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Santiago cabrera interview

Date of publishing: 6th March 2007

Santiago Cabrera interview Santiago Cabrera, as the middle child in the family of a Chilean diplomat and his wife, lived all around the world. The family lived in Toronto, London, Madrid and Romania they returned to stay in Chile when Santiago was 15. This early travel aided Santiago in becoming fluent in Spanish, English, French and Italian. Santiago excelled at soccer, being made captain of his team. His high school drama teacher convinced Santiago to try acting. While in high school he played the role of Mozart in “Amadeus”. On soccer scholarships Santiago attended two Chilean colleges before deciding to take a year away in Europe. During this time he changed his focus to performing and entered the prestigious London’s Drama Centre in September 2000. While still at the school he began working in television with small roles. Santiago is now playing the artist Isaac Mendez in the NBC hit TV show "HEROES".

Gilles Nuytens: Heroes is already a big success after only a few episodes, how has the show affected your life?
Santiago Cabrera: It's amazing to be part of a show that has had such a positive reaction. I wouldn't say it has changed my life dramatically although I do get invited to much more events and parties than ever before.

Santiago CabreraGilles Nuytens: You share a very good relationship with Tim Sale, have you tried to do some paintings yourself? Would you like to?
Santiago Cabrera: I do have a good relationship with Tim Sale. He's a great artist and has created some fantastic work for Isaac. I've been painting in my spare time and I painted one of the paintings of Hiro and the dinosaur, although it was drawn onto the canvas already. I don't think you'll be seeing any of my creations on the screen as of yet but who knows? if I get any better.......

Gilles Nuytens: If you had to choose an extraordinary ability, what would you choose, why and what would you accomplish with it?
Santiago Cabrera: If I were to choose an extraordinary ability it would be to fly...... it would make traveling easier. I could go visit my family alot more often.

Gilles Nuytens: Now that the drug problem seems solved for Isaac, we can see him less tortured with more stability, are there still any challenges for you to play the character?
Santiago Cabrera: I think Isaac is a tortured soul (on or off drugs). So for me the nature of the character will always be the challenge, or struggle when approaching this character. For that same reason he is alot of fun to portray. I feel privileged to be able to bring him to life.

Gilles Nuytens: What is your favorite scene you had to play so far and why?
Santiago Cabrera: Even though I felt really bad for killing Simone (the lovely Tawny Cypress), as an actor that scene was alot of fun to play. I got into a tussle with Peter Petrelli (Milo), got thrown around the room, played around with the gun, fired it, etc etc. It's a terrible scenario for Isaac as well, killing the one he loves, but alot of the times those scenes where there is so much at stake make it all the more entertaining to play.

Gilles Nuytens: Do you have a favorite other character on the show?
Santiago Cabrera: It's been a pleasure working with everyone I've crossed paths with so far. And I watch the show as just another fan. I wouldn't say I have a favorite other character, I just enjoy the story as a whole and everyone in it.

Santiago CabreraGilles Nuytens: You did a lot of theatre, plays, especially Shakespeare, do you have any preference between working in theatre and television?
Santiago Cabrera: I just look for roles and stories that motivate me as an actor. Whether the medium be theatre, TV or film doesn't really influence my decision as much as what the character or the plot has to offer me, and if I have something to say with it. I'm very attracted by the many possibilities this profession has to offer, among them the chance to work in area's as diverse as TV and theatre.

Gilles Nuytens: All of the characters seem connected and destined to meet each other, in your mind, what does this connection mean?
Santiago Cabrera: I think the connection between the characters and the different story lines means that there is a greater cause and everyone is on a quest to get to that greater cause. Because of this search, inevitably, people will start to cross paths.

Gilles Nuytens: We have seen the death of your character while Hiro visited the future, have the producers let you know any current plot lines where this future is changed?
Santiago Cabrera: The only thing the writers and producers have made clear from the beginning is that with this story, the premise that they have already set, anything is possible. I think that's why it makes for such great television. Nothing is set in stone. It's like they have a license to go anywhere they wish. Apart from that (which is vague enough in itself), they give us very little. We're only a couple of episodes ahead of the audience in terms of what's going to happen next. It's fun to work that way though, it keeps you alert.

Gilles Nuytens: The show is going to be translated in many languages, how do you feel when you see yourself speaking with another voice? Have you already listened to your other language voices from heroes?
Santiago Cabrera: I haven't listened to my other language voice from HEROES yet but I'm sure it will be interesting. I can never watch myself objectively anyway so maybe having someone else do my voice would make me enjoy my perfomance more. I might watch it and go, "wow, I was fenomenal in that....."

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© 2007 - Interview by Gilles Nuytens for The Scifi World
© Photos NBC Universal


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