Ricardo Darín started acting in TV series at only five years of age. His film career began in 1979 with Julio Porter (La carpa del amor) and Adolfo Aristarain (La playa del amor), a medium he alternated with award-winning performances on the small screen, including Nosotros y los miedos, Compromiso and Mi cuñado. In the 80s and 90s he worked yet again with Aristarain (The Stranger, 1987), Alberto Lecchi (Perdido por perdido, 1993) and Eduardo Mignogna (El Faro – The Lighthouse, 1998) and Juan José Campanella (El mismo amor, la misma lluvia – Same Love, Same Rain, 1999); but it is, above all, with Nueve reinas (Nine Queens, 2000), Fabián Bielinsky’s directorial debut, that started to earn him international recognition.
He later continued with essential Latin American and Spanish titles like El hijo de la novia (Son of the Bride, 2001, nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award), Luna de Avellaneda (Moon of Avellaneda,2004) and El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes, 2009, Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award), all three directed by Juan José Campanella. In 2007 he made his directorial debut with the film La señal alongside Martín Hodara, with whom he repeated the experience this year on Nieve negra (Black Snow).
He was a toy inventor in La educación de las hadas (The Education of Fairies, José Luis Cuerda, 2006); the father of an intersexual teenager in XXY (Lucía Puenzo, 2007); a legendary thief in El baile de la Victoria (The Dancer and the Thief, Fernando Trueba, 2009); the owner of a hardware store in Un cuento chino (Chinese Take-Away, 2011) and a pilot in Capitán Kóblic (Kóblic, 2016), both by Sebastián Borenzstein; an unqualified lawyer in Carancho (2010) and a priest in Elefante Blanco (White Elephant, 2012), both helmed by Pablo Trapero. He has also worked on two occasions with Cesc Gay: after playing a man cheated on by his wife in Una pistola en cada mano (A Gun in Each Hand, 2012), he embodied an actor diagnosed with terminal cancer in Truman (2015).
His filmography also includes the role of a professor of Criminal Law in Tesis sobre un homicidio (Thesis on a Homicide, Hernán Goldfrid, 2012), a desperate father in Séptimo (7th Floor, Patxi Amezcua, 2013), an explosives expert in Relatos Salvajes (Wild Tales, Damián Szifron, 2014), which competed in Cannes and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, and his part as the President of Argentina in La cordillera (The Summit). He is also a member of the cast on the latest film by the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, as yet untitled, on which he will share the credits with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.
In the words of the moviemaker Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, “all of the characters he plays seem to have been especially written for him and only for him to play them. Having watched the film, and thinking back over it, you can’t imagine how anyone other than Darín could truly have played that character. We have said that cinema lends transparency to reality. Darín lends transparency to the character he embodies. We feel him, he moves us, through something we don’t see: the actor. We only see his character. That’s why we never tire of his films.”
The presence of his films in San Sebastian and his visits to the city have been continuous since 2001, when La fuga (Eduardo Mignogna) competed in the Official Selection, where he also presented El aura (The Aura, 2005), his second collaboration with Bielinsky. In 2008 Amorosa soledad (Lovely Loneliness, Martín Carranza and Victoria Galardi) was presented in Zabaltegi-New Directors. In 2009 he participated twice with El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes) in competition and El baile de la Victoria (The Dancer and the Thief), in a special screening. Having been shown at Cannes, Carancho was screened as part of Pearls in 2010 and Elefante Blanco (White Elephant), premiered in Un Certain Regard, was part of the Made in Spain selection in 2012, the section which also saw the screening of Una pistola en cada mano (A Gun in Each Hand). That year he also sat on the Official Jury which awarded the Golden Shell to François Ozon’s Dans la maison (In the House). In 2013 he played the deceased grandfather of Violet (Luiso Berdejo), selected for Zabaltegi. In 2014 he presented in Pearls Relatos Salvajes, winner of the Audience Award for Best European Film, and in 2015 he returned to the Official Selection with Truman (2015), carrying off the Silver Shell for Best Actor ex-aequo with Javier Cámara.
In an interview with the journalist Nuria Vidal, Darín recalled the premiere of Truman in San Sebastian: “The audience reaction was incredible, they were laughing at the funny bits and crying at the sad ones (...). Suddenly everything we’d done took on new meaning, everything we had invested in the story found its climax at the Kursaal. Having the opportunity to watch it with all that concentrated energy is something I treasure and will carry with me for the rest of the journey. You have it on you and can’t work out how to get rid of it and I’m not sure I want to”.
The Donostia Award culminates a list of more than 20 national and international wards including five Silver Condors, two Konex, two Sur by the Argentine Academy of Cinematography Arts and Sciences Awards, a Goya, a José María Forqué, a Gaudí, a CEC (Cinema Writers Circle) award, a Feroz, a Platino Audience Award, a Sant Jordi, awards at the Valladolid, Havana and Biarritz festivals, the aforementioned Silver Shell in San Sebastian, the Honorary Platino received last year and the Gold Medal for Merits in the Fine Arts he will receive this year. All recognise the extraordinary career of an actor who has worked indistinctly in television, cinema and theatre (with the award-winning Algo en común, Art and Escenas de la vida conyugal).