Elena Irureta, the Basque actress who established herself with her leading role in Homeland

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In the fabulous HBO series, about the fragments of the ETA struggle, he composes Bittori, a woman who seeks to know who murdered her husband. And puts the magnifying glass on who was her best friend. A torn character.

Director Aitor Gabilondo defined Homeland how “A ladies western”. In the skin of one of those ladies, named Bittori, she shines Elena Irureta, a Basque actress that the general public is discovering from the premiere of the HBO miniseries based on the novel by Fernando Aramburu.

Born in the fishing village of Zumaya, Guipúzcoa, 65 years ago, From a very young age, her vocation as an actress was clear. After finishing her primary and secondary studies in a school for nuns, she entered the Dramatic Art School of Antzerti, Donostia, where was received as the first of its class.

He immediately went out to tour the Basque Country representing very popular plays, such as comedy Mom, look at her!, written in Basque by herself and Kontxu Odrizola, with which they made more than 150 performances.

One of her earliest roles was that of Helen of Troy in The Trojans, a staging made at his theater school, with which he also toured the Basque Country and various venues in the rest of Spain.

“At that time, in addition, we were the ones who loaded the van, went to town, set up the scenery, the lights, the sound equipment… Then we did the show and disassemble everything again, take it to the place and unload it there. Each performance was an endless day of hours, “he said in an interview.

Irureta wrote his own texts and sketches. Soon she became one of the figures of the Basque regional television, ETB.: fame, at least locally, came to him in the early ’90s hand in hand with his first works there, such as the musical comedy Two and one and the series DBH The Pickles.

That opened the doors for him to other projects and from then on he alternated roles between Basque channels and others of national scope. After that great debut on Basque television, he jumped to national stations with small roles in successful fictions such as Afterclass, Journalists The Sisters.

His first big milestone was The commissioner (1999), where he played the agent Laura Hurtado, a character who stayed on the air for no less than twelve seasons.

Meanwhile he continued to play other roles: one of the most prominent was the one he did in the series The mysteries of Laura (2009), where she played the neighbor of the protagonist, with whom she had a deep enmity.

At the same time, he was also forging a career in cinema, where since 1985 he has participated in 25 films, of which passed through Argentine cinemas Red squirrel (1993), by Julio Medem, and I give you my eyes (2003), by Icíar Bollaín, remembered for having anticipated in more than a decade the Not one less addressing in a stark way gender violence.

The island of the nominees, Hospital Central, The protected Y Toledo are some of the many television fictions of which he was also part. In Argentina many will remember her for her work in The time between seams, which Telefe issued in 2016: there he made Mrs. Manuela, owner of a haute couture workshop.

Another indirect link with our country is its participation in the Spanish version of Blind to appointments (2014), the fiction created by Carolina Aguirre, where she played the role played here by Georgina Barbarossa: It was Maruchi, Lucia’s mother, the protagonist.

Other programs he was part of are The secret of Puente Viejo, The gift of Alba, Felipe and Letizia, Something to celebrate Y Removes scales.

But the rung before Homeland it was in Down there, a fiction inspired by the blockbuster movie Eight Basque surnames. There she did for 23 chapters of Rosa Mari: it was there that she met the co-star of the HBO miniseries,. Ane Gabarain. Aitor Gabiondo, one of the creators of Down there, and decided that they would form the star duo of Homeland.

Irureta and Gabarain play two friends divided by ETA terrorism. Bittori is a woman who, decades after the murder of her husband at the hands of the Basque nationalist gang, keep looking for the material author of the fact. Miren was her close friend at the time of the murder, but over time she distanced herself from Bittori for political reasons: from the militancy of her son Joxe Mari, was adopting a position favorable to ETA.

“The experience has been very enriching, because it is something that you have lived, but in which you have never gotten wet. They are still 40 years summarized in a few scenes, “explained Irureta a few days ago at the San Sebastián Festival.


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