He’s the last one on the presentations. Doesn’t mean he’s less important: Leando Lefa plays one of the main characters in Kassandra, a weird and nameless neighbor which represents a threat to the leading character. However, the actor was the last one to be confirmed in the movie.
According to director Ulisses Costa, the difficulty was to find someone different from the other men in the cast. “Roger Monteiro, the writer, imagined someone older and possibly ‘bigger’”, he remembers. “But I was really afraid that the character was confused with the Big Man”.
Ulisses chose Leando Lefa also because their long friendship. He was one of the actors of The Screamer (watch it with english subtitles), the director’s first short movie. The promise that they would work together again stood and more than one project was thought to continue the partnership, but none worked out. Another point well considered about Lefa was the fact that he already had done a horror movie – played a role in the almost legendary Beyond the Grave, a zombie movie shooted in Porto Alegre, never released commercially.
The construction of the character had to be really specific. Even with a tight schedule, Lefa was able to email pictures to the crew, showing some ideas of costume, make up, facial and body expression (pic). “Despite the lack of time to rehearse the way we did with Renata, for example, Lefa’s dedication was essential to make the character as ready as it was in the day of shooting”, tells the director.
“Ulisses’ merit: with intelligence and sensibility, he knows exactly how to say what he wants and then things just flow”, says the actor. “All I needed was the script, one coffee and three minutes of improvisation exercise where enough for me to feel completely safe and comfortable with my character and the whole crew, particularly with the rest of the cast.”
Coffee? Yep: on his first scenes, Lefa needed to look dirty. Art director Ana Gusson, suggested that a shirt was stained with coffee, to make the filthy look on the black and white photography. After that, the actor wore a wet shirt with a strong smell of coffee for several hours, what resulted in many jokes from Renata Stein.
About working in more than one horror movie, Leandro says: “I wanted to create a guy without deepness, driven by sex, who thinks is fun being grouse and repulsive. It’s interesting that in Beyond the Grave I also played a man intellectually limited and who didn’t know how to act like a person, but the characters are completely different”.