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Tojola, the ancient Indian sorceress, is played by Mexican
actress Euva Anderson. Anderson, whose extraordinary career
stretches back to films such as "Black Orpheus", also plays
Diego's wife. She has known director Peploe for many years and
first heard about Peploe's plans to make the film a few years
"To me," says Anderson, "the two roles I play go together. I come from a long-standing lineage of witches, curanderas, sorceresses, women who have handed down certain knowledge, what some people today might call secrets. My mother, my grandmother and my great-grandmother and my nanny were all curanderas.
And I've studied the medicinal use of plants," Anderson adds, "what you can use certain herbs for and I'm in contact with many women and men who have these powers."
With a broad smile, Anderson recalls, "the fact that I play two roles in the film was a complete accident born of a misunderstanding. When Clare sent me the script, I was sure she wanted me to play the Mayan sorceress and I said okay, but in fact she had been thinking of me for Diego's wife! In the end, I played both roles but was aged to seem older for Tojola."
Brought up in a remarkable family living in Central America, Anderson performed in a travelling mouth orchestra run by her grandfather when she was a child. She also lived in Australia and started acting in films at a very early age. Although Anderson has never put together a resume, her credits include such remarkable and diverse films as "Mad Dog Morgan", "Black Orpheus", "El Topo" and "Una noche sin luna".
Anderson, who lives on the tip of Baja California in Mexico, is also a star of surf movies, which she continues to make today with her husband. "In fact," she says wryly, I have my biggest following in the surf world," Anderson and her husband make a surf movie every few years and also make documentaries on primitive civilisations.
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