Profile: Nilo Cruz


Who are you?
I am a dreamer who happens to write plays.

What do you do in real life?
I observe human behavior.

What excites you visually and creatively?

The mystery and abundance of nature, especially the lushness, the uproar of nature in this part of the world.  Paintings also transport me to other places; I adore Pierre Bonnard, Music is also very inspiring: Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Mahler, Piazzola.

What do you like most about what you do?
That I get to fictionalize and theatricalize reality.

How much does human behavior influence your work?
Every play for me begins with an image that comes to life through human comportment.

Have you ever been back to Cuba?
I go back to the island all the time through my mind, even when I’m not writing about Cuba.

Your female characters are all strong women. How much of that is the influence of your mother and grandmother?

I always thought my mother and my grandmother were stronger than my father, because they always found wisdom in their intuition and the simplest things in life.  My female characters find their recipe for life in being receptive to their feelings and voicing their emotions.

Who are your icons?

Other writers, such as Anton Chekhov, Marguerite Yourcenar, Jose Saramago, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Federico Garcia Lorca…the film director Andrei Tarkovsky also changed the way I perceive cinema.

How would you describe your personal style?
Discreet and humble.  But I also possess the leftover innocence of a child so I can be surprised by the world.

What do you do now, that you did not do 5 years ago?

I am more comfortable with my solitude and my silence.

Something new, that you have just discovered about yourself?

A passion for the companionship and the intelligence of dogs.

What are your guilty pleasures?
Buying visual art.

One luxury that you cannot live without?
I wouldn’t call it a luxury, but I find the presence of art to be a necessity in my life.

Three Words to describe you?
Patient. Poetic. Romantic.

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