Aitana Sánchez-Gijón is a Spanish actress who was born on November 5th, 1968 in Rome. She grew up in Madrid, the daughter of Spanish and Italian parents, and was drawn to the theater at a young age, embarking on her first tour at the age of thirteen with the group La Barraca de Aranjuez. Three years later, she made her television debut in Pedro Masó’s Second Teaching and her film debut in José Mara Forqué’s Romanza final.
She then combined her studies in Hispanic philology with her work in other series and her first films, but he later interrupted his university career to devote himself to acting in all its forms, and he was successful in all of them in the mid-1990s with his first relevant works as a protagonist.
She was elected president of the Spanish Film Academy in 1998, a position she held until 2001. Volavérunt (1999), by Bigas Luna, earned her the best actress award at the San Sebastián Festival in 1999.
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón began her showbiz career in a children’s program on Italian television, where she interviewed celebrities. She moved to Spain with her family when she was eight years old and joined the Mara Galleta children’s theater company.
She went on a long tour with the traveling theater company La Barraca de Aranjuez when she was thirteen, and when she was twenty, she abandoned her studies in Hispanic philology to found her own theater company with the actor Fernando Guillén.
Among Aitana Sánchez-Gijón’s most notable stage performances are A puerta closed, directed by Miguel Narros, who also directed her in La malquerida by Jacinto Benavente; the classic works Between bobos walks the game, by Francisco de Rojas Zorrilla, and El shameful in the palace, by Tirso de Molina; The Uninhabited Man, directed by Rafael Alberti, and The Last Pirouette, directed by José Luis Alonso de Santos.
Simultaneously, she made her television debut in Pedro Masó’s Second Teaching, which earned her a nomination for the Icarus Prize, which she would later win for her theatrical work. She also worked on adaptations of classics by Miguel de Cervantes and Leopoldo Alas ‘Clarn’: El Quijote (directed by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón) and La Regenta (version by Fernando Méndez-Leite). She also appeared in the Italian version of Casanova and the French version of Don Rock.
She had previously made her film debut in the 1986 film Romanza final (José Mara Forqué), but it was Gonzalo Suárez who would popularize her face after the premiere of Remando al viento (1988).
That same year, Fernando Colomo gave her her first leading role in the comedy Bairse al moro, and she began to impose her personal presence, fragile and hard at the same time, from then on. Pilar Miró directed her in The Bird of Happiness (1993), alongside Mercedes Sampietro, and the Mexican Alfonso Arau made her the female lead, alongside Keanu Reeves, in his Hollywood film A Walk in the Clouds (1994).
Months later, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón worked on her first Argentine film, La ley de la frontera (1994), directed by Adolfo Aristarain, as well as Boca a boca (1995), directed by Manuel Gómez Pereira, which received positive public and critical response. With an increasing international presence, she filmed in Argentina And love came (Juan José Campanella, 1998) and La puta y la ballena (Juan José Campanella, 1998). (Luis Puenzo, 2003). She appeared in Que no estancia sobre (Mara Novaro, 2000) in Mexico, and I am not afraid in her native Italy (Gabriele Salvatore, 2003).
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón’s collaboration with director Bigas Luna in the film La camarera del Titanic (1997) was significant in Spain, and she returned to work together in Volavérunt (1999); her role as Duchess of Alba in Volavérunt was considered her best performance up to that point, and she deserved the award for best actress at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón presided over the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1998 to 2001. Jealousy (1999), My Sweet (2001), Happy Men (2001), Wounded Animals (2006), The Spherical Letter (2007), Oviedo Express (2007), and Maktub (2011) are among her other recent film credits.