Interview: Veronica Ferres on Werner Herzog’s ‘Salt and Fire’

Andrew Hawkins

Every Werner Herzog film is an event worth seeing. The director is known for his incredible storytelling and astounding visuals, and his newest movie, Salt and Fire, stars a brilliant cast including Veronica Ferres, Michael Shannon, and Gael García Bernal.
It’s a gripping tale of survival and Veronica Ferres is fantastic as Herzog’s new dramatic lead. Salt and Fire is currently available on VOD and Blu-ray.

Fandom: Why should people see this movie?

Veronica Ferres: Because it’s a movie they’ve never seen before. It’s a movie about the beauty of nature. You’ve never seen so much poetry in nature. Michael Shannon is at his best, as Gael Garcia Bernal is. It’s an unendurable story, typical of a Werner Herzog movie. It’s a special one. We shot it in Bolivia at 15,000 feet altitude. It was really difficult and an emotional challenge as well.

Fandom: Tell us about your character Dr. Sommerfeld.

Veronica Ferres: I’m leading a delegation working for the U.N. I’m a professor going to an area of South America on the verge of an ecological disaster. Nobody knows if they’re going to die the next day because they are running out of water. I am taken hostage and stranded with two blind children, but they’re peaceful and not complaining.

Fandom: What was it like to be in that environment in the dangerous salt flats of Bolivia?

Veronica Ferres: Yeah, we were far away from any civilization. We had an ambulance always following the team. They were even ready to do surgery, and it was like an emergency room following us. There was no airport and no running water at our location. We had no telephones or even cell phone reception. That was a very extreme situation. We were isolated in a way that most people will never experience in their lives.

Fandom: How was your experience working with Werner Herzog? Are you a fan of his previous films?

Veronica Ferres: You know, when I started at university in Germany, I saw Fitzcarraldo and it changed my life. It was so powerful and I thought, “I have to be a storyteller to be an actor, and to follow in his footsteps.” I was on a flight to Berlin and I had a book of his in my handbag.

He happened to be on the plane and I thought, “What is going on here?” I approached him and said, “Mr. Herzog, I am Veronica Ferres.” And he said, “I know who you are.” He gave me an autograph in the book and I was so proud that I saw Werner Herzog. Two month later he called me and said, “I wrote a script and I want you to read it.” He offered me the lead and I was so excited.

Fandom: Is there anything you’d like to say more about Salt and Fire?

Veronica Ferres: I think that Werner Herzog’s movies are always unpredictable. He’s always changing point of views on multiple levels. This movie has so much beauty and poetry. I’m just so glad to have been a part of it.

Andrew Hawkins
Andrew Hawkins is a fan contributor at Fandom. He has been on the fan media scene since 2011. Arriving at Fandom by way of CHUD, and Trouble.City; Andrew loves Sci-Fi Horror movies and supervillains. His dislikes include weak plotlines and sky lasers.
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