1978).
   But it was Pedro Almodóvar who developed her potential and gave her iconic status as typical rural woman. He is on record saying that she is his surrogate film mother, and indeed some of the characters she played (particularly the protagonist's mother in La flor de mi secreto [ Flower of My Secret, 1995 ]) took inspiration from the director's actual mother. Her unforgettable part as the grandmother in ¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto!! (What Have I Done to Deserve This? 1984) showed evidence of a perfect synchronicity between director and actress: she came to represent the essence of older rural women who bring the village with them when they move into the big city, as seen in sainetes and other costumbrismo stories. She reprised mother roles in Matador (1986), La flor de mi secreto, and Volver (2006). In Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988) and Hable con ella (2002), she played a concierge, another costumbrismo stereotype.
   Although she is most recognized for these roles, Lampreave also gave memorable supporting performances in two of her parts in Fernando Trueba's films, the bossy mistress in El año de las luces (The Year of Enlightenment, 1986) and the engagingly dominating mother in Belle epoque (1992).

Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. . 2010.

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