The Writer, Producer, and Protagonist   

New Series "Ana" Brings Comedy and Realities Directly From the Mind of Ana de la Reguera
Ana de la Reguera es la protagonista escritora, y showrunner del nuevo espectáculo “Ana”, que se estrena exclusivamente en Pantaya el 20 de abril. Photo Credit: Sylvia Lopez

Arturo Hilario
El Observador

Ana de la Reguera is a renowned Mexican actress whose career spans such cult classics as “Nacho Libre” to the upcoming fifth “Purge” film, as well as television series such as “Jane the Virgin” and “Goliath”.

Recently de la Reguera told us about her new project, the very personal and involved series “Ana”, which will premiere exclusively on the Spanish-language streaming platform Pantaya on April 20.

A story of an actress and the demands of the world on her, de la Reguera wrote this show as a story of reflection, and the channeling of the situations she has gone through and seen others go through.

“Ana” is based on six years of work for de la Reguera, who wrote the story over the course of five years and not until recently embarked on the final stage of this production; with filming and showrunning duties falling on de la Reguera’s lap, in addition to acting as the main character of the show.

Hi Ana, I wanted to hear what your show “Ana” is about?

It is about a woman who is living a “late adolescene” and who has to lose herself to find herself. She is a woman who grew up in a very peculiar family, [an example being] the case of her mother, who was a former beauty queen and has a beauty school.

And then [Ana] grows up with that pressure – a bit of being the perfect girl and then this actress who does everything well and that I put it on my shoulders, let’s say. And then she begins to realize that this is not herself and begins to break with everything she learned.

Could you talk a little bit about your life and inspiration for this?

That was my life. Well, I wanted to tell a story like that, a story that I wasn’t watching on television. [Ana] was a character that was not being offered to me, [and] wanting to tell all the things that I did in my life, and my anecdotes. The things that have happened to me were like a channel, that is, the character of Ana [was] a channel to put out there everything I was interested in talking about and what I was interested in exploring, it was things that I read or lived very often. So, that’s where I took inspiration.

I was inspired by many things, the pressure of the age, of mother and daughter relationships. The pressure put on you by a certain age [where] you have to find a partner. The show talks about many things.

Is there anything you found or discovered doing this series that was surprising?

Well, I noticed that what happened to me a lot was while I was writing it, well it [took] six years to make the series come to life and bring it to the screen, but especially in the last year when we were already formally writing it, let’s say, with my group of writers and everything, things that we had already written began to happen to me and they began to happen to me in life. Or, for example, there were things that I wrote about my family, my mom, and suddenly my mom did them without knowing.

So those things have been very funny, and I think it has happened to many writers in life, that soon they write something, and it happens. Well then that was very interesting. I can’t believe I wrote the text six months ago and right now it’s happening. I think my mom says, “How could you rewrite it yesterday to air, I wrote it a year ago!” So, a lot of things like that happened to me.

Another thing I wanted to know was how your experience was running the show, writing it and also acting in it? Is it something you found to be very challenging?

The character creation part is very good because you know the character better than anything, when you are an actor and the character comes to you, you do your research and everything. But if you wrote it and wrote the whole series, [it’s] practically acting for me or learning the scenes for me, it was very easy, because what was written I had previously reviewed 50 times, you know.

So, this was very good, what was difficult, more than anything was to produce and be the showrunner of the series while acting. Many of the nights I just got a review of an episode and I had to rewrite it after arriving from acting all day.

Then I would write the notes on some corrections, but the most difficult thing was to arrive in the morning and know that we have problems with an actor, because they have to go early or that the location had changed because it was raining, that is thousands of things that you are going to face every day. At 6 in the morning I already woke up with production problems and I also had to act. So, that was very complicated.

Thank you very much Ana, now my final question is, what did you like most about working on “Ana”?

The truth is that I liked everything, everything. What I liked least was going out to sell the series. The whole legal process, that’s what I like least, but from there on out I think what I liked the most was being in the writers’ room. Let’s say development, although I developed it alone for five years, and formal development, when we already had Comedy Central and Amazon and Pantaya, when we already had, let’s say, a job and that we had to deliver the episodes. I love this whole development process; it is what I like the most.

And in the future is writing something that you see doing again?

I think so. I think that if the series starts [and] it goes well, we will have to continue the second season. Then I will have to repeat again. Also, I am already [involved] in other projects to write in the future.