Charles Laughton

By on septiembre 1, 2011
charles laughton

Charles Laughton nacido el primero de julio de 1899 en Scarborough, Yorkshire, Inglaterra – muerto el 15 de diciembre de 1962 en Los Ángeles, California, Estados Unidos; fue un gran actor, director de cine y teatro. Sus inicios como estudiante fueron en la Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) en Londres.

charles laughtonSu debut en teatro fue en la obra de “The Government Inspector” en el papel de Osip, desde sus inicios llama la atención del público; la mayoría de sus interpretaciones fueron de villanos aunque a también tuvo papeles en comedias; participó en muchas obras de teatro como “El jardín de los cerezos”, “Las tres Hermanas” y “Liliom” con su maestro Komisarjevsky  (que hace captar la atención de su protegido como uno de los mejores actores teatrales).

Laughton comienza a sembrar éxito tras éxito, después de algunas obras teatrales consigue su primer protagónico al lado de la actriz Elsa Lanchester en la obra “Mr. Prohack” de Arnold Bennet, en 1929 se casa con ésta.

Como un actor de películas lleva sus conocimientos al máximo, con pequeños papeles en cortometrajes, basados en las historias de H. G. Wells y dirigidos por Ivor Montagu. Trabajó también en “Picadilly” donde sobresale con una actuación muy corta, con la dirección de Ewald Andrea Dupondt, trabajó en varias adaptaciones de Ágata Christie, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Antón Chéjov y William Congreve.

Su carácter de villano en la puesta en escena lo llevó a trabajar con grandes directores como Stanley Kubrick, en la famosa “Spartacus” de 1960, con Billy Wilder en “Witness for prosecution” de 1957, con David Lean en “Hobson choice” de 1954, con George Sydney en “Young Bess” de 1953, y con muchos más como William Dieterle, Henry Koster, King Vidor, John Huston, George Stevens, Alfred Hitchcock, Ernst Lubitsch, estuvo con los grandes, trabajó con los mejores de su tiempo, dejó un legado muy grande en el cine.

Dirigió su primera y única película en 1955, “La noche del Cazador”, con Robert Mitchum, la cual se habla en cualquier escuela de cine por su tratado con la luz, hasta el director de foto Stanley Cortez dijo “sólo dos directores con los que he trabajado conocen el tratamiento de la luz, Orson Wells y Charles Laughton”;  tristemente fue su única película ya que después de su estreno no tuvo mucho éxito hasta años después y ahora es un clásico en el cine norteamericano.

Robert Mitchum quien dijo “Charles Laughton fue el mejor director con que he trabajado”, en la película, Mitchum fue el que dirigió a los niños, ya Laughton no soportaba a los niños, es una de las cosas que decían de él;  fue un gran maestro de interpretación, donde hacía algunos de sus personajes como Henry VIII en su clase. Ganador de la estatuilla dorada, el Oscar en 1939 por su actuación como personaje protagónico en “The secret life of Henry VIII” de Alexander Korda, que lo lleva a ser uno de los mejores directores en Inglaterra por la interpretación de Charles Laughton.

En Estados Unidos Laughton fue muy prestigiado por sus papeles en casi todas las películas, pero le gustaba hacer teatro,  por lo tanto,  vuelve al teatro de Inglaterra, esta vez con el innovador director teatral escocés Tyrone Guthrie, donde su paga es mucho menos que en el cine pero él amaba la presentación teatral.

Forma su propia productora con Eric Pommer, llamada “Mayflower pictures” y producen varias películas, las cuales no son gran éxito de taquilla, como “Vessel of Wrath”, “St. Martin’s Lane”, “Jamaica Inn”; su productora se llena de deudas y la RKO les propone pagarlas. Laughton encarna el personaje de Cuasimodo en el remake de “El jorobado de NotraDame” lo cual es un éxito, su actuación en esa película nunca será olvidada por los amantes del cine.

Como actor de  64 películas, como director dos -aunque una no se le acredita-, como escritor cuatro títulos, como productor tres filmes.  Algunas  de sus frases famosas: “No pueden censurar el brillo en mi ojo”;  “Tengo una cara como el trasero de un elefante”;  “Tengo una cara que pararía un reloj de sol”; “Los actores de método te dan una fotografía. Los actores reales te dan una pintura al óleo”.

Por Jesús Hurtado*

*Jesús Hurtado es cineasta radicado en California.

 

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