A yellow halo surrounds his iris and is scary. He is the protagonist of ‘Don’t look into the eyes’ (in theaters starting this Friday). He comes dressed in yellow and everything seems like a game, but nothing is casual, like the story of this boy from Las 3,000 Viviendas (Seville, 1974) who made himself an actor and dragged his whole family onto the big screen, always following your intuition. Be careful, because nothing is what it seems.
“Do you know that your eyes are quite scary?” They seem to see beyond…
Yes, I am aware. The important thing is that they say something. The eyes are the mirror of what you think, and since my head is somewhat lost, it will seem that they wander around in the distance. Everyone in the family has something yellow in the iris of the eyes.
–“Kindness takes you away from the world”: do you agree with what your character says inside the closet?
-Yes, very sensitive people find it difficult to live together in this aggressive and unfair world. Some of us continually question ourselves to continue in goodness, others, like my protagonist, prefer to get out of the way.
-He puts on a Galician accent and answers with questions. Was it your personal contribution to the character?
–The questions for answers were in the script and this gave me a clue: a being so inside would have to sound Galician. It was part of my composition of the character, like the goatee, the belly (which is growing), the cadence of the voice. But at no time did I want to make a parody of the Galician, but to flee from my own way of speaking to believe the character; and since neutral accents make me very angry… The real thing is that many others are mixed in your voice, as in life.
“The questions for answers were in the script and this gave me a clue: a being so inside would have to sound Galician”
-The character of Watling is a transcript of loneliness. Does she insist on believing to be accompanied by ghosts and not feel so alone?
–She is alone, depressed and medicated, and when you are like this you cling to whatever gives you hope or a minimal explanation to understand the confusion you are experiencing. Believing is healing, whether it is a religion, a psychiatrist or yoga.
–Paco, one imagines that you were already born that way, actor. Is it congenital?, because what happened to his mother has fabric…
-Congenital? It all started with me. But look, it still has to do with the yellow we wear in our eyes, maybe the camera will like it… It makes us have a very feline expression.
–And also a bit autistic and ‘outsider’. Did you feel as a child that you were born in the wrong place?
-Yes, when I was little my feeling was what I do in this family (son of Antoñito el Ventero and Carmina, then a housewife and today, the actress Carmina Barrios). But when I came back from the trip, that is, adolescence, I realized that I am like them, very much from my family.
– At what age did you run away from home?
–I didn’t run away, I left when I was 18. To a flat (laughs). With fellow students of Dramatic Art. I was always very good, a suavón that my mother says, and I always did what I wanted.
-That it was above all studying and reading, I understand, and that his mother made his behavior ugly: “Your brain is going to dry up!” Did you fear that you would become a Quixote or something like that?
-My mother was always very crude, and it seemed crazy to her that she read so much. But I thank her very much for the freedom with which she raised us, she was very important to be able to make decisions early in life.
-Signed half with his ex-wife, Anna R. Costa, which in my opinion is the best series made in Spain, ‘Arde Madrid’. But in every tandem there is one good and one less. Which of the two is the brilliant creator?
What you say seems stupid to me. Anna is a great screenwriter, I write out of obligation. We are very different and the fit was very difficult, and perhaps for this reason, the result is very happy. But to be a creative tandem more than one work is needed and we don’t have more.
–You explained to Luz Mellado in a wonderful interview that you sometimes felt the “imposter syndrome”, because you got here by pure intuition?
–Intuition is a very strange form of intelligence, but it has a lot to do with honesty, and I think it is the only one that we should attend to in the midst of so much uncertainty that we live in. I trust mine more and more, yes: I decide by what I feel, by my hunches.
– And with a lot of luck? What is luck?
-Luck seems to me a logical consequence of being positive, but you also have to get up early, get up very early on many occasions, work hard so that what is real makes sense.
-He spoke in that interview of complexes, fears and inhibitions that he had suffered. Would you give me the contact of his shrink or at least give me the recipe?
–I struggle to get rid of that shit to try to be happy, and if I give you the opposite impression it is only because I am a very good actor. That exhibitionist image that I give on the networks is an effect of the opposite, of trying to free myself from my inhibition.
–Does the networks put you on?
–I have a very selective following, and of course I don’t get into those worlds of haters, badass people, what’s up.
–And finally, “I know who I am”, he said in that interview. Who is Paco Leon? Do you like it a lot? What does he see when he looks in the mirror?
Maturity consists in accepting oneself, right? Well, I’m on it, I’m almost 50 years old. I know who I am but I would need much more time than they give us to tell you. I am a mixture of what I want to be and what I have learned that I am not.
– Well, at least tell me: what do you want to be?
-A good person, like my father.