Contrary to what many people logically think, Geli Albaladejo (deceased at 55 years this week) and I were not brothers, not even family. We were friends.
We met when we were fifteen in high school, in a class where there might be another four or five Albaladejos, because in our towns (San Pedro del Pinatar, Pilar de la Horadada) it is a surname as common as Martínez or García. But only the two of us became friends.
Three years later I went to Madrid to study Imaging Sciences and began to work in the cinema. And I was extremely lucky to meet Elvira Lindo and that she was also dazzled by Geli’s talent and grace. Elvira wanted to form a kind of comic couple with her and wrote the characters of Cardona and Benítez, two civil guards heiresses of Azcona (he himself looked for Elvira to congratulate her) that brightened up the sequences where they appeared in The first night of my life and Manolito Gafotas , the first two movies we made together.
But then he wrote a new scene that I asked for Verbal attack , that of the sweepers who found a baby in the garbage, and for me it was a revelation: Geli was not only a unique comedian, but as a dramatic actress she also had a gift for emotion and truth that left both Elvira and I speechless from the first time we met to read the text.
We continue to do many things together, but our friendship, perhaps because it continued to be forged in adolescence, also suffered some some ups and downs that kept us away for too long.
She continued working as an actress and also as a casting director with Salvador García Ruiz, Enrique Urbizu, Ángeles González Sinde, Ramón Salazar, Jorge Sánchez Cabezudo, Juan Antonio Bayona …
Until work, blessed work, it brought us back together. In 2013, two screenwriters and showrunners very young, Darío Madrona and Mariano Baselga, wrote a television series called Live singing and they offered to direct me because they liked the bittersweet tone of my films. I admit that it made me very happy that they called me about it, but the most beautiful thing is that in the scripts there was a character who was directly called Geli, a municipal policeman who spent a large part of her day at the show’s bar, throwing coins in the slot machines, and that it was clearly a tribute to his lieutenant Benítez of the Civil Guard.
I never thanked Mariano enough already Darío to allow me to enjoy two more years of my friend, her talent and her grace, her unique personality for comedy, for the absurd and for tenderness. So I do it now from here.
The sad thing was that just at the end of that series he was diagnosed with the cancer with which he been struggling these last seven years and that, first bloody consequence, did not allow him to go back to work.
But not for that he stopped not at all to live, to travel, to gather friends for intimate or massive lunches and dinners that she herself prepared in her flat in the Plaza del 2 de Mayo, even to wander through the applications and find a lover with whom to frequent the Filmoteca, or to organize an express reform this summer (with the indispensable help of her sister Mari Carmen) at her friend Lola Ribera’s house to be able to move to live with her these months.
Geli’s memories, both in front of the cameras and outside of the filming, in the pure life that she was, will accompany me forever. A huge kiss and hug, like the ones you always gave, friend.