The sisters Joana and Mireia Vilapuig, aged 28 and 25, were child stars a decade ago thanks to ‘Polseres vermelles’. The famous TV-3 production made them experience unusual things for their age, something they wanted to capture in ‘Self-tape’, a Filmin series in which reality and fiction mix and that addresses themes such as success, failure, jealousy and competitiveness in a career as complicated as that of an actress.

How did the idea for the series come about?

Joana Vilapuig: After ‘Polseres’, castings for the same characters began to arrive, which is why comparisons were made between us. There was a moment when we thought: It’s not often that two sisters go through this, and besides, they’re in competition. We also didn’t get work and it was being very difficult because the dream we had projected was not realized.

Mireia Vilapuig: When we decided that we wanted to do this project, the first thing we had to do was talk a lot and explain what each of us had experienced in that past.

Was it difficult to manage this constant comparison between the two?

Joana: It has been ‘heavy’. I think I now know how to manage jealousy or comparison with anyone much better because I’ve already experienced it with Mireia. Also, we are very similar physically, we come from the same place, we wanted the same thing…

Mireia: The acting profession already puts you in a context of constant comparison with your colleagues, also being a very small industry in which we all know each other. Well, we took it home and lived with our sister. There was always the question: what if they catch you, what happens? What if they catch me? Where is the line between profession and our relationship?

How much is fiction and reality in the series?

Joana: There is a lot of truth and a lot of fiction.

Mireia: It will be at 50%.

The plot of ‘Selftape’ already poses a tense situation from the beginning, because Mireia gets the role that was going to be for Joana.

Joana: We always had in mind that Mireia’s character was more professionally successful, but worse in terms of relationships. On the other hand, Joana has difficulty finding a job, but has a much larger network of friends.

One of the series’ distinctive elements are the videos that appear, of its ‘castings’ and family scenes, those ‘selftapes’ that give the production its title.

Joana: They are archive videos that intersperse with fiction to explain a little where the ‘trauma’ of the two comes from.

Mireia: A key point in the creation process was when we decided that we wanted to use stock footage within the series. It somehow emphasizes the relationship of the two sisters.

Joana: And it blurs the line between reality and fiction even more.

Was it hard being a child actress? Or was it harder to grow up and accept that success can be fleeting?

Joana: The after.

Mireia: Everything has its pros and cons. We have already lived this reality, but we have many colleagues who started later, which is logical, and it was also difficult for them to enter. Starting so young as an actress, your childhood is a bit stolen, you understand the profession from a very strange place.

Joana: And it distorts your perspective of the future. Our mother told us: At 20 you can’t think you’ve failed, you have your whole life ahead of you. We’ve already experienced some pretty tough things with fear that made me understand that the profession is not the path of roses that I thought when I was 15 years old.

Mireia: This profession has a very beautiful facade but, inside, you have many moments of difficulty.

“Our mother used to tell us: at 20 you can’t think you’ve failed”

‘Seltfape’ also touches on how being a child actress in the past influences even your most intimate relationships in the present.

Mireia: ‘Selftape’ is not a series that explicitly talks about sex. But we made it clear that we wanted to talk personally about situations we experienced. We were very sexualized teenagers. It was something that we had to digest, talk a lot among ourselves and understand that there are moments in the profession, within filming, when you feel uncomfortable and have to set limits.

Joana: We’ve experienced sex scenes on filming where we feel very vulnerable or naked, even though we could be dressed, so we wanted to feel safe and protected when making our series. I think on set we had more nude scenes that were later cut out of editing because we stripped ourselves so emotionally that maybe it was a little overwhelming. We wanted to protect ourselves because sometimes we weren’t and we realized that by doing a sex scene you could end up on a porn page.

Is it clear that the series should bet on the combination of Catalan and Spanish? Although English and Norwegian also appear occasionally.

Joana: It was important that Mireia and I, who speak Catalan, do the same in the series. In Filmin and Filmax [la productora] They gave us absolute freedom to create in whatever language we want. It’s like in life, with my partner I speak English, but I have friends with whom I speak Spanish and with my family, in Catalan.

Mireia: We wanted to be as coherent as possible with our life and not create a language barrier. Doing so was absurd and has more to do with politics than we wanted to tell.

Has the series been therapeutic for you?

Mirian: Absolutely. Before we did this, we didn’t know each other very well.