Rafael Amaya, in a short amount of time, has become the new latin heartthrob starring in many telenovelas and spanish TV series including, La Reina del Sur, which scored the highest ratings in Telemundo’s history. The same network announced this week that Amaya will be playing the lead in the new series project, El Señor de los Cielos.
What fans might not know about the actor is that he began his career as a musician, playing for a ska band and later became a member of the famous Mexican group band Garibaldi. “Acting came by accident. When I was in Garibaldi, I was asked to audition for the telenovela, La casa en la playa and I got the part,” he said. Although music turned him into acting, which is his focus right now, he adds “I listen to music all the time. I also love to dance, so music is still a big part of my life.”
The actor, who now lives in Los Angeles, not only has starred in many films, but in 2009 debuted as a producer for the movie Pepe & Santo vs. America. “I fell in love with how films narrate a story. I became a producer also by accident. If I like a story and I feel it has to be told, I’ll do anything, even holding the mic and I will also become the sound guy... by accident,” he explained. Fortunately, he has been doing very well as an actor to worry about becoming part of the crew anytime soon. In 2006, he won La Diosa de Plata, an award given by the Mexican Film Press, the Mexican equivalent of a Golden Globe, for his role in the movie Asi del Precipicio.
Amaya doesn’t think telenovelas typecast actors. “No, actors typecast themselves. It is very easy when you have an exclusive contract with a network to be lazy and lay back. I had a ten year exclusive contract with Televisa and as soon as the contract ended, I moved around. It worked great for me, I was cast in two series in Spain, Doctor Mateo and Hospital Central,” he added. After his success in a foreign country, one could think that the next step would be a crossover to the US, but Amaya doesn’t take anything for granted and he rather fight for the roles that he loves no matter where they are, a lesson learned with his role in La Reina del Sur.
“I want to play interesting, well-rounded characters and that’s what I got with El Señor de los Cielos. I am very excited about this new series and I love my character. He is an everyday guy. Sometimes he is the good guy, sometimes he’s the bad guy, like real men are and I would never give up the opportunity to play him for a Hollywood movie. Furthermore, I don’t think Hollywood will create a character like Damian and that’s what I love about this series,” Amaya said.
The series El Señor de los Cielos, created by the same producers of La Reina del Sur, will begin shooting at the end of the year and will air in 2013 on Telemundo.
PHOTO CREDIT: Omar Cruz