Alberto velasco is a Spanish actor, director, writer, dancer and choreographer who in this part of the world became popular as Palacios, a prison official, in ‘Vis a Vis’, the Spanish series that had international success on Netflix.
You commented that as a result of Palacios, you began to trust yourself. How is that?
When you are an actor and you go a bit outside the norm, in my case having a body that is not entirely within the norm, accessing a casting is a bit complicated, difficult. So, when I accessed the character of Palacios, he was an unknown actor for most of the Spanish public. I hadn’t done any television at that level and suddenly the casting director tests me and confesses that he was so committed to me that he hadn’t tested anyone else, that I was his bet. Immediately the responsibility fell on me, but at the same time an enormous emotion because a very important casting director in Spain, Luis San Narciso, had trusted me. When they gave me the character, I said to myself ‘in the end, it will turn out that you have talent’.
Did he tell you why he bet on you?
There is a very nice detail. Someone from his team came to see a contemporary dance show where there was a very famous Spanish actor and there I was. They suddenly saw a big man dancing contemporary dance. They were looking for a great person to represent Palacios. So they started looking for my videos on the internet where I danced and they tell me that there they were convinced that I would be Palacios. Look, it is something very remote from the character, but at the same time very beautiful. As they perhaps saw there a special sensitivity or a particular way of seeing the world.
At what point in your life does Palacios arrive?
In a difficult moment where no work was coming out. I was in Madrid, where a long season was ending with a play. It was December 2014 and without further work I had to return to Valladolid, my land. And notice how life is that the last four functions coincide with the entire casting process of Palacios and the day I say goodbye to the play, I no longer had anything else, everything was over, my representative calls me and tells me that the role was mine … Sometimes life is magical and it works for things like that, that you don’t know.
In October, you presented the book Poor, Fat and Fag. Do you think there is an ode, a cult of thinness?
Yes, it is fatal and exhausting and it is also a lie. It does not reflect the reality of a society that is plural, that is diverse and just as there are short people, there are people who are very wide and less wide. I think that fat is demonized. Being fat is the worst thing that can happen to you in the world. You receive violence from society that tells you all the time to lose weight and then there are many things that are cheating, they hide behind health. And I really have some really good analysis, I play sports, I’m active and it has nothing to do with that. We have to learn to see beauty everywhere, there are people who have a very bad time, who do not go out, who do not take photos, who think that it is not valid to go out and be a successful person and fulfill their dreams and desires and this really seems to me something to take into account in fiction, because fiction has to make new inclusive and diverse casts because fiction is so powerful that it creates realities. I speak about it because it directly influences me. I am part of that diverse cast, of that diverse society that is there. I think we have a lot to do.
Is it true that you have an offer to act in a Peruvian film?
Yes, and it would be a dream to continue developing my career with Peruvian actors and, of course, savor their gastronomy, which drives me crazy. All their dishes. In Madrid, Peruvian gastronomy is in fashion. Near my house there are three Peruvian restaurants that when they see me appear, they already fear (laughs).
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