The first time that actor Jesús Luque Colque (22) dreamed of being the protagonist of a story was when as a child he heard the writer Mario Vargas Llosa on the radio tell stories from world literature in My Favorite Novel. Jesus imagined himself as one of those characters, brave, resolving conflicts and fulfilling dreams.
Today he is the protagonist of his own story. He is the main actor in the Peruvian film Manco Cápac, a film pre-nominated for the Oscars and awarded by the Peruvian Association of Cinematographic Press. In addition to being recognized and applauded at various festivals in America, Europe and Asia.
Manco Cápac is the story of Elisbán, a young man who comes to the city of Puno in search of work, without money and without family, or acquaintances to turn to.
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“What I liked the most about Elisbán is how persevering he is, despite the mistreatment or discrimination he receives from a society, which does not do it with intention, he tries to find a solution,” says Jesús.
History of perseverance
Perseverance is a word that Jesus identifies with. Becoming an actor and filming Manco Cápac was an adventure of challenges which began in 2016. Jesús tells that he came to the casting of the film when he was 15 years old, thanks to football. The artist comments that through this sport he wanted to excel, and to achieve it, he had to travel on weekends from his community of San Ignacio de Mayapunco to Juliaca.
His mother was a weaver and he earned some soles by grazing the sheep of an old woman in his community whenever he could. Through the efforts of his mother, Jesús was enrolled in a soccer academy, but to continue paying for his training he decided to occasionally work as a laborer with his uncle.
“Leaving work I saw a poster that said ‘casting’, just as I was carrying a sack to my uncle’s house. I decided to go, I was last, they took the test and told several of us to come back the next day. I told my uncle that I had to go to a casting and he didn’t like it. We discuss. Even so, I went to the second test, “he says.
Two months later, Henry Vallejo, the film’s director, contacted him to move on to a third stage, a six-month acting workshop in Puno.
“I had a hard time earning the role. After telling me that I had been selected, Henry suggested that I study in Puno, but I did not accept, so we recorded on weekends. I traveled almost three hours ”, he recalls.
Difficulties and overcoming
For Jesus there were no bad moments when recording, he was fulfilling a dream and everything seemed motivating. Of course, remember that there were difficulties at times because there was rejection on the part of the people to the cameras in markets or streets. Despite having the permits, there were complaints or obstacles that delayed the filming.
To explain the effort that Manco Cápac made, Jesús details that the filming of the scene where Elisbán is in the middle of a crowd, watching the La Candelaria festival, was recorded in three different years. There were three festivities of the Virgen de la Candelaria in which she had to wear the same clothes, hairstyle and weight.
In 2017 Jesús migrated from Puno to Tacna, receiving a scholarship to study a technical career. In 2019, he enlisted in the military to achieve higher scores on entering a college career. Due to the pandemic in 2020, he lost his scholarship, he had to serve in remote areas, such as the border with Chile.
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Still in the army had some permits to travel to Puno and finish shooting some scenes. After completing his service, Jesús began his studies at the School of Dramatic Art in Lima, specializing in Teaching, chosen to have greater job opportunities in the field of art.
“Opportunities are slim in acting. And that comes from school. I remember that I had to beg the teacher to do theater and thanks to that we did two classes. I think there is a lot to spread about dramatic art, that people support cinema, independent cinema ”, he reflects.
Manco Cápac will be released on December 9 in theaters nationwide. Jesus hopes he can get the nomination as did the Scared Teta in 2010 and become the second Peruvian film with that distinction.
“If (the nomination) is achieved, it is due to the director’s commitment, the effort of the work team and the long hours,” concludes the actor.