David Verdaguer, award-winning star of ‘10,000km’: “Theatre is my wife, and cinema is my lover”
The Catalan actor David Verdaguer, known for his comic roles in Catalan TV programmes such as ‘APM’ and ‘Crackòvia’, has recently received the Gaudí Award in the best actor category for his leading role in ‘10,000km’, directed by Carlos Marqués-Marcet. After the success of the film, Carlos Marqués is planning a new project to be filmed in London with a supporting role for Verdaguer. Deeply dedicated to theatre, David Verdaguer has just performed in the play ‘El somni Americà’ at the Teatre Lliure in Barcelona.
Barcelona (ACN).-The Catalan actor David Verdaguer, known for his comic roles in Catalan TV programmes such as ‘APM’ and ‘Crackòvia’, has recently received the Gaudí Award in the best actor category for his leading role in ‘10,000km’, directed by Carlos Marqués-Marcet. After the success of the film, Carlos Marqués is planning a new project to be filmed in London with a supporting role for Verdaguer. Deeply dedicated to theatre, David Verdaguer has just performed in the play ‘El somni Americà’ at the Teatre Lliure in Barcelona.
Thanks to the film ‘10,000km’ you are now more popular and well known. Will this help you to get new job offers?
I am a theatre actor and, fortunately, companies always call me to perform throughout the whole year. That’s what I live from and what I love the most. Working in television also helps me economically and is useful to make myself more visible. However, the truth is, I expected more people to call me after ‘10,000km’ and, so far, it hasn’t happened yet.
Does being awarded a Gaudí mean the start of a new phase for a Catalan actor?
Not really. I have been awarded a Gaudí and I am not a better actor than Lluís Tosar. This kind of prize is a reward that motivates you to keep working and improving. One of the best things receiving a Gaudí gave me was the chance of realising that there is actually a lot of people who love me. Actually I am just an ordinary man with a dispensable job, and it is such a beautiful feeling to hear good things about you coming from other people. The actor Marc Martínez wrote “It is good for everybody that you are the best”. It was really touching. The truth is people are usually nice and it is easier to get along with them than hating each other.
When did you realise you wanted to become an actor?
When I was a little boy, I wanted to become a doctor. But it didn’t last very long. I was always making fun of everything, especially at school with my classmates. Humour has always seemed to me a road to integration. Humour can be a great weapon either to attack or to defend yourself. I have always used it, and I still do. Moreover, I always wanted to perform in theatre plays. Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to be able to work as an actor since I was 19 years old and now I am 31. To me, this is a real luxury. Being an actor is quite a vocational job where luck is really important.
When you started working in television, in the TV Programme ‘APM’, you played the role of ‘the moustache reporter’. What does this first period mean to you?
It was a great period of my life. I was twenty back then and playing ‘the moustache reporter’ was fantastic. It helped me to learn how television works, but now I wouldn’t dare do all the things I did as ‘the moustache reporter’.
Why is that?
Because now I feel shyer than before when performing. With every year that goes by, it is worse for actors because there is much more pressure on you. On one hand, you have become better because of all the time you have dedicated to acting but, on the other hand, it is more difficult in the sense that what started as a game is now a job.
Do you feel worried by people labelling you as just a humorous actor?
The problem is people know you for what you do. You never pigeonhole yourself, the people do it. Theoretically, an actor can play either tragedies, musicals or comedies. Better or worse, but it can be done. I was really lucky when Carlos Marqués-Marcet, the director of ‘10,000km’ who lives in Los Angeles, proposed me for the leading male role.
And how did Carlos find you?
He saw me on YouTube in a surrealistic video where I was with a friend imitating Faemino and Cansado -a Spanish comedy duo- in a petrol station in Austria. Carlos told the producers that he wanted me to interpret Sergi -the main character in ‘10,000km’. The producers told him that I was a comedian and I couldn’t play that role. But Carlos let me show what I could do. I did the casting and it was wonderful. One of the reasons for my success on that casting was that my girlfriend and I had broken up recently. So I nailed it as I was crying all the time. And Carlos, who is a really good director, trusted me.
What was the experience of filming a movie like?
It was a really good experience, because Carlos made everything easier. When you are filming a movie, you have to be always looking at the technique. But thanks to Carlos everything was easier because he filmed the scenes in a linear way. First, we filmed the sequence shot, which was easy because it was like doing theatre. It was easier for me than stopping at each sentence. Cinema is more of a lie than theatre. But Carlos did it perfectly and the last day of shooting was the day we filmed the last scene. The sadness that there is in that scene is real because we knew it was the end and it was really beautiful. I think I’ll never have as many facilities to film a movie like with this one, because everything was anti-cinema for me.
And how was working with Natalia?
Everything was so easy with her. I went to London to meet her before filming the movie and we became friends in six minutes. I went to the boat where she lives, there we were laughing, drinking wine and eating cheese. And suddenly we were already really good friends, since the very first moment. And that was basic, because she is a generous actress but there was also love. Thus it was easier to film.
What are your future projects in cinema?
A film with Carlos Marqués-Marcet, if everything goes right. With Natalia Tena, and other actors. It will be filmed in London and I will have a secondary role. The story is that Natalia, the main character, and her lesbian partner want to have children and they contact me for my semen.
Carlos brings very contemporary topics to the screen..
Yes, but I think he is obsessed with children. Because in ‘10,000km’ my character wanted to have children and he in this new film continues with the same topic. Maybe it is one of these strange crisis that comes when you become thirty. He told me that this movie will be more of a comedy, but I still don’t have the script.
Theatre, cinema, television, which do you prefer?
Theatre. Theatre is my wife, and cinema is my lover. The lover is okay for a while, but the theatre is the one that gave birth to you, that which puts up with you, that which you know for the longest time, and which has loved you since the beginning. Nowhere is like home, and theatre is home. Right now, I don’t feel like cinema is home. Hopefully the day will come when I will have two wives: cinema and theatre.
But theatre does not bring fame
It is the most anonymous and the least well-paid. It doesn’t fill your pockets, but it fills your soul; that it is different. The theatre is a weird routine that is always changing. You are so happy doing theatre. But I won’t lie to you, I’m at a point in my life where I would like to continue learning to do cinema, because I don’t know about it and I want to learn. And with directors like Carlos, it is really easy to learn, but I know I won’t always be so lucky.
What are your main goals now?
Getting in shape and learning English. I won’t get in shape because I am so lazy, but I have to learn English.