Choosing the cast
The process of choosing and training the cast of “ESTÔMAGO – A Gastronomic Story” was slow and cumbersome. The selection of each actor had a different story and path.
For the character of “Íria,” for example, auditions were held in São Paulo, Rio and Curitiba with over 100 actresses. In the end, the choice was a rookie Fabiula Nascimento, whose presence, talent and absolute dedication to the job and the character gave Íria an enchanting vivacity.
Babu Santana’s name was mentioned early on, after his excellent work in the film “Quase Dois Irmãos” (Almost Brothers), directed by Lúcia Murat. But he still had to compete with other extraordinary actors like Flávio Bauraqui and Leandro Firmino in auditions and interviews.
For the character of “Giovanni,” we initially thought of an Italian actor, but it became evident that if the film was set in Brazil we needed an Italian who spoke excellent Portuguese. So Carlo Briani, given the coincidences in his life and that of the character’s, became the obvious choice.
Even João Miguel, the absolute protagonist of the film was a delicate choice: Nonato was almost someone else until the moment when Marcos Jorge met with João and realized that he could give the character a rich, strong personality.
Paulo Miklos, on the other hand, was chosen early on. While still writing the script, Marcos Jorge began to think of Paulo in the role of Etcetera, as a small tribute to Brazilian cinema and to Beto Brant as the emblematic thrust behind the new generation of filmmakers.
All the other actors that participated were chosen in auditions held in several Brazilian cities. For the cell, for example, Alexander Sil was chosen in Rio de Janeiro. All others were chosen from Curitiba auditions. The character Zulmiro is played by Zeca Cenovicz, an excellent theater actor, who has worked with Marcos in other films.
Choosing the right cast for the film is half the journey to a successful of the film, but the other half is equally important. In the case of “Estômago,” Marcos personally rehearsed with all actors for a whole month in collaboration with João Miguel, who given his presence in every scene, was also there for every rehearsal. It was a very intense period when the film began to take shape.
The first rehearsals and improvisations happened in a theater, but after a certain point they were moved to the locations where the movie would be filmed. The movement created by the actors was essential in determining the cinematographic language that would be adopted.