Mexican starlet Gloria Trevi endorses biopic about her scandalous life


She inspired teenagers in the 1980s and 1990s to break taboos and be themselves and scandalized older generations with her Madonna-like demeanor and raw performances. My late mother followed her life with equal parts horror and fascination.

Now Gloria Trevi — Mexican provocateur, singer-songwriter and bombshell — is making a comeback.

While she initially came out against the movie “Gloria” that is based on her life, Trevi — looking stunning in a black feathery dress by Mexican designer Adolfo Sánchez — endorsed it Tuesday in an on-stage interview at the Austin Convention Center during the SXSW Film festival.

Trevi penned sing-along lyrics for generations of young women, gays and other groups yearning to break free of age-old taboos, but her life has been full of controversy.

After a quick ascension while being groomed by ruthless and abusive manager Sergio Andrade, she found herself entangled in a legal fight over allegations of corruption of minors that had them fleeing to Brazil and landing in jail in 2000. Andrade ran a talent school in Mexico that became his harem, and Trevi was accused of supplying him with teen-aged girls.

While in jail, Trevi got pregnant by the Brazilian director of the prison and gave birth while incarcerated. She was eventually extradited to face justice in Mexico. After four years behind bars, she was exonerated for lack of evidence in 2004.

Trevi was back in the public spotlight a couple of years later looking none the worse. She has been a familiar figure in Austin since at least 2008, performing at clubs and at the Premios Texas awards at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater in 2013.

“Gloria” was a movie waiting to be made. Director Christian Keller, 29, also in attendance at the SXSW premiere, said he first read a story about Trevi in the L.A. Times a decade ago.

With a script written in Spanish by Mexican playwright Sabina Berman and a nuanced performance of Trevi by Sofía Espinosa, who delivers a pitch-perfect rendition of Mexican street slang and Trevi’s Monterrey accent, “Gloria” is more than a musical biopic. In Spanish with English subtitles, the movie is also about changes in conservative Mexican society that allow women to enjoy more freedom.

“You don’t know how strong you are until you have to be,” Trevi said in Austin of the inner resources she had to draw on against adversity. Now happily married, she said in Spanish that she continues to “bring home the pork chops for my cubs.”

We should all look so good after a stint in jail.



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