Behind the Scenes #2

THE STAR IS REBORN FEAT. PENÈLOPE GUERRERO

Penelope Guerrero walking across the runway
Penelope Guerrero walking across the runway

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 9.4 - 8.9 l/100 km | CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 214 - 201 g/km | Emissionsangabe [1]

In this series of interviews exploring the all-new Mercedes-AMG SL ‘The Star is Reborn’ campaign, a range of key figures behind the reimagining of SL give insight on how AMG breathed new life into the global adored vehicle.

“Performing is creating something new. It is to put yourself in a situation you may never live in, but one that you have to represent. Performing is… a way of feeling.”

That’s what performance means to Penélope Guerrero, one of the actresses featured in Mercedes-AMG’s SL campaign, The Star is Reborn, which breathed new life into SL; a model that embodies the spirit of the brand and, in this reincarnation, champions driving enjoyment in a sportier, more luxurious light.

Penélope brought the thrill and excitement of performance that is built into the bodies of Mercedes-AMG cars to the campaign through her exhilarating display of skill that echoed the vibrancy and power especially of the all-new AMG SL. She ignites the film, both by electrifying the landscape and allowing spotlights to magnify the unrivalled designs of SL, but also through drawing on her determination to pull the audience in through her presence on screen.

Penelope Guerrero in a Mercedes-AMG SL Roadster
Penelope Guerrero in a Mercedes-AMG SL Roadster

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 13.2 - 12.6 l/100 km | CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 300 - 286 g/km | Emissionsangabe [1]

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 13.2 - 12.6 l/100 km | CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 300 - 286 g/km | Emissionsangabe [1]

Several models posing in between two Mercedes-AMG vehicles

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 13.2 - 12.8 l/100 km | CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 300 - 290 g/km | Emissionsangabe [1]


It’s her integral understanding of what performance really is that has allowed Penélope to burn a bright path in the acting world, as well as become a beacon of visibility for the transgender community and make sure that the nuanced conversations around gender and identity are normalised. And, up to now, she has featured in a range of Spanish television shows, such as the action crime drama series, Sky Rojo.  

As part of the Mercedes-AMG SL The Star is Reborn campaign, we sat down with Penélope to explore more about how she brought the campaign to life, what inspires her, and the importance of determination and drive in her career…  

Speaking about the Mercedes-AMG SL campaign, how did you ensure that you gave a performance that was as vibrant as the cars themselves?

I was really myself when I had to record the campaign. I think I had the strength that the moment required. I come from a family of empowered women, so I’ve learnt that from them since I was a kid. That magnetism and force lives inside of me.

How did you go about capturing the spirit of AMG through your performance?

I wasn’t going to enter myself for the audition because I didn't have too much time to present the self-tape they asked for. By then, I was working on Sky Rojo and involved in other projects. But when Lucy Lenox saw that I didn't enter, she called me and scheduled a Zoom with the director. It lasted less than three minutes and I was accepted. I think the spirit of AMG is very clear. It is strong, elegant, decisive, interesting, and I would also say, sexy. I’m all of those things, darling.

Mercedes-AMG is famous for its forward thinking and development, how do you always aspire to revolutionise your field?

Showing my truth. For me the revolution starts when I show myself as who I am, without shame or anything that could distract me from my own path.

The Mercedes-AMG SL 55 and the Mercedes-AMG SL 63 on a runway
The Mercedes-AMG SL 55 and the Mercedes-AMG SL 63 on a runway

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 13.2 - 12.6 l/100 km | CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 300 - 286 g/km | Emissionsangabe [1]

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 13.2 - 12.6 l/100 km | CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 300 - 286 g/km | Emissionsangabe [1]

At what age did you decide that you wanted to go into acting?

Acting came to me quite accidentally. I did theatre at a very young age when I was at school. At that time, I was very influenced by my classmates who wanted to study regular things like medicine and law, so I didn’t see acting as an option. But when I was 21, after I started to become more popular on social media, my (now) manager called me to know a bit about me and he proposed that I go for the casting of Veneno. I wasn’t selected for that, but at that time I started to realise that I was good at being an actress. So, I kept working on it until today.

At the start of your career, what can you say about the importance of determination and drive to get where you are today?

When you start a career, especially if it is related to art, you have to know that you’re not going to see results at the very beginning. It’s a process where you have to find yourself and also find what makes you unique. It’s very important to know what you want, what kind of artist you want to be, and then focus on it until you reach the goals you set for yourself. Being constant and also able to reinvent yourself when you’ve reached those goals is something that you have to keep in mind if you want to still be present in this industry.

Penelope Guerrero across the set of the Mercedes-AMG SL campaign
Penelope Guerrero across the set of the Mercedes-AMG SL campaign

What does performance mean to you?

Performing is creating something new, something far from yourself but so close at the same time that it belongs to you. It is to put yourself in a situation you may never live in, but one that you have to represent. It’s a way of making others feel things that they might not understand, so they’re discovering something new. Performing is… a way of feeling.

How do you bring authenticity to your performances?

There are many ways of making a performance look authentic. You can achieve it from your body, for example. Your body language can tell many things without the need to talk out loud, only by the way the body moves, the parts where you exert more force, where you support your body. Using your own emotions and experiences in life can also get a performance to the next level. Your clothes can also bring you out of yourself and it’s a really good way of creating a character, and feel like it becomes a part of you.

Would you say that risk-taking is one of the most important aspects of acting?

Definitely. If you don’t take risks, you’ll never discover what you are able to achieve when you’re on scene. It’s very important to push yourself to the limit when you’re creating a character — that will help you to investigate aspects like your body position or the way your voice sounds.

A behid the scenes shot of the Mercedes-AMG SL campaign
A behid the scenes shot of the Mercedes-AMG SL campaign
Penelope
That is what will make your performance unique.

What mindset would you say is needed in order to be a leader in your field?

You always have to expect a “No”. For me, my work is not acting, but auditioning. I’ve done tons and tons of auditions and I’ve been selected for less than five of them. It’s very hard not to take this personally and realise that it wasn’t for you and that that doesn’t mean that you’re a bad actress but that they were looking for something that is not you or your proposal. When you manage that, that’s when you start loving this job and showing the best version of yourself.

What would you say has been the most daring thing you’ve done in your career?

Being transgender and speaking about it. It may sound unnecessary, but it really is necessary. When you’re a kid and they don’t talk to you about women with different genitalia or even transgender people in general, if you find yourself in the situation of not being conformed with your identity, it is very complicated to normalise that part of your body and not struggle all of your life with it, because you didn’t have a reference of someone feeling comfortable with it. As someone with influence on social media, which is part of my work, showing this part of me really helped others to normalise it, and see themselves in a more positive and loving way.

A behid the scenes shot of the Mercedes-AMG SL campaign
A behid the scenes shot of the Mercedes-AMG SL campaign

What has been the greatest thrill of all for you?

I think my own evolution has been the greatest thrill. Looking back at where I come from, who I was before all of this, and how I managed to change everything I didn’t like or feel comfortable with into something bigger and greater. That makes me feel very happy and proud.

When do you feel most electrified?

When I’m working and feeling productive. Either I’m in front of the camera or behind it, thinking about new projects.

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The Mercedes-AMG SL 55 and 63 Roadster on a runway

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 13.2 - 12.6 l/100 km | CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 300 - 286 g/km | Emissionsangabe [1]

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 13.2 - 12.6 l/100 km | CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 300 - 286 g/km | Emissionsangabe [1]


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