Roslyn Sanchez evokes the spirit of Montalban on the new ‘Fantasy Island’
Roselyn Sánchez has been slow to find a way to step into the shoes of Elena Roarke, the niece of Mr. Roarke, the role played by the legendary Ricardo Montalbán in the hit series “La Isla de la Fantasía”. Playing the main character in the remake of the series, the Puerto Rican actress explains that for her, “the important thing was to maintain the dignity and touch of majesty that he gave to the character.”
The original production began broadcasting in the United States in 1978 and remained on the air until 1984, although the creators maintain that some seasons always take place somewhere in the world.
For this reason, Sanchez thought “very well” and devoted “a lot of time to building the character that represents a very important moment in the history of Latinos on television.”
The 2021 version of “La isla de la fantasia” premieres August 10 on Fox. It was recorded entirely in Puerto Rico and has a crew that includes, in addition to Sanchez, American artists John Gabriel Rodriquez and Chiara Barnes. The latter is Roarke’s assistant, who in the original version was the tattoo character, played by Hervé Villechaize.
In this case, Barnes is an African American woman who stayed on the island after arriving as a woman in her 70s with only a few weeks left to live. Elena Rourke is transformed into a young woman in her twenties, the right-hand man of Elena Ruby is called Ruby Akoda and is the furthest from the original character.
On the contrary, Sanchez wanted to bring Elena closer to her famous ancestor. “The Roarkes continue to be portrayed as a mysterious family. No one knows if they are the ones who have the magic or it’s the island. It’s something I wanted to be involved in in this new phase of history,” he said.
When he was building the character, Sanchez wanted to preserve Montalbán’s Mexican aura (1920-2009) while at the same time giving him more “tenderness, compassion and even a bit of humor.”
“The series’ screenwriters are women. Most of the episodes were directed by women. The two main characters are women. We had to give her her feminine characteristics, but without losing her power. After much work and consultations, he confirmed that I am very happy with what we have achieved.”
On the island of magic
Unlike the original series, which was shot in studios, the 2021 movie “Fantasy Island” is a waste of outdoorsy designs. The cast and production spent three months in Puerto Rico, where the recordings were made.
Sanchez, who was born in the capital, San Juan, on April 2, 1973 said. “My country is a wonderful island and I became another character in the series. It is an island where talent flows and it is heaven. It was so special to do this project there. I can’t say it’s my credit. The project, it had already been decided that it would be implemented there. However, I am very proud of helping Puerto Rico and its creators, especially audiovisual projects, that need more funding.”
According to Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi, recordings of the series brought the island $54.7 million and created 418 direct jobs.
From miracle to miracle
For Roselyn Sánchez, the possibility of wearing the shoes of someone as creative as Montalbán is “more than a dream.” Like visitors to “Fantasy Island”, the actress also wishes that she loves to come true, such as “the ability to sleep the recommended eight hours” and ensure the lasting health of her family, especially her children Sibylla. 9 years old and Dylan almost 4 years old.
It follows the concept of the original series: every week, for a full hour, visitors come to the island expecting miracles and living experiences that initially remember the saying “you have to be careful what you wish for.”
But the actress, who has acted in such series as “Without a Trace” and “Discussed Maids”, claims that she feels “so happy and full, that asking for something would be ungrateful.”
In fact, he asserts, “My name is Roslyn Milagros and I feel like everything I have in my life is so good that it’s like a miracle. I’m so lucky.”
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