The male cast of the miniseries O Hóspede Americano had several troubles in the recordings made in the Amazon, but actress Dana Delany had a much more relaxed routine while in Brazil. As she performed all of her scenes in São Paulo, she was able to explore museums and buy furniture around the metropolis while her colleagues went deeper into the forest.
“I had a lot more free time, because the rest of the cast worked a lot. I took the opportunity to visit the museums, because I like art a lot and I had never been to Masp [Museu de Arte de São Paulo], which has an amazing collection,” tells Dana to TV news.
Winner of two Emmys for her work on the war drama China Beach (1988-1991), the New Yorker also used the trip to redecorate her home in the United States (pictured below). “I really like Brazilian furniture. I bought these armchairs made by Jorge Zalszupin [arquiteto e designer polonês radicado no Brasil, 1922-2020], I think they are from 1950 or 1960. I ordered both in Brazil and had them delivered here,” he explains.
Dana shows an armchair she bought in Brazil
Directed by Bruno Barreto, The American Guest tells the story of an expedition that then General Rondon (Chico Díaz) and former US President Theodore Roosevelt (Aidan Quinn) make through the Amazon to map the River of Doubt — renamed the River Roosevelt after the journey.
Dana plays Edith, Theodore’s wife, who didn’t board the trip and stayed in Rio de Janeiro while her husband played the adventurer. The former First Lady, as well as her interpreter on the HBO miniseries, had a much more relaxed stay than Teddy, who nearly died on the expedition.
The American Guest in the Amazon
The recordings of the four episodes took place in 2018 in real areas of the forest, which generated several troubles for the actors involved. The most extreme case was that of Briton Chris Mason, who lives Kermit, the son of the presidential couple: he took berne and recorded his scenes with the mosquito larva developing in his head.
“Some people on the team had the job of catching wild animals and throwing them away. They were very brave people, who held scorpions and snakes as if they were nothing,” Mason recalls to the report. “Even in the hotel where we were staying, the animals would show up. Aidan found a coral snake in his room, he came out looking like a ghost. We were also bitten by foot washing ants all the time.”
Dana, on the other hand, avoided wildlife and took advantage of her near-anonymity in Brazil to explore São Paulo — which took the place of Rio de Janeiro in the recordings. “I had my time to look at furniture, art and walk the streets, absorb this atmosphere that the city has. And, of course, drink a lot of caipirinhas (laughs).”
The actress has a long history with Brazil. In 1986, she recorded the film Selva Viva in Belém, in which she starred with Chico Díaz — her co-star in O Hóspede Americano. “He was the first person who took me to Rio de Janeiro, he’s an amazing actor and colleague. And I hadn’t seen him for almost 35 years, so it was a beautiful meeting”, he adds.
In 1988, she visited Ouro Preto to record Luar Sobre Parador, and found the city of Minas Gerais charming. Dana liked the country so much, in fact, that she even comes here when she doesn’t have any projects, just to enjoy Brazil.
“I’m always happy when I’m in Brazil, it’s become my second country. The art, music, food (laughs), it’s all amazing! I can’t wait to visit again, a friend of mine just came back from there and I stayed dying of envy of her,” he admits.
HBO airs the second episode of The American Guest this Sunday (3), at 11 pm. The full miniseries is also available on HBO Max. Check out the production trailer: