The death of extraordinary actress Alina Rodríguez came as a shock to Cuban artists and people alike, given the unexpected loss and power of her performances, firmly rooted in the culture of the island.
The strength of her character, Carmela, in the multi-award winning film Conducta by Ernesto Daranas, portrayed a teacher’s best qualities and expressed educators’ longing to maintain a balance of heart and prudence in their profession.
Rodríguez studied Anatomical pathologyand but luckily one day discovered that acting flowed through her as naturally as the blood in her veins, devoting herself entirely to the profession, achieving success in cinema, theatre and television.
According to Enrique Molina, who played her partner on repeated occasions in soap operas, series and films, Alina was admired by colleagues admired for her confidence and willingness to learn, a thorough and serious actress fully committed to her craft.
Here we have excellent actors, male and female, but I think in the future it will be difficult for me to find another compañera like her, with whom – with just one look – such a strong connection was established that we knew if one of us needed a pause in the performance, he stated to PL.
Molina praised the actress and human being, unable to encroach on another actor’s space during a scene.
Alina was very sure in her work, I never suffered the unpleasant feeling that she wanted dominate the best moments during filming, on the contrary I felt supported by my compañera, noted the Molina who plays Silvestre Cañizo in Tierra Brava, a soap opera starring both actors.
Her performances in this series never seemed like supporting roles thanks to strong work with the protagonists, including actress Luisa María Jiménez, who confessed that she even came to think of Alina as a mother.
During the wake a teary-eyed Jiménez stated that she was my mother Justa, my beloved, eternal and interminable mother Justa, in reference to Rodríguez’s character in Tierra Brava, who as house keeper of a hacienda was responsible for raising the owner’s orphaned daughter.
According to the renowned actress, Rodríguez was regarded as great figure by everyone wanting to enter into the complicated world of acting.
Working with her one feels assured, she possessed a strength, an enviable temperament and emitted energy, approaching her roles without fear, she noted.
According to the President of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, (Uneac), Miguel Barnet, Alina had some of the most expressive eyes in Cuban theatre and will without a doubt be remembered for her talent and versatility.
She had a comedic and, at the same time, theatrical sensibility, I remember her in Santa Camila de La Habana Vieja and numerous other memorable works, commented Barnet, also President of the Fernando Ortiz Foundation.
He believes that Rodríguez leaves an inedible mark on Cuban theater and cinema, where she gave a masterful performance last year in the aforementioned film Conducta.
In recognition of her performance in this movie, she was awarded the prize for Best Actress by the Malaga, Spain, and New York Film festivals, for her role as Carmela.
That role revealed her full range of emotions, her versatility, noted Barnet, while director of the Mariana de Gonitch singing academy, Hugo Oslé, took the opportunity to highlight her charm, grace and naturally contagious joy.
As an artist she had a special type of cubanía and played every character in a different way, stated the choir director.
In Marilyn Solaya’s debut feature length film, Vestido de novia, also premiered last year, Rodríguez took on another supporting role, that of a jealous nurse who elicited repulsion from the audience and whose cutting looks even extended to her exemplary work colleague.
Alina’s performances were so believable, so intense – and who at 65 years of age she was still so devoted – that a strange sense of fury given her passing was inevitable.
There was surely more awards to come, from her and for her, because all those she has won to date do not yet reflect her caliber, and because the actress probably had many new projects and multiple plans in the works, accustomed as she was to undertaking various projects at the same time.
As she had wished, Rodríguez’s ashes were scattered on the Havana Malecón, with the sea receiving the force of several new fascinating spirits, such as Carmela, Justa, María Antonia, Lala, Camila and so many others which share the same soul.